The Kinnie Club

Keeping Secrets

Keeping secrets can be like making the bed every morning in some families. It becomes part of their everyday ritual. A ritual that becomes so common and keepsake it stops hovering at the surface and sinks slowly down into the intricate layers that makes up a family.

The word itself ‘secrets’ can summon dark and sinister images of skeletons in closets and evil wrong doings that must always stay hidden. But secrets can be quite the opposite. There are the secrets of an impending wedding proposal or the news of a new baby on the way or even a surprise birthday party. Little secrets that stitch us one stitch closer together in the happy memories that make up families.

But what of those little secrets that tear us apart?

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I have always kept secrets. Secrets that have been the spring board to babies, weddings and surprise birthday parties. And secrets that are less of a celebration and more of a forever secret, the type that are still locked inside with the key thrown away.

Keeping secrets is one of the layers of my family. Maybe it is a layer of every family. Maybe without them families cannot exist. Family secrets are like the steel inside a foundation, deep and buried, out of sight, but holding everything still and together. This year I have been the keeper of many secrets. Holding on tight to and protecting the secrets that have not been mine to keep.

But that is what you do when you love someone; you protect the secrets they give to you. You guard them and make them your own. The secrets become more than stitches that bind us together they become living entities. They become entities that you cannot neglect, or forget or even ignore.

Sometimes secrets demand your attention when you least expect it. Instead of staying low and hidden in their dark place, sometimes secrets rear to the surface and scream at you to be noticed.

I had to make a decision last week. A decision that tossed up the trust and respect of someone I love against a secret. The person I love and the secret were both family. My first instinct was to side with the secret. I traded the love of that person to protect the secret.

Within moments guilt reared its head. Guilt can twist and turn on a secret threatening to make it come undone. Guilt took me by the hand and made me pick up the phone again. Call the person I love and let her know the secret.

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The secret did not tear us apart. She understood. The secret was still safe. The love was still safe.

Maybe that is the best part of any family. Not the secrets we keep hidden, deep dark and away from sight. Maybe it is not the secrets that stitch us together one stitch at a time. Maybe in the end, we are only threads of love that keep weaving through life’s moments reminding us of what really matters most.


Do you keep secrets?

Do secrets keep us together or tear us apart?

Linking up with #IBOT
Did you catch last week’s post Watching the Time?

  • I’m not sure I have a lot of secrets but I do know that often secrets can bind anxiety and guilt inside their keeper and when released the fallout is no where near as damaging as one might have always predicted. Protecting secrets vs protecting family and love is an interesting conundrum x

  • It’s funny, my grandma was a real extrovert and talker like me, but it turns out she held many secrets people had told her over the years. I think if someone tells me really important, and no-one is hurt by me keeping the secrets, you can tell me them x

  • LydiaCLee

    I think it depends on the secret. But secrets can often just be lies. You dress it up as a secret to make yourself feel better. You take the taint off the word but it still taints the relationship and paints a shared history in disrespect and doubt….

  • I have many secrets that I keep and hold close, but more my own than others. If I were asked to keep a secret I think I would, but it would depend on the secret and who it may hurt if kept. Secrets are delicate and deserve respect.

  • What a wonderful question. Yes I have kept secrets, usually ones that led to a surprise. I’m a terrible liar, so actively hiding a secret is very difficult for me. xx

  • My family seem to have layers of secrets that I am unearthing as I get older. I’m not sure if they were always there or if they are becoming more prevalent. It is nice to know that I am entrusted with them, but I don’t want to be. I wonder how many more secrets there are that I don’t know about …

  • I am very open. I’m good at keeping other people’s secrets … I’m their vault and that’s OK. But I don’t tend to have secrets of my own. I’m an open book.
    I did feel the need to open the vault once on someone else’s secret … someone close to me … so that I could help someone else close to me … I learned a big valuable lesson. No matter how much the other person might benefit from knowing the secret … knowing they weren’t alone … I hurt the person who owned it because it wasn’t my secret to share.
    I’ll never do that again.

  • I think secrets can both bind us and tear us apart depending on how they are handled. I also think some issues are best kept secret. I can’t think of any secrets in our family – although I can think of big issues that we dealt with secretly without making it known public to others. I think the word secret or acting secretly can be suspicious. But I do love knowing a baby secret and a joyful secret that has to be kept secret until the opportune time to reveal to everyone.

  • I’m generally really bad at keeping secrets. Your best hope is to tell me when I’m not really paying attention, because I’ll probably take it in but forget it quickly. 😉 My youngest sister is quite good at keeping them. I don’t really have any for them to keep though.

  • I can’t keep secrets from those I love, I just can’t. I like ‘fun’ secrets – a surprise party, a special outing, that kind of thing, but I am not a fan of other secrets. I will keep them if you ask me to, but I can never really see the point. x

  • Hugzilla

    I’m good at keeping important secrets. Knowing when to share, how to share and who to share with is the key.

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    I’m too good at keeping secrets. Sometimes these are things I need to share but I have made a promise… it eats me inside. #IBOT

  • I’m glad to hear the secret didn’t damage your relationship. That’s the great thing about family isn’t it?! That said there is a secret that I have kept from my family for about 15 years now. It eats away at me at times, but I always manage to push it aside. That key has definitely been thrown away xx

  • I am a fairly open book with not a lot of secrets. I don’t think Iv really thought of that word in a very long time.. But if I’m told something in confidence I am good at keeping my word unless that person is in need of help/assistance. I’m glad to hear your relationship wasn’t damaged.

  • I was just told a huge secret on the weekend that I have to keep to myself which I will. It was more of a revelation to me of horrible mental health issues that had plagued a close family member. Not living close by any more I don’t get to see her much anymore and she could hide her life behind a happy phone all. Knowing this secret now has made us closer. I think she wished she had of told me sooner but time is of the essence and it was when she was ready I guess.

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