Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Post Secret

I was up the other morning from 4am to 6am. I emailed my dad and then went blog reading. For hours. I found some funny ones, some in a different language, some that had amazing pictures and then I found this one. Post Secret. It is a blog of shared confessions in art form. A gallery of postcard sized images posted anonymously to confess a secret. There are books and museum exhibits. The man who started it gives speeches and does videos. It is a worldwide community of people.

I got addicted quickly. There were all these secrets from people who were hurting immensely. I mean some were happy, maybe one percent. The others were sad and hard to read. But I read them all. And I was so glad that I don't have to send in a postcard. I know I have my secrets...but at least one person knows everything about me. Not all the same person...but people nonetheless. So I don't really have a secret. The only real secret I had I told one of my girlfriends the other day and she said, well now its not a secret and it was kind of a given anyway.

My dad always said secrets aren't good. If it isn't something that you can share you probably shouldn't be doing it. It's true. Especially with me. I am a talker. I share everything...sometimes too much. So if there is something I can't tell you...it's because I am not proud of it. And that is a hard feeling to have.

I have had my share of secrets and I have had secrets kept from me. Some that changed my life forever. I try not to have secrets because they are damaging. They hurt you and those around you.

Ok, here's the thing. I have been writing this post for about a week. I would write and read it and write and read it and it just seemed unfinished. It just seemed half assed. Here is why.

Secrets have changed my life. Forever. Secrets kept by others, secrets kept by me. Secrets that have now been shared but were so damaging there is no return.

I was married when I was 23. He was my high school sweetheart. We were together for twelve years. Married for four. During that time there were many secrets that were kept. Some from me, some from my family. Secrets that led to my divorce and led to the joint custody of my son. My life and the life of my sweet, precious boy changed forever. We had problems for years before anyone knew. We went to counseling, we went to weekends for couples, we tried many different things. Most of this no one knew. When we actually split it was a shock to family members, to friends and even to us. It was a difficult time for my family and for my child. And although life is wonderful now. And by wonderful I mean absolutely amazingly wonderful. The secrets that were kept still haunt me and have changed me and my outlook on life.

I was in the Boise airport when I received a call that a good friend of ours was arrested. He was a good guy. He was clean cut and parents loved him. He was the boy that made us laugh and that you went to with any problem. So it was shocking to know he was in any kind of trouble. But the shock got worse when I heard that the arrest was for bank robbery. Bank robbery. Multiple bank robberies. I worked at a bank. He came to visit me at work numerous times. He was leading a double life. He had secrets that are the makings of a made for tv movie. The next few days were full of phone calls, watching news, internet searches and questions. It has been eight years and the questions remain. I do not know if they will ever be answered and at this point I am ok with it. But the secret started and it destroyed lives. It destroyed trust and relationships. It still is the topic of conversation. It still is the center of stomach aches and tears. The secrets have damaged more than just our friend and his family. More than the people in the bank.

Secrets are like webs that just suck in all those around them. And unless the secret includes a diamond or a big red bow it just isn't a good idea. Once again...my dad was right.


  1. I feel like you do about secrets. I place a high priority on being authentic and transparent, probably because of the secrets that hurt me in the past. It's amazing what a little sunlight can do when it shines into the dark, cobwebby corners of our lives.

    Great post, Ada!

  2. Wow.

    Very powerful post.

    Has REALLY got me thinking...

    /big deep sigh.


  3. I have only one secret, except now a tiny handful of people know about it, so I suppose it is no longer a secret.... but I do know they will not share it with others.... a secret is no longer a secret once you tell one other person ...


  4. Ada... that was a wonderful post and should give everyone pause for considerable thought.
    I believe that your Dad is very right!
    I am very transparent too, I have mostly been an open book all of my life, for better or for worse. My question is... once a secret has gone on for so long, should telling it be more important than sparing those that would be hurt by it's telling...? I dunno?