Browsing All Posts filed under »Secrecy«

July is the (don’t hold your breath) Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July 11, 2013 by

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Giving the lie to the common assertion that Congress accomplishes nothing, in the 110th Congress, in 2007, Rep. Albert Wynn, a Democrat from Maryland who represented the 4th district from 1993 to 2008, brought to the floor a bill for which he would soon have many co-sponsors, and which he would succeed in passing in 2008, […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Problem Marriages #3–Marriages That Begin in Subterfuge

January 1, 2012 by

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Susan had always been agentic, had known from her visit to Cornell that she wanted to and would go there, had known from her initial interview with Price Waterhouse Coopers that she wanted to and would work there–and had known very shortly after meeting Chris that she wanted to and would marry him. Susan, it […]

Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part XII: How to Reveal a Secret–When Kids Have the Right to Know

December 19, 2011 by

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So we left off with the concept that if a secret affects children, those children have the right to know. This does not mean that you can use children to unburden yourself, like my patient did with her eldest daughter and her husband’s affair. That will yield only damage; your child is not your father-confessor. But the same reason […]

Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part X: How to Reveal a Secret

December 19, 2011 by

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So you’re convinced, due to some circumstance or another, that the time has come to reveal your secret, and relieve yourself of the burden of shame and hiding that has weighed you down for so long. NOW what? Well, best of all would be to use some common sense, I suppose. Public service announcements: revelations […]

Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part IX: Why to Reveal a Secret

December 18, 2011 by

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“A nuerosis is a secret that you don’t know you are keeping.” Thus wrote English theater critic and writer Kenneth Tynan, and with these words he opens the conversation about the damage a secret does to the secret-keeper himself. So let’s take a step away for a moment from some of the family-dynamic reasons for […]

Privacy, Shame and Secrets–Part VIII: Hidden in Plain Sight, ct’d

December 17, 2011 by

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So we return to secrets hidden in plain sight, and particularly to Miriam’s mentally unstable father, Max, whom everyone seemed to know about, but no one actually mentioned. Max didn’t come out during the day. Ever. When there were certain things he wanted–usually food requests, he never wanted clothes or books or gifts for the […]

Privacy, Shame and Secrets–Part VII: Hidden in Plain Sight

December 17, 2011 by

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“Brilliant!” Harry whispered. “If everyone knows, no one will suspect it’s a secret!” No, it isn’t really “the Harry” that we’ve come to know and love via Ms. Rowling. It’s rather from a takeoff of the Potter series, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Less Wrong. [Feel free to see http://m.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/12/ if this idea appeals to […]

Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part V: Questions About–and the Damage Caused by–Secrets

December 16, 2011 by

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If we’re to take an honest look at secret-keeping–and that involves our own–we need to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about why we continue in our path of secrecy. Ask yourself these–and be honest: 1. Who else knows this secret? Like in Alan’s case, with never having graduated high school, do so many people know, that keeping […]

Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part IV: On the Edge of Discovery

December 16, 2011 by

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Benjamin Fanklin said many, many wise things, and this saying speaks to one of the simplest dangers of keeping a secret–the secret isn’t safe if more than one person holds it. “Three may keep a secret,” wrote Ben–“if two of them are dead.” Fear of discovery can haunt your every moment. It was this reality that […]

Privacy, Shame and Secrets–Part VI: Patty’s Babies

December 16, 2011 by

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Patty came to me in the early stages of her first pregnancy to work through issues she’d been having in relationships. Patty struck me as self-confident, bright, assertive. She was a lesbian and comfortable with her identity, but had somehow just never found the right woman. I must be some sort of miracle-worker, because within […]

Privacy, Secrets and Shame: How to Reveal a Secret (II)

December 16, 2011 by

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Back to ideas about how best to reveal a secret. It can’t hurt to start where we left off–using your common sense. Other tips: don’t construct a whole back story behind your secret to cover your guilt. I know it’s tempting–I really do–but the moment when you finally share your secret is not the time for excuses or […]

Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part III–Privacy vs. Secrecy

December 16, 2011 by

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I find that people tend to justify some inappropriate secret-keeping with the self-righteous claim that, “It’s my business,” or–better yet–“It’s private.” So what is the difference between privacy and secrecy–and how do you know if you’re being private–which is okay, in this scenario–or secretive, which can cause so much collateral damage? I would suggest that while […]

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