Everybody, or, nearly everybody loves a good surprise. But to pull off a surprise like a party, or a gift or something special, one must plan and spend time being a little covert, like 007, and for a lot of us, that is pretty fun. But for others of us, it can get a little trigger-y. And you can bet I’m not talking about Winnie the Pooh’s striped bouncy friend.

Secrecy and sneaking around are part and parcel with addict and dysfunctional behaviors. As a small child growing up with 2 very immature parents, I saw and was told a lot of secrets. I would be out with my dad, and we would pick up a “special friend” of his, usually one of his female co-workers, who would be spending the day with us going to the beach while my mom was elsewhere. My dad would say, “this is just between you and me, she is just a friend, and your mom wouldn’t understand.” Similarly, my mom would have male friends over to the house while my dad was away, and say basically the same thing. One day, I got cornered in the kitchen by my dad, asking if my mom has company at the house while he is not home. My mother heard this exchange, and before I could think of something to say, she flew into the room and the heated exchange began. I knew that the secrets were there to keep my family together, and that it was my job to never speak of them, if I could help it.

But soon, I was to have secrets of my own. When I was about 7 or 8, I was abused by a babysitter hired by my grandmother, and I felt so much shame and embarrassment I couldn’t speak about it. The more secrets I carried, the more isolated I felt. I thought no one would understand.

The longer the toxic secrets are kept, the more they tend to reinforce to us that we can’t tell anyone, simply because we’ve kept it this long, why tell anyone now? And if we do tell, will we be shamed for it and chastised for not telling sooner? It feels like a no-win scenario.  That’s why in recovery, we say “you are only as sick as your secrets.” The poisonous rot that we each carry around in us has to be brought out into the light of day, so that we carry the burden of it no more. Our secrets, the secrets forced upon us by dysfunctional loved ones. Doesn’t matter. These can all impede our progress toward freedom, peace and serenity until we come clean and deal.

In teaching my grandsons healthy boundaries regarding these things, I don’t say let’s keep such and so a secret. I say we’re planning a special surprise, so we’re going to hold off on talking about it until we’re ready to have the party, or give the gift, etc. I feel like it is taking the trigger and throwing it off a bridge somewhere. Because I want to be the change that sees healthier things in the lives of my family.

It’s no secret, wishing you much love and blessings today. 🌞😁