Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I spilled the beans about my innermost secret to my two friends, Vivi and Alexandra. We all had a good cry about it after drinking two bottles of Baileys. No sooner did I blurt it all out that I began to hope they were too drunk to have realised the gravity of what I had just told them - for me, anyway.

"Goodness gracious! You stupid, stupid girl," hicked Alexandra. "Why did you never tell us this before?"

"I know why," said Vivi, the Wise One. I looked at her, curious..."It's because now we both have cancer. When we didn't have cancer she didn't want to tell us because she did not think we were flawed enough to be told. It's also why she married a man who has multiple sclerosis. She doesn't think that anyone who is normal, healthy, 'perfect' would understand."

I stared at her. Wide-eyed and suddenly sober despite the alcohol pulsating through my veins (sometimes the harsh TRUTH has a sobering effect - two bottles of Baileys wasted with just one slap of sincerity!). "You should have been a therapist!"

Now these two wonderful women I trusted are dead taking my secret with them to the grave. "Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead!" I remember reading that somewhere when I was a teen, then chewing it in my mind. It proved prophetic, I guess. And my secret is now a secret once more.

My dirty, cloistered, smutty secret! We all have 'em, don't we? Yet, in an Oprah Winfrey society we are told that it is healthy when we air private details about ourselves so that redemption can duely follow: "I am a homosexual!" "I was date raped but never told anyone!" "I had an affair with my husband's brother!" "I pee on my neighbours pot plants!" and then we all applaud that brave person who is supposed to feel somewhat liberated after finally not having anything to hide (for the record, these are examples of other people's secrets - not mine!)

People even pay good money to tell qualified strangers their secrets. And then these strangers say, "So how do you feel about that..." Until finally one is cured from secrecy - therapy they call it! Others go to priests and confess. Faith cures them. Forgiveness follows. Simple.

Too easy. Don't you think?


Colleen: said...

We live in a "tell all" society. While I don't applaud people who announce their horrible secrets on Oprah just to get a little bit of publicity and a moment of fame, there is something to be said for sharing a "secret" in a loving environment sometimes. When you can be sure that those you are telling won't condemn or judge you, won't think less of you, will love you unconditionally...that I believe can be healing.
Of course there are secrets that we needn't tell. There are also secrets that when told place a great burden on another person. So, no it isn't really a cut and dry situation.

I enjoyed this post and am sorry about your friends. You must miss them terribly.

Robin said...

I don't know what your secret is and I don't need to know it. The things is this: we are all flawed. Even people with the best of intentions screw things up royally. As you said: bees are the only thing on this here planet doing the job well. So, whatever flaw you have inside that seems so HUGE to you that you can only share it with people who are dying, has become bigger than it is. Seems is the operative word here. No one expects you to be perfect. If they do, they are bound to be disappointed b/c no one is. I hope that one day you can let this go to someone who isn't at death's door and it actually feel like a relief.

Thanks for the heartburn.

michael- said...

Hmmm... we learn more and more about you all the time. Great post.

I believe some secrets are treasures.


(ps: is it me or is your writing getting better all the time???)

Toyin O. said...

Interesting post!

wendy said...

2 bottles of Baileys...why didn't you call??
Secrets........yup, we all have them, but the second you tell someone "it's out there"
unless they die
then it is safe with us again

sometimes I just don't want to know a persons SECRET
unless it is a cute one, like mowing your neighbors lawn and telling her it was the gnomes...that is awesome

Charlene said...

I have fought fame all my life and therefore confess nothing to anyone! I do think if I am awarded a lot of money I would pay a stranger to listen to me talk. It sounds so self-absorbed.

Naila Moon of the Grey Wolf said...

Yes, we do have to be oh so careful as to whom we tell our secrets too.
I personally think those that tell all (aka on talk shows)are a little nuts. However, some things need to be told because keeping the secret just continues to hurt others wether willingly or unwillingly.
Peace~Naila Moon

Phoenix said...

I think with a secret, guilt is a natural side-effect...even if it's not something that we originally felt guilty about. Guilt is a killer of the heart and soul, and while I'm with you on our Tell All society becoming a little TOO much, I do agree that secrets should be revealed if they are burdens.

If they are not burdens...but instead simple little gifts that we keep to ourselves...then I see no reason to tell anyone at all :)

Thanks for tagging me - looking forward to "Telling all" in my next post. ;)

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

That first pic is too funny . . so true too, I've seen it at work until their caught in act . . talking about being funny, I love it. Men will be men. Holding a secret is someone holding your trust. Trust is a big word for me. You must really miss your friends, it's always nice to have someone special to confide in. Hope you are having a good week! Sandy :O)

p.s. thanks for all the kindness you leave on my blog . . Hugs

Purple Cow said...

Colleen - That is assuming we want to be healed. Do we all deserve to be healed? Yes, I do miss them terribly.

Robin - I hear Immodium is good for heartburn...Or is that indigestion? You are right, though, our secrets always seem more serious to us when they are secrets.

Michael - Secrets can be both treasures and thorns. I thought my writing was getting worse. If you think its better maybe its because the more you get to know a person, the more you like 'em. It works the same with looks.

Hello Toyin.

Wendy - I agree with you. Sometimes its better not to know. No sooner did I let mine out that I felt like I was weighing my friends down. Truth is, I wouldn't have minded them screaming it from the rooftops if it could have a cancer curing affect.

Charlene - I once did pay a stranger. It ended up that I was paying 80 euros per hour to hear her tell me about HER marriage problems. And rather than thank me for it she said that she thought this would help me better understand that I am not alone. Grrrrrrr....

Naila - The secrets most hurt their bearers. And yes, there are some secrets that should never be told...

Phoenix - You are right about the "feeling guilty" part. Sometimes though, if the secret is being kept by a person who did something rotten they should feel guilty. If it is a "victim", then that is another matter.

Sandy - Hope you are doing well! yes, the pics are very funny. I found them on a post your secret site. Don't go looking for mine, though.

Veronica Lee said...

Isn't confession supposed to be good for the soul?
WOW! You are an enigma, wrapped in some delightful mystery!

After all that has been said, I totally agree with Colleen.

Have a nice day, PC!

Purple Cow said...

VL - Shhhhhhhh!

Ro Magnolia said...

Oh dear, I was so disappointed to hear that you have NOT been secretly peeing on your neighbour's pot plants. :D

Oh ... secrets, secrets, secrets ... such a difficult subject. On the one hand, we do seem to live in a "tell all" society but sometimes it seems like the people who blather on and on about their "inner most issues" are actually the ones who could least benefit from "airing out their inner closets."

I guess the question for me is "am I burning inside unable to get past the issue on my own" ... and if that is the case, then I think there is some merit in sharing it with someone who is a VERY trusted friend.

The funny thing is that with some issues, we feel we have to hide them because people wouldn't love us if they knew ... as if we are actually defined by the secret, as if it implicates who we really are inside. The secret can become more signficant in our mind than it really would be if we would let it out of it's hidden box so it could be exposed for what it really is.

Kind of like the monsters under your bed when you're a little kid. They are huge and gigantic and frightening so you lie paralyzed in bed afraid to move. But if you gather up the courage to dash across the room and turn on the light, you discover the monsters are really not there at all. They became monsters in your mind because you were too afraid to take that step out of the safety of your bed in order to turn on the light. Until the light hits the secret dark recesses, you may never know that the monsters are only a part of your own fears and have no power in the light.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I think we all have secrets--some bigger than others. I think sometimes it feels like shouting them out makes us feel less vulnerable. Like maybe if we just spill it, than we no longer have something to be outed on, that no one who "knows" can hold it over our heads. There is no longer the fear that we will be found out. Perhaps this is why we tell. Better out than in...and whatnot.

Purple Cow said...

Ro - Yes, I like your monsters under the bed analogy.

Caroline - That's true!

LJ said...

A casual friend visited me last week and laid a heavy secret on me. I think she needed to tell someone, anyone, so that she felt a little lighter. Now I know the secret, and it weighs heavy on me. I'm caught between a world of staying in someones confidence, and a world where this kind of secret isn't a good one. (Thankfully, her 'secret' wasn't committing a felony).

Purple Cow said...

I wouldn't like to be in your position LJ! I get loaded with things like that sometimes and find myself grappling with morals and scruples.