I just watched “Dark Pages” – an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and I have to say that it was the single most amazing episode of ST to date that I have ever seen … and there’s been some pretty damn amazing photos. It had an amazing cast doing amazing acting. Even the most campy character came to life and it was completely believable.
The episode is, essentially, about facing your deepest darkest secret. It’s about how we put so much energy into hiding that secret and hating ourselves for it. It’s about how spending all of that energy in hating ourselves for something we somehow believe we were the root cause of slowly but surly kills us. In the very least, we let our sense of reality and joys in life slip away unnoticed, because we are so busy protecting our secret and hating ourselves.
Since I’m studying a little bit about psychology it got me researching ‘secrets’ a bit at the most reliable source: Google. AMIRIGHT? Anyway, I found mostly what I already knew… secrets create an unstable mind. I’m just going to link you to this article, because it’s well-cited and I’m, well, lazy: http://nautil.us/blog/the-secret-costs-of-keeping-secrets.
The thing is, you really don’t need tests to prove that keeping a secret is bad for you. Just keep a deep dark secret for even a minute or two and you will begin to feel bad. Imagine keeping that deep dark secret for decades!?
I remember, when I was in college, one of the most fascinating and amazing websites to visit at the time was the “Post Secret” website. I actually discovered that it was too much for me and couldn’t really spend much time on the site. People were confessing things that were really … dark and deep. Some of the trauma that some of these people put themselves through out of fear of being found out simply amaze me. Some of the posts make me outright cry while others make me want to hide under the sheets.
Secrets are a thick wall between you and your humanity–an ever-thickening wall. If you want a life of freedom and joy, tell someone you trust, even a therapist.
I’ve been privileged to be at the telling-end of about 72 teens and adults who have come out of the closet as gay and to see their entire physiology and personality change to a brighter and more joyful version of them has been the greatest award I can imagine.
Trust me, if you want love and kindness back, tell someone.