Blog Archives

We’re all hiding something. Let’s find the courage

In this touching talk, Ash Beckham offers a fresh approach to empathy and openness. It starts with understanding that everyone, at some point in their life, has experienced hardship. The only way out, says Beckham, is to open the door and step out of your closet.

Advertisements

Keeping Secrets Is Bad For Your Health

Secrets are not something you should keep locked away. Do that, and they’ll eat you from the inside out! That’s according to scientists studying their psychological impact on the secret-keeper. Laci Green details their findings.

The Power of Secrets: Anthony Ferguson

Anthony Ferguson, Jr is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. Ferguson came to the University of Iowa in the fall of 2010 from a small private high-school, Gilman School, on a full athletic football scholarship. Once realizing that he had a different calling was in a different area, Ferguson left the team and started blazing a new path for himself. He went on to start his own organization, Young, Black, & Educated, as well becoming an active member in the Iowa City Community. Ferguson has structured everything he does around mentoring and giving back to his community. His strong belief in reaching back has also landed him in India, where he studied aboard, and in Ethiopia and Guyana where he completed two mission trips. Ferguson is currently a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc., Vice President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, a Resident Assistant for University Apartments, and most recently an AmeriCorps Member.

Secrets

 

 

I was watching this video and all  i could think about was how I’ve became an expert in hiding my secrets. I’ve hidden my biggest secret for 10 years and the reason I finally shared it was because I was in a life of death situation. I don’t know if any of you had that feeling before, having to choose between your life and somebody else’s well-being.I might sound dramatic but it was how I felt at that moment.

I was contemplating suicide, I had a plan, my last will was written, my papers where in order and I everybody I loved had a  goodbye letter. I could not handle the pain and the loneliness of keeping that secret. I thought I could protect my family by being strong and leaving them in the dark but I later realized that I was lying to myself.

It was a Saturday, I hadn’t slept for a week now…every time I closed my eyes I had vivid nightmares, I could not breath well, I could not get out of bed, I couldn’t even shower. All I could think about was how to kill myself successfully. My sister lived with me at the time so I had to find the perfect moment to do it so she couldn’t save me. My death would solve everything. Another part of me wanted to live, it was telling me that all I had to do was to tell my mom. I knew she would believe me, I knew she would support me but I didn’t want her to get another divorce. I didn’t want my sister to be without a dad. I was scared my mom would end up in prison for killing him (she has a bad temper).

In the afternoon I was talking to my mom and she was asking me why I was depressed. She started telling me how I was lucky to have a good job, a boyfriend, plenty of friends and two dad who adored me. That’s where I flipped! I couldn’t stand my mom defending a man she didn’t know. Being so happy that her husband considered me as his daughter. I was tired of listening to people telling me how lucky I was. I was tired of hiding that my step dad , who raised me as his own daughter sexually abused me.

My mom is very persistent and finally I spilled the bean. She called me right away, called me down, told me not to worry that she was going to take care of it. The morning after she called me and told me that she kicked him out of the house. I felt kind of relieved, first because she didn’t kill him, second because she believed me and made me feel like I actually saved her life. She came to Canada and we had long nights of discussions and I realized that she was also in an abusive relationship and that she stayed with him to protect us.

My sister doesn’t know about her dad and we can’t really do anything legally without ruining my sisters reputation even though she has nothing to do with her. That’s what happens when you live in a patriarchal society. Even my mom’s family asked her what she did to my dad. He was such a good man, why wasn’t she more understanding and stayed with him. The official story of the divorce is that my  dad was having an affair with my maid (she’s been with us for 10 years), which was true but that a whole different blog entry. But they thought my mom should forgive him.. he’s a guy… you know… they’re like that. Its such a shame for man that society consider them as animals without self control, the same societies that praise them as superior beings.

So that was my biggest secret, my biological dad still doesn’t know what happened to me. My mom doesn’t want me to tell people because I might turn into a nightmare for my sister and I  but hiding that from my sister, even though I know I’m somehow protecting her doesn’t feel right. Having my biological dad telling me to snap out of the depression when he has no idea of what had happened to me growing up is very frustrating. I’m still mad at my parents for not being there to protect me, I understand that my mom had to work to take care of me (there’s no child support where I’m from)  but my dad let another man do his job for him…. a little too well.

I still have secrets… My mom doesn’t know that I cut or that I’m suicidal, she doesn’t know about the night I spent at the psychiatric emergency. I have to hide it from her because if she knows she will come to Canada drag my butt back home and have me under surveillance 24/7. I’m not blowing it out of proportion that’s how she is, she has very strong reactions when it comes to my sister and I. Two years ago I got very sick and I was in an out of the hospital, she sent my dad to get me in Canada (she didn’t know then it was a very bad idea). I ended up spending 6 months over there, I had tennis practice six times a week, I had to follow an healthy diet take care of myself. I’m not complaining because it was just what I needed but this time I want to get better by myself.

I’m still struggling with showing my vulnerable side but I’m getting there. I’ve learned that the only way to live a full life is to be honest with yourself and the people around you. It’s not very easy because you will have to face criticism and judgement but once you know who you are and what you stand for, you will be able to preserve your integrity and  surmount  the obstacles that will come  your way.