This secret will very likely change the way that you think about me.
The reason that I want to tell you this is two-fold. First, when I found out my news, I was completely devastated. I couldn’t stop crying for almost a month. I basically thought my life was over. I thought the world was ending and I felt like I was dying on the inside. When I went to the internet for consoling, I found zero articles that were written from the first person. They were all stories told by someone else to hide the actual person’s identity. I get it because I don’t want you to know my secret either. It’s fucking private. And when you know it, you’re most certainly going to judge me. The ironic thing is that now that I’ve been living with my secret for some time now, I feel like I judge others a lot less. Because literally EVERYONE is going through some kind of shit storm at the exact same time you are, and the world would be a lot better off if we realized that.
Secondly, I hate being vulnerable and telling my secret will cut right to the core of all my insecurities. But I’ve grown tremendously from putting this kind of shit out into the universe, so a huge part of me WANTS to tell you. What I’ve discovered is that when I tell others my secret they almost always just shrug it off like it’s no big deal. At first I was super pissed at this reaction. My internal response was something like, “How can this person NOT think this is as big of a deal as I do?! Don’t you realize that my life is OVER?!” As time has passed, I’ve started to realize that all of those people were right, my life isn’t over. But there are still very few people who know my secret… Because I’m embarrassed to share it. And even as I type this post right now, I still can’t bring myself to tell you even though I want to. I’d love to the be the first person on the internet to tell my secret to the world through my own voice and not through the words of someone else. I’d love to be someone who is brave enough to share their story so that others can feel comfort in the fact that their life isn’t ending, just as my life hasn’t ended. But your judgement scares me. That first time that I see a friend or family member that doesn’t already know, god, that’s going to be awkward… And what if you judge me so hard that you don’t want to be around me ever again, ugh. (Note that none of these things have happened with the people who DO know, so while I realize this is irrational, this is still 100% how I feel.)
And this is where my heart starts to break. The societal pressure to bury this deep inside is overwhelming. Society says that I have to keep this a secret, but it feels like if I just say the words out loud, it will feel as though an anvil has been lifted off my chest. But I can’t. I just can’t say it out loud (or type it) because I don’t want you to know. Because you’re not SUPPOSED to know. Because I don’t want to be LABELED. So I’m going to keep holding onto it, burying it deep inside my soul.
Instead of telling you what my secret is, I just want you to remember that we all have secrets. You’re not the only one who might be suffering today or tomorrow or the next. Be a little kinder to those you encounter, be a little more gentle with your loved ones, and show a little more compassion to strangers because you never know what they might be holding just beneath the surface.