and my own secret life

Tonight I was thinking about the popularity of PostSecret and the books that has followed. Also its offshoot, my favorite, LiveJournalSecret (it posts secrets several times a week). What is it that compels some people to tell everything, while other people are able to keep secrets there whole lives? And some of us, reluctantly, tell our secrets, but must do so under the guise of an assumed name, careful not to give away our real location, our real selves?
I began thinking of this the other day just because at the grocery store someone passing by me remarked loudly, "I wish I was as skinny as you!" Not thinking of myself as skinny, I didn't think she was talking to me, so I didn't look her way or respond. But then she motioned to me and said, "You! You're so SKINNY!"
*oh good lord.* I pray that these conversations don't happen. There's just no good way to have them. If I say, "Thank you" what does that mean? If I say "No I'm not" what does that mean? If I say what I am really thinking and reply with "No, I'm really FAT" then that gets me into a conversation that goes in a direction I just DONT want it to.
I am not sure what I said to the lady in the grocery store. I think I just nodded, perhaps, and headed quickly the other way while mumbling to myself about how I really am fat, how I wish I could see what that lady thought she saw about me.
At work, someone asked a co-worker about me, "Has Pilgrim always been this thin or has she lost weight?" Coworker: "No, she's always been skinny."
All right, so I'm not going to pick that battle about how my weigfht is none of their business. But what it got me thinking about is really, how secret my entire life really is.
My family (except for my sister Cody who writes Life with Trich) knows nothing about me.
My co-workers know nothing about me. They mainly work with Carolineine. Carolineine and I do not tell them anything about our personal life. Not a single "What I did last night" to "why I left work early yesterday" or a "What I did over spring break."
No one knows that I have no friends and the only person I have to talk to is my therapist.
My coworkers have no idea that while they make jokes about things such as multiple personalities and crazy people, that they have a multiple sitting 2 feet away from them. They don't know that when they mention "wow, I just can't believe how someone can be THAT crazy that they need to cut themselves" that I was just cutting before I got to school, that Jo is suicidal, and that I am wearing a black sweater because I'm afraid the blood will soak through.
The people who make remarks about how I've always been "so skinny" have no clue that 15 years ago I weighed 40 pounds more than this, and I had to throw my food up into the toilet and starving to get to this weight, going into the hospital twice in the process and losing not just weight but my soul and nearly my life to get to this.
Its all about secrets. My whole life.
There's a saying I've heard often that says "You're only as sick as your secrets." Does this mean that I'll never get better until I free myself from this secret life? Does this mean that the people who write in and spill out EVERY detail of their lives on PostSecret and LiveJournalSecret are healthier than I am? I wonder if they are so popular because people are trying to free themselves from their own secret lives? If so, why is everything sent in anonymously?
It is my dream that some day.... SOME DAY.... I will be able so sign this journal with my own name. And be honest. THIS is who I am. And I will let myself become free from my hidden life. Instead of signing this "Pilgrim," I will sign it with my own name, and no longer be bound by my family's rules and life of keeping things in the dark.
As for now I still sign,

Posted by pilgrim | Filed under:


i think people post secrets anonymously for the same reason you post to your journal under an assumed name. it lets people see how strangers will react to their secrets to better guage if the time is right to disclose them. also i think it's like letting the air out of a balloon a little at a time. it relieves the pressure without allowing things to lose their shape completely .. to keep things under a small amount of control. if a secret is such that the world won't accept us after we reveal it then keeping it is probably best unless it is holding us back in becoming our true selves. that is, will it do more harm than good to reveal it. you have to do what is best for you.

although i wonder why, if so many people are telling jo that she is thin in comparison to the rest of the community , that she is discounting their opinion. it is possible that they are telling the truth as best they know it and that it is jo's perception that is off. just something to consider.

When people say something nice to me that I fiercely disagree with, I just say, "I appreciate the thought." Or "That's kind of you." Not everybody needs to know everything and if someone oversteps boundaries, but is well-meaning, I don't feel the need to disagree. About secrets, I don't think hiding your identity is a sign of poor mental health. You ARE sharing a LOT of your life in an arena where you feel it's safe. That's healthy. You don't have to expose your secrets to everyone who shares her life with you to be healthy. I think your blog is a healthy way to share, as is AMJ. You are doing fine in the sharing department, I think. For what it's worth, that's my opinion.

Pilgrim, this reply is not about "secrets", but about self perception. If you get a chance you should (re)read what C.S.Lewis wrote about this in The Screwtape Letters. It's really enlightening, sensible, and very scary. If you know C.S.Lewis you know what I mean.

I learned a long time ago that not everyone in my life is a safe person when it comes to letting down my guard, or sharing secrets.

I agree with other comments made, that you are sharing your secrets through your blog, and that it's a healthy outlet for you. Perhaps the only viable one for now.

I myself have only 1 friend, not counting the cyber buddies I've made since I began blogging a year ago. It's hard, as a multiple, to get and stay close enough to someone to maintain a friendship. And I've discovered that, no matter how hard they try, singetons just don't get us.

This was such an honest post, something iv been spending a lot of time thinking about myself latley. There are parts within that really do want to be honest mostly because they don't actually care what people think. Then there are other parts who want to keep our secrets hidden forever. I think its important to get a balance, you seem to have an outlet with this blog.

Ive recently started keeping my own blog, i thought a long time about it and im using it as an opertunitly to be honest with people I know in real life as well as online, though i am very careful about who i let read it. So in the last 2 weeks some of the people I know in real life have found out about my DID. Thats been scary, but so far, fingers crossed they have all been accepting and understanding about it.

I also get support from an online support group called tsf, ulr you might want to check it out it is a really nice comunity and a good place to share and get feedback and support.

Thanks for keeping this blog, and good luck with your healing.

Luv Jools

I think on one hand people are right that you *are* sharing a lot here and other places- but I think the part where secrets really impact things is that as you've said repeatedly- you have no friends in your regular life. I wonder how much of that is due to fear of your secrets getting out (as well as overwork). Does your husband not count at all?

I think you'd probably feel better if- there were more spaces in your offline life where you *were* real- and some of that is about other people but some of it is about you all, too.

That is a good comment.
And we have made attempts, over the years, the past 6 years or so especially, to be more "real" with people in my real life.We made some big risks in small doses and a few in big doses, to be real with people in my life.
Unfortunately, these attempts backfired in a huge way.

One of those things is something we REALLY, really need to get over-- a best friend who hurt us extremely badly, after we opened up to her, and then she left us. She hurt us in the worst way, and we can't seem to get over it. And she was supposed to "be here for us forever."

We think that in particular has jaded all of us pretty well. Its something that we all want to get over. We talk about it in therapy too, and for some reason, nothing's happening yet. Because of what she did, we just trust no one anymore. Its probably our own fault. We shouldn't have attempted to trust anyone in the 1st place, maybe.

We do take very small risks with our husband once in a great while. That is an extremely risky situation as we don't trust it.

Unfortunately we have learned to not trust anybody. But the last girl we tried to be friends with... don't know how we're ever going to get over the big hurt that it caused.

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