Secrets


 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/secret/

Secret

Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies.

I’m a firm believer in selective sharing but personally I have secrets. I think everyone does. There are thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences that I will never ever share with anyone for any reason. My parents used to say all the time “Don’t put your business out in the street.” If they were alive today they’d be appalled with these Reality TV shows/generation.

I know my grandparents keep secrets because certain life issues were better left unspoken and no one wants to keep revisiting a particularly horrendous part of their past. Since I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to piece together some of what they possibly went through in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I remember my Dad saying my Grandfather never talked about his childhood growing up in VA. Given that Jim Crow was King of the South I suppose my Grandfather did not want to relive the horrors of the time period.

As for my maternal Grandmother Hattie Finney Banks well one did not discuss domestic violence. There were no services or programs in the 1930s so after my grandfather went to prison for murdering my Great grandfather (my grandmother’s Dad) my grandmother thought it best to make up a story that he had died in a coal mining accident. She had already went through horror, shame, & abuse so it would have been pointless to tell her 3 daughters (that included my Mom) or any of her grand-children. Both my great uncles (her brothers knew and kept the secret).

I found out a few years ago through my great aunt who went to my great grandfather’s funeral. Of course by that time all the participants were dead. My grandmother, mother and aunts have been dead for years so nobody could be embarrassed or humiliated. Age and perspective have given me the ability to understand what my grandmother went through and why she made certain decisions. Also why she never re-married. No judgment. I’ve found that most times discussing past traumatic events only dredges up old wounds and does not provide any healing whatsoever because it causes the victim to become mired in the past.

My Secrets ~~ Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell.

The few times I’ve revealed or opened up to so-called trusted friends usually ended in disaster. Confided in somebody I thought I could trust the extreme stress I was going through. Like last year when I wound up in the hospital. Psych ward. Horrible experience.

The drugs I was forced to take during this time period turned me into a zombie. I nearly lost my job.  All my hospitalization did was make worse and magnify all my problems.

Akin to prison incarceration. The cure was worse than the disease. Two weeks of misery. The only thing that saved me was the advice of an intake nurse who said, “You’re smart. Tell them what they want to hear.”  Which is exactly what I did. Learned to make myself small. Play their game and eventually I was released.  Therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists want you to discuss past events that cannot be changed. I find that totally pointless. Why do you want me to tell what happened to me in the 1970s or any other time period? What positive changes would that bring about for me?

Mental health professionals have only made me more suspicious, cynical and jaded.  I have found in general that the only reason people want you to confide in them is to take your flaws and weaknesses to use against you. A form of blackmail.  I also do not trust folks who call themselves Life Hackers, Life Coaches, these Happy Talk talking heads who remind me of Maximum Headroom,or any other nonsense going around today.

Max Headroom, The Best Bits Ever!

Anyway I can truthfully say I learned my lesson. Lost friends in the process but I do believe I’m a better person for all that has happened to me.  My Life. My Decisions. My Choices.

Through research I pieced together Grandmother’s story which in many ways became my story.

http://acalltowitness.com/2013/08/10/the-legacy-of-hattie-finney-banks/

21 thoughts on “Secrets

  1. Wow. It’s been so long since I’ve seen Max Headroom. Seen through the prism of the “life coach – counselor”, it is even funnier. I think he might do people more good than some of the one out there practicing “mental health”.

    There are few good therapists out there, ones who realize the only reason to dredge up the past is when the individual hasn’t fully faced and acknowledged it for what it was, and then to let it go, let it be. Usually when a person hasn’t done that, the trauma or perceived trauma will bubble up through some conscious corridor and wreck more havoc. Usually with the person saying “I don’t know why I did this or that?”

    As a rule I try to keep my nose out of other people’s business: If they wanted me to know, they would have told me. The same goes for me telling other people.

  2. Wow! That is one hell of a secret!! Secrets like that are hard to keep! Some things are kept secret due to shame and fear of others opinions.. Some are secret,as in my family due to guilt over the thing/person.. Too many secrets in families aren’t good.

    1. Depending on the secrets. If it is something causing harm to someone within the family yes tell. Other secrets just tear the family apart and stigmatize the victims. After my hospitalization I did tell a few select people. One woman decided I was a project that needed to be fixed. I highly resented her attitude. Now we speak more or less for professional reasons. However I know that she is not my friend. Mental illness is a stigma. You become a pariah and an outcast. I don’t want anyone’s pity and I am not a project that can be fixed. I do appreciate my other friends who treated me like a person and allowed me to get on with my life. No side glances. No judgments. No labels.

      1. I don’t label myself nor do I allow others or the medical profession to label me. That’s just shit they made up because they can’t find the cause for certain types of illnesses. I stopped buying into the bullshit. Believe me I have no problem at my age telling people to Fuck off. I’m a human being not a disease. That’s the way I want to be seen and I will never return to any type of mental health every again. If you ever have the misfortune to be in an HHC New York City Public hospital and see how they treat minorities and immigrants you will understand what I mean and why I hate the system. The system tried to play me but I played them back.

      2. City hospitals such as HHC get money from the city for the amount of victims they incarcerate. All during my imprisonment the doctors and nurses kept saying what good insurance I have. The only thing that matters is money not patient care. If you learn to play the game properly you will be released. People who really need mental health care like the homeless don’t get their needs met or even addressed. Those poor folks just ride the subway trains day and night to nowhere.

  3. #My Life. My Decisions. My Choices.

    Although, I get what you are saying, I have to say my experience is complete opposite. I feel a great deal of freedom/healing kicking up the dust on those traumatic experiences that have hindered me and kept me stagnated.

    In the end we all win, when we decide what’s best for us.

    1. New York City HHC hospitals are notorious for mishandling their patients. One is lucky to go in and come out in one piece. The particular hospital I was in has numerous lawsuits against it. Since HHC hospitals service mostly minority and immigrant populations I understand why the care and treatment are so terrible. When I told my regular doctors at Roosevelt Hospital what had happened to me they were horrified. They know the reputation and what their “treatments” entail.

  4. My family came from Charleston, SC and they had that secret policy. My family was small and they took their secrets to the grave. I learned a few things on Ancestry.com but not much.

    I had my ex committed some years back. The doctor called and asked what happen and I explained he said well I’m going to discharge him. I called my ex and he started yell on the top of his lungs when he gets home he’s going to kill me. I called the doctor back. I could hear the doctor shaking as he said we’re not discharging him. My son is ill and knows how to play up to the social workers. However when he is in crisis there is he can’t play the game.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your comments. What the mental health profession fails to understand or comprehend that there is a difference between a person suffering from mental and emotional exhaustion and somebody who is a mass murderer or serial killer. Having had an experience with HHC hospitals I can truthfully say they put all the patients together including those prone to violence. Only by the Grace of God I came out in one piece.

      1. Here take this mind numbing pill. I know about HHC. I dealt with them with my ex, son and myself when I became sick and deeply depressed and I saw a doctor as an out patient. No help.

      2. They had me on Haldol. When I got out and eventually went to my regular doctors at Roosevelt Hospital and told them what happened they were appalled. As we all know HHC is the worst of the worst. They have killed more people than they cured. When I told a friend who is Hispanic and went through similar problems she confirmed my suspicions. Since HHC serves minority and immigrant communities their mission is to sedate, drug up and destroy those seeking help. Sad situation. Glad I escaped. I am doing better now without drug dealers in white coats!

    2. Once again Thanks for adding to the conversation. I wanted to add a few more comments from one who escaped purgatory. I do appreciate understanding and compassion.

      Depending on the secrets. If it is something causing harm to someone within the family yes tell. Other secrets just tear the family apart and stigmatize the victims. After my hospitalization I did tell a few select people. One woman decided I was a project that needed to be fixed. I highly resented her attitude. Now we speak more or less for professional reasons. However I know that she is not my friend. Mental illness is a stigma. You become a pariah and an outcast. I don’t want anyone’s pity and I am not a project that can be fixed. I do appreciate my other friends who treated me like a person and allowed me to get on with my life. No side glances. No judgments. No labels.

  5. One of the things that drives me crazy on Facebook are people who post every little private thing about themselves and/or their family and/or problems/issues. AACCCKK. I don’t want to read about what should be private and kept within your family walls. In the alternative, I think there are times we all need someone we can trust to confide some things in and vice versa. But I know what you mean about finding someone you can actually trust. Once burned, twice shy, and I’ve been there. It’s a fine line. But I can see that your experience has made you stronger.

    1. Facebook should only be used to promote your business or other professional services. I do use FACEBOOK to promote my autism activist and advocacy. I never understood why folks take personal or family grievances online.
      Certain things like ones dating and sex life should be kept private. Also No naked pictures!
      I think sharing funny stuff, vacation photos, music, scriptures is safe. Unfortunately a whole lot of people are setting themselves up for a great fall like Humpty Dumpty.

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