Secrets…Partial or Full Disclosure? When you are in a monogamous relationship, married or not, should you share deep secrets from your past?
Secrets like; Infidelity, addiction or traumas like molestation, rape or abuse.
In the safety of a deeply committed relationship you should be able to share without the fear of shame or rejection. The issue then lies with how much you want to share and why.
As someone who has experienced trauma, it is something I rarely disclose. It isn’t about hiding my past, it comes from not wanting to relive the agonizing experiences.
If and when I choose to share my past, I state that the trauma happened but do not include the specific details. If I was pushed to disclose more that what I was willing to, two things would happen;
1.) I would completely shut down and never speak of it again
2.) Regret sharing at all and feel as though my sharing something so painful wasn’t enough. Enough that I bared my broken soul
For some people talking about their trauma is helpful in the healing process and releases the trauma a little at a time. For me, sharing the details of a traumatic event is reliving it down to the sights, sounds and smells. Fear, pain and horror return with a vengeance and I am thrust right back into that terrifying place and time.
It took years of on and off again therapy for me to move forward and deal with the hurts from my past. If and when I choose to share it could be to possibly explain why I might react to a situation, place or event in a negative way.
Imagine you have a wound that has almost completely healed and someone walks up to you and rips the bandage off. Your wound is now open, hurting, and once again needing time to heal.
Anyone that has experienced trauma processes it their own time and fashion. Sharing those buried secrets is sacred and those who hear them should actively listen, be supportive and understanding. Be respectful of boundaries knowing the high level of trust it takes to express such an experience.
For those of you that have a partner who has experienced trauma, thank you for your compassion, empathy and patience.
If you have been a victim of abuse, please see the resources listed below and know you are not alone.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline
- Hours: Available 24 hours 1–800–656–4673 (HOPE)
- Domestic abuse: Call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or text 88788
Leah Kay Rossi
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