With a secret like that, at some point the secret itself becomes irrelevant. The fact that you kept it does not. Sara Gruen, author, Water for Elephants
Secrecy is a common denominator in families where tragedy has struck. The C-word is never mentioned, photos are put away, death is not discussed, the unspoken agreement is “don’t ask, don’t tell” where everyone is expected to act as if nothing happened.
After talking with motherless daughters who grew up in this type of environment, I’ve come to believe that the secrecy was as much of a problem as the actual death of their mother. Silence increased their feelings of shame, especially if their mother died when they were young and there was no opportunity to process their experience by openly acknowledging their mother’s existence and their profound loss.
Affirmation: I’m an open person.
Coaching questions: What are your family’s secrets? How have they affected you?