Whether big or small, there are some things we choose to keep just to ourselves for fear of being judged or misunderstood. Not everyone has a person they can confide in with all of their secrets. Not everyone is brave enough to be an open book.
When I was planning this post, I asked people to anonymously submit some of their secrets. Secrets that little to no one knows about them.
I received some smaller secrets like:
"I have 8 tattoos."
"I'm a vegan, but it's a personal decision, and I never talk about it!"
"Sometimes I spend so much time dreaming that I don't have time to actually do all the things I dream."
"Sometimes I feel like an outsider in the blogger community because I'm younger than most bloggers."
I received a few bigger secrets like:
"I once had sex at church when no one was around."
"I've never been in a relationship and sometimes I think that I am not really relationship material."
"I have trouble trusting my friends and constantly question whether they like me because of how I look (I spend a lot of time on my appearance), or just for nerdy, silly me."
"Is emotional cheating a big deal?"
"When I think of the good things about me, I never consider anything physical. I have been told I exude confidence, but most of the time I feel insanely uncomfortable when someone tells me I'm pretty."x
"I'm pretty sure I'm bisexual, but if I came out to everyone it would be the biggest shock in the world. It's something I have always had in the back of my mind but never explored the option because I just couldn't perceive myself as being a bisexual girl."
Then I received this heart-breaking confession:
"I was sexually abused by my Grandfather, my Step-Grandfather and 2 cousins. All of them also abused my two sisters, and each of my sisters were also abused by a neighbor, and by a friend of the family. My Grandfather also abused my Mother and my Aunt. Why did my Mom bring us around him? She says she truly believed that he was better, as he had been treated and released by the State of California, who said he was, "Cured." No matter how hard we tried to protect the next generation, my niece was touched by her step-father's uncle and my daughter was touched by her cousin. Where it took my mother until junior high school to tell, (and my Aunt about 35 years), it took me 12 years to tell. The moment it happened to my daughter, she ran away and told me immediately, and my niece also told within hours of the incident. So even though we may not have been able to keep them completely safe, we educated them enough to know what to do in that type of a situation. I am sick that it happened to my daughter, but I am so proud of her strength to come forward, stop the situation and seek help immediately, rather than be scared to speak up and let it happen for years. No matter how careful you are, it can so easily happen. In my experience, it wasn't strangers that hurt me, but family that abused my mother, my aunt, my sisters, my daughter, my niece and myself. You teach your children not to talk to strangers, but their own family? How do you warn them about the people that are supposed to protect and love you most?"
The people who submitted these secrets are from bloggers that I read every day. From people I follow on Twitter. From people I have had dialogue with before. The fact is, we don't always know the struggles people are going through or the battles they're fighting.
So the next time you're getting annoyed at the person who just cut your car off or the old friend who didn't want to stop and have a lengthy conversation with you, don't take it personally. You never know what people are going through, and if you get upset with them, you could just be making it worse. So in the words of Ellen DeGeneris,
And P.S. Thank you to the lovely people who submitted these secrets. While you might have not told these things to other people, sharing these secrets anonymously to me was so brave.