SEEN AND LOVED
Originally published by Blessed Is She
In 2005, as secret-sharing apps like Secret and Whisper were making headlines, Frank Warren’s project PostSecret, a digital chronicle, was raking greater heights. New York Times even called it “the PostSecret phenomenon.” What started off as a blog asking strangers to write their “secrets” on a postcard and send it to his home, became one of internet’s most popular communities.
Evidently, even people with secrets feel the need to be seen, highlighting the fundamental desire within us to be known at deeper levels.
I was no stranger to secrets. My childhood was turbulent, to say the least. Rage, verbal abuse, control, and resentment prevailed in my home.
My parents were Catholic in name only. They constantly fought and threatened to leave the marriage. As a child, this affected me deeply and thinking I could keep the family together, I made every attempt to please them. These efforts were a resounding failure and only succeeded in piercing my young heart with deep emotional wounds.
By the time I was 14, I learnt new ways to please and put on masks to hide the insecurities within me. Darkness became a haven and patterns like promiscuity, addictions, and buried anger propelled me to keep dangerous secrets.
Reflecting back, I see how I tried to have my emotional needs gratified by others. Seeking marital or family therapy is taboo and therefore not an option in our Indian culture. We immediately reason “log kya kehenge” (What will people say?). It reigns supreme in regulating our decisions and drives to protect any vulnerability lest we be met with judgment.
My secrets not only kept me enchained but also brought deep shame, creating a sense of worthlessness within me. I was constantly seeking to be seen, but constantly hiding.
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