Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters from Liz.
Before we go forward with today’s letter, I should put a disclaimer: this letter, in particular, can be triggering and/or uncomfortable for some readers who are sensitive to the topics discussed in this post. If you feel like you can’t read on, then I advise you to skip out on this one and come back on Saturday for a new SAS post.
Without further ado, let’s get right into today’s letter.
As human beings, we’ve all kept secrets. Not one person in this universe knows everything about you besides you, and being us, we only share parts of ourselves that we want the world to see, whether that be our successes, our positives, and the things that make us likable.
But even the most open people have secrets of their own.
Because I chose to put my life out there with Letters from Liz, I’ve become a lot more open about the issues and struggles I’ve personally been through. I’ve discussed topics from my therapy sessions, my anxiety, depression, medication, dark moments in my life; things I am not ashamed of speaking about. These things make up who I am currently, they explain who I was in the past, and they speak for the type of person I want to be for others. In a lot of ways, I am a survivor, and I want nothing more to help another person survive and live to tell their own story.
But, I keep secrets too. We all do.
Trauma, in the most simple way possible, stores a lot of energy in us. It takes over parts of our lives and leaves us being maybe dysfunctional at times, or stuck in a moment we do not want to be in. Whether that trauma is from neglect, bullying, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, abandonment, tragic events/accidents; we all have something that’s uniquely traumatic to us.
But it’s sometimes so hard to carry our trauma secrets throughout life without discussing them out loud or acknowledging that they exist. Trauma stores up energy, and when it’s hidden as a secret (which secrets are usually disguised as us feeling embarrassment, shame, guilt, negativity towards the subject), it’s a monster that’s sometimes very hard to defeat when in combat with yourself.
A couple of weeks ago, I told my sister a trauma secret that I’ve kept from everyone for the last year. Something told me that if anyone was going to understand, it would be the closest person in my life, which is my sister. My sister then made it apparent that this wasn’t just something I should tread on lightly; I needed to bring it up to my therapist so that the person who’s actively helping me through my mental health has a better understanding of how I am functioning because of this secret I’ve kept for a long time.
For the sake of my privacy and how this trauma uniquely effects me, I’m not exposing it on this post. This wasn’t meant to be an “exposing Liz’s deepest darkest secrets” post, but about the effect of acknowledging it, owning it, and actively diffusing its energy so that it doesn’t dictate a part of your life anymore.
When I spoke about my very own trauma secret to my therapist for the first time, it was the first time I’ve cried in front of her for a very long time. It’s uncomfortable, it’s shameful, it’s embarrassing, and once you let one thing like that out of your mouth, everything else you’ve kept hidden away comes rushing to the front of your head. It’s traumatizing and you feel exposed, but I know I left my therapist’s office feeling lighter than I’ve felt in a very long time. It felt like the cat was out of the bag and who gave a shit if it was? Letting something out as major as that is empowering, and it honestly shows your mind and body (and even soul) that you are the one in charge, not the other way around. Most importantly, you feel a sense of freedom now that you don’t have that grip on that secret anymore. It’s in the air, it’s gone, and that means it’s your time to let it go for good.
Of course, diffusing trauma secrets aren’t easy. When the last person who needed to know about this finally knew about it, it didn’t mean it wasn’t over. It was just the beginning of talking about it and allowing it to be spoken in a matter where you educate your loved ones, and even yourself about the subject at hand. Sometimes, discussing it more will help you understand how this came to affect you to the point of dysfunctionality.
So in the end, I am nowhere near close to where I want to be regarding my own trauma secrets. They don’t happen overnight, therefore they don’t go away overnight as well. BUt know that confronting them, speaking of them, and trying to diffuse the energy they carry is a major step into growing into who you are. It’s uncomfortable, it’s mentally and emotionally exhausting, but look how much stronger you’re becoming.
Always remember that the truth shall set you free.