I’ve been catching up on my blog reading today. I found a great post over at Jung at Heart that’s really stuck with me. The kind of sticking that bores a hole in your head:
Each patient with such a secret imagines herself to be alone in the world, unlike and apart from all the rest of humanity, unable to imagine that the therapist has heard similar tales many times before.
When we carry secrets like this, they become barriers between us and everyone in our lives, cutting us off from real intimacy. Anything which threatens to reveal what we seek so to hide becomes a source of anxiety and must be avoided…
Psychotherapy, like the confessional, offers a unique opportunity to break the secret and its hold on the life of the carrier. First comes the mustering of courage to say it, to tell the therapist what has been held in shame, to brave the condemnation and the rejection, the fear of which maintains the grip of the secret. And once spoken, then the work of discerning the meaning of the secret and opening to the shadow.
I’ve been thinking about this very thing lately. It’s so true, isn’t it? Even though my healing journey is far from over, I can already see some changes.
Sharing the burden of my past, with my therapist and with friends both online and ‘real’, has lifted a huge weight. I braved the shame. I braved the condemnation and the rejection and the fear. And I, like so many others before me, I survived. That toxic waste is no longer rotting me from the core. It’s still simmering, and it still has power, but its hold has lessened.
As a result, I’m much less afraid of my friends than I used to be. I know that sounds stoopid, but it’s just like the blog quote says – I was so afraid people would find out what lies in my past, that I was deeply afraid to let anyone close to me. Even those who knew me well, who I’d call “friends”. I’m not so afraid of them anymore. 🙂
I guess somewhere ahead lies the next step: learning not to be so afraid of strangers anymore either.