How many secrets do we keep?

Healing yourself, loving the world

September 27, 2018.

Hundreds of thousands of people tune into Dr. Ford’s testimony of her sexual assault as a 15-year-old.  Tears stream down the faces of women everywhere as they listen to her present herself, composed and calmly in front of 21 U.S. Senators and the entire televised world.

She’s telling her secrets, she’s telling what happened to her.

How many secrets do we keep about the sexual violence we’ve experienced?  I’ve told therapists and support groups some of the details of my attacks, but some attacks I minimized in my own mind, burying them away in the recesses to be forgotten.

How many secrets do we keep?

As a result of her testimony, women start talking.  They tell their spouses, their therapists, their friends, their social media networks, their families.

How many assaults have we hidden away in our psyches as a way to keep safe and keep functioning?

We’ve buried our secrets along with our rage and grief.  And now it’s time to let it out.  Our stories: we weren’t to blame.  Our anger: how the fuck is this okay? Our grief: I’m tired of feeling alone and unsafe.

I see and honor your tears and your anger.  Our pain won’t bury us, it is liberating us.  We’ve been doing our work precisely so that we can free ourselves from the chains of our secrets. Our hearts aren’t breaking, they are growing more powerful and more potent.

We are strong, we are beings of love, and we creating a new wave of change.

Photo by Lode Lagrainge
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Deborah Donndelinger

Deborah Donndelinger

I'm writing from Maryland, but my heart goes out all over the world. I'm cheering you on as you tackle the hard stuff, embrace the easy, and show up to help others.