HOLDING a secret is just that, we have to HOLD the energy of the secret.
If you have ever been in this position, you know what I am talking about. It is a secret for a reason, that if it is shared, people will be hurt.
Holding the energy of the secret takes up energy. There is often worry that the secret will be revealed. That terrible things might happen to the people we love when the secret is revealed. There can be a feeling of living with dread, anxiety and stress that never goes away.
When you know something that is hidden from the rest of your family, you feel separate to them. There is a division. You might not be able to tell everyone else in the family what is REALLY going on. You can’t share with the people you love the most.
Suddenly you are living a different reality, one of shadows and secrets. This can create a toxic environment for the whole family, but mostly for the holder of the secret.
As parents it is our job to be aware of this dynamic and NOT share secrets with our children unless it is deeply considered first with all of the above in mind.
If there are painful family secrets that need to be shared at some point it might be best done with the help of a therapist.
Handler, S. H. (2018). 5 reasons why keeping family secrets could be harmful. Psychcentral.