Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Secrets or Truth
Keeping a secret, especially in a family or with another close relationship, is often a dilemma people face. Is something to be gained by spilling the secret? Is truth really always all it’s cracked up to be? What’s the risk someone will find out something that will set them reeling?
Should some secrets stay secret?
In my novel, Swallowed by a Secret, twelve-year-old Rocky embarks on a search for the truth about how his father died so suddenly. He doesn’t buy Mom’s explanation about what happened, and when he overhears her confess to a friend she is lying to Rocky, he has all the proof he needs of a giant cover-up. The secret consumes Rocky, and he feels his life unraveling, convinced that only the truth will help him get his life back on track.
Will the truth be all that Rocky hopes for, or will it turn out he’ll wish he could re-secret it? status These are difficult questions.
Sometimes we decide to share our secret with another, making them promise never to tell a soul. This relieves us carrying the burden of being the only one who knows something. Then, the person we shared with might tell another, and on and on it goes, until the secret is no longer a secret. So, our best attempt to limit a secret’s spread is now an epic failure.
The alternative is to never tell anyone. You hold your secret to your dying day, so-to-speak, keeping it safely locked inside your secret vault. What if by not telling someone you know makes a wrong choice or a tragic decision that you might have prevented if you spilled your secret. That is another kind of burden to bear.
Confronted by the choice to tell or not to tell, we also must consider that most of us have been raised on the principle that the truth is sacrosanct. As a child, the truth is demanded of us, yet as an adult, we are told some truths should not be uttered.
To tell or not to tell, what is the answer?
The reader of Swallowed by a Secretmight be relieved when Rocky finally learns the truth, and at the same time understand his mom’s decision to hide the truth in an attempt to protect her son.
Sometimes transparency comes at a steep price.