“Keep your secrets. Keep your silence. It is a better gift than truth.” ~ Anne Rice, The Queen of the Damned
“But secrets have their own weight, and it can be a very heavy one.” ~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
photo by ♥N | 10 Feb 2013
I was putting away G’s toys the other night when I came across this. It’s a little notebook. I started to open it, but she yelled, “No! Don’t read it! It’s my private diary! Don’t read it, ok? It’s secret.”
What is the history of a secret? From my perspective, secrets are born from fear — fear that the information could cause rejection, embarrassment, pain, or negative judgment.
How early does fear appear in our minds? G is five, but yet she already knows or feels that whatever information she has written down in her private diary could result in some negative outcome if I were to read her words, otherwise she would not have cared if I opened her diary or not.
I didn’t start writing in a diary until I was ten. Of course, my diary contained my childish desires. I wrote of the boy who I liked, about the toys that I wanted or about the secret goals that I had. I hid my diary from my parents because I was afraid of their reaction. I was afraid of feeling embarrassed if they knew about my little girl crushes, or if I would be punished if they read an entry about how I hated them on particular occasions.
I think it was those secret thoughts that prompted me to start a diary. Maybe, as humans, we are not meant to keep secrets. Maybe secrets are a burden, and while fear may keep us from spreading the secrets, the weight of that burden still needs to be lifted from us. And that is why we keep diaries. Because we have to tell someone, even if it just the paper on which we write.