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Time and energy that Secret Keepers expend

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Initial post: Jul 7, 2010, 2:02:53 PM PDT
John, I have read both Secret Keeping, your professional take on that subject-and your memoir, Stolen Hours, and find your writing compelling in the storytelling and the strong content.

My question is: Is is work enough to have a strong and vital marriage, how in the word do secret keepers find the time and energy to "do their secret thing" and also meet their family's needs as well as work demands?

Any thoughts on that? I'm exhausted just thinking about how much they must have to "balance."

Signed: Curious in Minneapolis

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2010, 3:01:23 PM PDT
Dear Curious,

Yes indeed, it's like a high-wire performer walking a tightrope every day. And that's exhausting. It's also very difficult to remember each excuse used to cover up the truth because the lies pile up so high. Inevitably, a fall occurs when the carefully woven web of deceptions collapses, exposing the Secret Keeper as a fraud. When loved ones realize their trust has been betrayed, the fake they thought they knew turns into a stranger, perhaps even a monster.

Note the word "performer" -- that's what secret keeping is, an Academy Award performance where nobody wins. The damage to one's spouse, kids, parents, friends and employer can be devastating and long-lasting. Ask Tiger Woods. Leading a double life demands time, energy AND creativity...all to protect an unhealthy set of behaviors that result in a destructive downfall.

Thanks for your question,

John Howard Prin, Author

Posted on Jul 17, 2010, 12:15:26 PM PDT
ennyman says:
I have several questions, but am not sure how to articulate them. First, how much suicide is the result of secret keepers' shame at being found out? I am thinking, for example, of a man who killed himself when all of his debts were about to come due (that his family knew nothing about)... Secret lives not only steal one's time, but does damage to the fabric of trust when secrets become revealed. There is so much risk involved in coming clean, doesn't that also contribute to the "need" to keep up appearances?

My other thoughts are on the topic of post-modern meaninglessness. The culture has so many ways of making a person feel like a nothing, a worm... it must be really hard to re-build a positive self-affirming picture of oneself for people who do not grow up with nurturing, healthy families. Much more could be said about this, but getting one's life moving in a positive hopeful direction seems easier said than done. I can give advice, but man, I come from a place with so many advantages compared to some.

Anyways, the books are excellent because they do shine a light in areas often quite concealed in layers of darkness.
Good luck getting the word out....
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Discussion in:  John Howard Prin forum
Participants:  3
Total posts:  3
Initial post:  Jul 7, 2010
Latest post:  Jul 17, 2010

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