Live Journal Prompt – CalArts project

What makes you keep secrets?

Sharing Secrets - Little Girls

Little girls have lots of secrets.

The secret garden around the large oak.

The secluded corner in the closet for special treasures.

The magical toy box in which brother and sister enact secret escape, feats that shock even the sternest of parents.

Secret crush. Karl. Danny. Jake. Secret voices inside the desk. Press your ear upon the wood and hear the secret world within. Small miners carving our caverns for kingdoms. Secret desires. Helen Keller. Architecture and psychology. I wish I didn’t have to wear this itchy costume. I secretly wanted “Best Eyes.” I now, not-so-secretly, proudly wear “Most Independent.”

Little girls have secrets.

This little girl has secrets for adults. PG-13. R-Rated.

This little girl was secretly not much of a little girl to begin with.

Secret tears streaming for a father overseas. A teddy bear with a red shirt doesn’t make the difference but I’ll still hold him tight. Secret visits to the counselors for secret consoling. Secretly, you hurt my feelings with your laughter. A mother coming home from rehab for the second time – another missed success, not-so-secret. A mother secretly stealing medications from the bathroom of a piano teacher, also the church organist. I’m sure she was kind enough to keep the secret. Secret bruises from the heart I love most. Secret stitches. Visits to the ER. Secretly hidden away in a closet, so no one will be able to forget me. Secretly, I never did so well in school…I was only breathing; only surviving. I can’t invite you over – my mom is an addict but it’s a secret. I’ll come to you. Secretly scratching at my wrist. Secret marriages that end bite marks. A brother kept in a closet. Communication between father and son gagged. Secretly, my life is a mess. But why so secret?

Because of judgment. Judgments made before and after. Because of what is expected of a success and expected of a failure.  Because people don’t understand that you are not your parents. That their demons will never be your own. Because people judge the man that raises a hand without knowing the man himself. Without knowing his bruises, bones and blood. Because people look at the mother and see the daughter. People judge the woman who struggles, who can’t hold a job or a relationship, who wanders from substance to substance, who clutches pill bottles tighter than her children. They will never see her heart. Never see her sweet smile or hear her kind laughter. Because they will never see the pain, the grief she feels everyday for a motherhood wasted away.

Of course now I’ve no secret. I’ve nothing to hide. Let them make their judgments and let my story challenge the “norm,” challenge what is expected of a broken home, a broken back. I’ve no secrets because my stories are your stories. I’ve no secrets because I’m not interested in secrets, in hiding, in putting up walls or stone barriers. I’m not interested in one dimension or double lives. I’m interested in you. I share my tears to see yours stream. I burst out in laughter to see bliss written across your face. I scream because I care. I’ve no secrets because I’m not ashamed of the scars that tell heartbreak or the slowly diminishing bruises. I’ve no secrets of my own.


But there are secrets. They aren’t mine to tell.


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