I am but a box, and for as long as I live in silence the secret can both exist and not exist inside me.
If I am the only living person in the world who knows, is it even still considered a secret? If nobody else is told, I can make it disappear. That gives me control. That gives me power over my own life.
But if can stop it from existing, how do I know I didn’t create it somehow?
If I share this Shrodinger’s secret, if I let it breathe and give it a life outside this box, I can never get it back again. If it turns out, that the secret wasn’t ever even a secret but a figment of my imagination, a creation of a long ago fear then I have birthed a monster. Invented a creature that will cripple me with it’s guilt and cover me in shame for the rest of my days.
That monster could never be re-caged. To even acknowledge it’s existence as a myth feels forbidden and scary, it feels like a dirty secret. The kind of secret that you shouldn’t know, the sort you’re not allowed to permit to enter your mind for even a moment let alone tell another living soul. It feels conflicting and gut wrenching and yet it might… it might not even be real.
Can you even call something a secret if you don’t know for a fact it exists? Does that make it more of a rumour? What if it’s only a collection of bodily sensations, flashes of memory and whispered half thoughts that aren’t allowed to be finished? If all you know for certain is that it must never be pondered on or discussed in any way, is it a secret or simply fear born inside an overactive imagination?
Secret feelings, secret pain, secrets you can’t get off your chest because you don’t know exactly what they are and if you’re just imagining them then somehow being wrong is just as terrifying as being right.
People say to trust your intuition, but what if…
What if it’s wrong? What if it’s all in your head?
Yet if it has no basis in truth then why doesn’t it simply feel like nothing, like a story instead of so gut wrenchingly and painfully possible that you want to vomit?
Perhaps it needs to have room to be wrong because the alternative is unfathomable.
I can’t trust my mind, I can’t trust my instincts and I certainly can’t trust my memory. I can never say the agonising words that echoed through the deepest chambers of my heart, not even to M for fear they would poison parts of myself relying upon a facade to simply exist.
I wish I could forget I knew there was a box at all.
I feel humiliated, judged, ashamed, terrified and broken. I feel like I’ve screamed out ‘witch!’ In seventeenth century Salem, and now that embers fill the air and smoke burns my eyes, I see the devastation of those around me and I wonder if maybe I was wrong.
I used to think that once those involved had passed away I’d be free to speak my fears. But death had other plans, for it taught me that nobody can truly die, until you do. To utter these secrets to think these thoughts is to summon a ghost. Accusations will only leave me haunted, if not physically then certainly metaphorically.
These feelings of shame well up inside me stealing the air from my lungs, making me shiver, making my head fuzzy, making me desperately want to curl in a ball and die.
I don’t know how to move forward with this.
It’s circling my mind incessantly and I keep trying to block it out but it’s utterly relentless. A chamber of hell I can’t escape, filled with mythical monsters and pointing fingers.
There is no solution. In recognising it’s possible existence as a secret, I’m committing the most awful sin of all, the thing that twists a knife through my heart and leaves me to bleed out on the floor. If it’s not real I deserve to die for thinking it, if it’s right I’m better off dead anyway.
So let’s keep this box closed tight,
try not to worry what’s inside.
A secret lives only if you let it leave your lips, but if you keep it then it dies.