skeleton keys

Writing Prompt: Secret

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


I don’t believe in secrets. It seems pointless to me. Every experience is a lesson not just for me, but for everyone. This is not to say I will run around telling everyone my life. I most certainly do not do that. But if I am asked about something, I have no problem responding and sharing my experience, or, sharing my “secret”. Will I answer just any random person? No, but that doesn’t mean I am keeping a secret. It means I am discerning about who deserves to know my truths and experiences.

Author: zaji

3 thoughts on “skeleton keys

  1. I’m with you on selective sharing but personally I have secrets. I think everyone does. There are thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences that I will never ever share with anyone for any reason. My parents used to say all the time “Don’t put your business out in the street.” If they were alive today they’d be appalled with these Reality TV shows/generation.

    I know my grandparents keep secrets because certain life issues were better left unspoken and no one wants to keep revisiting a particularly horrendous part of their past. Since I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to piece together some of what they possibly went through in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I remember my Dad saying my Grandfather never talked about his childhood growing up in VA. Given that Jim Crow was King of the South I suppose my Grandfather did not want to relive the horrors of the time period.

    As for my maternal Grandmother Hattie Finney Banks well one did not discuss domestic violence. There were no services or programs in the 1930s so after my grandfather went to prison for murdering my Great grandfather (my grandmother’s Dad) my grandmother thought it best to make up a story that he had died in a coal mining accident. She had already went through horror, shame, & abuse so it would have been pointless to tell her 3 daughters (that included my Mom) or any of her grand-children. Both my great uncles (her brothers knew and kept the secret).

    I found out a few years ago through my great aunt who went to my great grandfather’s funeral. Of course by that time all the participants were dead. My grandmother, mother and aunts have been dead for years so nobody could be embarrassed or humiliated. Age and perspective have given me the ability to understand what my grandmother went through and why she made certain decisions. Also why she never re-married. No judgment. I’ve found that most times discussing past traumatic events only dredges up old wounds and does not provide any healing whatsoever because it causes the victim to become mired in the past.

    Through research I pieced together her story which in many ways became my story.

  2. Not everyone. I genuinely do not keep secrets, no matter how painful. I mean that. Especially if it is painful, depending on who I’m talking to (not a perfect stranger just randomly questioning me), I will tell my story. For me, the more painful, the less I’m keeping it. I believe that secrets are the reason why certain things keep happening to future generations. If I tell my daughters about my painful past, it may save them from making either the same mistake or becoming a victim. So don’t say everyone. I really do not believe in keeping secrets. You can ask me anything under the sun, you, my Palmer cousin 🙂 and I will answer you.

    I believe there is always a reason to share the past. There is always a point. The past will give someone knowledge of what happened to me and how they can possibly avoid certain horrific things that have happened to me. I’m like Emmitt Till’s mother, leave the coffin open, this is no time for secrets. Let the world see the truth, so they can see what we’re up against and can protect ourselves against the monsters. I’m telling my so called secrets. I need to. It is my gift to those who need my secret for survival or camaraderie. Telling my secrets sets me free and empowers me. My secrets are my sword, cutting through the future to protect those who might need my secret.

  3. Also, for every so called secret I tell, there is a time and place. So I don’t believe in answering everything the moment it is asked. I think some things need to be told at the right time. But it by no means means it is a secret to me. Just a truth that needs to marinate and given to the right person, or told in a certain environment.

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