I have a secret.
Or, rather, I had a secret, and now I don’t have it anymore.
It wasn’t even all that big, my secret, not in the grand scheme of Capital ‘S’ Secrets. Someone hurt me, on purpose, sure, but it was nothing horrific, nothing like the terrible things people often carry around all their lives for any number of reasons. No, it was nothing at all like that. Nothing. It was really just the tiniest little pebble of a thing, so very very small.
And yet, I carried it.
A few weeks ago, by absolute accident, I ran into someone I haven’t seen in well over a year: the one person I could tell, the one person with the authority to do something about what happened to me. So I told.
He was shocked, of course, like anyone you spring a secret on. We talked for an hour. I felt like I was jumbling it all around, unable to get the important details in the right order; my hands clenched and shook as I spoke, and I recall having to lift my water glass to my mouth with 2 hands to keep from either dropping it or bursting it into shards; my heart pounded so hard I could have sworn he could hear it; and as I told more and more and more I could feel the intense heat of old rusty tears trying desperately, despite my controlling them, to burrow their way out.
It felt like the longest hour and then, it was over.
In the days and weeks since, I’m shocked at how much lighter I feel. All this short while — less than 2 years of it — I had no idea, not a clue, how heartbreaking and heavy and constant this tiny little thing of mine, my little nothing, has been to carry around.
So while I’m working on my manuscript this week, this is what’s on my mind: the crushing weight of secrets kept, no matter how big or small; of burdens and heartbreaks carried.
How much does a secret weigh?