Hey everybody, Gail Kraft here from The Empowering Process podcast series. And I’m here to talk to you today about hidden truths. When I say hidden truths, what I’m referring to are those secrets that we keep from the rest of the world. We don’t tell people the whole story or we omit or distort or tell a version of the story that is palatable for others to hear. And I want to tell you one of my stories, and maybe you can relate, if you’re anything like me, you will see how to get out of it. And understand that this hidden truths issue, our little white lies, the little white lies that we all tell, and they become bigger and bigger.
So, during my first marriage, there was emotional disconnect. We were way too young; we didn’t know what to do. As a married couple, we really were not in sync with each other. And so emotionally, we were disconnected. Financially, there were struggles, especially when I had my first child because there was no money. There was no money to even put diapers on my daughter at times, it was very difficult. And there were physical issues as well. The point being, is that I was in a relationship that was falling apart. From almost month three, falling apart, and yet I stayed in it.
Why did I stay? I was afraid to be alone. I was ashamed of the failure of a relationship. I was ashamed of the lack that we had with finances, the lack we had with resources, the lack we had with understanding; that we could not figure out how to connect with each other. I had lost my self-worth. And so, I will talk a little bit about the emotional abuse that I actually allowed to happen. And we would be in an argument, and I was told, I was ugly, I was fat. I was lazy. I was terrible as a wife. By the way, 20 pounds thinner than I am now and definitely not lazy. But I believed and I would try to make it better, and I would fail. And I would try to make it better, and I would fail.
And I believed it was true. I believed that this marriage not working was 100% my fault. I was raised to believe that the woman kept a marriage together. And so, I finally did divorce, and that’s a whole other story. We did separate and divorce. But I told nobody what was going on. Nobody knew that we had financial struggles. Nobody knew that we fought every night. Nobody knew that he was spending money at the bar before coming home. Nobody knew that he was running around with other women. Until someone sat me down and made me call my family to let them know.
I was so humiliated, so embarrassed, that I could not make this marriage work. And this propensity to be responsible for something totally carried forth, of course, into my second marriage, because I was not really being self-reflective yet. And so, I started keeping secrets there as well from the family. My family did not know the issues that we had in that relationship. Although different, we still had issues and I did not really get the support or the help that I needed to solve those issues. Again, divorced. What ended up happening is, I stepped back and started to reflect, where are the similarities in those two relationships? Where I contributed to what was going on and why did I contribute? And then, how do I get out of it?
So, one of the things I realized for me is that I grew up keeping secrets as a child. I was what’s called a change of life baby. I had three sisters married when I was born. I had nephews already in this world and more coming. So, my nephews and nieces are my age, okay. And I had teenage sisters, understand that teenage girls sometimes keep secrets from dad. And so those secrets from dad, I knew about. And I was told, “Don’t let your father know, don’t let your father know.” That created a bit of stress for me because you know, I was very, very young and here I am keeping secrets, adult type secrets, from my father.
Well, on the other side, my father was also telling me not to let the girls know, not to let the family know, “These are secrets.” So, I was piling on secrets. And guys, truth is who I am, I cannot physically keep a secret and not do harm. And one of the secrets that I didn’t know was a secret had to do with ancestral shame. So, one of my sisters, who, by the way, came to visit with her two children, and here is the sister I had never seen. I was a change of life baby, she was married; she was living on the other side of the country, raising her family. She came to visit with her two children, and I happened to mention Judaism. Guess what? Her children did not know that she was Jewish.
That secret, letting that secret out, caused all kinds of turmoil and all kinds of a rift for her and her kids and me and my family. I did not know or realize the shame that was put on all of us because of a genetic condition, who we are. And it was at that point that I stopped speaking to anybody about what was going on, about anybody and anything. I became silent. And in that silence, I also did not express what was going on with me. And I’ll talk about a couple of things that happened because of this.
I broke my shoulder. Wintertime, sliding around with everybody, fell down, landed on my elbow; broke my shoulder. I did not tell anyone I was in pain. I went home and pretended everything was fine. And it wasn’t until my sister, one of my sisters asked me to open a can, and I couldn’t open the can. And I was in the kitchen trying and trying and trying. And she came in to find out what was taking me so long. And she said, “What is going on?” I said, “Oh, well, I fell, and I hurt my shoulder.” “We need to go to the emergency room. What’s going on? Let’s go.” That type of scenario played out, breaking my finger, fracturing my toe, I smashed my toe three times before I finally went to the ER. So, it was pretty much a mess by the time I got there, because I kept secrets not to cause turmoil.
As a result, by the time I was 12, 13, I had ulcers. And so, I had to deal with a diet in order to ease my stomach, at a very young age. All because of fear. All because of shame. And I did not realize that I carried that forth in everything that I did. In any relationship I was involved with. Secrets and shame, recapped. It wasn’t until I started with the self-reflecting and said, “Okay, here is the root of this feeling that I have. Is that valid? Is that a good behavior? Who am I, when I take a look at my values?” Truth is one of my top five. Imagine what keeping truth away from people, keeping it inside, does physically and emotionally to someone whose value is truth.
What ended up happening when I started with the self-reflection, is I had to figure out how to speak my truth, regardless of the consequences, yet speak it in a way that is constructive, and not harmful. And then allow whoever I’m speaking that truth to, to make a decision whether or not it works for them, or it does not work for them. So, think about that for a minute. If you have a feeling that you need to express, and you hold it back, you emotionally create conditions in your body, because you’re holding it. If you do it repeatedly, you hold it, you hold it, it becomes a habit and it becomes a distortion, and a disease within your body. And that’s exactly what happened to me.
And right now, to this day, if I hold back on anything, I feel stress with anything, it shows up within my gut, because that’s where I caused a weakness at such a young age. And so, I have to pay attention to what is going on with me physically. I will notice physically, before I accept cognitively what is going on. So, look at the ancestral shame that you might be carrying. Look at the secrets that you might be keeping, the little white lies that you might be telling, and you think that that’s okay.
The stress and the convoluted process you need to go through in order to come up with a little white lie that’s believable, and then figure out who knows the truth because they need to… now you’re bringing other people involved in your little white lie. And it becomes quite complicated. When in fact, it is so much better to just say, “This is my truth, and you might not like it. And you might be making stories up about it. So, tell me about the story that you’re making up in your mind when I tell you this because I will let you know whether the story you are telling is true or one that you are fabricating.”
One last thought before we go about fabricating truths. I call it MSU, we are all graduates of this college, no matter who you are, of MSU, Making Sh!! Up. Our mind needs to create a complete picture. We think in pictures and emotions. And if the picture, if the story is not complete, we make stuff up to fill in the blanks. And I will tell you, what we make up is probably not so. Validate your story, right? You can be in a conversation with someone. And you can say, “The story that I’ve made up about this situation is this, this, this, and this. Help me understand what the full story is because there are pieces missing. The story I made up because of what happened is this, this, and this.”
Admit that you made up a story. And then the conversation can be, “Here’s my perspective, based on the stuff I made up. Help me understand what really is happening,” in a very calm way. And usually the other person will say, “Well, that’s interesting because the story I made up…” and you realize that the both of you have not had the complete story and have made shII up. So, with that said, I would like to end this little conversation with, holding things back, hiding your truths, causes problems with you physically, and it actually creates the opportunity for other people to fill in the blanks. It causes the opportunity for other people to fill in the blanks. So, this is Gail Kraft from The Empowering Process podcast. If you liked this, please let me know, like it, download it, share it, leave a comment. If this brought something up for you, let me know, leave a comment, and we’ll do an episode on that. Gail Kraft from The Empowering Process podcast. Nice to talk to you. Bye-bye.
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