Intimacy is based on trust and authenticity — the ability to be vulnerable or “naked,” not only physically, but also emotionally.
These mount up, and if the truth comes out, it may be more hurtful than the original secret. The longer the truth is hidden
Closeness and certain topics tend to be avoided. Avoidance may not even be conscious and can include things like being preoccupied with work, friends, hobbies, or addictive behavior, and doing activities that leave little opportunity for private conversations
When we violate religious or cultural norms by hiding the truth, we experience anxiety generated by guilt.
Over a long period, deception can eat away at our self-esteem. Ordinary guilt that could be reversed with honesty now becomes shame and undermines our fundamental sense of dignity and worthiness as a person
We hide not only the secret but more of who we are. We might build resentments to justify our actions, withdraw, or become critical, irritable, or aggressive.
OLD is diagnosed with a thorough evaluation from a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. First, they will interview you by asking you questions about your symptoms, as well as your relationships.
We have a right to information about our heritage, particularly for medical reasons. Secrets about things such as addiction, criminality, and mental illness can lead to real risks, along with chronic shame and family dysfunction.
When the truth comes out, often it's enlightening. It can help the other person make sense of previously unexplained or confusing behavior. At the same time, it can be devastating and traumatic to discover that the one we loved and trust has betrayed us
Even if the relationship survives, there’s loss when trust is broken. As with all losses, our first reaction is denial, if not of the facts, then of the severity of the impact. It may take time to accept the truth. Each of us will attribute a different meaning to the facts in order to heal and make peace with ourselves, our loved ones, and a disordered reality we once thought was safe and predictable.