January 19, 2020•512 words
In response to a post in the Toronto Non-Monogamous BIPOC Facebook group (direct link only works if you're a member). It is a graphic of a Jeff Brown quote:
We have nothing to hide, and nowhere to hide it. It just takes so much energy to bury our truth, and what can we reveal that hasn't been other's experience anyway? Our secrets aren't that unique. They are intrinsically human. Let's practice the arts of radical transparency & shameless self-admission. Imagine truth circles in every community... "I admit..." and then we dance.
The poster's prompt is "Agree? Disagree? What supports you to be in alignment with this and what gets in the way?"
I'm somewhere in the middle on this.
Reading AV's comment reminded me of something I used to say as a teen, "Information is power." I was very guarded and super-selective about to whom I told things. I feel like I'm not as guarded now, but I also often feel too guarded... like, every day. Probably due in part to "radical honesty" being one of the latest buzzwords.
Thinking about it, my lack of trust of most people is probably what informed my decision to burn my diary after it started falling apart at the seams. I now wish I hadn't...
I still have a teddy from when I was 4, but not my innermost thoughts from my arguably most tumultuos years? Sounds about right. nervous laughter
Many talk about radical honesty and openness, but doing that won't change the fact that there are malicious and judgemental people, or people who 'just don't get it'.
My diary was a way of practicing 'radical self-admission' and 'radical openness' around 12 years ago, when I was 16. I'd write about my days and how I'm feeling (partly as a way to cope), let my closest friends read it, and encourage them to write in it, too. One of those friends later told me 'it was weird', which, as a kid, can be devastating to hear from someone with whom you were willingly vulnerable. Perhaps another reason I burned it, but I could also be getting my timeline mixed up.
That said, I'm trying to find a balance. I think, first, I'm trying to admit things to myself, to be honest with myself. If I feel correct in my admission to myself—like a weight off my chest, or like I'm flowing with a current instead of against it—I'll think about sharing that with others.
If it's something others should know—before we start seeing each other, for example—like the fact that I'm very demi- and very averse to NSA/near-term sexual intercourse, I try to be open about it as soon as I can.
If it's something that goes deeper, to my core, like my ideas about why I've grown more demi- over the years and why I'm so averse to near-term sexual intercourse, I tend to keep that to myself until I feel like I can trust a person to be understanding/not dismissive/not pull away from me. That will vary from person to person.