Home Ask Dr. Kathleen® Why are family secrets harmful?

Why are family secrets harmful?

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

Joseph, Family secrets are family lies. Dishonesty is not just what one says verbally, but also what is held in silence. I have always lived by the statement “Secrets kill and the truth heals.” A family secret is like a hidden ticking bomb just waiting to explode. The family constructs a life around the impending time bomb. The family secret may be the adoption of a child or the sexuality of your favorite uncle or the rape of your mother or a mental illness or addiction in a family member.

Whatever the secret, it causes separation and suffering in a family. There is an energy to a lie that each member of the family sidesteps in fear of an explosion.

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