What do you have to hide?

I am a very open person.

I don’t really keep secrets because I don’t feel I have anything to hide.

I do not mean that I reveal everything about me all in one fell swoop – what I mean is that I don’t see a reason to hide myself from the world – if something is slightly embarrassing I will not state it outright, but if you happen to ask me the correct question, more times than not I will tell you the truthful yet highly humiliating answer.

Why?  Because I trust people too much – and I do not fear what people say about me.

I grew up in a small island where I believe that instead of “six degrees of separation” we should have “three degrees of separation”.  The island is so small that there is no way you cannot find someone you know who is related to someone else or who went to school with someone else that you know….it’s the type of country where you meet so many people in the mall that you don’t ever “go to the mall looking like crap, hoping not to see anyone, because you’re just ‘popping’ in….”…and if you do indeed not dress to go and end up going, you see everyone you know….but that’s probably due in part to Murphy’s law as well…but I digress….

I was prompted to write this because I officially now know two people (at least – I’m sure I can think of more) who also grew up in Trinidad and live in Canada, both of whom are absolutely terrified of “stories” getting relayed back to Trinidad about them….and I just cannot understand how they can live in this manner with such a weight on their shoulders….

The first one I met a few years ago and she became very close friends with me – but I could never understand why she kept me on “limited profile” on Facebook – when I asked her about it, she told me that everyone on her Facebook was on limited profile.  This confused me even more, because if you have things on your Facebook that you don’t want anyone to see….then why are they on your Facebook in the first place?!?!

This friend eventually ended up getting divorced from her (also Trini) husband, and was so terrified of rumours spreading in Trinidad.  She was from a well-known family and he was also from a well-known family on the island, but it amazed me that she thought that people so desperately needed to hear about her that they would drop whatever they were doing to hear her gossip.  I mean, of course, there are people who like to hear gossip about anyone at any time of day, but the way she came across, she made it sound like she was famous in the country – and I guarantee you she was not – I grew up at the same time she did and I never heard her name until I met her in Toronto.

Anyway, at the time, she made a comment that really confused me – she said that she was going to contact the newspapers in Trinidad because she wanted them to interview her.  I asked her why and she stated that it was because “the type of trauma my husband put me through happens to everyone, and I want the papers to interview me so people don’t think that it’s only poor people who get abused” (yes she says she was physically abused – I’m still not sure of that for various reasons but that’s a different blog…).

After this, she started dating her neighbour, but didn’t want anyone to know, so she begged me not to “tell anyone”.  I was slightly confused because she had left her husband and was now a “free woman” so to speak.  I didn’t personally like the neighbour, but I leave my friends to choose their own mates (for the most part anyways)….what confused me was that when she started living with the guy, she made him move out when her parents were coming to visit – not because there was no space in the apartment, but rather because she didn’t want them to know she was dating him.  This was approximately four years ago and she is still dating (and from what I hear, engaged) to this guy – yet she still hides the fact that she is dating him from her parents and from anyone who could possibly have a connection to her parents…..

I just don’t understand it.  If you are an adult (and I mean over 21-ish) and you are hiding something like this then should you really be doing it?!  I mean, if you have to hide such a big aspect of your life, then you either know it’s terribly wrong or are ashamed of it.  Either way, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it at all!

I am on this rant tonight because another friend of mine did something similar recently.  She is also born and raised Trinidadian and then moved to Toronto and is married to a Torontonian.  I love her to bits but she continues to confuse me with comments she makes and her reactions to situations….maybe we’re just that different, I don’t know.  Anyway, her story is that I promoted her  early on in my blogging days – and I asked her “please look at the post and let me know if there’s anything you want me to change”.  This is something I do for product reviews, giveaways….basically any blog post that includes someone else or me speaking about someone else.  I expect them to check for accuracy and to tell me if they find anything offensive.  This friend went in and changed words – I mean seriously….it was almost a situation where people pronounce tomato differently and one of them throws a fit.

She made me take out the fact that she was married because she didn’t want her “followers” to know that she was married – that confused me (especially since she now features her hubs on her site…)  She also made me change that she grew up “30 minutes away from me” because she didn’t want her “followers” stalking her parents (huh?!?!)….

It all confused me.  Then, also in personal conversation, she seems as if she doesn’t want anyone to know about her family in Trinidad because they may “harass” her father who still lives there.

When we were in Trinidad, my father (who for some reason knows the entire country), asked who her parents were – and when I mentioned their last name (expecting him to know because he grew up a few streets away from where my friend says she lived) he had never heard of it in his life.  Not to sound like a spoilt brat or anything, but if my father has never heard of your family name, ESPECIALLY from that area, then something is hugely wrong – either your family are hermits or they go by a different name.  What I found a little strange also was that while we were there, she came to visit me a few times – and I introduced her to my entire family and any friends that may have been at the house at the time.  I never even got an “come meet my Dad”…and frankly, my hubs and I were a bit upset about it….

Anyways, maybe it’s all a privacy thing, but in the end, if you are going out of your way to avoid having people hear about you or know about your family – if you live your life that terrified that someone is going to “find out” or if you live your life preventing your trusted friends from knowing more about you….. then you have something to hide or you are highly embarrassed about who you are and where you came from – and to me, that is the biggest shame of all.

If you have something to hide, then change it.  If you are an adult, come to terms with where you came from, where you are now and where you are going.  Be realistic & be honest, not only with yourself but with those you trust and love.

You will find you are a lot happier that way and that maybe, just maybe, life isn’t so daunting.

What do you think?  Do you think that secrets are a necessary part of your life or do you think that if you have secrets you should be changing your outlook?

  • I probably could use a little “how to” on not blurting out anything that someone asks me… but I don’t believe in hiding anything. If someone is acting fishy I have learned to stay away. I used to think that I could change everyone, but now I realize, I have to guard myself, but still be friendly.

    • Anonymous

      I was a little doubtful if to write this Post because I am still friends with one of them – at least I think I am – she hasn’t spoken to me in about a month….anyway – I get myself in trouble with what I say often. And I agree – at some point you have to forget everyone else and make yourself a priority. I am trying to do that as we speak.