I have long thought of myself as a very private person whose privacy was unilaterally sealed into untenable secrecy in a humiliatingly public way. Of late, I was challenged by my self assessment by someone I like and I didn’t like it. How can I claim to be a private person and yet share such personal information so publicly? A response resides herein.
Privacy is something you grant and give to people out of respect for their personhood. Privacy may involve solitude, safety, and seclusion that implies a preference for a lack of public observation. Privacy suggests that any intrusions must be authorized by the person(s) seeking to have a private life. Privacy implies consent. An invasion of privacy implies a breach of boundaries and a lack of consent.
Secrecy involves withholding or concealing information, sometimes necessarily, sometimes for nefarious reasons. Secrecy may be shrouded in shame. We may be sworn to secrecy. A secret may hide information from those who perhaps have the right to know. Secrecy may be the distant sawdust sandwich cousin of privacy — impossible to swallow. Secrets may be coded, encrypted, and concealed. Secrets often contaminate slowly; even silently; often lethally.
I was not on social media before my private life imploded and I went from a private citizen to a public pariah forced into indefensible secrecy. For a long time I wrote privately of my pain, haemorrhaging the horror and the harm all over journal after miserable journal. Eventually, as I observed the false narrative about B and I malfeasantly mushroom, silence was no longer an option. I had to speak.
I wrote and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I wrote it all, or all I could. I wrote it in the bloody brutality that flooded my floor daily. I wrote with the malfeasance I mopped up over and over and over again. My pen was soaked in savagery and sorrow. I sobbed through most posts. I slammed keys in outrage and put it on the public page. I did and I am not sorry.
I wanted you to know the woman they blamed; the woman they shamed; the woman they maimed; the family they nearly destroyed; the hope they ate; the faith they fractured. I wanted to you stare into the the soul of the slaughtered. I wished for you to taste the bile of betrayal; to feel the tile to which I clung; to carry the crushing weight of life for the wounded. I wrote so you could know, and in knowing, so you could feel, and like Joseph Conrad, I wrote most of all so you could see.
Secrecy and privacy are not the same species.
They grow not in the same garden.
They do not take up the same space.
They come from different roots and they produce very different fruits.
Now that your secret is about, “be sure your sin will find you out…”
I want my privacy back and I have a right to that.