Secrets, Secrets are no fun…

For most people, keeping your first secret happens at a very young age. Whether it be a fib a family member tells us jokingly or something we overhear elders talking about, the notion of secrecy is something that is instilled in us from the beginning. It has to do more with personality when it comes to actually being able to keep those secrets. It’s often the same people that would have told your crush that you liked them that would also interfere in something greater or perhaps professionally as adults. YOU DON’T NEED THESE SENTENCES. GET TO THE POINT.

Ethically, something goes off in my brain when I know someone is telling me something in confidence. At first, there is a rush that is felt because of the exclusivity of information that is transmitted into my brain but shortly after it can become somewhat of a burden especially if the secret is something very personal or dark.

Unlike the story of Julian Assange and his project to unmask dozens of government secrets, my story about keeping a secret is one that has shaped many decisions in my life.

While working at a restaurant a few years ago, I developed a close friendship with a fellow server named Vee. Even though she was a few years older, we found ourselves at a similar time of life; exploring, experimenting, and seeking adventure. She had been seeing someone for just a few short months when she found out she was pregnant. She was in no way, shape or form cut out to be a mother. She had decided within days that she was going to have an abortion. She didn’t tell me until the day before. It was a complicated secret because this required her to take a few days off from work and having known how close we were, everyone started asking me where she had gone. It was eye opening because I didn’t know if I was judging her while trying to be supportive but I absolutely knew I wouldn’t tell anyone.

My choice to keep that to myself was not only because she asked me to. It was because my moral compass knew that information like that was no one else’s business but hers. I also knew the emotional rollercoaster CLICHE Vee was about to embark on. It did not make me feel empowered at all to know this secret but it did make me feel honored by her trust in me. The feeling of everyone asking why she wasn’t at work, made me defensive in a way even though it wasn’t anything to do with me. I chose to tell a lie about her having stomach problems and being admitted to the hospital just as we had discussed I would. It was a huge test to my own ethical standards to lie to colleagues and my bosses but the matter felt completely out of my hands. Her secret would stay with me for 5 years, never having told anyone until she was blessed and gave birth to her beautiful son.



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