Hi there! I have a big series of posts on the way, but since they’re not quite done yet I thought I’d post a few interesting links to keep the blog from being totally dark all week.
From the January issue of Psychology Today, a heartbreaking account of living a lie, The Secret That Became My Life:
Today I recognize the pattern of deceit and denial that our family lived. I endured the shock of revelation and the terrible knowledge that my life was based on a lie and would never be the same. I quickly chose to reframe my scenario as one of love and family. That made the deceit palatable to me, and it still does. Dick endured over 40 years of hiding his true self from the people he loved. It diminished his self-worth to the detriment of his relationships. He had to be different people in different places, a job nobody would choose. Did we make the right choices? All I can report is that we grew apart and we grew together. Like weeds at the bottom of a lake, we remain deeply rooted in each other’s lives.
Managing a secret is work. The keeper stays alert; it’s a full-time job. Truth brings relief—even though it is hard to bear, unpleasant to think about, and miserable to consider revealing. Sometimes we pay the price of truth when we look into the eyes of people we have disappointed. But we always imagined their disappointment—or we would not have kept our secret from the outset.
Some revelations stop relationships in their tracks. But others reveal the true person in our midst, the imperfect, limping, and often loving soul we cared about so much. And so we continue to care, and together we can rebuild, this time slowly, on a foundation of truth. We can build a house together, or a home, or a beautiful garden that is nourished by acceptance.
We have choices in this life, and we make mistakes. Forgiveness is not impossible, and the wholeness of spirit that comes from truth is cool and pure.
On a completely different, more pop-culture note, The Feminist Wire’s Lucy Berrington compares Katniss Everdeane (The Hunger Games) and Anastasia Steele (Fifty Shades of Grey):
The obvious lesson of Anastasia is that readers should be demanding better quality erotica. The not much less obvious: twenty-first century notions of female sexuality remain inane, and our judgment of ourselves and other women should be all the kinder for that.
Katniss’s lack of sexual desire is no less troubling for seeming self-willed. And is it really? […] Here, the well-being of sexually active women is no longer in their own hands but the state’s — a state that can maneuver women into conceiving and delivering babies they aren’t ready for and didn’t choose, and into marriages that might seem to justify those babies but can’t provide for or protect them. It’s a state that eagerly punishes children for the poverty, hunger, and the lack of self-agency it imposes on their parents.
Well. That’s not sounding completely unfamiliar.
And for the academics in the room, Human Relations has a free article up, How to win friendship and trust by influencing people’s feelings: An investigation of interpersonal affect regulation and the quality of relationships. Free to download til January 31, 2014.