Toxic Secrets

Toxic Secrets

Secrets can be a fun way to surprise someone we love. They can be appropriate between close friends or married couples when they build intimacy and deepen the relationship. Like that secret pet name than only two lovebirds share. But then there are secrets intended to hide a shameful act or crime. They are often demanded or coerced because someone wants to avoid some consequence or judgement. This type of secret is toxic. Shame cuts a wide road to hiding and a double life.

Hollywood is coming unraveled, with the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey stories, as more victims speak out. These are classic cases of power, sex, and corruption. The headlines read like a Hollywood movie script. I’m not sure why there is such shock, when those who knew these men saw the red flags. What kept them abusing for so long—toxic secrets. To be clear, this is not a blame the victims piece. Those impacted by abuse see themselves as helpless. They take on the shame of their abuser and they feel as though they will be judged. They lose their voices. We the casual observers are the ones with voices and power to make a difference.

Those who had an idea and refused to question actions or hold the abuser accountable—they are complicit. When inappropriate words or actions are revealed, regardless of how seemingly small, someone needs to call the person on the carpet. If you see someone who seems to be mute in the face of even minor sexual infractions, take a moment, pull them aside and ask if they are okay. Knowing someone recognizes their pain can give a victim their voice back. We are seeing the power of removing the lies that paralyze, as the number of women coming forward continues to rise.

The secret bubble of a predator is flimsy because as the number of victims rise so too does the chance that just one will speak out and burst the bubble. Once the first voice is heard, others are released to do the same.

Will you be the one to say, “Hey, that’s uncool.” or “Do you hear yourself?” or “That touch was out of bounds.” If someone says to you “porn use is harmless”, will you be the one to address this lie? Because all porn use leads to abuse and creates the demand for sex trafficking. There is nothing harmless about it. Better yet, listen to your gut when someone’s actions just feels off. We can all be part of the solution if we help to raise awareness and speak out for those who have been silenced.

I pray Hollywood will begin to take a closer look at the culture they’ve created. The industry is based on objectifying people and reducing them to a commodity. women are not being liberated. Liberation is not an equal right to abuse. We vote yes, every time we buy a ticket to a movie that fosters this idea. The marketing mantra, “Sex sells”, has turned into a total distortion of what physical intimacy was created for. God’s model of two loving equals coming together to form a family and live one to the other with mutual respect and unselfish serving has been replaced. The current self-centered model is use the one you are with and then move on.

Everyone will have to deal with some kind of pain and loss. It’s part of living in a broken world. That pain can either be healed by sharing with those who are safe and caring, or it can become toxic by keeping it a secret. When pain is stuffed it impacts that persons life and everyone who comes in contact with them. Given the statistics, there is a hight probability that Harvey and Kevin were abused and kept their secrets is a bet I would take. It is not an excuse for the horrific choices they made. It is a reason and a cautionary tale to anyone who is carrying another’s shame.

If that’s your story, call someone, reach out, go to a counselor and stop the cycle of pain. It won’t be easy to reach out, but you can learn to manage the pain and heal. The only other option is to continue to stack up pain upon pain. You may even give another person the strength to find their voice. Because if you were abused there is great chance that there are others.

I see every day the beauty when a woman finds her voice and reaches out for healing in Christ. It’s why Hope After Betrayal Exists. If you are not in need of healing, praise God and then ask Him to give you eyes for those around you in need of an advocate Let it be you.

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