Monday, December 15, 2008

Secrets and Stress

Dealing with secrets is something that I'm not great at. Don't misunderstand me - I can keep a secret, and I appreciate having friends and family trust me enough to confide in me. I'm happy to offer an ear and a shoulder if you need it. But secrets that effect other people, especially people that I also interact with regularly, bring a huge amount of stress into my life.

I seriously dislike the dynamic of "You didn't hear it from me, but...". Especially when the news is something that I'd like to help with, even if it is only by offering a shoulder to cry on. Instead, I have to pretend that I don't know about what's going on in a friend/family member's life or risk losing another relationship that I care about.

Or the family secret that everyone guesses at but can't talk about because nobody's supposed to know. Then if it does get out, an "innocent bystander" often takes the blame. As in "me" this past week. Oh, but I still can't talk about that.

So what can I do? Well, crying and talking to my husband about it seems to have helped. Dodgeball is a good outlet (if only they didn't make us use soft "nerf"-style balls! Haha.). I really need to pray and journal. It's funny how both of those things can reduce the size of "the problem" - prayer because God holds you in His arms, and journaling because proper perspective is easier to grasp on paper. What's not funny is how hard it is to make those a priority.

Rationally, I know I need to do these things, but even thinking about fitting in dedicated time makes my "stress-alert" beacon turn red and start flashing. Kind of like the one night I took off for myself last week. I needed it. I know that I needed it. But it also added stress to my week.

So, let me know - how do you deal with secrets and stress?


  1. I usually tell Peter right away. I suppose when you have a secret you're not supposed to tell hubby instantly, but I am so bad about stress that I blow instantly. I should probably go to God with these things right away, but somehow in times like that it's nice to have a person to put his arm around you. I hope that everything works itself out quickly for you. I'll pray for you.

  2. "Or the family secret that everyone guesses at but can't talk about because nobody's supposed to know."

    Wow I thought this was Karen's blog for a minute.

    On the occasions that I find myself stressed I usually listen to angry music and wear my I'll-kick-you-if-you-look-at-me-wrong boots. That sounds SO stupid, but it makes me feel better.

    Any by angry music I just mean something that is fast-paced and rock-sounding. It can even be instrumental! (I bet you didn't know there was angry instrumental :) )It's cathartic for me. Once the frustrating feeling is spent on the music I can switch to *normal* instrumental. Something soothing...with a cello...

    I will be praying for you as well.