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When to keep a Family's Secret

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by darkrebelchild, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    It has become an embarrassing ordeal for many families with addicted loved ones. Is it right to shut our close friends out of our lives because of this hideous secret of ours or should we open up about it. Opening up could lead to people avoiding the family or making it social media news.
    When really do we need to keep addiction a family secret?
  2. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    Good OP @darkrebelchild. To kind of paraphrase a Bible scripture 'All things will be revealed...' With that being said, a family's secret of alcoholism can be kept for years but eventually it will surface. Failing health, physical abuse, financial problems and many other effects of alcohol or other substance abuse will show in some way.

    There shouldn't be a need to keep it a family secret but in earlier years it was the thing to do for the reasons you mentioned mainly embarrassment and shame to the family's name. It wasn't accepted to be inebriated in public.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Three things can't stay hidden for long. The Sun, the moon and the truth. An attempt to hide the addiction of a family member from members will be short-lived because the addict unless s/he's locked up will reveal their addiction eventually. If friends [especially good friends the addict no longer associates with] can help they should be informed because at times an addict may be willing heed the advice of friends even when they shut out the family.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
    MrsJones likes this.
  4. Min

    Min Active Contributor

    You can keep things hidden from people who wish you ill and who will use the information as gossip. Definitely. But things should not be kept hidden if there's a chance to get help from an outside source. There are people outside the problem who love and care for those in trouble; they have the strength and possibly the resources to help and aid those in trouble. I agree that social media is awful - so yes ... don't air your dirty laundry on the internet and leave your family wide open to attacks from the outside. But know who to let in.
    MrsJones likes this.
  5. achexx84

    achexx84 Active Contributor

    This couldn't be any more true. Sometimes it's best to allow those secrets to be let out, depending on how bad the situation is. I was a closet alcoholic for the longest time. I kept it hidden from EVERYONE. I eventually got caught when my best friend found my empty bottle stash in my bedroom closet and he threw me under the bus. The embarrassment alone and the shunning from some great friends broke me. He called my mom who lives in Florida and had her come pick me up and take me with her. He said he cannot stand to watch me hurt myself like that. Funny thing, is when he asked me why I drink as much as I do, and why I kept it hidden, I said "because I hurt, and I don't want to hurt anyone". The ironic thing is that I was really causing more harm than good to everyone, including myself. It's tough, but you can pull through. It took time to repair the damage my secrets had done, but I eventually got back to the normal lifestyle. It is possible with hope and faith.
  6. innaf39

    innaf39 Member

    My opinion is keeping secrets within the family is that it's usually end in microaggression, sadly.
    Also if you keep secrets in connection with addiction, abuse or sickness there could be a lot of people around you with the same problems who think that keeping silent it the perfect way to handle these kind of problems.