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A Secret Kept
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Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

Created: 10/06/11

Replies: 20

Posted Oct. 06, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

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Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

Do you personally believe that family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever? In cases like the novel's, do you think the truth is more painful than lying?


Posted Oct. 11, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 216

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RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I think that family secrets come out frequently but should be handled with care by whomever discovers them. I think a respect for the dead and a respect for the needs and feelings of those in the present tops telling all just because you know it.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bevula

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

My biggest issue with family secrets are really played out in this novel. Blanche did what she thought was best for her - not her grandchildren. They already lost their mother, but she (and Francois) deprived them of what was left of her. Regardless of how the adults felt, they had not right to keep secrets that didn't belong to them. They didn't just hush up her affair, they deprived them of even the tiny solace of being able to remember and love the mother they had.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenh

Join Date: 10/06/11

Posts: 4

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I agree with bevula in that it seemed like Blance did what she thought was best for her, not her grandchildren. Coming from a family that has a few buried "secrets" (actually, "had" once they came out and my sister and I found out about them in our teens), I feel like the one keeping the secret often feels like they are protecting the familiy by staying quiet, even if it's not always perceived to be the right thing to do (such as what Blance did). On the other hand (and bevula touched on this, too), not sharing with future generations does deprive them of truly knowing their family members. Particularly if they have lost that person and all they have to go on is memories and discussion among other family members. Often, there is more hurt felt when secrets are revealed due to the betrayal and secrecy than there is associated with the "secret" itself.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 42

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

This is a most interesting question--ironically, just yesterday a dear friend and I happened on this topic as we were on our daily walk. She was intense in her answer that secrets withheld within families can be very heartbreaking and dangerous. Obviously she was speaking from personal experience. We were in agreement that although some people feel that they are "protecting" family members from knowing some family truths, they may be causing more damage and eventual heartache by keeping secrets. I guess the real question remains: Are these secrets ever 'forever hidden.' As seen in the novel, someone can be in the wings looking for answers as Antoine was.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Barb274

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 4

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

It wasn't their mother's secret that effected Melanie and Antonio. It was the fact that Blanche tried to erase any memory of their mother that was the sin. If they had had any memories of their mother, pictures and childhood memories, the secret would not have mattered.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 76

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RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

Well, it makes for a much more interesting geneology if the secrets come out! Can't honestly think of a secret that should be kept. More often than not, the secret will be revealed and may cause more harm than if it was honestly presented under the right circumstances.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 62

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RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I think family secrets should be told. It seems to be that keeping information hidden is likely to cause a dysfunction within the family, even if it is being withheld with the best of intentions. Usually the truth comes to light at some point and then is much more painful for those involved than if they had always known how and why they were different.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 6

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I think that would strongly depend on the secret and weighing the consequences versus the benefits of sharing it. I have a family member who is bisexual, and I see no benefit in revealing that secret, ever, unless that person does it first.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 216

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RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

Good point Elise and I would feel exactly the same. There are secrets that have been discovered many generations back about my familyby some family members who are doing a lot of geneology research. These are interesting and kind of fun to learn but effect no one in the present. When secrets can have a detrimental effect on living or recently deceased people then unless there is a compeling health or economic reason they should be weighed carefully before being let out of the bag. If there is no good reason to tell I think the right thing to do is keep quiet.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bevula

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I certainly do not agree that outing people for 'no reason' is a good thing. However...

Elise, what if you have other young family members who are bisexual and feel like freaks because of it? I wouldn't suggest that outing your relative is the right thing here, either. But encouraging that person to share their information means that they have the opportunity to be accepted for who they really are (as you have done), not who they are pretending to be. And modeling that behavior for the younger generation is a fantastic thing.

And I agree with what Karenh said - I think that most of the damage comes from being lied to, not from the content of the secret.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 27

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I like Barb274's point. It is not always the secret kept that is the biggest problem but what the secret hid and destroyed along the way.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Barb274

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 4

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

If Blanche knew about Claisse, it wasn't much of a secret.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
erical

Join Date: 04/17/11

Posts: 8

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

Secrets never stay hidden forever. Some way some how they always find their way to the surface.
Most times they cause more damage than good and if the people involved are no longer with us there is no way to get the full story from the source. This leads to a lot of dangerous speculation that has no basis in reality.


Posted Oct. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 6

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I do see your point, bevula, but does anybody in the family really need to know? Besides paving the way for somebody else in the family - which would be a very bumpy road in my family - I don't see a benefit for anybody else to know. If this family member chooses a long term homosexual realtionship - I guess it will all be revealed at that point. In the case of Clarisse, there were other people involved that were hurt very much by her secret and I think different rules apply.


Posted Oct. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyb

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 19

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I think family secrets are always harmful. They harm the person who keeps them and those from whom they are kept. I found out a secret of my mother's when I was 23 and realized that everyone else in the family had known all along. It wasn't really a terrible secret, but it was terrible to my mom, and I could see how it had closed her up emotionally to a certain extent, and even now, many years later, I still feel betrayed by everyone's silence. I felt marginalized. In this book, unraveling the secrets surrounding his mother opened up Antoine's life to new possibilities of fulfillment and happiness.


Judy
Posted Oct. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bevula

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

It certainly appears that Clarisse was going to leave her husband for June. Her affair would not have remained a secret if she had lived. I don't think her lover being a woman was the most important piece of it, though clearly it mattered to Clarisse, and likely Blanche.

And maybe Francoise would have been just as devastated if Clarisse had been faithful but died like she did. He might not even know about it. We can't be sure Blanche ever told him, though it seems likely that she did, and that's why there was so much silence surrounding her death.


Posted Oct. 22, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
maribethk

Join Date: 09/04/11

Posts: 7

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

Secrets rarely remain hidden and in an attempt to do so - the lives of those who know are always altered in a way (sometimes unconsciously) to keep the secret hidden. Other family members who do not know sense something but can never put their finger on it setting into motion an unhealthy set of dynamics.


Posted Oct. 23, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Sharwest

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 1

RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

At the right time, I think people should discuss family secrets. Otherwise, people in the dark sometimes find out in unexpected ways and then are left wondering what the whole story is.


Posted Nov. 09, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dianes

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 53

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RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I think secrets should be kept, I don;t think we need to know everything that happened before in our family or family members personal secrets. I think it depends what they are and how they will affect the living. That said I do agree with many posters that sometimes secrets come out anyway and then they are extremely hurtful but I still think that they are hurtful anytime they are revealed.


Posted Jan. 19, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 63

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RE: Do you think family secrets should be revealed or hidden forever?

I believe there are some personal/family secrets that should remain as such. This is especially true, IMO, if those secrets would be hurtful, especially to the living, but also to the memory of those who have died. Sometimes secrets do come out at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. I was doing an oral interview of my now deceased father some years ago when I learned that he and my mother had a full-term, still born child before I was born. In almost 70 years (at that time) I had not heard a word of this. Come to find out, the baby was a Downs' Syndrome baby. I don't know why my parents never shared this with me; I didn't think to ask my father, but it was there decision and had no effect upon my life, so in that case I see no reason for them to have shared that secret.


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