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Privacy vs. Secrecy/Shame in Recovery

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Hope Hope 2 months, 4 weeks ago.

Privacy vs. Secrecy/Shame in Recovery

  • Profile photo of Megan

    Hey y’all,

    Hope all is well with you and you get to pet a doggy today!!

    I finally started working through The Courage to Heal (which is incredible btw-I had no idea how intensely Laura Davis would make me experience a whole smorgasbord of emotions). After almost a month I have finally completed a whole entire chapter (lmao), and came to realize how much I associated privacy with shame and secrecy. One of the reflections she writes is “What’s the difference between privacy and secrets? Between privacy and shame?” I honestly cannot fathom one existing without the other.

    I was just wondering if I could pick your brain(s) on this question. What does privacy mean to you, without the presence of shame or secrecy? Do you think there’s a difference? And any other thoughts or experiences you have on this topic are welcome as well 🙂

    I’m not sure if Kati will get around to this, but if you do (hey girl!) have you had clients struggle with this as well while working through the book?

    Thank you all for your support the last few months, and to Kati for recommending The Courage to Heal. I’m starting to realize the feeling of safety might be a possibility in the future.


    Profile photo of Hope

    That’s definitely an interesting topic that made me think. But I don’t really have the answer myself. I would also be really interested to what Kati or other people had to say on the topic.

    Profile photo of Samantha

    That’s a great question. Brene Brown says that ‘shame means I’m bad/I think I’m bad.” So I think privacy/secrets are things we want to keep to yourselves but not because we think those things make us bad. A secret could be that I cheated on a test once(I didn’t, just an example.) While I wouldn’t want anyone to know about it, I don’t believe cheating on a test makes me a bad person. I am not bad for cheating, but it doesn’t make me look good either. As for shame, I’ll give another example. My cruel ex made me take of my makeup because he hated the way I looked with it on. I felt/feel ashamed because he hated it and that meant I was bad for putting it on. At least that’s how it feels. I looked so bad that he shamed me, so I must have been bad and I internalized that shame.

    I guess it also depends on who the person is. Cheating for someone people might make them feel ashamed, but others not. Same for my makeup story. I think secrets are things that we want to keep to ourselves because it’s personal or we think puts us in unfavorable light. Whereas what we think is shameful are experiences that make us believe we are bad. If someone were to find out, they’d think we’re bad too. Whether or not the shame is justified is another story.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Profile photo of Hope

    Samantha, I think what you said about Brene Brown’s definition of shame- I think I’m bad is spot on. That helps me to distinguish between privacy and shame.

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