Fifth Degree Burn

Ouch.  Just got my ass seared thoroughly.  Why?

In a nutshell:  A friend told another friend a secret that she didn’t want nosed about to the general public.  That second friend told a few people (myself included), but (in my case, at least) neglected to say that it was a secret (she “assumed” I knew it shouldn’t be talked about).  I ended up in a conversation with the first friend (you see where this is going, don’t you?), and our conversation naturally led to me saying that I knew about this situation.  Friend who told the secret to me just got off the phone madder than the proverbial wet hen, feeling betrayed, and not sure she ever wants to talk to me again.


I’m not sure how upset I am by all this.  I regret that she feels betrayed (it was not my intent to betray her), but at the same time, she should not have been talking about something told to her in confidence, no matter how much she wanted to (or felt she had the right to).  I mean, if she had the “right” to talk about it, don’t the rest of us?


But it underscores something for me.  People like their secrets.  They like the titillation, the mystery.  But it’s hard on those you confide in, particularly if you’re confiding another person’s secret that they confided to you.  I don’t know about you, but I have a hard enough time juggling the balls of my own life without keeping other people’s balls in the air too.

(My step-kids used to say to me:  “If I tell you something, do you promise not to tell Dad?”  My response was always, “No.  If I think he needs to know, especially if it’s something having to do with your safety, I’ll tell him.”  Maybe I should start saying it again.)

I’m not without blame  here — I should have said nothing, I see that now (although I mentioned “the issue” because I wanted the first friend in question to know we were there for her if she needed us).  Confusing?  You bet.  Secrets are.


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Connecticut, Friendship, Honesty, Lies, Melissa Crandall, Secrets, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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