Family Secrets: "To Tell or not to tell?"

Family Secrets: "To Tell or not to tell?"

Family secrets can be very hard to keep inside or….very hard to tell openly. Don’t you think? What happened to me about two days ago was going to change my life…forever. My really close cousin from out of town came to visit my family and I for the holidays and New Years. It was very nice to see my cousin since I haven’t seen him for at least 5 years. So it was really such “great news” that he flew from Denver, CO to Seattle to visit for a good few days. Seeing family over the holidays can feel so heart-warming, nice, sweet, and most importantly, beautiful.

Since my wonderful cousin was in town, I wanted to spend time with him as much as possible until he left to go back home to Denver. Boy….it was so amazing to finally be seeing my cousin after a few years of missed connection. One early afternoon, I went downstairs to brew some coffee in the kitchen. My cousin was downstairs cruising around on his lap top. He looked up and asked how I was doing. I told him I was doing great. Then he sat down next to me to discuss with me openly about some personal “family matters.”

My parents had sponsored both of my two cousins about 14 years ago from Vietnam to the United States. When we first picked them up at the airport, my cousins looked very different and felt a bit “lost” in a very new atmosphere and country. Fourteen years later, they have adjusted to the “American” way of life very well and their English speaking skills are beyond “amazing.” They were very young when they first arrived to the United States, but now that they are a lot older, both of my cousins have changed….ALOT.

While I was waiting for my coffee to brew, my older cousin sat down with me to discuss some heavy, important subjects regarding our “family.” I was looking at him all serious, intense, and very curious of what he had to really say. He had told me that for years…and he means….YEARS, my parents have kept many, and many deep past secrets about our family. In the Asian culture, many traditional families will keep a lot of hidden family secrets away from certain family members in order to protect them and to…..not hurt them too.

Since many of these hidden “family” secrets were kept hidden from me for ALL my life, I will not discuss in full details due to personal, private reasons. I was so RELIEVED and happy to hear all of the hidden secrets that had been kept away from me for so long and to finally hear it from my own cousin. I still do not understand why my own parents would want to keep deep “family secrets from me for this long and not be “open” with me about it. But I do understand that in our culture, it is a sign of “respect,” to not potentially hurt other important family members. But I also will find out all the truth no matter what at a certain point in my adult life because…I deserve to know.

If you were in my situation, how would that make you feel? How would you deal? Would it change your life for good?