my secret.

my secret.

So many secrets in a seemingly non-secretive life. Looking at the fifty three year old face in the mirror, I wonder how on earth I have lived the life I have. That face does not look capable of holding the secrets that it created. Such an ordinary face, with ordinary lines from smiles and frowns...and  secrets.
How old were you when you guarded your first secret, my old friend?
Six, I was six years old. Such a tiny human to hold on to her first secret. A secret that is still a secret from most and so it qualifies as my longest held secret.
Why do you still keep this secret from the world, my dearest? You have lived more than half a lifetime with it weighing you down. Is it not time to let it go?
I am not sure that it can be let go because it is so much still a part of who I am. The part of me that few would believe could exist.
Look at us in the mirror. Look at how many years we wear on our face but we still have so many more years ahead of us. Will you not shed this secret and allow yourself the freedom from it?
I am unsure that I can trust the world with my secret. It has protected me all these years.
But surely you can trust me to protect you now, after all that we have endured together? Look at me. Look directly into my eyes. See that I care deeply for you and know that you can trust me. I am the only one you need to trust.
I am scared.
I know that you are but you don't have to be.
No, you don't understand. My is...that I am scared.
I have been scared since I was six years scared.
But why? Of what?
I have been scared of people finding out that I am scared...all the time. I have kept my fear stuffed down inside me like the lava inside a volcano...always in danger of eruption.
Oh, my dear child, please don't be scared any more. I will tell your secret to the world and it will set you free.
How can it possibly set me free? People will know that I am scared and they will ridicule me.
Dearest child of mine. Sweet six year old me. There is nothing to fear from ridicule unless it is self-inflicted. The only judgement to concern yourself with is self-judgement and the only person you need to seek acceptance from is you.
I am not sure I can risk it. So many years of fear are stored within me. What if I am not strong enough to bear the exposure?
Look at us, here in this mirror sweet girl and remember the suffering that we endured during those same years. Your strength did not fail us then or we would not be able to share this moment.
I didn't feel strong. It all felt like a struggle.
But you made it through and you will have all the courage that you need after you let go of your secret.
But my secret is that I am scared, so how will I have courage to face others if I tell it?
Courage is not the absence of fear, dear one, it is feeling scared and going ahead despite that.
I have been doing that since I was six. Does that mean that I have always had courage?
Then perhaps it is time to share my secret because it may help others to know that I have been able to live my life despite feeling scared.
Okay then. Here goes. I am Linsey Elizabeth Esther (Macleod) Denham and my secret is that I have lived most of my life feeling scared, if not terrified. I have used bravado, humour, distance and cruelty to hide this secret but it is now time to share it with you because it may be of help to you to know it.

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