Your secrets hurt your mental health. What’s the alternative? | Aeon Essays
A lot in here that can apply to us (as a person) and to story characters.
How many stories have you encountered where characters keep secrets from one another? How did it affect them and their relationships?
It also talks about guilt and shame: the differences between them, their effects on people, and ways to handle them.
The author pursued these studies of keeping secrets because he and his brother are products of a secret his parents decided to keep from them before the kids were even born: That each was the product of sperm donors. Different donors. So the usual childhood discussions of “who was the most like Dad” had a secret depth they weren’t even aware of.
If you’ve followed the Marvell Comics Universe stories about Thor and Loki, those are stories of keeping secrets, and what happened when they came out.
The movie Thor: Ragnarok is particularly about keeping secrets. The secret of their banished sister Hela, the secret of how Asgard became so powerful. When the secrets came out, Asgard was destroyed!
The James Bond movies starring Daniel Craig regularly have secrets coming back to bite the characters. In fact, the entire plot of Skyfall is about M’s secret betrayal of an earlier Double-Oh agent to the Chinese, and how that eventually kills her and massively damages the agency.
So read the essay and think of how keeping secrets affects themes, plots, characters.