Family, Secrets, and Guilt

“Audre Lorde description: “Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.” ……….
Confession—raw, authentic confession—opens us up to forgiveness, which is not only alleviating, but redemptive. Proverbs 28:13 tells us, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
This does not mean that confession is an easy task. Oftentimes, confession and acquittal can be an incredibly painful process; I’m reminded of Aslan tearing off Eustace’s dragon skin in C.S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But if we confess, as David did in Psalm 51, and accept the forgiveness Christ has offered us, we will be scrubbed clean. T
he weight of our guilt will be released, and we will float back up from the depths, break the surface, and emerge into new life.”

Christy Chichester, in a review of the drama series Bloodline, posted at Bill and I watched this unsettling series set in the beautiful Florida Keys. The family presents itself as a loyal, good, family but each is hiding dark secrets. In the end they are nothing like the façade, the false self, they present to the world.
In working with women in addiction I find many who have a view of their ideal self that they hold in their mind but which the reality of their belief system and behavior dispute. Confronting the denial of their true character (and, in fact, the deceitfulness of all unregenerated human hearts) and helping them see the need to change to have a different life is a necessary place to begin healing.