I’ve found connection through confession.
Michael told me he was bipolar, that in his twenties he’d attempted a bank robbery, putting his hand in his pocket and announcing it was a gun. Soon after he was put on Lithium. I didn’t know what Lithium was or much about bi-polar disorder, I was only 14. I told him he was still my favorite uncle and that I loved and accepted him. He was relieved and it profoundly affected our relationship.
One of my best friends in high school confessed he no longer wanted to date women and that he thought he might try men out for a while. A year later I moved to Los Angeles and another year later I took him to his first gay pride in West Hollywood.
I’ve been a stripper for the last 10 years. My work environment offers a perfect mix of connection and anonymity. One of the first lap dances I gave I saw the pain in the man’s eyes while he confessed that his wife refused to experiment with his prostate and how he felt like he was missing out on pleasure. I acknowledged his valid desire and gave him a hug. I am honored to see that secret primal side. They trust me in a different way, in ways that would make their world crumble.
I house so many confessions some of which are light and some continue to weigh heavy on me. Some are so similar yet come from different types of people and I wonder if sharing would lead to meaningful dialog and desired connection.
Although I encourage the truth in others I find myself containing my own secrets. During the first Confession Box performance I shared none of my own secrets or fears. I sought out to set others free and in the process found the importance of my own truth and desire to be understood.