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Chiugo Akaolisa: Guilt & Confession

Chiugo Akaolisa

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I remember one time I hid a huge secret from someone for months. I was in boarding school and I had stolen and lost one piece of my mother’s really expensive earrings. I hated being the girl with no earrings due to the fact that I reacted to most jewelry I wore so I decided to be badass about it.

I felt on top of the world wearing gold studded hoops at such a young age until I lost one piece and my mother just had to call that day to ask if I had seen it. Naturally, I denied it, because my mother is the kind of person that will drive all the way to my boarding school with a police squad and arrest me for theft – handcuffs and all.

I may have avoided an imminent threat but I ignored all the signs my body was giving me to confess. I had the worst acne breakout in years, my finger nails were a mess and I had difficulty concentrating in school. I didn’t realize all these were linked to my guilt until I confessed to my mother during the school break and all my physiological symptoms went away. My mother even bought me a new, less expensive, pair; she didn’t know that I had nickel allergy just like her and I was there suffering in silence.

It is proven that there is a physiological detriments of guilt. It is one of those tricky emotions that’s hard to pinpoint but ultimately, the larger the information we suppress, the more our cortisol (stress hormones) sky rocket and our immune system weakens. We find ourselves suffering health and mental problems as a result; whether we realize it or not.

If there are such great costs of guilt, why then do people hide their sins and live in fear for years?

We find couples who are about to or already committed to each other hiding fundamentally critical details about themselves with the hope that it will just blow with the wind. The hope is to take the secret to the grave and pray that it never surfaces. And even if it does, it would be too late to produce any real damage.

It is understandable to withhold trivial information from your partner to enable you win his/her affection or reduce the chances of him/her feeling betrayed by us. Ignorance is sometimes bliss. However, life altering decisions are a different ball game. It is monumentally worse, when your secrets are exposed and it didn’t come from you.

Most of us feel that our partners won’t be able handle our complete honesty. Some of us have racked up enough shameful deeds that owning up may prevent us from holding on to the people who mean the most to us. So we defend our dishonesty on the grounds of nobility; protecting our loved ones from our past or lies.

Aside from the physiological symptoms, guilt comes with a truck load of fear.

How long can you hide the fact that you don’t work in NNPC from your partner? Or that there is someone else in your life? A certain kind of chill washes over you every time the conversation comes up. You become snappy and overly sensitive to anything that can lead to that topic. Lies replace lies and constant changes have to be made to cover the guilt. Oh and Karma just hangs in the corner waiting to rear it vengeful head. It’s not called a bitch for nothing.

Everything I have expressed is not new information so I guess my real question is this: To what extent are we willing take our secrets and guilt to?

If the tables were turned, would your answers still hold?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Atholpady

Chiugo Veronica Akaolisa is a graduate from the University of Alberta, Canada. She is a God-lover and a recluse. Her every spare time is spent writing and developing her business. She is an entrepreneur and a budding novelist. Her true passion is Poetry and Relationship Tips. She has a minor in Psychology.Twitter: Verachi | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cakaolisa | Instagram: missverachi |

7 Comments

  1. Calabar Gal

    March 12, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Not for too long – the truth will eventually slip out one day….. There is always a tendency to forget the lies you have spun.

  2. SuperNova

    March 12, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Better tell the truth and get it over with once and for all. But it’s always best to perform every action like we’re being watched. That way we desist from wrongdoing that’ll later come back and haunt us. Lies beget more lies

  3. jefka

    March 12, 2015 at 6:30 am

    ama hold on to dt secret mehnnnnnnnnn……..
    somrthings are better left between one and God alone.

    • swthrt

      March 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      I agree!

  4. Yemisi

    March 12, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Men there are some things that should just be left unsaid abeg it will safe people a whole lot

  5. Anon

    March 12, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Well, Ideally, there should be no secrets. when le boo and I started getting serious, I felt he needed to know about some things that had happened in the past especially some that had the potential to cause trouble if he found out later. he took it well and said it was ok and we moved on, my love for him tripled but it felt like he was holding back and I didn’t push. years down the line, one gist led to another and I asked le boo (now hubby) some questions and he opened up. turns out I am a saint compared to his history. would I have wanted to hear it then? yes!!!!!! I felt like the bad one for years and then the real gist comes out. Well, I am glad I opened up when I did. the feeling of knowing that there is nothing to hide gave me peace. I guess you can only know for yourself and no one else, I cant say I know how he managed not to spill until now.

    so I would say, if you think there is anything capable of causing serious damage, I suggest you tell. better he walks away because of the truth than to stay with you because of the lies. and guys, its ok to talk about things too, you cant be too macho about everything. Ok, this has turned to story of my life. make I dey go before I talk pass like this.

  6. D

    March 12, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    For my parents abeg there are some things better left on said… I no guilt or at least i have deaden that part of my conscience. My dad had a Walkman, and to be cool in school i took it and would use it in school, well it broke in my back pack one day and that was the end of the story. Till today my dad still says he does not know how the walkman disappeared from the house and me too I do not know either or how is cologne used to evaporate so fast…lawd the things we did as kids.
    On the other hand, I have seen first hand how secrets or just plain lack of communication can slowing eat at a marriage so I made a promise to myself never to lie or keep a secret from my hubby. I genuinely decided at an early age (teenage) not to do anything that I am not willing to stand by or accept the consequences. Does that mean I never made mistakes??? Nope, I sure did but I am ok with the consequences and so when I met hubby I was able to pour it all out, without shame, I was comfortable and had enough self love that I knew if he loved me, he had to accept me “the good, bad and the ugly” all rolled up into one, that’s me. Those experiences have molded me into the lady he sees today. Now there are only 2 people in my life I have this policy with and that is my hubby and lil sister. My lil sister and I are very close that even if we lie the thing “nagging housewife” called conscience can be soooo annoying and will not let us be until we have confessed to the other person.

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