Privacy, Secrecy, and Love

In one of those adorable conversations with intimate friends, precious instances when time appears to move differently, I posed a question for which I wanted an honest answer. Despite my necessity for honesty, however, the response given was sobering, at least initially.

“What if,” I said to the lovely Nicole, “aside for my caring for you, everything you knew about me was a lie?”

“Knowing you,” she submitted, “that wouldn’t surprise me.” And though she said this with her usual endearing smile, her words gave me pause.

And Nicole’s attitude isn’t unusual amongst those closest to me. The sentiment they all share about me is that they simply don’t know me as well as they think or feel they do. And admittedly, this is my fault.

The illusion of proximity to others is either a testament to the trust between you and them or a transparent lie. And that trust is based on how they need to feel about themselves and how their character reflects on those feelings.

My dearly departed Igor said that people only afford you trust because they need it to feel safe, an attitude he saw as an obscene misrepresentation of love. And he can be forgiven for thinking this way; after all, he lost everything that gave him purpose shortly before this conception.

Just, and because when you dance with the devil, the devil don’t change–he changes you. You love, you trust, and out of those the grater transgression is trust.

Igor Malaki

I, despite once having shared this opinion, no longer agree with him. Yes, trusting others lessens the stress of our complex and often chaotic world. Igor was right about that, but love often precedes love–it depends on love–it is often begotten by love. It is also true that like in any other relationship, love and trust aren’t mutually exclusive.

Love can abide long after our detriment has exceeded its expectations.

I can accept that my friends love me because, without that impression of trust in me, they would see me as I am: distant, detached, and private enough to be untrustworthy. Secretive. Incapable of sharing details about my life that most would find inconsequential.

Most people around me don’t know where I live, and an enduring joke about me is that they don’t know what I do for work.

They don’t know how much that amuses me, how proud it makes me to see my obsession with privacy paying off.

While many people I know may see me as a work of acceptable deception, and like Nicole, continue to embrace my love for them, I am glad the important ones know I love them sincerely.

I’m grateful they understand that the illusion of me revolves around my need to protect them from the parts they can’t see.

It follows, then, that they understand that I can love them deeply while keeping a safe distance. They know that this distance is a measure of their importance to me. It is a measure of my love for them.

— Peyton J. Dracco


Published by Peyton J. Dracco

Author & entrepreneur

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