Black Women's Health and Happiness

Insights into physical, mental, and spiritual health for women of color.

JFK’s Young Intern Lover Reveals Long-held Secrets; Would You?

Everyone has a story...but do you tell it?

Once Upon a Secret is a new tell-all memoir written by Mimi Alford. It is the first-person account of a secret relationship with the late President John F. Kennedy. I admit I am intrigued by memoirs, especially this one ... because I can totally relate. I admit [deep breath ... gasp] that I, too, was in a similar situation, not with JFK, but with someone who was very prominent in his field, across the nation, even internationally; a charismatic leader among leaders. I've often thought about what risk he took, but in recent years, I've thought more about ... the effect all of that had on me.

I've often thought to write my autobiography, my memoir–not only about him, but about it all–but then I pause and think ... no.

It's been said that "everyone has a story," but some people have a sho-nuff how the hell did you make it story. I've been told by the few who know it all that mine is such a story, not just because of that relationship, but the entire journey to date.

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Even Denzel Washington's wife, Pauletta, said she sees a book and a movie in my story. I still have her email of encouragement, saying "Wow! What an AWESOME story! You MUST write and share it, as it can be a source of strength for others." [She came to learn of my story when writing the foreword for my latest book. In it, she shared her wonderful family life, beginning with her parents. I then cautiously shared my story with her, which was quite the opposite ... but somehow I made it. According to many, I have not only survived, but thrived ... despite it all.]

Would you ever write a tell-all memoir? If so, why? Would it be to free yourself of the journey's twists and turns and what effect it had on your life? Would it be to do the big reveal–to finally explain to others some "whys" of situation and reactions gone by? Is it to brag? Is it ...[what]?

Some people will judge or criticize such writings. Many have already asked why would Alford write this at all, and why now? But I understand her response: "I'm not exposing myself, I'm unburdening myself. When you keep silent, you think it's keeping you safe, but really it's deadly." [I will say that unlike Alford's experience (as she stated on NBC's 'Rock Center'), my guy never panned me off onto other men. He was very protective of me ... and no, the irony of that statement is not lost on me.]

When writing about her journey with breast cancer, the TODAY Show's Hoda Kotb said that someone told her "don't hog your journey." Granted, although quite serious, a battle with cancer is not the same emotional issues–and "aftermath," to use Alford's word–as being the naive teenage love interest of a high-power married man who is much older than you.

If you felt others would gain strength from your story, your situation ... would you tell it to the masses? Open it for public consumption? Hmmm.

I'm not sure I'll leave this post on site for long. Comments will be open for a bit. With all respect to ABCs John Quinones ... what would you do? Let me hear from you. [And, Mimi Alford, thank you for sharing.]

Living Well, Despite Catchin' Hell, a book about health, sex and happiness, with a foreword by Pauletta Washington, musician and wife of Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington; and endorsed by psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere and others. The book includes current comparative data for Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women. The first book in 8 years addressing Black women's health; also addresses the effects of negative stereotypes. (print and eBook).

Copyright © 2012 Dr. Melody T. McCloud. All rights reserved. Any excerpts reproduced from this article should include a hyperlink to this--my original post on Psychology Today, with author credit. Feel free to post the link to this, and any of my PT posts, to your social network pages. Follow me here at PT (mostly); and now (I've finally joined the fray) on Twitter: @DrMelodyMcCloud.

Melodies of the Heart: Poems of Life & Love (eBook with erotic love poems, poems about faith, family, forbidden love, race issues and more)

Medical Bloopers! Amusing & Amazing Stories of Health Care Workers (foreword by Dr. Neil Shulman, author of Doc Hollywood). (a little levity, now as an eBook)

Melody T. McCloud, M.D., is an obstetrician-gynecologist and the author of First Do No Harm: How to Heal Your Relationships Using the Wisdom of Professional Caregivers.

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