We have language and legalities to enforce state and corporate secrecy, as anyone who’s ever signed an NDA can attest. Certain professions, including many psychologists who post to this site, take professional oaths of confidentiality when dealing with clients.
Yet we have few terms and no clear directives to navigate the secrets that most often torment people. These are questions of identity and aspiration: “The human heart in conflict with itself,” as Faulkner timelessly declared. There is no vocabulary for the myriad ways in which a beloved’s secret can burden the person to whom it is revealed, yet it is this state of affairs that Jane Isay explores with great candor in “The Secret That Became My Life," published online today.