I was about to confess to accidentally spilling drink on my sister's cream embellished jacket, breaking my mum's ornament (I blamed that one on my dad) and knowing all along that my friend was secretly getting married.
But now I've got another confession to make. I can't help but be obsessively intrigued by the poignant and witty revelations on PostSecret.com.
PostSecret is an online community where you post in secrets anonymously on a nicely decorated postcard. Beside the point that very few people send in postcards these days, (it's all about social networking, emails and texts), this site is a global phenomenon. Frank Warren; the American who launched PostSecret back in 2004 called it a community art project. I visited the site around three years ago after it was listed as a 'website to distract you' in a magazine. What can I say? I've never looked back.
More often than not, I sit and stare with every kind of word gurgling from my mouth as I carefully scrutinise each admission varying from criminal activities and wrongdoings to secret desires, habits and dreams. The first secret I ever read on PostSecret disgusted me. I shrieked in horror and got worked up about this person who had just revealed this awful thing. Three years later and I cannot accurately remember it. Other secrets are so sad that you feel like shedding a tear and you just erupt with words that don't gurgle but crumble, slowly, and then the same process happens all over again.
One secret posted December two years ago ignited nothing but empathy: "I was told my fiancé died in Iraq, I just found out he's alive, married to another woman. I can't tell because I don't want to be pitied." But the nature of secrets is varied: "I sometimes wish she had died, as it would have been easier to deal with when she left." While another revealed: "I should be in prison." What is sort of amazing is the artistic effort put into these postcards from the photographs, collages and overall presentation. One postcard had an array of celebrity faces all neatly cut out which read: "One of these men is a father, he pays me A LOT to keep it a secret!"
It's no wonder that PostSecret created the International Suicide Prevention Wiki - a worldwide directory of suicide prevention hotlines, online chats, text lines and resources. But now, Frank is hoping to spread the anonymous revelations through a stage adaptation.
There is also a PostSecret UK, or shall I say, there was one. The site, which enabled users to email secrets, is still up and running but hasn't been updated since July this year. Successful spin-off versions have been created in France, Spain and Germany and there was even a PostSecret app until it closed down earlier this year due to malicious postings.
I've laughed, cried, got angry and been shocked by some of the darkest secrets. Frank once said: "There are two kinds of secrets: those we keep from others and the ones we hide from ourselves." Apart from my meticulous obsession with the site, this online community has become a counselling forum for many users and it continues to provide much needed support. As one user posted: "I think everyone else's secret's are slowly but surely saving my life."
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