Mary works as an inpatient addiction counselor. This week the clients had a secret-keeping exercise. Each was tasked to write down every secret she’d kept since entering treatment. They were separated while they wrote out their lists. Usually it’s a purifying exercise. A chance to be wholly honest and let shit go. This time, a tight group kept their secrets, and since they essentially ran the house, they expected everyone else to keep their secrets too. Not so much.
The subsequent explosion of megaton drama is the clearest case of faux power outside of playgrounds and lunchrooms. Why is it that women have been raised to believe drama is power? “She was saying shit about me to SueBeth and MaryJane.” “She iced me out.” “She told everyone I’m a bad mother.” Blah fucking blah. Coupling. Secret keeping. Rumormongering. This isn’t power. This is drama. And drama is the saddest faux power around. It’s the province of covetous underlings and tyrants.
When you’re authentically powerful, you don’t need to threaten or trash talk. You don’t need to be divisive, or splinter your social group. You don’t need to kick anyone around. Healthy relationships don’t have secrets. (This is not to say there aren’t confidences. Different animal.) Or triangles. Drama is busy work. It’s a fucking mire. What I want to say is this, you don’t have to participate. Seriously. If the play isn’t fair, or decent, learn to separate yourself from the bullshit. That’s a power exercise.