This autoethnographic narrative shows the complexity of family secrets and disclosure, and suggests that family stories — told and untold — are formed systemically, within a system — within a web of disclosures and reactions, trust and hurt, anger and understanding. This story illustrates the cyclical and holistic nature of family relationships; and discusses how family relationships develop through waves of understanding, reflection, pain, and forgiveness. In this narrative, I propose that in order to understand ourselves and our families, we must look at the big picture, within the context of all of our stories, intertwined and interconnected. Our puzzle has no beginning or end. It is part of a cycle of life, dropped in and looking backwards and forwards, reframing and recreating multiple meanings and identities. This paper also discusses the relational ethics of writing about family secrets in autoethnographic research.
- © 2009 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.