Jeannette Walls shares her secrets

I recently heard Jeannette Walls tell the riveting story she uses in the opening of her best-selling book The Glass Castle. Walls spoke at a benefit luncheon for The Stewpot, which helps feed the homeless in Dallas.

If you’ve read the book, you’ll remember that Walls, a New York reporter who was writing about the rich and famous, was in a taxi on her way to a celebrity party, worrying if she was dressed appropriately. “I looked out the window, and I saw a homeless woman digging through a Dumpster,” she said in her speech. “It was my mother.”

She hated herself for sliding down in the taxi so that her mother wouldn’t see her, Walls explains in her book. “I hated myself—hated my antiques, my clothes and my apartment.”

She felt like “a complete fraud,” she says, because she was always afraid that people would find out about her “brilliant, unorthodox, irresponsible parents.”

When she finally had the courage to write her book and tell her truth, the very positive responses she received from other people changed the world for her, Walls told the luncheon audience. She used to see the world as a place full of enemies and now she sees it as a place full of friends.

Fayteen cautions us that not everyone receives a positive response from her family and the world when she shares her secrets. However, Fayteen firmly believes that sharing your secrets is powerful—and essential for growth.

“In the recovery community, we have a slogan,” Fayteen says. “That slogan is: ‘A family is as sick as its family secrets.’

“Only when you share your secrets will you be able to deal with your family and other people with honesty and integrity. Only when you expose your secrets will you be able to start the process of healing.”

Fayteen says that this slogan applies to all kinds of family secrets—including alcoholism, physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, suicide or even bankruptcy and financial hardships.

She emphasizes that this healing is not automatic or immediate, and you may need to see a professional counselor who can help you heal.

We’ll share more about Jeannette Walls’ speech and her books in future blog posts.

–Joy

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6 Responses to “Jeannette Walls shares her secrets”

  1. Mary H. February 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    Wow. She sounds like a very interesting woman. I’m sure it took a lot of courage to speak about her family.

    I’d be interested in hearing more about the lecture and about her book.

    cheers,

    Mary

  2. Joy February 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    You would enjoy the book. Jeannette Walls is a good storyteller.
    Joy

  3. Kandi September 5, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    Now I am going to do my breakfast, later thhan havijng my breakfast coming yet agaain to read
    other news.

  4. Maisie September 23, 2014 at 3:16 am #

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