Who are we, deep underneath the smiling face we show to the world? How many people truly know us? Is there something you never tell anyone, something you think might change the way the people you love see you? That might make them understand you, but not in the best way?
Would you share that secret with a stranger?
100 people did just that, telling their deepest secret to artist Terence Eduarte of the Philippines. In exchange, he took a hard look at the human being he saw in front of him – secret and all – and drew them. The results are shocking, haunting, sweet, determined, lovely, scared, and every human emotion in between.
Below are 25 of my favorites.
“I told my unborn son I wasn’t ready to be loved by him. The next day I miscarried.”
“I tell people my mom died from cancer when actually she died from cirrhosis due to alcoholism. I didn’t want people to think she was a horrible mother. We were close no matter how different the alcohol made her sometimes.”
“I created an imaginary friend as a coping mechanism for my depression. Now I want to make her disappear but she keeps coming back.”
“I’m always the one who gets left in a relationship. I thought I was okay. I try to convince myself that I’m okay. But there are nights when I just have sudden breakdowns and I ask myself so many questions. Is something wrong with me? Am I really not worth fighting for?”
“I overdo things and I constantly make myself the center of attention because I’m terrified of being forgotten.”
“It was my 28th birthday last week and no one remembered it. Not a single call or text from my friends and family. So I woke up the next day, sat outside my house and cried quietly. My dog came and started crying, too. It was the most beautiful thing someone has ever done for me.”
“It’s been two years but I still can’t tell those around me that I’m HIV positive. So instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I volunteer to help change the stigma around HIV.”
“I lost my smile a long time ago. Now I go everywhere hoping nobody will notice that this isn’t my smile anymore.”
“I got rejected by my friends because they think I’m gay. I tried to tell them that I’m not, but I’m starting to realize they might be right. I’m lost between myself and our friendship.”
“Many years ago, I was so broke that I stole a roll of toilet paper from my office.”
“I burned the suicide note I wrote a month ago. Today is a good day.”
“Half of my friends are people I wish I’d never met.”
“I was abused when I was 6 or 7. I can’t remember which age, but I remember what the abuser did. He drew naked figures, showed me where to touch, made me touch things…things I don’t want to remember. I didn’t know it was wrong back then, but I’m grateful that it didn’t go any further. It left a big impact on me and I always blamed myself for it. I got OCD after that. My every action repeated. My daily routines repeated. I wash repeatedly, lock and unlock doors repeatedly, read my school books repeatedly. I repeat words 50 to 100 times until it satisfies me. It affected my life so much and no one knew why. And no one knew why.”
“I am generally thankful and happy for what I’ve got in my life. But I always feel like there’s a black hole in my heart that no one would understand, some pain that just won’t go away and I’m trying hard to live with it.”
“He is the love of my life, but I found that out too late. Whenever there is snow, it reminds me of him.”
“I sometimes feel alone even if I’m with friends. I feel like I’m just an add-on when we’re together.”
“I want to ask my half-sister if our estranged dad ever touched her back when they were living under the same roof. Or was I his only victim?”
“I got drugged and raped by someone I knew and can’t get myself to tell anyone for fear of victim blaming. On most days I can’t help but victim blame myself.”
“One day, I came home from the University and my mother told me to cover up my legs in front of my friends. She didn’t want them to realize I had gained weight and she said she was just protecting me from gossip. The comment didn’t leave my mind and I’ve been bulimic ever since.”
“I am a journalist secretly dating a high-profile and controversial public official. If this gets out, I’m almost certain I’ll lose my job.”
“I’m acting in a play where this guy has to act like he’s secretly in love with me. But when the play ends we go back to real life, where I’m secretly in love with him.”
“I wanted to visit my grandmother in the hospital but it was a long walk and I got lazy. The next day, she passed away.”
“I wrote letters to my girlfriend every day. Every day until her lung cancer took her away from me.”
“I don’t know what I want.”
“I made up an entire part of my life. People believe some of the things actually happened, but really a lot of my stories are fake.”
You can check out the full collection on the artist’s website.
h/t: Bored Panda
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