How did secrets creep up on me, unwanted? How did I wind up holding them in my basket of arms … and how do I pour them out?

I meant to tell Beloved everything. But integrity seemed overstretched, like taffy gone stringy and gappy in places, laced between the fingers of two hands moving slowly further apart. Integrity was still there and I clung to it, and yet, somehow, it wasn’t covering me anymore. The gaps were ever-yawning ovals, silent gasps that spawned, naturally, as the indescribable and unspeakable multiplied. Integrity wasn’t enough protection, all because of the wordless things.

Finding a way to tell him everything compelled me. We might not make it, otherwise. I feared the only hope we had was overcoming the secret together. It is not a pretty story, nor a story I would have chosen. It humbles me. Mine is a story I was by no means certain I’d ever complete. The book was born to tell him everything; Words. Find the words.

S is for secret. I for integrity. F is for fearful and T is for tell.

Telling meant holding the indescribable and unspeakable for a time, and giving them words. Telling meant treating the seemingly-insignificant-yet-troubling things with a little more credence.

Only after giving the secret things their rightful words did I understand I had stumbled into something much bigger than me and us. Having given them words, I can pour secrets out. I write you honest words to prepare, heal, fortify, and triumph. I check my impulse for permission to pour and realize I don’t need it. I nod to fear and then I leave it behind. I release my words with joy, expecting to share a greater word with some of you. Secrets are poured out. Tell.

Trophy Warrior by Audrey Opp-Waverick is now available at

Photo Credit; Pixabay 2017; 2022.

Hope for survivors. Insight for professionals. Awareness for supporters. Click the image to purchase Audrey Opp-Waverick’s stunning debut memoir.

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