We were also liars and frauds by our silence and cover-ups. And yet had anyone said that to my parents, me, or any of my siblings, we would have been aghast, even angry. The hidden reality was so deeply ingrained in my family of origin we didn't know a different way to behave.
I broke the silence and brought my sexual assault out into the open. After talking to my wife and friends about my childhood, I gained the courage to talk to my surviving siblings. It was the most difficult conversation I ever had in growing up.
To my amazement (and delight) they were open to me. In addition, and even more important, we no longer had to guard the family secrets.
Secrets trapped us in the past;
now we're free to live without secrets in the present.