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Twenty Inner Secret Discovery Questions

Part 6: Twenty Inner Secret Discovery Questions 1-9

Questions to help determine if you have secrets from yourself. Inner secrets play a powerful role in beginning eating disorders.What follows are questions which can help determine if you have secrets from yourself. Inner secrets play a powerful role in beginning and maintaining many eating disorders.

Question 1:
How well do you remember your childhood?

  • Do you keep remembering the same experiences and gloss over major absences of memory? 
  • Do you think you remember events because others have described them to you? Are your memories yours or are they images and stories given to you by others?
  • Do you remember details from some years and little from others?
  • Are even clear memories spotty? An example of this is when a person can remember the yard around their childhood home well, but has trouble remembering specific rooms or parts of rooms in the house.

Question 2:
Do you lose track of conversation?

  • Do you often get bored or distracted during conversation?
  • Do you go blank for a moment or two?
  • Do you find yourself trying to pick up what's going on, as if you had been 'gone' for a moment?
  • Are these familiar experiences that you consider just part of your nature?

Question 3:
Do you lose track while watching a movie or hearing a lecture?

  • Are there simple paragraphs or sentences in books which you have to reread and yet still have difficulty registering in your mind?
  • Did that happen while you were reading this cyberguide, Triumphant Journey? If it did, go back and see if you can find those sections and hold them in your mind. If you can find them but still can't hold them, write them down. Sometimes, even writing them down doesn't work. It's as if the words go through your eyes to your hands, fingers and pen, typewriter or keyboard, completely bypassing your mind. That's okay. Just record them and keep them in the notebook you'll find out about in the Secret Discovering Exercises.
  • Do you miss small sections of a film's continuity and have to fill in the meaning from your imagination?
  • Are you certain that your small misses while watching films are okay because you are skilled in making sense out of the parts you have seen?
  • Have you ever watched a video of a film you've seen before and been surprised at whole sections of events and meanings that you didn't know existed from your first viewing?

Question 4:
Are there small, mundane events which can reliably arouse your anger or fear?

  • Examples of such events include:
    • You or someone else spills something.
    • Someone moves an object out of its usual place.
    • A simple food is unavailable.
    • You are to go up stairs or through a doorway first, immediately ahead of one or more people.
    • A household item or appliance breaks down and requires repair or replacement.

Question 5:
Do you feel you have to pretend to be someone better than you are?

  • Do you feel that if people knew who you really were they would turn away from you?
  • Do you feel that if people knew who you really were they would laugh at you, belittle you, or punish you in some way?

Question 6:
Do you feel nervous when you feel someone sees who you really are?

  • Can you tell from a moment's glance when someone is seeing your real self?
  • Do you keep away from such people?

Question 7:
Do you often feel you have to leave situations because you feel too nervous or confined to stay?

  • Examples of such situations include:
    • meetings
    • relationships
    • brief encounters in social gatherings
    • classrooms
    • waiting rooms
  • If you remain do you feel resentful and angry or afraid?

Question 8:
Do you have personal private rituals?

  • Will you feel anxiety or anger if you cannot do them?
  • Examples of such rituals can include:
    • Chewing a certain number of times or in a particular way. 
    • Relying on telephone conversations at a particular time of day.
    • Exercising in a certain way at a certain time.
    • Eating special foods in a specific way or at a specific time or both.
    • Using particular eating utensils.
    • Watching particular TV programs while eating particular foods.
    • Cutting, chopping or arranging food to lengthen your time with the food. An example of this might be after peeling and eating an orange, spending time meticulously cutting the orange peel into tiny pieces.

Question 9:
Do you forget your sexual experiences?

  • In an actual sexual experience, do you feel you are once again in a physical and emotional experience you forget about completely in your daily life?
  • Do you often feel vulnerable and naïve about sex in daily life despite numerous and varied sexual experiences?
  • Do you also feel, more than occasionally, that you have special, secret knowledge about sex?
  • Do you often lose feeling during a sexual experience and find yourself observing your partner or your own sensations from an objective point of view?
  • Do you often have private sexual fantasies in which you are helpless and the center of dramatic attentions?
  • Do you often have fantasies where someone is helpless and either honored and/or afraid to receive your dramatic attentions?

Twenty Inner Secret Discovery Questions 10-20

Question 10:
Do you have body sensations you do not understand?
Examples of such inexplicable experiences include:
  • shaking
  • skin rashes
  • cold chills
  • nausea
  • dizziness
Question 11:
Do you feel you will faint on occasion?
Have you almost proven to yourself that it's not due to physical exercise, illness, PMS or menopause?
Question 12:
Are you often surprised at your own appearance?
Do you sometimes feel invisible?
Do you feel you can make yourself so unobtrusive that you feel you are practically invisible?
Do you enter an invisible feeling when you are buying binge foods or eating them?
Question 13:
Are you attracted to people who betray you?
Do you feel you are wrong and apologize when someone hurts you?
Question 14:
Do you sometimes think you are special?
Do you get angry when others will not alter plans for you?
Question 15:
Do you sometimes or often think it is your lot in life to suffer?


Question 16:
Do you regularly feel lonely, incompetent and fragile in a harsh world?
Do you feel that this is the real you and you must guard against anyone knowing it?
Do you feel extremely moved, surprised and grateful when someone shows you a small consideration or appreciation?

Question 17:
Do you work excessively to achieve cultural prizes like money, degrees, status, adulation, perfect body - all without satisfaction?
If you try to relax do you feel unbearable anxiety and not know what to do with yourself?
Question 18:
Do you lead a double life?
Do you keep information and activities hidden from others?
Examples include:
  • sexual liaisons
  • roles you play in different areas in your life
  • jobs
  • future plans
  • sexual practices
  • hobbies and personal interests
Do you lie regularly?
Do you lie when you don't have a reason, and you don't know why you are lying?
Question 19:
Do you have a regular habit of pushing the same ideas or information out of your mind because you know you don't want to ever think about them?
Do you regularly postpone to the point of not doing an activity at all?
Do you postpone doing activities where you know in your mind that you could probably do well, but you are too nervous to get started?
Examples of this can include:
  • sending out a completed job application.
  • sending out a completed school application.
  • calling someone who might be a mentor for you.
  • taking an adult education class in something you think might be fun or interesting.
  • Saying yes to an invitation to submit an idea or piece of work which, if accepted, would bring you into contact with new people in a new and challenging setting.
Question 20:
Do these questions make you anxious?
If you answer, "yes," to many of these questions you may have a secret from yourself. If you are angry or frightened that these questions exist, you have a secret from yourself. If you feel anxiety thinking about these questions, you have a secret from yourself.
If you are curious and anxious at the same time, you are on the threshold of discovery. Your curiosity can keep you on the healing path.
If you have read these questions and want some genuine answers to questions you have about yourself, despite any anxiety you may feel, you are already on your Triumphant Journey.

In the Secret Discovering Exercises section of Triumphant Journey and the accompanying Action Plan you will find a way to discover what your secrets are as you simultaneously develop the necessary strength to face them. This is the healing journey that can lead to personal triumph.

end of part 6

next: Part Seven: Secret Discovering Exercises
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~ eating disorders library
~ all articles on eating disorders

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 17). Twenty Inner Secret Discovery Questions, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, August 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/articles/twenty-inner-secret-discovery-questions

Last Updated: January 14, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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