ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Heal From Traumatic Memories and Secret Emotional Pain

Updated on April 15, 2021
janshares profile image

Janis has extensive experience as a licensed professional counselor in assisting clients recover from the pain of unhealthy relationships.

We Hide Our Faces to Hide Our Secret Trauma Memories

We turn away in shame from our own secrets in an effort to avoid re-living our unresolved pasts.
We turn away in shame from our own secrets in an effort to avoid re-living our unresolved pasts. | Source

Unresolved Memories Are Held in Our Minds

We all have secret memories, histories, and shameful events from our pasts that haunt the spaces of our minds.

These events are made up of unresolved, traumatic incidents that we may not have revealed to anyone. It's too difficult to talk about with our closest confidants.

Some are more current than others, stemming from painful conflicts that occurred in our families and relationships.

We have even experienced hurtful rifts in our best friendships that went bad.

Others go as far back as early childhood, leaving major impressions on us as young, innocent children whose psyches continue to be impacted as adults.

The Long-Term Effects of Keeping Secrets

Overtime, we learn to live with our secrets, retiring them to the "attic." The truth about shame and trauma is that it really never goes away.

It lies dormant in the dust-filled crevices of our minds, tucked away from sight. Until one day, we begin to hear the rustling and wonder what's up there.

These rustling noises sound like little "critters" that make us think we are hearing things or losing our minds.

We climb the stair only halfway up to check our attics because we are afraid of what we may find. We engage in denial or ignore the critters, only to have them return.

No matter how much we try to avoid it, these critters begin to scare us as they settle into our minds. They leave wounds that go untreated, remaining painful and unresolved, at the back of our minds.

It is understandable that avoidance is a way to cope and function. But those wounds can only be dealt with head on, face-to-face with courage and resolve.

A Poem About Painful Secrets

"Critters in the Attic"

Rustling around making noises

In a very crowded space

So full of untold stories

Those little critters move about in the pitch black of night

And the bright light of day, shining through that dusty window

They are always present, some small

While others are large in there capacity to hold secrets

One day, those pesky critters will be caught

The attic will be rid of the nuisance once and for all

Putting an end to those embarrassing sounds that cause the query,

"What was that?"

Followed by a calm reply, "Oh nothing, just those critters in the attic."

Those restless critters can't keep still

The attic is full of them, running about as they make the attic spin

If only attic walls could talk

Revealing the shameful secrets of those little critters

But for now, the attic critters are cozy and safe

In their crowded spaces, making their way through the clutter

Holding fast to their secrets, holding shame at bay

Trauma Memories Boxed Away

We have attics full of memories, history and shame.
We have attics full of memories, history and shame. | Source

Face Your Fears and Trauma Memories

Moral of the poem: Confront your critters by going up to the attics of your minds and facing that which continues to haunt you.

Consider seeing a therapist who can help you on your healing journey to once and for all unburden yourself from the heavy wounds of shame.

It may require a professional to assist you in lifting the heavy burdens created by unresolved, painful memories of traumatic events.

No longer allow the dust and cobwebs in your attic to build up and keep you from moving forward and living a happy, healthy life, free of bad memories.

Revealing Your Hidden Traumas

Turn on the light to see the things you try to hide.
Turn on the light to see the things you try to hide. | Source

Sunlight in Your "Attic" Will Illuminate Hidden Secrets

Sunlight through a window illuminates and heals our souls from our best kept secrets.
Sunlight through a window illuminates and heals our souls from our best kept secrets. | Source

Beautiful Song About Unresolved Pain and Living a Secret Life

Confronting Your Memories

To what extent have you dealt with your painful memories?

See results

© 2012 Janis Leslie Evans


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • janshares profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Good for you, Tiffany. It is quite a journey worth the work. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • tiffany delite profile image

      Tiffany Delite 

      2 years ago from Wichita, KS

      Facing my fears and trauma memories (with the help of a therapist) has been so incredibly scary and painful and all the while so incredibly healing. I still have a long way to go, but I am determined to do the work I need to do to heal!

    • janshares profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      You're very welcome, Paula. Yes, there are so many who still carry around yesterday's trauma and unresolved secrets. The poem is one of my favorites. I'm grateful for your visit and votes.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Carson City

      Jan....I am moved by this powerful piece of work. The 73% of your poll responses is not a healthy sign and it makes me sad for all of us still struggling.....Thank you for this......Up+++

    • janshares profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      8 years ago from Washington, DC

      LOL, LOL, LOL! I'm so tickled that you enjoyed it. Thank you for stopping by and for that comment.

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I love "Critters in the Attic." I never go into our attic after dark! And, certainly not on Halloween. Guess I've seen too many scary movies.

    • janshares profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      8 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you much, ehealer. I appreciate you coming by and reading it. The pics are scary, aren't they :-)

    • eHealer profile image


      8 years ago from Las Vegas

      great poem, and the pics are awesome. Voted up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)