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How to Overcome Trauma: Help for Healing Memories of Secret Emotional Pain

Updated on July 11, 2017
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 traumas.
We turn away in shame from our own secrets in an effort to avoid re-living our unresolved traumas. | Source

Confronting Your Memories

To what extent have you dealt with your painful memories?

See results

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.

Reveal 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 the 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

© 2012 Janis Leslie Evans

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    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 4 years ago from Las Vegas

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

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

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

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 4 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 image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 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.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      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 image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 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.

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