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How Living with a Deep Dark Secret is Dangerous

Living with secrets gives them more power.

A friend reached out to me and asked how often I get flashbacks of the sexual abuse I experienced.

My reply: "Almost every day."

She confided in me her own traumatic experiences with rape and sexual abuse.

My heart hurt hearing that she, too was shamed and blamed for what happened

We freeze in shock during a traumatic experience.

Our brain will do what it can to protect us through fight-or-flight or shutting down.

My trauma is like an old ghost that pops up randomly. Something someone says might trigger an old memory.

A dream I had may take me back to my bedroom where my father tried to molest me.

I didn’t realize how my relationship to my trauma is causing me suffering.

It has become like an old wound that my brain just naturally picks at.

I wonder what it’s like to not live with these flashbacks in the way that they come in.

Sometimes its flashbacks of my childhood and what life was like growing up with a schizophrenic mother and abusive father.

Today in therapy my therapist shared something that I am reflecting on.

She said living with our secrets gives them more power.

So in an effort to let them not have as much power as they still do in my life we are going to try a new type of therapy where I talk about my story repeatedly.

I do believe there is power in telling our stories. In sharing our secrets.

In some way we become a voice for each other.

We help the caged bird sing and find freedom again.

To finding freedom. Here’s the mic. Let’s hear your secret.

Emily Stroia is a writer, humanitarian, activist and spiritual teacher. You can learn more about her at or check out her writing course on telling your story at

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Self-help & mental health writer. Can't do small talk. Mama. Yogi. Coffee lover. Nature explorer. Get my free meditation mini-course here:

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