A Website for Survivors of ‘Quiet’ Abuse & Hidden Trauma

Website sponsored by Counselling Initiatives Charity No: 1082706



Sharing Your Story


In the advertising for ‘secret lives’ I asked for stories from people who resonated with the picture I painted of apparent normality.  I had many emails in reply some of which are printed [with permission] on the home page. Some of the stories submitted are included in my first book, I am planning a second which will include more secret life stories, together with reflections arising from what I have learned from the first book and the meetings and discussions I have had with everyone involved.  There is no deadline, if you would like your secret-life story considered for publication, send it to me by email or post in strict confidentiality. If not published your story will form part of a confidential  archive contributing to a gathering momentum for further research in this sector of the dissociative continuum.


It has often been noted that successful professionals including psychotherapists are reluctant to share dysfunctional histories for fear of jeopardising their professional reputation and careers. I believe the journey I took could have been much more quickly resolved if I hadn’t spent so many years crippled with the shame of believing I was the only one secretly afflicted with this hidden condition in a world I believed otherwise full of happily normal people.


At the core of secret life stories can be a review of the quiet traumas that occurred during childhood. Together with the story of coming to understand that this was the case, and the difficulty or otherwise of accepting this was so. At the core of secret-life stories can be a sense of not belonging, of being an outsider, of sometimes being barely human, or even hardly existing and being a fraud for pretending that you do.


At the core of secret-life stories are things that have happened to you and feelings about yourself that you have, have had or might have, but wouldn’t want to share with anyone.


People with secret-life stories may have clinically diagnosed dissociative or related disorders; on the other hand many may not because they are functioning well enough to avoid the need to consult psychiatric services.


People with secret-life stories may consider themselves dissociative, or they may not: they may have considered the application to themselves of several different ‘official’ psychiatric diagnoses other than dissociation – for example a borderline condition, or they may not. 


People with secret life stories may wonder why they seem have psychological problems when siblings do not or seem to have reacted to adverse caretaking in other ways.

Website by Sue Medley of SynTax