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Not everyone is open about their past and well, that’s fine. While we might push others to open up about their childhoods, there are reasons why those who refuse to talk about theirs choose that route. 

If someone you know completely refuses to talk about his or her childhood, you’d likely assume they went through a lot and well, they likely did. For those who don’t like to talk about the years they spent growing up, even looking back on them can be painful. Not everyone had a positive experience growing up and some people went through things that should have never been put before them. 

Sure, talking about these things can help them heal but talking isn’t easy and never will be. For a lot of people talking about their childhood makes things worse before things ever get better and a lot of them refuse to do-so. Our past is not something we can just let go of or forget, we have to deal with the wounds it left and from there heal so that letting go is possible but that is not easy. 

Psychology Today actually wrote on this topic back in 2016 and one very important thing that was shared within their article goes as follows:

Painful childhood memories are typically tied to distressing feelings such as abnormality, inferiority, worrisome self-doubt, unlovability, humiliation, and shame. However, obliquely, memories of these past situations and events can sneak up on a person in the present during moments of “felt” threat or vulnerability.

Just the same, it can be invaluable for afflicted individuals to find a psychologically safe way to return to their past in order to—finally—become liberated from it. In fact, most of the deeper mental and emotional repair work I undertake as a therapist depends on a client’s willingness to return (at least in their mind’s eye) to their past. This enables them to begin correcting negatively distorted assumptions or conclusions they came to about themselves as a result of how they interpreted their caretakers’ (usually disparaging or hypercritical) messages to them. 

If you’re struggling to understand why someone won’t open up to you keep in mind that it’s not about you and it’s not that you’re not trying hard enough or that you’re not trustworthy enough. While in therapy childhood is something that is brought up big time, it takes a lot to get someone to really dive into it. 

They have to be willing to open those wounds and really adventure back to that place in their own mind and not everyone is going to be willing to do this. Sure, their past comes up from time to time but you’ll never really understand the person before you until they allow themselves to deal with their past and thus let you in a bit more.