I'm one of those people that carries around some aweful thing from the past. I suppose that one could say that I live a double life in that respect. No, I'm not saying what the awful thing in the past is, but it's pretty damned awful.
About my writing, I too become rather embarrased when I tell people that I write poetry. I remember one time, I was showing my friend my website(which has about 3 of my poems on it).
This friend of mine is an insanely intellectual type of person, so he's like Data from Star Trek. Remember the one where they rescued that kid from the ship, and he started trying to immitate Data? Remember the part where he's building that model of a temple, and he asks Data what he thinks? And then Data gives him this big asthetic analysis? Well, that's what my friend is like, lol. I digress.
Anyhow, he and his brother(also insanely intellectual) looked at the poems and laughed at them. Ever since then, I've decided to only tell my more emotional friends that I like to write poetry. That way I won't have to deal with snobby intellectual criticism of my writing, lol. But don't get me wrong, I do like constructive criticism, just not the kind that involves laughing.