Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Complex PTSD is an isolating, severe, exhausting disorder ~ Lilly Hope Lucario





Complex PTSD is a very isolating, exhausting and devastating severe illness.
The psychiatric equivalent of cancer.
It affects every part of your life, magnifying every problem intensely and affecting daily function.
PTSD is a very severe, but normal reaction to severe abnormal trauma.
But, there are days, weeks, when I feel so far from normal.
I am so aware of how differently I think, how people who don’t have it, can’t understand.
Complex PTSD affects every relationship/friendship I have, with my husband, my children, my friends.
I can’t work.
I can’t even function well often.
I feel guilt, shame and blame on a daily basis, that I know I not mine to feel, but I feel anyway.
It ruins friendships, because people expect normal reactions, from someone with a severe psychiatric illness and when it becomes too difficult, they abandon you, even if they caused the problems.
Non PTSD people, have no idea the impact they cause when they hurt someone with Complex PTSD.
Complex PTSD makes you never want to trust anyone, because every time you do, you get hurt and the cost is too high.
Complex PTSD makes you not want to carry on living sometimes.
Complex PTSD causes anger and hurt and pain on a daily basis that is so overwhelming it causes me to just numb and go into robot mode, because the pain of living with the emotions daily, is unbearable.
Complex PTSD is a devastating, life threatening, exhausting, disabling, isolating, extremely painful severe psychiatric illness, that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
If you feel like this, please know I understand and please seek help, with a therapist trained in complex trauma.
It does require specialized, professional therapy.
It doesn’t get better with time, by itself.

For more info about Complex PTSD and Complex Trauma – see my Website @


Three years after writing this blog…..I’m going to add to this, that by attending therapy every week, by working really hard on my healing, by doing much trauma processing and much grieving…. I am able to function better, I am finding the hard times are shorter, I can manage my emotions better. I am able to speak about the abuse, without being triggered as much. My capacity to express what I am thinking and feeling, has increased. There is less fear.

There is hope.

There is healing.

It’s hard…… but it’s worth it.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

59 thoughts on “Complex PTSD is an isolating, severe, exhausting disorder ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

  1. It’s good to look back and reflect on older posts like this, and see how far I have come.
    This post was an old post I had written on my community healing page, months before I added it here.
    I added old posts here to keep track of my blogging.
    I look back at these older posts and see how I felt then and where I am now and the healing that has occurred.
    So, for anyone reading blogs like this one (and I can see by the stats this post is read often), have hope for things to get better, because they can, I have.
    I have clarity, strength, no confusion, my emotional state is so much stronger.
    Praise God, for His healing is awesome and for providing professional people in my life helping me to heal also.

    • God bless you for putting this post and this update here. I am 40 as well and have just begun my healing journey. Again, God bless you for sharing and helping. I wish you every happiness.

      • I agree with Nola. Thank you for the update – my young adult son and I both suffer from it – my heart aches for him – your original post was enlightening and your update gave hope . Blessing to all who are suffering with this.

      • I am 44 and have finally realized that I do suffer from CPTSD and that if I don’t start addressing it, that I will never be able to stay sober for long, keep a job or have any meaningful relationships.

    • Thank you for sharing your journey.

  2. I feel for you with the post traumatic stress disorder, I’m suffering too (not complex though). But I wouldn’t praise God for the healing or the professionals. God’s will is not to have suffering just so people can “heal” from it and praise Him. That’s the work of the Devil. God’s will is not to have a society where you are in situations that cause PTSD. Again, the work of the Devil. The Devil is in essence God, but a false God, who you should not (emphasis on not) be praising. But the person who you should be praising is yourself. I hope you continue to make progress.

  3. Pingback: Complex PTSD is an isolating, severe, exhausting disorder. | Diary of a PTSD Survivor

  4. You have hit the nail on the head. I currently cannot work. I tried for many years to fight my way through work and stayed exhausted. I have come to the conclusion that I just can no longer make work work for me and I am in the process of trying to gain my social security disability. Admitting that I can no longer function or force myself to has been almost as hard as it has been fighting the disease itself.

    It took many years to get the correct diagnosis, and when it was finally found it was a relief. I am lucky in the fact that I have a very good support system within my family and friends. Not everyone has that because when we isolate we sever many relationships.

    • I’m 26 with Complex-PTSD and beginning to look at my trauma, in therapy. I haven’t been able to work for ten years and I had 4 family members completely abandon me last year, one of whom was my primary abuser, which was my father. the other three began abusing me all over again after i disclosed the over 20 years of abuse my dad put me and mom through. every day now is lonelier than the last and I feel like dying is the only way out. I’m…pretty much friendless, and I usually go without human contact for at least a month before the next time I get a hug or anything. I’m too scared, yet profoundly alone. I just wanted to tell this.

      thanks for the article.

      • Can hear and understand clkearly what your saying just one trustworty doesn’t hav top be awash with sympathy just understand if many state changes that happen in a day.and point od contact shud dying becomewe a fixation in our minds

      • ill be your friend man. family isnt what we remember hoping it would be. sometimes, we havent developed the complex skills, associated with maintaining a healthy, self loving perspective, when they, as our primary sources of identity and strength, are gone (or have left us abandoned). I cant procure any definitive solutions. no one can. but i do know, if we are in a place to accept attention from others, it feels good to accept it, and to engage in it, and to use it as a reflection of our own capacity to give others a smile, a hope, a memory of who we are: of how beautiful and important we can be at any moment. isolation is not necessarily the cause for loneliness. that makes you the culprit for your problem. it is instead, an outcome that then becomes a cause in the catch 22 of a tragic life, where someone who doesnt deserve to live without love, is left longing for what they once knew so well. stay humble, refrain from being a burden, and seek out a friend, even friends, that you know make you happy because they listen to you and your ideas about the world, rather than about yourself or your condition. then keep that gratification inside as an inspiring force to meet with those friends again until it is their desire to see you, until they begin to miss those qualities that you are missing in yourself. my best goes out to you Eian. whomever and wherever you may be.

      • I just wanted to express that this article is so spot on and I relate to every comment – it’s so hard to keep living with this.. I’m just staying alive for my two kids because, I care for them more than anything in the universe – they are all I have left – going through the system with this condition is so exhausting and counter productive, as most in these fields (doctors, lawyers, judges, even most psychologists) do not have the capacity for empathy and either can’t or don’t want to understand – done even you with you because we are hopeless and they live for power since they cannot love.. god bless and strength for all – I pray every day all day for recovery but since birth the abuse and memories nightmares you name it – it just will not stop and my life is going down the drain – I have nothing.. I used to have a 26 year career with top retirement and benefits and I had to lose it all to this illness – my house my cars, my savings now my retirement that I saved for 30 years is GONE as I pray thI s system doesn’t fail me, looking forward to 1/5 of my regular income, if I’m lucky, and my children watching me act abnormally, unable to work, depressed and hopeless – it’s a nightmare I wouldn’t even wish on my abusers.. I still have capacity for love for my kids but trust no one – sometimes even question if my kids love me.. but I am a fighter and will try not to end my life so they can have it better than I had it as a child.. their mother is a sociopath, my mother is a sociopath, my family rather abandon me and ignore the damage because even the ‘normal’ family members would have to help if they admit the truth and what they witnessed – it’s easier for them to continue isolating me then help or spend a dollar to keep me from beating my homeless.. AGAIN (homeless at 14 with no family, homeless two times (short thankfully) the second and third times.. therapy only helped me remember everything I shut out or couldn’t mentally process – but after about 300 hours even my therapist got empathy fatigue and began lashing out at me because I wasn’t getting better or returning to work (i.e. getting out of her hair) – can’t say I blame her.. this sh*t is so exhausting even outsiders simply listening to my trauma shut down mentally and want a drink. God bless all who suffer with severe CPTSD & depression (and the PTSD too).. I’m waiting on the disability judge to make decision, says another 60-70 days to find out, this after 30 months of waiting for the whole process to get to this point. I’m living on credit, 7K in debt, and have $1200 left. Will I make it? Will I be homeless and sick on the streets at 45 within 2 months? Everything rides on this, my life hangs in balance and my life is in the hands of a tired jaded judge who couldn’t possibly understand and will first suspect I’m running a scam and too lazy to work (I was a workaholic as coping mechanism among other things!) Will I lose my kids to their sociopath mother who neglects and abused them, simply to try to get me to finally commit suicide so she can feel powerful and feel like she won? Will my autistic Son be destroyed mentally under her stress and neglect? Can I still continue using every bit of energy to overcompensate for her abuse, since the courts did nothing? This system is built by and controlled by sociopaths and narcissists! Only God knows. God help my children..

    • I hope that you will be able to feel stronger, to return to work, and be more active in life….

    • Hi ,

      I’m trying to find a psychologist who will formally diagnose me because I can’t seem to function in the work place. I tried so many times to reinvent myself, constantly blaming myself for my uncontrollable behaviour and emotions. I’m exhausted every day and feels depressed constantly.

  5. I’m 50 and diagnosed with complex PTSD, a mood disorder, severe depression and psychosis. Ive carried this for almost 50yrs and I pray that god takes me soon.

  6. I think a very important element is victim-blaming, particularly secondary victimization; also there is people deliberately taking advantage of vulnerability for power. We live in a very competitive society, and victims are blamed rather than supported; all my life, I would be blamed for my problems, and even “treatement” was simply a euphemism for “crazy” or other put-down. It’s all about power and cruelty, where even children are expected to fend for themselves; and eventually I just got accused of “manipulating,” and was subjected to such horrible experiences like mental incarceration and domestic violence with no support or protection, just more insults and blame.
    I just learned to hide everything to avoid more labeling, since they’ll use everything against you; and every day I face a thousand humiliations of feeling like a second-class citizen with a lifetime of scars, and the threat of more every day.

  7. Reblogged this on 18mitzvot: 4 out of 5 dentists recommend this blog. and commented:
    Excerpt (Copyright to the Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD):
    It [CPTSD] ruins friendships, because people expect normal reactions, from someone with a severe psychiatric illness and when it becomes too difficult, they abandon you, even if they caused the problems.
    Non PTSD people, have no idea the impact they cause when they hurt someone with Complex PTSD.
    Complex PTSD makes you never want to trust anyone, because every time you do, you get hurt and the cost is too high.

  8. Currently in therapy, and this is my DX. The shear amount of pain, being unable to work, unable to explain to family/friends… This shit is too much, I would wish it upon no one.

  9. I love everyone here, and I feel for you, and thank you for doing this blog, it’s great. This makes sense, intrusive thoughts, perceptions that are totally off base and a feeling of not quite ready for prime time with others who don’t get it is a constant, to the point that I have distanced myself from pretty much everyone. One thing I notice as my numbness thaws and I get my feelings back I am MORE sensitive and unable to handle even a tiny bit of stress without going numb to handle it. I do think this will last the rest of my life and the best I can do is recognize the triggers and avoid them. Abuse is a brain changer and PTSD is the aftermath once you get away from the people who had you brainwashed. Without a sense of spirituality I never would have made it this far. But, like you, I know a gentle life is the best thing I can do for myself.

    • Yes -it has taken me 44 years to know a gentle, chaos free life, is absolutely what we need and aids the healing process.

    • I do believe that this is something that you have for life as well, very sad to say! I have this from my family of origin, and I believe I was better off “not knowing” why life has not worked out well for me. There is no enough support for any type of trauma, unless you are totally disabled, and on disability/other, cannot work.
      I have spirituality also………but wonder how much better life can get! It is SO isolating…..I hope before my life is over, there is more understanding on how to TREAT and/or have a society that cares about this type of issue.
      Thanks for your post

      • Mary, thank you. I have found relief from the isolation and like minded souls in a group called CoDA. See if there is one in your area, it’s free, beats the Hell out of one on one therapy and the healing and isolation dissolve like an ice cube on a hot griddle. Good luck, honestly, I have never felt better since finding them. It’s an amazing alchemy that takes place in the way the sharing of stories works. You begin to see yourself in everybody’s story and the isolation ends. No more are you stuck in the Ozzie & Harriet phony world of family denials that make you feel like odd person out. Good luck to you my friend.

  10. My c-ptsd has crippled me my entire life. 51 years..since I was 3. I’m still having to start over.. divorce, layoffs,…I can’t develop close relationships. I don’t trust others. Hoping EMDR will help.

    • I understand how it feels to have been enduring this since being a young child. It is a very hard journey.
      I have issues with trust, but learning how to very slowly build relationships and how to build trust slowly.
      It’s not easy.
      I hope EMDR works for you too.

    • Hi, I understand and I’m in the exact same situation. I hit rock bottom once again and it’s always the same thing that contributes, outbursts and low self esteem. I have no shield it seems. I’m looking for a doctor to probably diagnose me so I can apply for disability.

  11. I need help i dont want to live like this but i cant n wont seek help because i trust noone

  12. I so feel this . This is my life on a daily basis .
    Its not living its surviving

  13. My therapy is focused on compassion for myself. Slowly, one day at a time I am learning to love myself. The critical voice that has dominated my thoughts for years is slowly losing control as I tell it everyday to hush. I didnt choose this trauma so the blame and shame is not mine to carry. This alone is exhausting, but this is where it begins. When i remember there is nothing I can do that will make God love me more and nothing that I can do to make God love me less…I can breath. I almost feel peace as the world disappears for a moment.

  14. I kind of feel peace reading this, amidst all my other unstable and insane emotions, because we all know we aren’t the only ones with this disorder, but actually getting to know it directly from another person makes me feel like I’m really not alone, that it is possible to carry on beacuse you can see that other people could carry on as well, even though every day I wake up to ask myself “why am i still getting up?”. I still can’t gather my courage to look for help, but reading all this coming from all of you encourages a lot. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and for all the support.

  15. Pingback: Another voice | PTSD - Accepting, Coping, Thriving

  16. Dear Lilly
    Thank you for giving me hope


  17. Thank you all for sharing. I have found that tapes with subliminal messages for self love and compassion listened to regularly for at least three weeks do help quite a bit. Listening to music, especially classical music is very soothing too. I wish all of us courage and hope.

    • Hi Irene can you recommend which tapes, I mean which ones have helped specifically for you? thanks

  18. You have a disclaimer that we can’t share what you have written? So sad because my sister struggles with this also and I wanted to share this with her. Don’t you want awareness? Please reconsider, the more this is talked about as a psychological and physiological connection to PTSD and autoimmune disease the better for the patient to start seeking treatment and give family and friends a better understanding.

    • Lisa, the posts can all be shared, using the share buttons at the end of each blog.
      What I don’t want, is people taking my work and claiming they wrote it, and not stating where they found it.
      I have had many people stealing my work and taking credit for it. This is why copyright was needed.
      Most of my work will be going into my book, which is another reason copyright is very important.
      Please feel free to share using the share buttons.
      Lilly ❤

  19. Im so relieved to read what you just wrote You took the words straight out of my mouth I have had complex ptsd ever since i became pregnant with my only daughter that was 19yrs ago I finally reached out for help once my daughter turned 18 out fear they would want wellness checks n i did not want any of my mind problems to affect her n her childhood I just spent the last 7 months with the most amazing therapist who for the first time in 19 yrs the CLARITY N UNDERSTANDING OF MYSELF I never thought i would ever have

  20. I am so grateful to find your site. I’ve been experiencing severe, nearly debilitating symptoms the last few weeks that I only yesterday was able to understand were the cPTSD. My therapist and I have talked about it a long time, but I just wasn’t making the connection. I think I didn’t realize how connected the exhaustion and fatigue could be to maintaining some semblance of normality (HA) in public. I’m feeling so incredibly lost and alone and isolated (but with absolutely no desire to connect) – this is so incredibly scary. Thank you so much for being there.

  21. Thank you for writing this. Right now I feel so alone and reading something like this helps me get through it. I’m currently in treatment for complex PTSD. Trying CBT to find it wasn’t for me and now today I had my first appointment with an EDMR specialist. My friends abandoned me and choose to believe his words over mine and I live confined to my room most days. Here’s hoping it improves for everyone out there suffering, and thank you again c

    • I understand how it feels to lose friends due to this hard journey we are in.
      I hope the EMDR works for you. I also think DBT therapy is helpful for complex trauma survivors, so that may be a possibility for you.
      Lilly ❤

    • I tried both CBT and EMDR and neither worked for me. I would advise that you use a search engine and find and take the online test for alexithymia. If you score fairly high like I did then the “conventional” therapies may not work for you yet. If that’s the case then you need to find a therapy specialist who’s trained in what’s called infra-low neurofeedback, the goal is to restore a more normal pattern of rhythm in your EEG waveforms and calm your brain, then you have a better chance of being able to benefit from other therapies. I’m in the middle of such a course myself now and my sleep patterns are already starting to improve. This is fairly new technology that many therapists haven’t heard about yet but many of the leading researchers are already singing its praises, there’s quite a lot being said already about it online so you won’t be a “guinea pig”, I tried and failed for a decade to find anything ELSE that worked for me so if I can help someone else that’s great, whatever you decide I hope you find something that works for you.

      • I would like to learn more about this, as EMDR did not work for me either…it was too intense experience…and I hardly know what sleep is..

  22. I, too, have struggled for over 40 years with C-PTSD. I worked in the medical field for 30+ years and saw the same psychiatrist for 35 years. I didn’t get properly diagnosed until 11/15. I am so thankful for the correct diagnosis. I was dumb- founded when my Counselor told me I had C-PTSD, but everything made complete sense after that. I am quite isolated from family by choice. I have friends but don’t like to engage them very often. It’s too hard to process their stories, stay focused and regulate my emotions. It is easier to be by myself. I have done such a good job of acting like I’m ok and suffering in silence, that my adult children have no real clue what I’m going through. I don’t think they really want to hear about it. I bluffed my way through life suffering unbelievably so as not to disrupt their lives. I’m still bluffing that I’m ok to them. I am working on recovering and am seeing progress, but I feel like I’m about 12 years old. My life has been a nightmare, but I see light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for his blog. It has been helpful.

  23. I broke up w/my ex few months ago and he just now told me he has C-PTSD. There’s not a lot of info on how to support someone w/this. He just started therapy and I feel his conditions are worse. He’s far more sensitive, expresses hyper vigilance, and takes no accountability for his actions. He doesn’t understand his words and actions have an impact and if I don’t just go along, the fight begins. He has emotional swings and his past wrong doings are now justified. Hes a bit narcisstic when it comes to work. All is fine as long as I go along…and when I express my thoughts, he receives it as a criticism and gets defensive. I’ve told him I know he’s hurting and needs to heal. He says I’m abandoning him if I walk away. I simply cannot take the outbursts, the constant blame, and lack of calm, open dialogue. Any thoughts??

    • The behaviours and attitudes you have expressed, sound far more narcissistic, than Complex PTSD.

      I have CPTSD and I take accountability for my actions and I have empathy and care about the feelings of others. I don’t use my diagnosis, as a way to harm others.

      The oversensitivity, the outbursts, the defensiveness, the wanting everything to go their way, the not caring about how actions affect others – are all narcissistic traits. Not Complex PTSD.

      No-one has to tolerate harmful behaviour where the person has no willingness to change.

      Being abused, is not an excuse or justification to abuse others.

      You have every right to walk away from a toxic relationship.

      Lilly ❤

  24. A powerful, powerful impact statement that helped open my eyes all the more. Thank you for your bravery and for speaking truth of this, and of yourself.

  25. I found this post, and you, through BethanyK. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul. I have not suffered all that you have or as severely as you have so I only understand it to a certain degree, but enough to know that it is hard work to come out the other side. I am glad you found that help. I have only found relief by having the people who caused the problems leaving my life either by passing or by (my) choice. It was only after this I was able to deal with it and start to pick up the pieces. I hope to read more of your story. You are an inspiration.

  26. Pingback: Whispered Words » Blog Archive » Emotional Flashbacks, what are they.

  27. Wow the Wayne I feel in the exact words. Debilitating disorder that I’m wondering when will the pain ease. Finally found a good therapist. And meds this week. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. The universe loves you like I do.

  28. It truly is a debilitating disorder but I am glad you are feeling hope and that things have gotten easier for you. I have found that for myself as well.

  29. This was validating and comforting. Thanks for sharing ❤

  30. Lily,I appreciate your articles
    Can you tell me? Have you done Dialectical Behavioural Therapy?
    I relate so very much to the things you’ve expressed.
    I’m wondering if you relate to me?
    I have CPTSD and TBI
    I feel like going to DBT to regulate my feelings…..I have regulated my feelings all.my life.Analyzing ,questioning them down. Now I want to feel what I feel ,and ask for clarification about my feelings.They have never been affirmed .
    Do you feel, DBT can be expecting more and will be traumatuzing?
    Thanks fur your Blogging

  31. Wow. This is EXACTLY me. I never knew that this was what was going on with me until right now. Thank you. I suspected PTSD, but this complex PTSD stuff is dead on. I love what you said about it being the psychiatric equivalent of cancer. That is so true. And I’m stage 4 for about a month now.

  32. Thank you so much for this site. You really are helping people feel like they aren’t alone (at least I feel that way now). My old therapist from a year ago mentioned that she believed I was misdiagnosed and actually suffering from PTSD. For various reasons I stopped working with her. Thank God for showing me now that she was right even though I could not see it. Now, He can get me on the road to healing and managing this in a better way. You are appreciated!