Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Hyper vigilance, is different for complex trauma survivors.


It’s very interesting reading the differences in hyper vigilance between a combat soldier and a complex trauma survivor.

A combat soldier’s hyper vigilance will be all about the environment and can affect driving – as the trauma they endured was related specifically to this.

As a complex trauma survivor having severe, multiple, interpersonal trauma/abuse, my hyper vigilance is about environment – but so much more than that.

My main hyper vigilance is about people – and the constant need to work people out, looking for danger from people and constantly assessing their mood, tone of voice, body language, is what they are saying, conflicting with something else?

Hyper vigilance is about far more than environment and it is something I do and have done since childhood.

Hyper vigilance, and the constant need to assess people as well as environment, is as much of what I do instinctively, as breathing.

I don’t know any other way, I don’t have a pre-trauma me.

But, it is also so skilled, it is

accurate discernment and I pick up red flags

in people’s behaviour and

heart motives with skilled accuracy.

I know some people, more than they know themselves. My husband says I know him better than he knows himself.

I consider hyper vigilance a gift – it kept me alive and it kept me from permanent damage and it has been very useful, in working out people recently.

Yes hyper vigilance is exhausting, but it has it’s uses, so I look at it as a positive in my life.

I wouldn’t be here now, if my hyper vigilance wasn’t so highly skilled.

It is good to look at the positives of some things, rather than focus on the negative.

I praise God for hyper vigilance and I know it kept me alive.

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

11 thoughts on “Hyper vigilance, is different for complex trauma survivors.

  1. Pingback: Hyper vigilance, is different for complex trauma survivors. | justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis

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  4. I still have trouble recognizing some of the symptoms of PTSD in my life and would love some better examples and information about symptoms. I hate the feeling of sheer panic and feeling scared to death for no reason that comes over me for what seems like forever. when you are given the label–you aren’t told which things are part of the diagnosis and I am tired of guessing.

    • One helpful bit of advice a friend who also has CPTSD gave to me was to pay attention to the times of day and day of the week that you experience fear. For me sometimes evenings are a trigger because that’s when family was all home at the same time and there was greater chaos and the ‘rules’ of behavior that I was expected to play changed at this time.

  5. I am always told, I am to judgemental. I am usually right about people. I look in their eyes. They say so much. It is a nerve racking part of my life. I don’t want to be hurt. I would rather walk away from those I deem unworthy. I can relate.

  6. Omg this is exactly how hyper vigilance affect me I think over the years I’ve became a pro at sensing something is wrong trying to work someone out in the first few minutes of meeting them although I try to avoid strangers reading body language noticing change in voice tone behavior etc a therapist said it’s a good thing in a way as it’s a way of keeping not just me but family safe

  7. You’re wrong about a combat vets Hyper Vigilance. My PTSD and Hyper Vigilance is rooted to my experiences as a front line soldier in Desert Storm. You quickly learn to break people down as quickly as possible, to know if they are friend or foe. And you needed to know that information YESTERDAY. Thoughts like, “That child is playing by rolling a tire…what’s in the tire, and when is the tire going to turn to me and my outfit.” “That person changed the side of the street when I did, are they going to change again, when I do.” and evaluating key stress points in voice and body language become second nature when assessing everyone

    • I can definitely see what you are saying and yes I can see making those immediate decisions about people and what they are doing/intentions etc, is so needed as a combat soldier.

      What I meant, although it may not have come across well so I apologise for that – is that my complex hypervigilance, is about learning people’s behaviours, mannerisms, facial expressions over time. I ‘learn’ people, what they do, what they say, what they are hiding, what their cues are for not telling the truth, changes in voice patterns, body language changes.

      This can only be learned by being in a relationship with them, as a friends, colleague etc.

      I too make fast judgments about strangers etc, like combat soldiers will, as part of my environmental hypervigilance. I notice everything around, what people are doing, when they look dodgy etc.

      But, my hypervilance, due to complex PTSD – is far more about people who are in my life.

      And this was a skill learned from being a child, due to being surrounded by so many abusive people. I had to learn this from being a child, to survive. I didn’t learn it in adulthood.

      I ‘learn’ everyone over time and often know them better than they know themselves.

      Lilly ❤