Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

The day I realised, this journey is not an escalator up.


For decades, I have fought to not allow my past to affect me. Of course it always has, but I tried hard to not let it. Never played the victim, never wanted to think about it, and I don’t want to dwell in it.

I was doing great, but now I am not and I have to accept this is the way it will go.

Someone on my community page explained it well;

‘Grief is cyclical and healing from the effects of trauma is cyclical.

It’s not an escalator ride up, but a trek over winding trails, up and down hills.

You are headed in the right direction.’

I know I have assumed this will be an escalator up. But, it isn’t and I have to accept that.

But, in accepting that, I also have to accept all the people who have harmed me, have contributed to making me suffer, for the rest of my life. And that’s not something I want to have to accept.

These depressed and grieving feelings are going to keep coming back. And it hurts so badly. And I no longer feel suicidal, but that doesn’t make the emotions and pain hurt any less.

This is why people isolate, to avoid the triggers of hurt and harm by life and by people affecting you, triggering those deeply painful emotions. Avoiding them and being alone, is easier that dealing with more pain.

I do have joy and love in my life. My little boy just came up and wanted to hug me and then did his funny little chicken impression and he is adorably cute. And in that moment I was feeling joy, because my children are joy, they are beautiful gifts I often feel I don’t deserve and I love them deeply.

But, as soon as my little boy walked away, I felt instantly sad again, and I can’t hold on to any positive emotion.

I know, this is it.

I will have this repeating over and over, makes me feel more depressed, because I know I have already suffered too much. More than my share.

But, I was okay with that, as long as I could be on that escalator, constantly improving, looking forward to hoping I could help others to do the same.

Now I know it doesn’t work that way. There is no escalator, so all hope of the future and how I envisaged it would be, is gone.

And I know what I would be told; make the most of the ups and just ride through the downs.

For the rest of your life.

There is no other advice.

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

3 thoughts on “The day I realised, this journey is not an escalator up.

  1. We all deal with things differently. Certain things work for some, while not for others. It can be a long journey of trial and error to learn the lessons we need to learn to live our lives as productively and meaningfully as we possibly can.

    Having experienced some pretty difficult times myself I found what helped me was to THINK about it. To grieve, to feel sad and sorry for myself, for a while. It was helpful to cry alot. It helped me to recover, and move forward. I have always cried when I felt the need, from a very young age. I cannot imagine the mental state I would be in right now if it were not for those many tears. The amount of pent up distress and anxiousness would leave me in a terrible state.

    When I think about this, I think that it is part of acknowledging where I was at that time. Rather than denying it, or hiding it, or resisting the pain I felt. I think when we hold it in, it makes us sick. You know that lump you get, in your throat, when you are trying hard not to cry. I think we have all experienced it. That is REAL physical discomfort! Surely doing that on a consistent basis is going to cause some health issues.

    When you say ‘I was doing great, but now I am not and I have to accept this is the way it will go.’ – How about accept this is how I’m feeling right now, though it wont feel like this forever!’ ?

    I think when people hurt us and abuse us, particularly when we are young – we cannot do anything about that. What has taken place in the past we cannot do anything about that either.

    What we can do, is concentrate on our own well being and create our own experience. There is no need for acceptance that we will ‘Suffer’ for the rest of our lives. Of course some of us may suffer for the rest of our lives – but not because of what other people have done to us (which we had no control over) We will suffer because we choose to.

    Right here and now, every minute of every day, there is a choice to make about how we decide to think about our past, our present and our future.

    We choose to think negatively and we choose to think positively and the sooner responsibility for that is accepted, we can go about making changes. (If we want to)

    This is not something that is easy, particularly if we have spent years and years of thinking negatively. But we can change our thoughts, hence changing our life experience. It takes practice and consistency.

    Like eating – if we do not exercise our body, we get out of shape. The same goes for our minds – If we do not learn to communicate with ourselves positively – we fall into negativity.

    Sometimes we need to reach out and ask for help.

    There is value in our difficult experiences. You know this already, as I read your about me blurb. Our experiences contribute to who we are. We can share our personal testimony with others and reduce their sense of isolation, provide comfort, helpful ideas and coping strategies. Share with the them the concept of choice, because we have one, and although sometimes we slip back into the pain, we can also choose to push through and shine bright too!

    There’s no shame, or right or wrong in either, but it sure feels better to do the work and be in a positive place contributing and creating change around us. 🙂

    Great blog, thoughtful and moving and very vulnerable.
    Thank you so much for sharing this, I very much appreciate it.

    Miss Lou

    • Hi Miss Lou,

      Thank you so much for your reply and the time you have taken to write this ❤

      I agree with most of what you say and crying is something I do because I know suppressing it makes it worse. I spent decades suppressing it, resulting in severe complex PTSD and severe depression and a breakdown last year.

      The only part you have said that is not always the same for everyone, is whether this is a choice. PTSD, is not a choice, it's involuntary, so the triggers – emotional and visual are not a choice. I work really hard on managing all my symptoms, and I have done well in this. The depression and grieving, are also not a choice, it's something I have to do and if I could feel differently I would. The only choice I have, is either suppress them, or deal with them, so I choose deal with them.

      I have been really positive in my attitude towards healing and been deeply committed to my therapy over the last 9 months and I know this shows positive thoughts, don't fix severe complex PTSD. But courage and strength and prayer will get me through it.

      What this post is an acceptance of – is that I am not going to just keep improving in my healing and then I'll be done. This journey is far more complex and will be ups and downs and it could be this way for a very long time, possibly a lifetime. Which was not what I envisaged would happen.

      So I am probably grieving this realistic acceptance too.

  2. 🙂 Thank you also for the time taken to respond.

    I had a very challenging childhood, filled with abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence and drug use.

    My mother died at the age of 16. All very traumatic and all have their associated pains and memories,

    At 17 I had a car accident and almost died. Hospitalized for 4 months, I was unable to walk. It took 18 months to get on my feet. The doctors made some serious errors. One result of that was a severe health anxiety disorder.

    The anxiety [Also described as PTSD variation of some description by my Clinical Psychologist] became terrible. I thought I was dying most of the day and become agoraphobic.

    After years of on again, off again anxiety attacks, I eventually saw a Clinical Psychologist.
    I learnt a range of strategies, dealing with the ‘unreasonable’ thoughts I was having. Most effective CBT.

    Once I understood I controlled my thoughts, I was empowered to generate different thoughts, hence resulting in a different experience. A more positive one.

    If we can train our minds to think negatively, (LEARN to think negatively) we can REVERSE this and train our minds to think positively.

    There have been numerous scientific studies that support this.

    Although initially it very much felt like I was a victim and suffering, not able to see an end in sight, I now believe it is a choice and my personal experience demonstrates this.

    A presentation by Dr. Caroline Leaf, was supportive of this concept which although had a spiritual foundation, also provided very strong scientific basis:

    ‘We cannot control the events and circumstances in our lives. We CAN control our reactions’
    There is a science about choice.

    We choose our thoughts and our reactions to those events and circumstances we cannot control.

    I do agree it is a journey, one that goes up and down and all over the place and I wouldn’t change any of my personal experiences – painful or otherwise.

    I’ve grown as a result and feel there is value in all experience good or bad. Our personal testimony is a powerful tool that can contribute to great change – both in our own lives and that of others who have been through similar experiences. (An example of choosing to think positively)

    Miss Lou