Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

The psychological, emotional twisting of the knife in the wounds, caused by non belief/doubting victims of abuse ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


Not being believed, can sometimes feel even more painful than the abuse itself. And I am not invalidating, or minimizing the affect and consequences of abuse, by making this statement, at all.

What I am doing, is describing how incredibly painful and devastating it is to not be believed.

The abuse itself, is horrific.

The pain of not being believed, of being neglected, the emotional and psychological destruction that non belief by others, after severe abuse, is even more horrific. Because it adds on top of the already massive weight of pain and devastation abuse causes.

They aren’t two separate issues. They are combined.

Non belief, is like having the knife twisted.

The abuse being the knife being stuck in, the non belief being the severe pain of the knife being twisted in the already deeply painful wound.

(This picture is only included – to emphasise the pain of this psychological abuse, that whilst it cannot be seen, is greater than the physical pain of physical wounds inflicted)

I am only recently coming to understand the deep psychological affect of not having people you need in your life to believe you, decide to not believe you.

I’ve dealt with this my entire life, from childhood.

I’ve had it recently, with a whole load of religious people, having various levels of non belief about abuse I was completely honest in exposing. None of them believed me at the beginning of this whole issue. I think I have a few believe me more now, after lies were told in the internal investigation report. But people still minimize it. For their own needs, not mine.

My advice to anyone dealing with a person who says they have been abused is…

If you choose to doubt them, not believe them, assume the truth is somewhere between what the accused says and what the victim says…..but the victim is being 100% honest – you are abusing the victim further – even if unintentionally.

If you choose to minimize what they have endured, support the abuser, then you are abusing the victim further – even if unintentionally.

If you choose to make assumptions, blame that victim in some way for what occurred, judge them, blame their mental health etc – and that victim is telling the truth – you are abusing them further – even if unintentionally.

We live in a society where it is ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

And also where is a victim is ‘lying/exaggerating unless they can prove the abuse 100%’.

There are many who will argue we need to have innocent until proven guilty and I agree, we do.

But, in the case of abuse victims – please know – this abuses and re-traumatises them repeatedly.

And ‘not guilty’ or not having enough evidence to prove the abuse 100% – does not mean the victim was lying. Or that the abuser is innocent – but society wants to view it that way.

And regardless of all the arguments for all this……..bottom line, it is devastating and is more abuse to the victim.

I know this, because I have been there. Too many times.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

All blogs written by Lilly Hope Lucario and subject to © Copyright Protected.

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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

16 thoughts on “The psychological, emotional twisting of the knife in the wounds, caused by non belief/doubting victims of abuse ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

  1. Incredible, insightful post – thank you.

    • I am thankful if anything I write, helps validate the emotions and pain others feel, or helps educate anyone about the consequences of emotions/psychological abuse, regardless of whether intentional, or not.

      I’ve dealt with non belief, invalidation and minimization of all I have endured, my entire life. It is devastating and very harmful to the healing process. .

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  3. So often I have heard from clients that no one believed them. This is a big issue, thank you for addressing it.

  4. I think it’s sad….we live in a society that will believe the abuser is “innocent until proven guilty”…but the victim is “guilty until proven innocent”

  5. It takes a huge amount of courage to expose abuse. To be looked at as a liar is worse.

  6. This is my life story too regarding family members, and is SO validating to read here JUST how devastating it is. It hits my self esteem, my sense of self, my sense of self trust and on and on. Your article helps because it makes it clear that this kind of disbelief causes wounds-‘twisting the knife’-while people may not intend to do harm to the victim, they DO harm them very much by their disbelief. If the original abuse makes you feel like you are crazy, and ‘what is wrong with me?’, this just reinforces all those negatives, and when you really NEED people to support you and show you that the world can be a safe place, they let you down. Thanks for the great article.

  7. I don’t think it matters how long you live the abuse is always with you. Not being believed is the worst form of abuse ever. Not being believed is very usual mainly around religious people.

  8. It is really difficult when people don’t believe you or they think you are making it worse than it really was. I have had this experience in my own life. It made me doubt myself and my reality. Better with it now but it was extremely painful.

    • Yes, it is more trauma when we are not believed, or are doubted, or have our pain/suffering/memories/emotions minimized etc.

      It has been a continual re-traumatizing issue throughout my adult life, due to abusive family and unsupportive people.

      I am glad you are better with it now.

  9. for 6 years i convinced myself or thought the abuse was just against me and she loved the kids…i guess i had to in order to exist under the same roof to try and protect the children…so i understand how everyone else can not believe it….Before abuse i was a person who believed the two sides to every story with a brain that didn’t want to exist in a life that had to think of such horror…i now believe that you can’t know unless you’ve lived it…i and my children have been to several therapists ,doctors ,lawyers, child protection service workers, family court judges ,,mediators…My first therapists were nice… but when looking for one for my son because his had left for a different position or job… i had given all my sons psych evals IEPs etc… when she told me she wasn’t right for my child he was 7 at the time 2 or so years ago .. she didn’t do play therapy and other very legit reasons… when explaining the abuse to her while picking my sons reports back up for her.. i don’t remember exactly what she said but she used a couple terms it might have been black and white thinking and another.. i had just started learning/reading walking on eggshells and bill eddy… But i in some way said You Know in some way and asked if she could be my therapist…. Just recently after 2 years together thru unbelievable on going abuse because even thou i was given placement and final say… the mother was given unsupervised visitation… until 6 months ago.. 2 years of childrens in home therapists ( who i came to learn are behaviorists) filing mandatory reports and the school filling reports finally the children pediatrician wrote a letter demanding in the most professional way she could to the forced unsupervised visitations… were awaiting a court date next month… but 6 months ago they issued a temporary order for supervised visitations with in two weeks my son from being tracked at school having 25 incidents a day of self abuse a dozen negative self statements several full blown crying tantrums this was a day…With in 2 weeks he went to maybe 1 small incident a day that was easily dealt with…Won an award for most improved student in 4 th grade was honored a at AAA baseball stadium game given a microphone infront of thousands on the field….went from a math level of a pre K..at 7% to a 70% above average 4th grade level… our 5 year old daughter was put in a pediatric partial program at a mental health hospital.. to now qualifying for services or yep or anything….
    Still i am constantly made to feel i am wrong to even mention the abuse… and am being dragged back into court again by her 5th pro bono lawyer…. I have been helped so much by online support such as here… its great because rarely do i write and grateful that i don’t have to because everybody is asking the same questions ( and so you know i never reread anything before i hit send because if i did i would never send anything)…. Having read many books and many great online support groups.. Still can’t find anyone local to discuss my favorite books … my favorites because even thou we all have so much in common still we are all different in many ways.. My personal difference than most of the written advice/ situations is that .. I was in a third world country and condoms were tempered with i was targeted there wasn’t the normal romance theres no co dependency and such… Anyway the great books (for me) are Gentling by William Krill and Just Like His Father by Liane Leedom ( i have learned and not be offended by having to change the She to He in most things written)….
    Trying to get back to my point of how this article triggered me writing because of the not being believed topic…
    Any way just recently my therapist because of a situation and i believe she was right because every situation is different… She told me in a professional way better than how i am going to try and say it… But she told me that she should not be telling me this and stressed how much she should not tell me and didn’t want to etc etc.. But I was in a real existence of being overwhelmed in the belief of nobody understanding unless they have lived it and i was being consumed by it ( these are my words)… She really had to tell me it was a perfect storm situation…” She knew because she lived it.” and gave me the simplest painless professional explanation of her exposure…. Now you would think that it might have an effect like confirming my fears of nobody knowing unless they lived it… But obviously i somehow knew from when i asked if she could be my therapist that she understood more than anyone i had met yet.( at the time i probably only thought she just read or studied more than the others)…But its not like it sounds or how I’m writing it .. At that moment i real needed a human being… Not for the validation or needing to be believed like this article…. I think my unbelievable incomprehensible crushing existence somehow backed her into a corner and she recognized that it had to be lifted in some sort of way even if just for the briefest moment to allow me just a breath…Sure there was my feeling good because somehow i recognized she understood at the beginning when i asked if she could be my therapist….But I’ve had a few moments when people many who can’t because of professions such as teachers or principals or a police officer and such who can’t say they believe you or they could be placed in a situation or accused of taking sides… But a few times people have found a couple of words to let me know they believe me and wish they could do or say something but can’t and i understand and they must see that and that allows them to just say that littlest of things at a moment when they can tell i really need it… It does not happen no where near enough and to any degree that really address the issue… But they were breaths of air before the next wave pummels me… i was a surfer/ski bum / carpenter..not book smart guy.. learned i was empath with target on me,, that like many males thought i could fix things.. i learned frog in water. what happened to me and how it happened and about circular conversations and projection and gas lighting etc etc… Ive learned no perjury in family court… Was told all i can do is best i can when children are with me… Document document document (kind of jaded by that one i got more texts videos school reports etc etc that in no way does anyone want to see or hear) I’ve learned anyone who kind of knows a little about this stuff knows to not get involved….But I’ve learned things that i can eventually find some way to pass to my children… I am thinking of making wallpaper with The 12 Rules of a Relationship.. and the 100 Red Flags of a Personality Disorder… and wish nothing more than my children being able to understand Healthy Boundries……please feel free to correct me… advise me…preach to the choir.. disect me…laugh at me….etc etc…. I defiantly feel like i should not hit send on a babbling rant like this …. every now and then children are asleep its friday night and this is me sort of dancing around not caring what anyone thinks.. ( and knowing what a terrible dancer/writer i am)…..Can anyone guess i only went to school cause i was athletic..and I’m 60 years old and7 years ago survived stage 4b terminal cancer (neck tonsil and base of tongue)…two years of chemo and radiation while being abused in ways no human could possibly believe….and it was the abuse that kept me alive….My luck comes from being the oldest of 4 raised by a single mom .. so i guess i got the skill set because i saw it everyday…. I am daring myself to hit send and i think its got to do with the fact (i left out) that two weeks ago the temporary supervised visits that HBTS home based therapists agreed to attend were stopped because she harassed and threatened workers after a shift and many outlandish reported and recorded incidents because… a month or so ago her new attorney and mine agreed to work together and two years of HBTS reports and several Child Protection mandatory reports were subpoenaed and 6 months ago when the temporary protection order was given she was found and charged with Neglect.. So all this documentation was given to her in black and white…. and to me i had seen reports when HBTS was at my house …I had managed to get each child 20 hours per week of HBTS home based therapy two years ago and i signed the daily reports that were at my house but never got to see when they were at her house.. Needless to say when i realized after being further schooled by what i was reading (didn’t think that was possible) … When i realized she was reading this also i can’t imagine the rage…I am scared maybe I’m writing this because of that and thats why my therapist probably had to tell me she truly understood… …………..I feel asleep its 5 am daughter joke woke me up.. But she fell back asleep … tempted to go back and read..what I’ve written …. but I know if i do i won’t hit send… My lawyer i know has tired of my babbling rants … and me attaching articles /liNkS to articles from support groups.. somewhere i think i forgot about how hard it is(in a way) dealing with the childrens HBTS home based therapy workers because I’ve come to learn/been told they are behaviorists … and have a protocol of goals and printed out sheets of commonsense stuff I’ve already read and tried its of times and when i try to inject the trauma ptsd Gentling from William Krill… I feel the I’m not cooperating .. children need routine and consequences…which i know is true .. and they have been a god send as far as witnesses and reporting what they observed….I’ve taken 16 week courses at mental health hospital The Incredible Years…basically a praise and ignore course… and 12 week course at autism organization and .. seminars on sibling rivalry ..etc etc…Non want to delve into the personality order types of abuse… Even the trauma organization are mostly sexual rape and for female type places….One male group was conducted in my area and 8 week course run by a pastor and was basically just about codependency….The other trauma places groups were all female and they kindly told me the groups weren’t a good fit for me ..all women….I can’t even get started about explaining how i was basically raped when she wanted sex..usually brought on by me saying I’m tied or worked hard….My life was reduced to one thing if i blinked or didn’t just instantly provide whatever…I was told she’s sick of this and taking the kids and leaving… Her mother was in on the extortion of my finances etc…So i had to live and survived if they got they children they would be toys for them…

    I can go and never stop. I’m gonna hit send

    • Thank you for sharing Victor and I am so sorry you have endured all this trauma. I am so thankful you have a therapist, to help you through all this.

      Lilly ❤

      • Thank you for taking the time to read…writing it was a helpful outlet..( i will go read want i wrote later tonight)…. this site is such a nice balance of information. perspective, advice,… it just boogles my mind how so many (is an under statement) people who work in the mental health, child protection/services.. courts etc .. dont know about this stuff.. and if they do know the dsm terms dont understand.. the constant barrage of you got to learn to not let it bother you.. shes just trying to get you upset…being told.theres nothing you can do theres no law against being a bad parent..
        It seems any person in any position that could do something about it… instantly focuses on your problem of being affected by it… not what happened or is happening…. this is another reason i dont usually write its like i cant stop ……again thank you for this site

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  11. Thank you for sharing! I don’t want to take anything from you by saying this, but this describes me too.