Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Reminding myself, there is no point in expectation of someone who lacks capacity for empathy.


When dealing with a journey with so much abuse and trauma, it is normal and appropriate to want those closest to us, to care about what we have endured. And offer kind words, when we need them. When they don’t, it’s hurtful (again normal emotions) and perpetuates the lifelong issues, of those we love not having any compassion or empathy, when we truly needed them to.

So, when dealing with people who clearly lack empathy (even if they don’t realise it), it is helpful to remember, not to expect empathy from someone who lacks capacity for it. Some people are very limited in their ability to see other people’s pain, have any empathy and it is always healthier, to not expect anything from them. Some people can’t even offer sympathy. And some turn every conversation, into being about themselves.

Expectation, of emotionally/EQ limited people, is a futile and emotional waste of time. That can, if you allow it, cause a lot of hurt. Because, they truly do not care. For whatever reason.

Good, healthy, emotional boundaries are needed. And an ongoing understanding – their lack of empathy – is their issue and not to take to take it on board, not absorb it.

Don’t expect support, care, thought, sympathy, empathy, or compassion, from someone unwilling, or unable to offer them.

Even if they expect all this, from you.

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.

2 thoughts on “Reminding myself, there is no point in expectation of someone who lacks capacity for empathy.

  1. I didn’t receive any either. Even now if I get any it is from my therapist and that seems weird…I cant let it in…I just quickly notice the oddity and move on….fearing the vulnerability.

    • Yes, I understand finding empathy from people weird. It confuses me when it happens. Not that it happens often.
      I am aware when fake compassion is being shown, and I always have feel the red flags when I know it’s not genuine.
      But, on those occasions when it feels genuine, I struggle.
      My counsellor was visibly upset once, with tears when I was dealing with a really painful part of my past. My immediate reaction was confusion, then a need to want to comfort her and I felt bad that I’d upset her.
      Which is typical for me.
      Plus, it does feel vulnerable to put yourself in a situation where empathy is shown. And that is so understandable and normal after complex trauma and abuse. ❤

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