Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

I don’t have a ‘pre-trauma’ identity. So I’m developing my identity.


A lot of trauma survivors, talk about how they miss who they used to be. They miss their ‘pre-trauma’ self/identity.

For many of us, however, who were severely abused from a very young age, we don’t have a ‘pre-trauma’ identity. This is something people will not fully comprehend, unless they have personally endured this.

Part of my healing process, is building my identity. A healthy identity. My real identity. The real me.

Not based on the trauma and abuse. Because I am not what was done to me. I am all I have overcome, all I continue to overcome. I am all the courage required and all the inner strengths and virtues I have – despite all the abuse.

I am also not what anyone else thinks I am. I am not all the nasty, bitchy, abusive things said to me. I am not all the negative voices and their opinions, from the past.

I am focussing on all I really am.


My counsellor opened a can of worms several weeks back, with this focus on ‘what I am, what I am not’. She’s smart, wise woman. She knew I had to deal with this.

So, I am working on, and focussing on, ‘all I am’ – without all those voices from the past chiming in. If and when those voices start arising, I’m ignoring them.

I am working on ‘all I am not’, again with no interference from anyone else’s opinion.

I am building up my understanding of my healthy, accurate, identity.

Who I really am.

I see how this is a much needed part of my healing journey. I see how this is a much needed part of healing complex trauma, especially for those who had no ‘pre-trauma’ identity.

I hope for anyone reading this who may relate, sees they can build an identity, through the soul searching and inner journey needed, to really find out who we are, what our strengths and weaknesses are. And learn to ignore the lies, we heard all too often, from toxic, abusive people.

~ 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

14 thoughts on “I don’t have a ‘pre-trauma’ identity. So I’m developing my identity.

  1. Sometimes I do miss the person I used to be, but I don’t think hat person was the real me, because I realised there is more to me than that person I once was.
    I’m on a self discovery path, where I am trying to get to know the new me and find out what I really like and don’t like. And this person is a lot smarter and wiser than the old me, and yes some people have a problem accepting that, and therefore you no longer fit in the box, you’re outside the box, but you know what… I kinda like the new smarter me!

    • It is a courageous path – the path of self discovery and it takes guts, honesty and inner strength.

      I realise I do not fit in the box many people are in and that’s okay. If they don’t accept or understand who we are, then this is their issue, not ours.

      I’m not afraid anymore, so I don’t need to conform and I am okay with not ‘fitting in’, or being understood.

      I too see I am a smarter, wiser person now, through this self discovery journey and I am so glad for you being this too!

      Lilly ❤

      • Thank you for being an inspiration in so many ways, expressing your inner thoughts like you do.

  2. I am so happy for you, especially that you have the person to help you on your journey that God knows you need. It is hard when we are challenged out if all we’ve ever knew. I am so happy you are able to find you!! I, know one day I will get there, perhaps I am doing it along with all the memories that arise. (Memories of trauma from childhood are a BITCH!!) however I also believe that my memories are only coming put because I am finally finding a safe place and person to go along with me on my journey. I don’t know about you, but I think my counselor is a God send, truly a gift from God to help me make sense, or to push me in the direction the Holy Spirit is leading me to go. This is why I know me having the Christian Counselor I do is so exactly where I need to be. Thank you for your openness and willingness to share your journey as you do. I emphasize with you on so my levels. I know trusting people is one of the hardest things to do when you had NO ONE to lean on growing up, and this occured over and over and over again until one becomes what they are told to become. To Survive. Yet, I see you my friend are on this healing path and becoming a warrior, a helper, a confidant open book to help those who have yet to find their voice. Thank you my amazing sister in Christ. I will talk with you again soon. Be blessed in discoverING the real You God created you to be…for you are God’s madterpiece!! One of the thousands of wise things my Mentoring Counselor has shared with me to help me is when I fuck up, to remember to be gentle on myself…..I am not Bad, I am Just Learning and my journey is mine alone. And it will take as long as necessary for me! Be blessed in your self- discovery and many gentle hugs sent your way. Love, Liz

    • Thank you so much for your lovely reply ❤ ❤

      Yes, I believe we are on this journey, to know what God sees us as, who He created us to be and He heals us through this process. And we are blessed with counsellors who help us through this journey. I don't think I would still be here, if it wasn't for mine. That is how much God loves us!

      You are not bad, you were never deserving of any abuse, and this journey is not easy. I screw up and have to sort through that. It's okay. We are healing trauma and wounds, we should never have endured.

      Our journeys all take as long as they take, and this is a message I continually share with others. There is no timeframe. Just step by step, each day at a time.

      Much love and blessing, my sister in Christ ❤ ❤

  3. Seriously, this problem haunts me. I see my friends talking about their history and good times with their families. I can’t relate. My history is ugly so I pretend I don’t have one.

    • I understand how hard it is, to come from a highly abusive, dysfunctional family and to have had your entire childhood harmed in so many ways.

      I am happy for people who have great childhoods and great connections with their family.

      But, it does feel understandably sad, to have not had this ourselves.

      It’s okay and needed, to know what we endured, was never okay. We need to grieve that.

      Lilly ❤

      • I started my healing journey 3 yrs ago at age 50 and have just come across your website tonight. Thank you for all that you write, I have cried so much just reading words that I could have written and realising that I am so ‘normal for someone that has been treated abnormally’. ‘No pre trauma identity’ has just put into words exactly what I have struggled with all my life. Keep on writing it is so important for CPTSD sufferers like me to be able to identify with other survivors. Thank you

      • I am so glad the blogs have been helpful for you 💜

  4. I can relate to this so much. I look back at the person I was and I am only just realising which bits of her are really real, or are coping mechanisms or learnt behaviours from my childhood sexual abuse. How comforting to know that we all have to embark on this journey. Personally, I don’t miss the old me at all. God is in my life now and that is irreplaceable!

  5. Hey there,

    I’m entering the stage of beginning to build an identity. There isn’t anything other than flimsy layers formed in a traumatic, neglectful environment. This article reminded me that the emptiness I feel inside where my hopes, dreams, values, warmth, connection etc. should be is due to not getting those things or being supported in discovering them. Literal dark spots in my brain. What I’m wondering is, how are you going about this process exactly? I see no mention of it made in the article.


  6. thank you for speaking to this painful truth. I am also one who does not have pre-trauma identity. I literally pee-ed my pants rocking and cringing in a fetal position one afternoon in a workshop when the leader invited us to return to a time of innocence before pain and trauma. Yeah, most people don’t get it. I’m currently in a stage where I can tolerate minimal amounts of positive affirmation. My nervous system starts into shock — shaking, toning, kriyas (yes my kundalini spontaneously activated as a youth through trauma). I’m 48 and am in therapy, Dx C-PTSD w/ dissociative features, but haven’t had anyone propose building an identity. It’s an interesting concept.

  7. Lily, thank you. This is what I needed today. I am at such a low point. I have been realizing the far reaching affects of trauma from my childhood and more recently in an abusive marriage. I have been feeling discouraged because realizing that I have struggled because the people who were supposed to care for me did not has not helped me understand what to do to help myself. So much that I read describes the affects of trauma. What I need is ideas about how to overcome those affects. Your blog has helped give me a good starting point. Focusing on who I am and finding my own inner voice separate from the meanness of others that I have internalized is a good place to start. Thank you.