Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Why suppressing needed emotions about being harmed/abused, is so unhealthy ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

4 Comments

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I am someone who has been abused and treated badly, by many people. From childhood onwards. And until recently, I never allowed myself to feel the painful emotions about it.

Something I have learned from my journey, is each time I tried to suppress needed emotions about being abused, it made my life worse long term. And made the pain of those emotions when finally felt, so much worse.

And when I do allow myself to feel emotions as they arise, and I don’t suppress them, the processing of them, is less painful and far quicker.

Example…..

I pushed down my needed and healthy emotions about my mother, all my life. And I continued to do this in counselling. By the time I actually allowed myself to feel anger, disgust, repulsion, betrayal, sadness, grieving….. these emotions were so intense it felt unbearable. The reason I suppressed my feelings for so long, was due to shame of thinking so badly about my own mother. When in fact, that shame was not needed. The only shame that should be felt – was by her. And I also felt my counsellor would in some way think badly of me, for being so angry at my mother. I felt she would think I wasn’t being ‘compassionate’ enough. And yet it turned out, she didn’t think that at all. She felt my anger and pain – were totally appropriate for all the intentional suffering my mother caused me.

But, recently I had painful emotions and realisations about my siblings. And instead of pushing these emotions away, or feeling any shame for my emotions, I allowed myself to feel the anger, the betrayal, the hurt, the pain and the grieving. And it was a lot less painful than if I had continued to suppress it all and took a lot less time.

The emotions about my mother, took several years to deal with in counselling, due to my suppressing them.

The emotions about my sisters, took a few weeks to deal with.

Huge difference in time and depth of suffering, in dealing with these very appropriate and very healthy emotions.

Shame is often something that stops us from feeling needed emotions. Because I am a nice person – who never wants to hurt anyone, and doesn’t like speaking badly about people, and has struggled to stand up for myself……. I have spent 45 years suppressing emotions such as anger, hurt, disgust for abusers.

I was shamed by every person who abused me, and then I continued that shame to myself, in not allowing myself rightful and painful emotions.

So, this truly confirms to me……. suppressing, avoiding, minimizing painful, but needed emotions….. really is so harmful.

It hinders healing. Completely.

And now, whenever I see all the unwise ‘advice’ encouraging suppression of certain emotions, I see how dangerous, harmful this is.

And I also see how much ‘shaming’ goes on from others – who claim they are stronger for suppressing emotions. It isn’t stronger at all. Strength is in feeling all the emotions, dealing with the reality and full truth. And grieving it all.

This is why I strongly advise people completely ignore all advice, that encourages people to ‘get over it’, ‘don’t look back’, ‘don’t think of the past’ etc…… where there is no advice added to also deal with all the processing and grieving needed first.

There are times in life, when we have to push emotions away to cope, but this should not be a continual way to cope.

And, I also realise, the quicker we allow ourselves to process these emotions, the better.

~ 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.

4 thoughts on “Why suppressing needed emotions about being harmed/abused, is so unhealthy ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

  1. I remember a counselor asking me why I was so angry with my mother when it was my father who molested and chiefly abused us.

    Well–there was no particular betrayal from him, after the initial one of someone who is supposed to protect you, damaging you instead. He never pretended to like us. He certainly didn’t love us, wasn’t on our side, had no interest in us, beyond tormenting us. So with him it was pretty much what you see is what you get. But Mom was the only source of any positive feedback for us, the only one we really had any relationship with and she didn’t seem so enthralled with him, herself except for that he was a “good provider”. So for her to know what he was yet stay with him anyway for her own convenience was a real betrayal.

    I wish I’d had the wits to say that to that counselor, but that was half my life ago, and information was so scarce. He knew little, I knew less.

  2. I have felt shame for a very long time and sometimes still do, I didn’t have a normal childhood like others had, mine was dysfunctional in so many ways. Growing up with a narcissistic mother and verbally abusive. And luckily now I have a very good counselor whom I trust, but it is a long process to deal with all the pain and suffering you endured as a child. And I feel angry with my dad, because he didn’t do anything to save me from her abuse, he never said anything to my defense when she attacked me. And I have tried to bring this up with him now and he doesn’t want to talk about it because it was in the past!!
    But I am finally dealing with all the suppressed emotions and starting to live my life…one day at a time.

  3. Well said. Sociopaths and cult leaders know psychology. They actually intentionally reverse the order of things psychologically speaking, to instill paranoia, fear, obedience and mental illness in their victims. These dangerous personalities either intentionally ( and gullible people unwittingly) teach that it is somehow “wrong” or “unhealthy” or “socially unacceptable” to unravel one’s past and express healthy emotions in proportionate reality to what has occurred and crimes or injustice committed against oneself. Only full and appropriate expression of emotion (including honest anger and grief) can heal a person enough to start thinking critically once again. May God bless you for your words!

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