Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

The childhood complex trauma shame – of apologising, when you shouldn’t.


I was raised to be the child heinously blamed, shamed and abused. With my mother, I learned young to do whatever it took to reduce her anger, lesson the abuse, and end the silent treatment. Including, apologising for things that were not mine to apologise for. In fact, they were my mothers issues and responsibility to apologise for. And that never happened.

So, it set me up on a lifelong road of being the scapegoat. And taking the blame and responsibility, for things that were not mine. Not being allowed to show valid emotions. Having to tolerate all manner of toxic issues projected onto me. And just take it. Like a doormat.

And a lifelong road of apologising, when in fact there was no reason for me to apologise. And apologising for having normal reactions to being harmed or hurt. While the apology that should be given to me…… wasn’t. As always was the situation.

In fact, this is what happened with all the abusers. I had to do whatever it took, to reduce the harm that was always coming. To diffuse the abusers anger. I apologised continually to the psychopath. I would beg and plead. Do whatever he wanted. Say whatever he wanted. Sometimes it worked to reduce his rage and anger. Other times, it fed his sick need to hurt me. But, it was my only hope of getting hurt less.

I’m aware this was all a survival mode. But, I always hated myself inside for having to do this. It fed my shame. It’s sad how much toxic shame has pervaded my whole life.

I did this recently, with my counsellor. I know why. I’d rather take the blame for a situation I had every right to be angry about. But, I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to be angry. So, rather than face ongoing rejection, abandonment, grieving………. I caved. And apologised. In fact, I am ashamed to realise, I begged for forgiveness.

And it worked. It was the only way she would talk to me. And then she wasn’t angry with me. Just like with my mother.

There is a level of self hate, that always churns within me, when this happens. And even more so, now I know what I am doing. And why.

The fear of abandonment, loss and grieving……. is greater than the fear and reality of being blamed, shamed, apologising and begging for forgiveness.

This reminds me of lyrics from Lana Del Rey’s – Ride. Where she pitifully begs not to be abandoned…..

“Don’t leave me now
Don’t say good bye
Don’t turn around
Leave me high and dry”

You’d think after five years of ‘processing complex trauma’ – I’d be past this by now.

Clearly not.

These wounds, patterns of behaviour and complex trauma wounds, run very deep. And I know from considerable experience dealing with my mother, when you cave in and give the person what they want, accept responsibility – they of course – go along with it.

I am trying to sit with these self disgust, self hate, and self loathing emotions. I’m trying to tell myself, that there are reasons why I do this. And they were all created by my mother. And I never deserved a mother as heinous as mine.



I’m trying to have that self compassion I always tell everyone else we deserve.

Trying. Not really succeeding right now. But trying.

~ 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

8 thoughts on “The childhood complex trauma shame – of apologising, when you shouldn’t.

  1. Excellent blog post Lilly Hope Lucario, these wounds do indeed run deep, and can bubble up unexpectedly in circumstances we wouldn’t expect, however as you are aware of them then it is still processing appropriately. It is good to read you are not letting yourself get down about it. I enjoy reading your blog as you are so passionate and knowledgeable. I hope you have a good day / evening. Stephen.

  2. Oh, I so know where you’re coming from. I spent 51 years of my life trying to put right what I’d done wrong, when I hadn’t done anything wong in the first place. My mother always made me feel guilty and need to apologise for the things she had done. Only slowly learning to do things differently now that she’s been dead for several years. Hang in there. Hugs.

  3. This article has spoken of me. This is my story. I understand. It is difficult to go through life as half a person. Formed by the hand of others. The potential I had, but it has all been stolen from me. Most days I don’t want to live anymore. But because of my faith in God, that keeps me living. I walk around with a broken heart and soul. Why this is my purpose I will find oneday in his great beyond. Right now I am angry with them all for chipping away at me. For picking my comfort zone and getting children like him. They watched me be the scapegoat and continue the abuse. A far different family I dreamed of as a child. But I married young before I knew I had baggage to deal with. God bless you for sharing your journey.

  4. I’m so sorry that things are so hard for u.Yes it does seem at times 2 me as well that healing is a never ending process,but when I look back a few yrs I can see huge progress has been made from where I was,& now when I’m having a tuff time it usually dosen’t last as long as it once did.DBT skills have helped & slowly accepting that my mother will never be the person I need.I’ve also found healing in realizing that I’ve been surrounded by alot of highly toxic people for along time,& am now having the strengh to distance myself from them & put in better boundries.I have found ur blog,facebook, & website tremendously helpful & they are something u should be very proud of.I had only recently been diagnosed with CPTS when I found ur facebook etc,& everything I’ve read is so relevant to me & spot on.I have also been diagnosed with BPD yrs ago, did do DBT which has been very helpful & lifesaving BUT I do not feel that diagnosis is correct at all,& in alot of ways I never did.Some of my treating professionals agree with this,& others stick to the diagnosis but agree its more CPTS.Its important to me as I’ve had some very nasty experiences with toxic people using the diagnosis of BPD agaisnt me & trying to claim my version of the abuse thats happened to me can’t be trusted because of the BPD diagnosis.My mother in particluar.Also when I try to stand up for anything that’s wrong or won’t let certain people unsupervised contact with my kids as they are either not capable of caring for them or unsafe people,some people try to discredit my claims because of the BPD diagnosis.I just don’t want the same things to happen to my girls,that happened to me.They are only 5 & 7.My older daughter has high functioning autism as well & it’s because of this I feel she could be targetting especially by the dangerous people that have hurt me.Sorry abit off topic with my little rant,but I feel this is perhaps a place that I can honestly talk about this.I do know alot of borderlines,& while I don’t dislike them I don’t feel I’m much like them other then when I get overwhelmed I can get suicidal quickly & thoughts of self harm,though I have not selfharmed for 10yrs,& yes the DBT was very good for that.Also having my children as well.

  5. There are SO many apologies I wish I could erase from history. I get pissed off because abusers take my spirit that listens to rebuke in sincerity, and try to make it something I regret.

    Being a good man is painful with so many liars and jerks around. Maybe I would be stronger if I had been raised by loving parents. Still, other’s evil is not mine to apologize for. God will hold them responsible in the end.

  6. I can relate to everything in this post.

    To be safe I’ve done a lot of apologizing, groveling, demeaning myself and pacifying abusers.

    Afterward it eats at me and I end up hating them and myself.

    But the threat of rape or other abuse feels so overwhelming that I can’t respond any other way than appeasing them.

    However, because I know that my apologies, groveling etc are completely fake, I sometimes feel like I’ve successfully manipulated them instead of the other way around.

    I feed the abuser a load of crap about my being sorry etc and they buy it and then they calm down or back off which means I played them and got them to do what I wanted.

    I’ve watched them trying to figure out if my apology is sincere or not. Drives them crazy. Well, right back at ya bitch is what I think to myself. Gotcha!!!

    It’s a way of dumping their crap back on them.

  7. OMG! You told my story! I am 55 years old, been in therapy for years, knew I had PTSD but really thought I had worked through it and THEN woke up one day in Trauma Mode and I feel stuck because I don’t understand why. I found myself a good trauma therapist who is working with me using EMDR and I’m aware I’m in a relationship that triggers stuff in me but I can not understand the many things I’m experiencing in spite of what I know as reality and truth about myself. I will be reading more and following your blogs. I hope we can truly heal from our nightmares.

  8. I have faith you’ll get past it. Being aware of it helps.