Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Someone Saying “I Am Proud Of You” – Is Still Confusing ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


Over the last few months, I have been really struggling, as I processed through the issues in my marriage and the reality of who I married and all I have endured. It has been incredibly painful. I feel my emotions and grieving – deeply. Processing this (hopefully) last piece of the lifetime of trauma I have endured – has taken me beyond my capacity to cope and close to suicide.

Over the last week, I did what I always do – and pulled myself back out of that pit of hopeless depression and pain, and started to make efforts to deal with it all and start to focus on healthy things that will move me back towards hope and the light at the end of the tunnel.

My counsellor has been pretty good at accepting the level of pain I have felt at processing the trauma I have endured for the last 16 years. For as much as she is able, she has validated the abuse, the trauma, the suffering it has caused. And – unlike in the past – she has not challenged me for using terms like ‘narcissist’ – because basically I told her not to. I get that she (as a therapist/doctor) cannot call someone a narcissist – but I can – and I will not be told this is wrong, or shamed for it. As long as I don’t do anything harmful to abusers (which I don’t), or wish them anything bad (which I don’t) – then my counsellor or anyone else, does not get to tell me what I call abusers. And I think she finally gets that now.

My last appointment went better than the one prior to that. Two weeks ago, I left in tears, because I was in a really bad way. I was past my capacity to talk. I just needed to feel the pain, feel the emotions, and just lie down, watch TV, and just get through each day.

But, this week, the appointment went far better. By then, I had pulled myself out of the dark, hopeless pit and decided what I needed to start doing, to improve my physical and mental health. And move towards the life I want – of being strong enough to heal some more, feel healthy, train for a job, find a job, and gain back my independence.

I told my counsellor what I was doing. I had offered to volunteer at a police run organisation, where youth programs are offered. And as a result of offering to volunteer – I get free use of the gym and all exercise classes. Which is truly amazing – as I was concerned as to how much it would cost. It is such a blessing to get it all free.

During this conversation, my counsellor said ‘I am proud of you’. And said something about my strength to pull myself out of the dark pit, and start focussing on improving my life.

When she said ‘I am proud of you’ – I felt immediately confused and I know I looked down at my hands. It still feels really weird for anyone to say that to me. I didn’t really know how to react. And I’m not sure how I did react. I don’t know if I said ‘thank you’  or if I verbally responded at all.

proud of you 2


No-one during my childhood or adulthood, ever told me they were proud of me. I’ve never been around decent or healthy people. All the significant relationships I have had, have been with toxic, personality disordered, and/or abusive people. And yet despite this, I tell my sons I am proud of them all the time. I know the importance of hearing it, even though I didn’t have anyone say it to me.

The confusion I felt when my counsellor said it, shows how weird it is for me to hear it.  And I know it has flagged as something weird to me, because I keep thinking about it. I think people saying anything nice to me, that isn’t to get something from me, is weird for me. Still.

But, the fact that I can recognise this confusion, is good, And have a conversation with myself about it, why it feels weird and to just sit with the confusion, mull it over, and remember I do deserve nice things to be said about me – for no other reason than they are true.

I am strong and I should be proud of myself too. So, I’ll work on that.

~ 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

3 thoughts on “Someone Saying “I Am Proud Of You” – Is Still Confusing ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

  1. For those of us who have been abused having had emotional, psychological and physical abuses, we have endured years of negativity in our lives. When one is constantly put down one has a very low self-esteem and even less self-confidence. Then when someone actually compliments us, it is confusing for us to understand and accept. We simply don’t know how to respond, comprehend or react. We tend to deflect the compliment or praise. To this day I still have trouble to simply say, “thank-you” and believe in the compliment or praise.
    Peace and blessings to you Lilly.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I can totally empathise. It will be 10 yrs this year since I entered a ‘normal’ life and I have got much better at receiving compliments, ( although it is still difficult) but remember well the agony and uncomfortableness a word of affirmation caused in those early days.
    Take care.

  3. I know exactly what you mean. It’s such a foreign thing to hear, that we don’t know how to absorb it. I can remember the first time my therapist said something like my survival being impressive, and I just couldn’t understand why anyone would think what I went through was extraordinary. I did what I had to do to save my children, to leave the abuse. It never occurred to me that what I did was impressive or something to be proud of.