Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


Getting Back To My Healthier Routine ~ Lilly Hope Lucaro

Until I heard my mother had died, I was in a really healthy routine, where I spent a lot less time on social media and my blog, and a lot more time filling my day with healthy healing activities.

I was in a routine of going to yoga & guided meditation twice a week, pilates once a week, my volunteering with people with disabilities and my weekly therapy.

When I heard about my mother, my routine changed. I didn’t feel up to going to any exercise classes. I kept going to volunteering – because I didn’t want to let them down. And I’ve gone to therapy as normal.

Plus, there were issues that needed to be resolved with my husband and his parents, and that went a lot better than I expected. So, that was such a relief.

I am really tired, and although I have already grieved my mother, as in all the abuse, who she was that I endured, the mother I should have had – but didn’t. I’ve been grieving all that for the last 5 years. And I had got to the stage of no longer feeling angry and hurt, before she died. Which was probably good.

So, whilst I haven’t fallen apart, I know my routine has gone out the window, I’m back on social media too much, and I’m really tired.

I know I need to get back into my healthier routine. Next week, I’m going back to yoga, meditation and pilates. I will wean myself back off too much social media use.

The good part of all this, is I have used the time I’m back on my laptop – to write out some great articles, that are helping many, and will be going into my book. So, at least I’ve used this, for good. Continue reading


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12 Profound Ways Child Sexual Abuse Impacts Survivors ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Child sexual abuse, is heinous abuse, and no child should ever be subjected to this. it destroys childhood, steals the child’s innocence and creates specific life impacting issues, that continue on into adulthood.

If the wounds of child sexual abuse are not processed and healed, the impact will continue harming the survivors, throughout their adulthood.

1. The Sexual Abuse Often Occurs With Emotional And Psychological Abuse, At The Same Time

Sexual abuse often occurs with other forms of abuse, at the same time. So the survivor is dealing with multiple forms of abuse. As a vulnerable child.

Emotional/psychological abuse often co-occurring are threats the child to keep quiet and denial of the abuse, being doubted. Family members may also demand the victim keep quiet ‘for the sake of the family’. The perpetrators and others – may blame the child for the abuse. This sadly occurs a lot.

When I hear non insightful people talk about e.g. emotional abuse being worse than child sexual abuse, I note they are failing to understand these abuse types occur together, and so therefore, this invalidation of the impact of child sexual abuse, all too often occurs and is re-traumatising.

2. Victims Are Often Not Believed/Doubted

This is something that occurs frequently. If the child tells someone the abuse is occurring, they will often be told they are lying, or exaggerating. Which is further abuse. Often the perpetrator will have created and manipulated a situation, where the victim will be doubted if they do speak out. The perpetrators and others may deny the abuse, will claim the victim is crazy, an attention seeker.

This act of invalidating, denying and not being believed, is more trauma and abuse. And this can profoundly affect how the survivor feels about themselves, and will create such deep levels of distrust. Which is an understandable consequence of being sexually abused, and then not believed.

I liken this to ‘sticking the knife in (the sexual abuse), and then twisting the knife (not being believed).

3. Thinking Sex Is All The Survivor Has To Offer/Promiscuity

Child sexual abuse survivors, often go on into adolescence and adulthood believing sex is all they have to offer other adults. Their self worth can be so low and they believe that is all adults wants for them.

Promiscuity can occur, where the survivor continues to seek out attention in unhealthy ways. This can be dangerous and lead to the survivor being abused and traumatised again.

Some survivors subconsciously seek to repeat the trauma of the sexual abuse. This is explained well by Dr, Bessell van der Kolk – a world leading trauma expert. His book that discusses this, is on my Website list @

https://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/book-recommedationsresources

There are survivors who completely shut down and avoid any sexual contact, due to the fear and anxiety being so great and debilitating.

It can also lead to gender identity problems, and confusion about sexual preference.

4. Shame, Guilt & Self Hatred

Often survivors of child sexual abuse, feel dirty, damaged, unlovable, repulsive.

A huge shame issue can result from the child being confused as to why they may have enjoyed some of the abuse. Our bodies can respond to sex, sometimes even within abusive situations. In fact, predators and paedophiles, often groom the child in a way, that the child feels what is occurring is pleasurable. And being a child – they are more easily manipulated. This can create deep levels of shame. A survivor needs to begin to understand that no matter what the child was feeling at the time of the abuse, it was still child sexual abuse, was absolutely wrong, and was 100% the perpetrators responsibility. Continue reading


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11 Ways Child Abuse Survivors Emotionally Self Harm ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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There is a fairly good understanding in society about physical self harm – such as cutting, burning etc.

But, there isn’t anywhere near as much insight and understanding, as to all the many ways child abuse survivors – emotionally self harm.

The following are ways survivors of child abuse – harm themselves. Often completely unaware they are self harming. It is often not a deliberate act of self harm.

When considering whether a behaviour or thinking is harmful, it is necessary to look at the result of it. Is there something negative occurring, as a result?  If there is, and the survivor keeps repeating it, then this is emotionally self harmful.

I want to make it clear prior to anyone reading this – there is no judgement about any of this. I am simply pointing out what I see are understandable – but unhealthy ways child abuse survivors harm themselves. And only in identifying these, can a survivor choose to change and heal. Continue reading


People Understandably Cope In Different Ways – That Doesn’t Mean They Always Give Good Advice ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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People cope with trauma, abuse and child abuse – in many different ways.

~ Some drink and use alcohol to self medicate.
~ Some isolate themselves completely, to avoid any more harm.
~ Some work too hard, to keep their minds busy and off the trauma.
~ Some get really angry and stay angry.
~ Some blame themselves for the abuse.
~ Some suppress all the trauma and think they are strong warrior survivors.
~ Some think forgiveness is the ‘be all and end all’ to healing.

And there are many others too.

I totally understand and have compassion for anyone using these ways to cope.

I understand people are doing the best they can at this time.

But, where I have issues – is when people using these ways of coping – then tell everyone else they should be doing the same. When that is very unhealthy advice.

I see this occurring a lot.

The ways people cope, are very understandable – but often not healthy, or promoting healing.

There is a lot of bad advice out there, about what is required for healing.

And I see this all the time. Which saddens me, because people are believing it.

And there is a lot of shaming goes on too.

That’s not what I want for anyone.

In challenging the unhealthy advice given – I am showing compassion – because my motivation for doing all I do – is for people to heal and move towards better lives.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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You Know You Are Healing From Complex Trauma – When You Don’t Internalise Toxic People’s Darkness ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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This toxic person – decided trolling a woman who has suffered so greatly, and then is grieving the death of her abusive mother – was the person to troll, abuse and harass. Which is a pretty disgusting thing for someone to do. But, that’s sadly how vile some people choose to be.

I always reflect on these situations – as to how I dealt with it and I am pleased with myself. I did not get remotely upset. I did not feel hurt or angry.

I just stepped back, looked at the actions of this toxic person, and placed the appropriate boundaries. I did not respond to her many emails. I did not react back. I’ve learned that toxic people don’t respond well to being told their actions are abusive.

And this is indeed – healing.

I no longer internalise toxic people’s darkness. That’s their shit to deal with. Continue reading


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A Cautionary Tale About ‘Healing’ Abuse, Child Abuse, Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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I see people who have similar attitudes to the one I had throughout my 20’s and 30’s. I believed I was so strong. I wonder if these people who sound so like myself before, are actually traveling the same path I was…

Suppressing it all, because it was so terrible and painful.

Until I could not suppress it any longer. And my brain and body began to break down.

‘That’ was when I began to heal.

What may look like someone is being ‘so strong, a ‘warrior survivor’, and the ‘poster child’ for healing……….. may in fact not be doing what they need to do to heal, at all. Continue reading


“We Don’t Like To Get Involved In Other People’s Business” – AKA – We Are Selfish To The Core & Don’t Want To Help Others

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My in-laws are visiting at the moment. My husbands whole family are narcissistic, dysfunctional and selfish to the core.

I’ve heard the in-laws make this statement many times “We don’t like to get involved in other people’s business”. But, actually what this really is – is they are utterly selfish, care only about helping themselves, have no compassion and no empathy for others.

Along with all their other delusional beliefs, they actually choose to believe they are ‘good people’ by ‘keeping out of other people’s business’.

Which is complete BS.

I see more and more how selfish people are, and the BS they tell themselves to justify it.

My in-laws refuse to ever look after their grandchildren, refuse to help their adult children in any way, and yet think they are ‘amazing grandparents’. They are not, at all. And there is no evidence to show they are good grandparents, at all. They are completely able to help out in ways many grandparents choose to. But, they refuse to. They have never been good parents or grandparents.

It is amazing just how bizarrely deluded some people are.

Personally, I find selfish people draining and horrible to be around.

They are a waste of space on this earth.

The good people on this earth – care about others and know that…

 Compassion is a verb

– it means you make an effort to help others. And you don’t have to ‘get into people’s business to help them. It’s not an ‘all or nothing’ situation. Continue reading


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So Good To Be Able To Help Teenagers In Need Of Support & Care ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

One of my 15 year old son’s friends, was recently chucked out of his home, by his abusive alcoholic parents. He is currently staying with another friends parents home, which I am so thankful for.

When I picked my son up today, I gave his friend a card, with a message inside saying we know he is going through tough times and we wanted him to know he is always welcome at our home too. I wrote our mobile numbers and said he could call us anytime. I also included $50 for him to use, because he left home with very little.

He told me he couldn’t accept the money, but I insisted and I could see he was getting emotional. It took every bit of strength in me to not cry. To know how this boy is feeling, the abandonment, the abuse and trauma he has already endured, has made me very emotional.

I also asked if he and the friend he is staying with, wanted to come with us to basketball at the police run centre we go to every Wednesday after school, and they seemed really keen on that. So that was good. I also said I would talk to the parents where he is staying, to see how we can help.

As I walked away, I could feel the tears starting to fall down my cheeks.

I don’t know the issues going on in this boys parents home, but whatever his parents issues are, they have treated their son appallingly. And abusively. And that is not okay and not justified by their own issues with alcohol.

I want this boy to know there are people who care about him, and for him to know 2 families care about him, is important to a teen who has endured abuse. Especially when the abuse is your own parents. Your parents are meant to be the people who love you, cherish you and protect you the most. Abusive parents fail at this completely. That has deep effects on the child/teen and the adult they become.

Then we called into a fast food place, to get some ice-creams, and a girl I used to care for when she was a young teenager, was outside the fast food place, looking really unwell. She works there after university. I asked her if she was okay, and she said she was ill and had just been told to go home. So, I offered to give her a lift home and said to her she could phone me any time if stuck like that again. Her mum is a single mum, and has lots of problems associated with horrible divorces. When I used to care for this teenager girl and her siblings, she used to tell me all her problems and confide in me. She told my in-laws who were in the car, that I was the person who “helped her most when she was sad and I was like her therapist”. I nearly started crying again. It was clear I was an important part of her life, for the 4 years I cared for her after school and in the holidays. She gave me huge hugs when we got to her house. Continue reading


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Have I Already Cried Enough Tears, Grieved Enough About My Mother? ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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I know my mothers death is affecting me more than it appears. I haven’t cried. I don’t feel angry. I don’t feel sad. I feel nothing.

But, I know it’s affecting me.

I’m on the internet and social media more than I was.

I’m blogging more than I was.

I’m exhausted and that’s getting worse each day.

I didn’t sleep well last night. Despite medication.

All signs that I am struggling. But, without the emotions to go with it.

I’m getting emotional about anything else upsetting.

Like my son’s friend who is 15, being homeless because his alcoholic abusive parents chucked him out this week. Which makes me very angry. Poor kid. Such abuse and abandonment. Fortunately he is staying indefinitely with another of their friends, who’s parents have so kindly taken him in. Which I am so grateful for And I’m going to talk to them tomorrow, to see how I can help. I have a card to give him too, with a message of how is welcome anytime at our place. If he needs anything, to let us know. And some money in the card. I just want him to know there are people who care about him and his wellbeing.

I’ve cried at how this teenager must be feeling. Several times.

I cried at the news about Manchester and the terrorism that claimed so many lives and traumatised many more.

I’ve cried about a story of animal cruelty I read.

But, I cannot cry about my mother. I wish I could and just get over with already. Continue reading


Drinking On A Wednesday ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

For some time now, I rarely drink alcohol. I used to rely on alcohol to cope, relax. But, I got that situation under control. I only drink maybe once a month. And then only on a weekend. And just 2 glasses of wine. I can’t remember the last time I drank more than 2 glasses.

But, today I have been craving wine.

And I guess with my mother dying, I’m allowed.

One glass is okay right……..?

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(Please note – I am not advocating for alcohol to be used to cope. I am simply grieving and just need to indulge myself this week). Continue reading