Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Developing The Belief That I Deserve To Live – For ‘Me’ & Not Only For Others ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


Sunset Woman

Something I have come to understand – is throughout my whole life, my existence has been dependent on what I am doing for others. I know why this happened. I was abused heinously in my childhood, and the parentification (the child is responsible for looking after the needs of the parent) abuse I endured, and being made responsible for my siblings, meant my whole worth was about what I ‘did for others’. This is how I was made to feel, by my mother.

Narcissistic parents, have conditional affection/approval. I learned in my childhood, my worth was purely based upon my mothers approval of what I was doing for ‘her’.

This meant I developed a ‘self worth’ belief system, that my existence was purely for being used and useful, to other people. I did not develop any awareness of my own worth – based on myself, or my needs.

I see clearly how this manifested in my adult life. I have been used and abused by many people.

Even though I have been working on my self worth, when I am overwhelmed and in too much emotional pain, I still revert to thinking my only reason for living is my children. I do have an awareness that I deserve to live for me, but when this is tested I realise the awareness/belief, is not deep enough.

I also realise, this is one reason why I have been so dedicated to my online work — to the point of being unhealthy and spending too much time online in the past. Because my online work gives me a purpose for living too. I am helping other survivors – again my worth – being connected in what I do for other people.

So, after processing my own trauma based beliefs and issues that still plague my life…… I also have come to realise – I need to develop a life that is lived for ‘me’. Not just for others.

I need to truly learn I deserve to live for ‘me’.

I need to truly believe my life is worth living for ‘my’ needs, ‘my’ joy and ‘my’ happiness too.

I need to truly believe that my worth for my existence – is not ‘only’ to care for, and being useful for others.

So, I am continuing with my photography, which I enjoy. For me. And I am continuing with caring for my physical and mental health needs, with e.g. my yoga, pilates and exercise classes. And trying to keep mindful, that I deserve this for ‘me’.

I won’t deny, it feels really weird. It is far more comforting place, for me to think I am doing this for others…. e.g. “I am getting fit, to be an even better mother”. I am doing photography, to hopefully be able to provide financially for my children”. “I do my work online – for other survivors”. Those things are indeed outcomes, but they cannot be the ‘only’ reason I am doing them. I need to be doing them for me too.

I know this is an essential part of my healing. I discussed it yesterday in counselling, and it was confirmed that yes…… I do need to start living for me, and not just for others. I realise my low state a few weeks ago, highlighted this issue. I told my counsellor – the only reason I had to live – was for my children. And it became very clear to me, this is an issue needing to be acknowledged and worked on.

It shows how profoundly these childhood abuse and trauma, can affect our lives.

But, with self insight and capacity to work out, acknowledge and deal with these issues, we can move towards healing these deep wounds.

And this is one area of healing I need, and I have no doubt other complex trauma survivors, will also need.

~ 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

2 thoughts on “Developing The Belief That I Deserve To Live – For ‘Me’ & Not Only For Others ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

  1. Thank you so much for writing this, Lilly. I recognise so much of this. I often tell my therapist that I try to hold on and go on for my nieces (I’m single, no children), my friends, for her even, but not for me. I know part of that stems from the idea that life hurts so much sometimes that I’d prefer it to be over, and I hold on cause I don’t want to make people sad. But I just realised when reading your blog that it’s also about selfworth. It helps to know that. Thank you so much. Josien

  2. My story is somewhat similar. My uncle abused my mother, aunts, his daughters, and me as well as his oldest daughter abused my brother. No one spoke about this in our family. I am now 48 and my anxiety and awkwardness has always been a part of me. I didn’t get confirmation with all of this until my mother died of cancer when I was 23. My aunt confirmed all my flashbacks and horrific nightmares. My home life was chaotic at best. Seeing my aunt and uncle shooting up, overdoses, drugs and partying and constant. Moving from place to place, sneaking out in the middle of the night because we couldn’t pay rent. Safety is an illusion for me. I was pregnant at 15 and with my boyfriend in jail and no ther means of support I stumbled into a relationship with a very caring man, he was 20 and I was 16. Later down the road this man became not so caring with addiction and verbal abuse and controlling behavior. Two children later and 23 years of trying, I was replaced by a 20 year old that my middle son went to high school with!!! I am now married again. And it’s been recently very challenging. I feel so deeply I am better off alone. I too have this need or drawn to taking care of people. My current husband is an ex addict and no job, and intimacy has been so hard. My insomnia, anxiety, and constant stress is consuming, not to mention when we are intimate I am just going through the motions and I’m numbing out. I have experimented with drugs throughout my life but addiction has not been my biggest issue, unless you consider my Xanax along with two other Medes I rely on. So I can say Xanax is an issue for me, because it’s the main thing that keeps me in a somewhat normal way to exist. Trying to decide to walk away and deal with me right now, but I don’t know if I will ever feel truly that anyone can understand me.