Complex trauma is multiple and/or ongoing trauma, where the victim perceives no means of escape and repeated severe trauma.
My trauma history started at birth, and continued on throughout my life, until the age of 45.
The list of trauma I have endured, are as follows on the chart…
Highly abusive parents (severe emotional, psychological, sexual abuse, neglect) – from birth
Child sexual exploitation (by parents) and child sexual abuse (by paedophile)- age 8-12
School bullying – age 11-16
Severe life threating abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, psychological) from sadistic psychopath in captivity – age 16-20
Court hearing for psychopath – age 20
Domestic violence marriage (alcoholic, gambling addict)- age 25-30
Attacked in park, held at knife point – age 28
Workplace bullying – age 27-30
Grooming by narcissist church pastor – age 40
Spiritual abuse by church and hierarchy – age 40-41
Emotionally abusive second marriage – age 30-45
This is considerable repeated and severe abuse, endured over a 45 year period.
This trauma is not a linear process, with each trauma separate from the next. The trauma compound over time.
The compounding affect of this trauma, is significant. I have not been dealing with each trauma separately, because each one has been compounded by those already endured.
This shows how much trauma the survivors, survivors brain, body and psyche has had to endure.
The fact that so much was within childhood – when developmentally affecting me as a child, the ongoing severe fear, the severe anxiety, and the many consequences affecting a child, has a life impacting affect on the adult the survivor becomes.
When I look at the last trauma, and see the significant amount of compounding trauma, and the life threatening and severe trauma I have endured, I am amazed at how much I have actually endured.
Complex trauma, is very different to a one time, short lived trauma and that needs to be validated and understood.
As my first counsellor said to me “you are a walking miracle”.
My current counsellor raised this with me a few weeks ago, and drew a chart like this on her whiteboard, whilst explaining to me this compounding affect.
I also know how significant it is that despite all this trauma, I am empathic, kind, caring, intelligent, insightful and incredibly brave.
The amount of suffering I have endured, is catastrophic, yet I am still here, still kind, still reaching out to others with empathy and wanting to make a positive difference in this world. Someone who wishes no harm to anyone, including all my abusers.
I realise I also challenge all the stigma and wrong attitudes out there, about being an abuse survivor, and someone with a severe mental health disorder.
I am glad to be a person, who challenges that.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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