Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

30 Helpful Things To Say To Someone With Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


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Often people don’t know what to say to someone with Complex PTSD. As a result some say things that are harmful, invalidating and hurtful. Often unintentionally. Some avoid us, either because they don’t know what to say, or because they don’t want to deal with our pain. Some suggest we should be over this, or shame us for talking about past trauma. That increases the isolation and shame survivors often feel.

I could write an entire article on the things people have said to me, that were completely inappropriate and very hurtful. Being someone who suffers suicide ideation and suicidal thoughts, I am aware of the life threatening result of being victim shamed, invalidated and being further traumatised by other people.

So, this article is a list of things survivors of complex trauma, who have Complex PTSD, feel are helpful. It is my hope this leads to more productive and helpful interactions and support.

I asked my online Facebook community, and these were some of their responses.

  1. I believe you. (This is the most important).
  2. I love you and I’m here for you.
  3. What can I do to help?
  4. What happened to you was never your fault.
  5. What happened to you, should never have happened and you did not deserve that.
  6. I admire you so much for the way you are dealing with it.
  7. I am proud of you/your courage/strength.
  8. If you need me for any reason, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me; I am and always will be here for you, to the best of my abilities.
  9. You are not weak or bad or wrong, you didn’t deserve this and you could not have stopped it.
  10. Thank you for surviving.
  11. I’m sorry they hurt you.
  12. You’re wonderful and loveable.
  13. You’re a good person.
  14. If you need to talk, I’ll listen.
  15. I want you to feel good and safe.
  16. How can I help you feel safe?
  17. You are loved and cherished.
  18. It’s okay to be hurt and angry, these feelings don’t make you a bad person.
  19. I won’t preach forgiveness at you.
  20. I know that you don’t want to live your life in what feels like a constant and never ending state of pain and misery and I know that you ARE trying hard enough to get through it the best you can with what you’ve got.
  21.  What you are experiencing is real. I believe you. And I believe in you.
  22. Your uncontrolled emotional breakdowns were not because you were a selfish, but because you were in an indescribable pain.
  23.  I’m proud/impressed with the progress you’ve made (maybe give examples).
  24. Just tell me what you need and I will understand.
  25. You are not alone, no matter how much it feels like it.
  26. We will make it through this together.
  27.  I’m so sorry those things were done to you.
  28. Its not your fault.
  29. It is not your shame.
  30. I love you and I wish I could take your pain away.

For more information about Complex PTSD, please see my Website – which is supported and shared by many trauma informed mental health professionals at


~ 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

11 thoughts on “30 Helpful Things To Say To Someone With Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

  1. They are beautiful, comforting words. I have had the most terrible things said to me by family and relatives then they wondered why I wanted nothing to do with them. You are definitely not alone Lillian and what happened to you is not your fault. No-one has any right to judge you. None whatsoever. We all love you and we are all here to support you.

  2. I agree 100% with Cassie’s comment.
    Thank you so much for this list as well as the others you’ve done because they are very helpful.

  3. Thank you
    Oh so much
    Thank you

    I am hurting so much tonight. And this is just what I needed. Thank you thank you. 💛💛💛💛💛

  4. I want to put this on a card and carry it with me at all times. My therapist and a couple friends say these things to me, but some friends and family want me to forgive and forget or go back to the way I was before therapy when I held everything inside, that’s how I ended up in therapy at age 60, I couldn’t go through life anymore pretending everything was fine .

    • Perfect! I would like to also do the same thing Kathy.. put it on a card and carry it with me. Only someone that has walked the same road really understands. Thanks Lilly!

  5. I wish there were a list of what not to say or do, e.g., don’t crack jokes, don’t make light of the matter, don’t say, “That was so long ago, when are you going to get over it?” Or, “I’ve heard this before. Enough already.” Those sorts of things.

  6. Thank you so much for all you do to elevate the voices of survivors! ❤ We truly are the experts in what we need. I love this post – these are healing words. I would add that, for myself, the context will affect the way I receive the words a person tells me. Trust is hugely important and difficult for me…I need to feel that a person understands and accepts me before I will believe what they say to me. They need to take time to listen and explore with me, and they need to show me consistently that they don't judge me.

  7. I think your list of 30 things to say is absolutely brilliant and so very very important to people/children healing from past traumas. I applaud you and thank you for helping me understand further so I can show more compassion to others and myself. thank you ! Trudie cawthra