Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


Nuggets Of Healing Posts From June 2019 ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

The moment I realised it was never my job or responsibility to stop an abuser being abusive – was a significant step in healing.
It was never my job to be a peacekeeper with a toxic abuser.
It was never my job to try to get an abuser to develop a conscience.
It was never my job to help an abuser learn empathy and kindness.
It was never my job to teach a grown adult decent behaviour.
It was never my job to accept non genuine apologies, or ignore the lack of remorse.
It was never my job to parent in a way that made up for the toxic parents’ abuse and poor role modelling.
It was never my job to walk on egg shells continually to reduce the abuser’s anger and moods.
It was never my job to make excuses for an abuser.
My job as a woman is to refuse to tolerate abuse, disrespect and callous behaviour by anyone, including abusive men.
My job as a human being is to know and only tolerate being loved, respected and treated with dignity and kindness.
My job as a mother is to teach my sons that abusing women and children is never okay, should never be justified and what love in a healthy relationship looks and feels like, and to tolerate nothing less.
I am not, was not, and will not ever be responsible for an abuser.
Period.


With toxic abusers, like narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths – the survivor may feel like it’s unfair that they often don’t get any consequences for their choices to abuse people.

I don’t care whether they get consequences or not, because I know the toxic abuser will never be happy, never be fulfilled, never know what love is and never have healthy and genuine relationships.

The toxic abuser will always be shallow, empty, callous and alone….. no matter their situation.

Their punishment and consequences are who they are and who they choose to be.

Whereas, the survivor can go on to have everything the toxic abuser will never have. Real relationships, love, genuine connection, fulfilment, happiness and joy.

And knowing all this, is enough for me.

I don’t need to wish bad consequences for the toxic abuser – they’re already creating that for themselves.


Thinking about toxic people who choose to cause terrible suffering on a ongoing basis… as heinous, vile, disgusting, evil etc….
Are very normal and healthy reactions and thought processes.
Is not a mental illness issue like ‘splitting’ or black and white distorted thinking.
It’s not a pathological response.
It’s not a lack of compassion for the abuser.
It’s completely normal to be disgusted.
You do not have to see ‘the good’ in an abuser.
You do not have to make excuses for an abuser.
It’s very healthy to consider ongoing abuse and the suffering it causes, as heinous.
It’s intelligence to know there are no valid excuses for causing ongoing abuse to another person.
Don’t let anyone shame you for your very normal and healthy response to ongoing abuse.


Feel free to call an abuser anything you want and don’t allow anyone to police your thoughts and feelings about abuse, or about the abuser.
And have very strong boundaries with anyone who believes otherwise.


Love and ongoing abuse – do not co-exist.
You do not love someone, if you are choosing to harm them.
Love doesn’t hurt.
When you love someone – you want the best for them, you want them to be happy and you care about their needs.
And this includes all forms of abuse: emotional, psychological, verbal, sexual, spiritual and physical.
This also includes: continual lying, manipulating, selfish behaviours, cheating, deceiving, gaslighting and having no remorse for harm caused.
Love – doesn’t do any of these.
Period.
I repeat – love and ongoing abuse – do not co-exist.


I made the mistake of thinking I could help a heinous abuser change.
I hoped counselling for him with a psychologist who specialized in sex offenders and personality disorders, would be enough to get him to develop a conscience, develop empathy, stop being abusive…. but I was very wrong.
He didn’t want to change because he enjoys being an empty, shallow, exploitative and callous abuser.
You can’t help toxic abusers and I would NEVER suggest to anyone to try. It can make your life more unsafe and put you in danger, as it did with me.
No-one should tolerate abuse, tolerate disrespect, tolerate being treated like an object.
I deserve caring, honest, warm, kind people in my life, and I will never again settle for anything less.
And my children deserve not to be subjected to an abuser, they deserve the peace and safety we now have and a mum who is happy and thriving.


My 10 year old and I have started doing mindfulness and relaxation meditations.

We sit on the soft rug on the floor in a quiet room and follow guided meditations from the free app Smiling Mind. It’s a great free app which he told me about – as his class had been doing some in school.

I love knowing they are teaching mindfulness and relaxation meditations in school. Such a great skill to learn when young

My son loves doing them each evening with me 💕


😁😁😁
I’ve had braces on for the last 2 and half years and today the top ones were removed.
I love my new smile already! 😁
It feels like a victory in my healing and self care journey – in doing something that should have been done in my childhood, but wasn’t.
I decided in my 40’s it needed doing and I am really pleased with the results.
My dentist has been so supportive in my domestic violence healing journey – as she and her family suffered dv from her (police officer) father and she has a charity she runs for dv survivors.
When I get the bottom braces removed, she’s doing whitening as a gift for me!
So thankful and feel so blessed!
💜😁💜😁💜


Suppressing trauma, dissociating from it, ignoring it, distracting attention away from it, minimizing it, avoiding emotions etc ….. none of these help healing.

In fact, long term they worsen the consequences of the trauma.

Unprocessed, unhealed trauma never goes away. It festers and is unconsciously expressed as physical illness, mental illness, relationship issues, emotional issues etc.

Suppressing, dissociating and avoiding may work short term as a coping strategy, but never long term.

Healing requires: processing the trauma, knowing the full consequences of it, figuring out all the ways it has affected the survivor, finding out how to manage the mental and physical illness consequences, honestly admitting what the survivor needs to change in terms of thinking, beliefs and behaviours.

Healing also requires grieving and that’s a painful process, that means we have to deal with uncomfortable truths and emotions.

Healing is not an easy, fun or nice process. It’s hard, painful and requires alot of self honesty.

This is why so many don’t heal. It’s too hard. Some don’t have the emotional resources for it all. Some don’t even know what is required to begin to heal.

But, I do believe every survivor can heal to their own capacity, with an understanding of what is needed.

I see too much emotional bypassing, emotion avoidance, dissociating and trauma processing avoidance being encouraged and that makes me sad – because it’s harming people more long term.

I want people to heal to their own capacity and that’s my motivation for my online work.

And that starts with saying what is required to heal and what does not help.


I’ve stopped feeling sad and grieving about all the love, effort and kindness I wasted in a relationship with a toxic abuser…..

And I’ve started feeling excited and hopeful about how it will feel to be in a great relationship with a good, emotionally healthy man, and offer all that love, effort and kindness and…. receive it all back!

And have the relationship I always deserved.


It’s Not All About Me ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

An example…
There are survivors in their 60’s and older – who are still dealing with the effects of complex trauma.
And that’s okay.
There is no timeframe for healing from complex trauma.
I keep this in mind all the time, because the last thing any survivor needs to read – is that everyone should be able to heal fully and in X amount of time. And feel shame for not being ‘healed already’.
Why do I think about this?
Because I’m not ‘all about me’.
I care about other people, their journeys, needs and emotions.
Healing and managing symptoms can be a lifelong journey and there is no shame in that.
And people who do shame other survivors are very selfish and lack empathy – causing harm in the process.
Empathy is vital.
Empathy is about thinking of other people’s journeys and how our words and views impact others.
Empathy is about knowing other people can have life issues that greatly impact the capacity to heal, for no fault of their own.
Empathy is thinking about how my posts impact others and are they written to help, care and support others?
Being an advocate for complex trauma survivors takes empathy to truly be of assistance to others.
Empathy is about others, about the needs of others, caring about the impact of what we do – whilst also maintaining boundaries and caring for self.
There is no advocacy, without empathy.


🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩

One red flag in a narcissistic abuser, is how they view what you do for them and how they view what they should do for you.

This will one of many red flags you can discern.

About 2 years ago, I said to the ex – that for 18 years – he expected to be told how great he is (when he’s not) and wanted continual appreciation for the bare minimum efforts he made in doing things for the family.

Yet, he showed zero appreciation for all the many huge efforts I made, which were in fact far beyond the average, including what I did for him.

When I said to him “you have never shown any appreciation for anything I do for you, never thanked me, not even one time” – his reaction was disgust. His face screwed up in disgust. He had no verbal response, including no awareness how wrong his attitude is. And that reaction was a huge red flag.

He was disgusted at the thought of having to be appreciative, or thank me for my huge efforts, for him, for our children, for our family.

That disgust is the toxic narcissistic ego that believes people are there as objects to be used and abused.

That disgust is their overwhelming sense of entitlement to have victims doing whatever the narc demands, whilst giving nothing of worth back.

It’s proof that they don’t see people as human beings with needs, feelings, emotions. It’s just all about the narc.

It’s proof they don’t see relationships as a two way street. It’s all one way – as per their exploitative and parasitic needs.

These subtle signs and red flags are not always obvious, but when you begin to dissect the relationship and reflect on all the attitudes, motivations and behaviours, you see clearly what the narcissistic abuser truly is.

They are toxic, selfish, entitled, cruel, exploitative parasites and emotional vampires, who suck the life out of you and have no remorse for the harm they cause.

And no-one deserves to be treated that way.

And yes, it’s very normal to be angry and hurt and feel disgusted and repulsed about that abuser. Because their actions and abuse were a choice. And it’s never okay to treat someone so inhumanely.


I educate about abuse and abusers, because interpersonal trauma – abuse – is the main cause of Complex PTSD.

Abuse causes many long term issues that include the victim feeling shame, feeling defective, being vulnerable to more abuse (particularly if a child abuse survivor), re-victimisation, self blame and more.

Part of the healing process is to understand why the abuse occurred – as in truly knowing the abuse was all a reflection of the abuser’s character disturbance and not a reflection of the victim’s worth or value.

The abuse is all about the abuser’s issues and many abusers project blame and shame onto the victim.

The victim/survivor needs to heal from this by learning they were never to blame for the abuse they suffered.

The survivor also needs to learn all the red flags, in order to not be vulnerable to another toxic abuser.

This helps reduce re-victimisation and helps the survivor to engage only in healthy appropriate relationships.

I don’t educate about abusers as an act of hate towards them, I educate about abusers as an act of love for survivors.


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Diagnoses Can Change As More Trauma Is Processed & Disclosed – Lilly Hope Lucario

woman thinking

My journey of processing trauma, has been a long and painful one, that has taken over 7 years.

When I first started therapy, back nearly 8 years ago, my diagnosis was based upon the very little I had disclosed. I had an appointment with a psychiatrist – purely for the benefit of claiming disability support pension, as I was unable to work.

During this one hour appointment, with a psychiatrist I had never previously met – I divulged very little of my full trauma history. But, enough about my childhood trauma was disclosed to allow the psychiatrist to give a diagnosis of PTSD, delayed onset from complex trauma. I was in a very traumatised state and barely able to speak and had no further appointments with this psychiatrist.

What I didn’t tell her, was about my marriage. I didn’t tell her I had functioned well, and been independent from the age of 20 – until my current marriage which started at 30 – when my health began to decline. She wasn’t made aware of my high functioning life, prior to my second marriage. She wasn’t aware of my job and my career and how I supported myself fully with no help from family, throughout my 20’s.

So, she based my diagnosis of a very incomplete picture of my trauma history and health and functioning capacity both now and in the past. Her diagnosis was based on this incomplete history she had available to her in a one hour appointment. And that is the issue with diagnoses based on a brief appointment, and a limited discussion of the trauma history. They are not always accurate.

That diagnosis has since been superseded by a far more accurate diagnosis, based on the full extent of my abuse history. Based on my therapy and trauma processing since that appointment.

7 years ago, I had not processed the abuse and domestic violence in my current marriage. The abuse was psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, of a fairly covert and insidious type – that is very hard to realise is in fact abuse.

As often happens in long term therapy – I began to slowly process this trauma, learn about abuse and feel able to disclose more abuse. I began to realise the lying, manipulation, toxic selfishness and harm caused by my current husband (I refer to as my ex) – was significant abuse. I began to see the similarities of the personality traits of narcissism and sociopathy in my ex. The lack of empathy, the lack of conscience, the toxic selfishness, the lack of consideration for the needs of myself and our children, the pathological lying, the affairs I suspected he had, the lack of remorse or shame he felt for the harm he caused.

After a few years of processing, I realised I had been conned and lied to from day 1. Told a whole lot of lies about his first marriage and how he pretended to be a good person, when he is anything but good.

I realised how he exploited an abuse survivor, with soft boundaries and empathy – for his own callous needs. So heinous.

I also realised a few years ago – that he had sexually abused me, via sexual coercion in the form of: manipulation, guilt tripping, anger, causing a toxic environment with his bad moods, acting like he was owed sex, plying me with alcohol, not caring that I clearly did not want sex with someone I knew was harmful, not caring about the pain the unwanted sex caused, acting like he was the victim because I would not have sex with him and manipulating the situation into seeming like ‘I’ was in some way – the bad person. Severe manipulation and gaslighting abuse. He didn’t care that I had to dissociate to cope with the sexual abuse. He didn’t care that I felt no choice but to ‘give in’ on occasions – just to stop the anger and the harmful behaviours he inflicted, when I rejected him.

I realised this sexual coercion was sexual abuse. In fact, rape. He chose to rape a child sexual abuse and rape survivor. Which is whole deeper level of heinous and evil abuse.

I realised my marriage had been nothing more than me being the victim of an exploitative and toxic, narcissistic, sociopathic abuser.

I went down the dangerous path of trying to get him help and get him into counselling, unwisely believing he may change. (He didn’t and only went a handful of times). I was scared he would cut me off financially – like he did his first wife, who he failed to pay child support to for over 10 years. I had very valid reasons to be very concerned. He used finances to keep me in the marriage. He made it clear there would not be enough money to support two homes if he left. And being unable to work, I was scared I would be unable to support my children. He used financial abuse, to continue to control me.

In 2018, in therapy, I began to discuss leaving the marriage and how to manage my health and my children alone. The arguments and abuse I continued to endure, at one point resulted in him getting a knife out of the drawer and in anger, using it in a threatening manner. I realised I was in danger – physically. I talked about this in therapy and contacted a lawyer to seek advice and was told I should apply for a domestic violence protection order. I went to the police, with a document the ex had signed for his therapist – admitting to all the abuse and the police dealt with it very badly – no doubt because my husband is a police officer and they protect their own.

After this knife incident – the police advised him to leave and I told him to leave. I attempted to set boundaries on his behaviour whilst he saw the children and attempted to maintain contact between him and the children – which the children didn’t actually want in the latter half of 2018. These boundaries were to try and protect myself and my children and I discussed this every week in counselling.

In January 2019, another incident occurred and he was angry, abusive and threatening, because he had been stalking me and found out I was on a date. The white hot jealous rage was terrifying. That’s the really dangerous kind of rage, that leads to women getting really hurt, or dead. My teenage son witnessed it all and was scared for my safety. I told the ex to leave and he wouldn’t. I ran inside the house, locked the screen door and told him to leave, or I would phone the police. I got my son to write down everything he witnessed, in case the police had to be called. I arranged for the locks to be changed the next day and contacted the lawyer again.

I applied for a domestic violence order, and the judge awarded a temporary one immediately in chambers, due to the evidence I supplied. Now, I am in the court/legal process, regarding an ongoing domestic violence order.

In 2018, I saw a clinical psychologist and again in 2019. This was in addition to my regular weekly counselling sessions with my GP Counsellor.

With the full extent of my abuse history known – an accurate diagnosis of PTSD – caused by the domestic violence in my current marriage – was given. With the impact to my health being disabling and severe.

The vasovagal syncope I also now suffer, was diagnosed within 2017 – by a cardiologist – as caused by extreme distress due to my marriage, had also been given.

The new and accurate PTSD diagnosis, was confirmed alongside the vasovagal syncope – which cannot be ‘delayed onset’. Both were caused entirely by domestic violence in my second marriage.

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