Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


Don Hennessey – Domestic Violence Expert – Validates All My Own Insight ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

male dv perps groom and abuse from day one don hennessey

 

I came across an article written about Don Hennessey and his insight and work in domestic violence and it resonated with me immediately.

Don Hennessey is the Director of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency and has decades of experience and research into domestic violence perpetrators and victims/targets.

His insight it truly amazing and his compassion for victims is beautiful.

This is the article I read:

www.independent.ie/au/irish-news/men-who-abuse-women-use-the-same-tactics-as-pedophiles-and-ive-never-met-one-who-wanted-to-change-says-author-of-how-he-gets-in-her-head

After reading this article, which makes it clear that male domestic violence perpetrators intentionally abuse and groom, and the abuse is a ‘lifestyle choice’ – I chose to download his book – How He Gets into Her Head : The Mind of the Male Intimate Abuser

Every page validates what I already know. Every page validates my insight, knowledge and experience of domestic violence.

Don’s compassion for the victims – who he states are “kind, giving women”, is so important to hear – particularly from a man and a man who is highly educated and experienced in working with perpetrators and victims.

He ‘gets’ it.

He gets the intentional nature of the abuse. He gets it is a choice they make. He gets it’s not ‘subconscious’ behaviour. He gets the intentional grooming process and how they use the same grooming tactics as paedophiles. He gets the psychological abuse that always occurs. He gets that they are ‘con men’. He gets how wrong victim blaming is and he makes it clear – the women targets/victims are not in any way to blame for the abuse. 

I also watched this video and you can feel the compassion and gentle nature he has.

 

It’s always such a relief when my own insight is validated, by those who are experts in the field and have considerable education and experience in the field. Continue reading


How My Ex Used Gaslighting To Sexually Abuse Me For Over 10 Years ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

gaslighting 1

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse – where the perpetrator is twisting the reality of the victim’s situation, to cause them confusion, make them doubt themselves, doubt their perception of what is occurring, make them feel like they are going crazy, wear them down and continue to abuse them.

Gaslighting is very common with psychological abusers. My ex is a psychological, emotional, verbal, sexual and physical abuser. He’s also highly narcissistic and sociopathic.

For a large proportion of our marriage, he sexually abused me. He bullied, harassed, coerced and abused me into unwanted sex. It was very clear to him that I did not want to have sex with him, because he frequently complained and got angry about the lack of sex. He created a terrible situation where my life was made far worse, if I did not give in to his demands. If I stopped him, pushed him off during the sexual assault, he would get very angry. He was relentless. Callous.

He abused me from day one, with continual lies, acting like he cared, manipulation and toxic selfishness. This chronic abuse, resulting in me no longer wanting any sexual contact with him. Which I had every right to not want. No-one is obligated to provide sex, and especially not when they are being abused. And no-one is owed sex, particularly when they are relentlessly abusing that person.

During this sexual abuse, he made me feel like ‘I’ was the problem. How dare I not want sex with him! How dare I refuse him! What a terrible person ‘I’ was. He even acted like he was ‘the victim’, in me not giving him what he wanted. His attitude was that he was given all this great sex at the beginning of our relationship (which was only due to all his lies) and then I ‘took that sex away from him’. So it was all my fault – in his twisted warped mind. He refused to consider his terrible actions and abusive choices had brought on this need in me to keep him away from my body. He never considered that was my right. He never considered he was responsible. He never took accountability. He never considered the coercion and bullying to be wrong. All of these being common traits and behaviours of narcissism and sociopathy.

What was even worse, was he referred to the sexual abuse he coerced me into, that caused me physical and emotional pain and disgust – as ‘making love’. He considers coercing a child sexual abuse survivor – into unwanted sex, manipulating me, plying me with alcohol, bullying me, harassing me relentlessly into rape – as ‘making love’.

It wasn’t making love at all. It was vile heinous abuse. Just because he enjoyed raping me, somehow in his perverted mind – still classified as a form of love. Or at least that’s what he wanted me to believe. He wanted me to know ‘he’ was enjoying it.

sexual abuse

Sick.

And a lot of sex abusers that abuse in relationships, believe the sexual assaults and rape – are ‘love’. Paedophiles also often choose to believe this about the sexual abuse to children.

The mind of a sex offender is a vile, dark place.

Calling rape/sexual abuse ‘making love’ – was gaslighting the ongoing abuse, into something completely different to what the reality actually was. Continue reading


11 Reasons Why Childhood Abuse Survivors Are Targets For Toxic People In Adulthood ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

sad woman

 

Throughout my work as an advocate and writer about complex trauma, there is a recurring and very common issue I see – childhood abuse survivors being traumatised again in adulthood, in further relationships where abuse occurs. I am one of those who have been re-victimised in adulthood.

Childhood complex trauma survivors, have been repeatedly abused and/or neglected in childhood by their primary carers and family. This abuse can include psychological, emotional, sexual, physical abuse and emotional, psychological and physical neglect.

Toxic people target childhood trauma survivors for reasons of exploiting, manipulating, using and abusing them. Toxic people can be those with high levels of narcissistic, sociopathic and psychopathic traits. The traits of all being: a lack of conscience, remorse, guilt, shame, empathy and a toxic sense of entitlement and exploitative motivations.

The following is to highlight 11 reasons why this occurs. Not all will apply to every survivor, but some may. It is important to note, these reasons are not to blame the survivor in any way and are not excuses for the toxic people who target them. Toxic people are 100% responsible for their malicious and exploitative behaviours and motivations and none of the following are about any malicious motivations of the targeted survivor. They are about their vulnerabilities being taken advantage of.


1. Abuse and neglect are the childhood abuse survivor’s ‘normal’. The abuse is not unusual to a child abuse survivor and they often don’t realise the abuse is not normal. They grow in unsafe homes, where being used and abused is all they know. It’s far easier to be in further abusive unsafe relationships later on in life, when you don’t realise the behaviours are not normal, are not justified and not acceptable.

2. When children are not taught to respect themselves, and do not learn how they should be treated – with care, love, safety – they don’t realise this is what they need and deserve as adults. It’s easier to tolerate abuse, when you don’t know you don’t deserve it and you grow to believe you do deserve it.

3. Toxic people literally ‘hone in’ on adults with no awareness of how to be treated well. They sense this in their potential ‘prey’ and they test it out in targets. Once they realise the target is someone who won’t expect to be treated appropriately or respectfully, it’s like winning the jackpot to them and they will continue pursuing the target for a relationship. They often act carefully at the start of the relationship to look better than they are. They con and dupe the target with false promises and declarations of love. It’s all a lie from day one, and they are experts at this manipulation. Childhood abuse survivors often won’t realise some of the red flags in the toxic person’s behaviour, because they are so familiar and used to it, due their childhood.

4. Childhood abuse survivors are often groomed by parents to be ‘people pleasers’ and often this a survival mode that is adaptive in childhood. It is understandable that children will do whatever it takes to reduce the abuse, and try and hope the parent will love them, if they do what is expected. This people pleasing behaviour, often goes on into adulthood and toxic people who are selfish and want to be ‘pleased’ and not have to reciprocate caring about the target, will use this in an exploitative and often callous manner. Not having to provide any actual love or care, is what toxic people want. All they want is to take, take, take. Not having to be concerned with the needs of others, or make any effort to care about other people’s needs, is their aim. People pleasers – fulfil this.

5. Childhood abuse survivors, have unmet emotional childhood needs. They subconsciously and understandably crave this and seek this is adulthood. They want someone to love them, care, show interest in them, provide safety. All normal needs never met as children. These needs don’t just go away. Toxic people are experts at sensing this, and offering this at the beginning of the relationship, with very non-genuine and malicious motivations.

“The devil doesn’t come to you dressed

in a cape and pointy horns,

he comes as everything you ever wanted”

~ unknown

6. Childhood abuse and neglect survivors often don’t learn healthy boundaries in childhood. The abusers continually crossed boundaries and the child believes this is normal. Parents are supposed to teach healthy physical and emotional boundaries, and when this isn’t taught and isn’t modelled, the child doesn’t learn them. The survivor goes on into adulthood with poor capacity to implement healthy boundaries. Toxic people take full advantage of this.

7. Childhood abuse and neglect survivors don’t learn healthy self esteem and healthy self worth. They don’t understand how they should have been treated. They are often told in childhood they deserve the abuse they endured. They often believe this. They go into adulthood believing any further abuse is deserved. Toxic people love this, and take full advantage of this too.

8. Childhood abuse survivors often are unable to stand up for themselves, as they were not allowed to do this and it wasn’t safe to do this, in childhood. Not learning these skills, leaves them disadvantaged to stand up for their rights and needs in adulthood and this is perfect for the toxic person – in order to have a compliant target, who doesn’t resist.

9. Children want to believe their parents and family love them. No matter what abuse they are enduring. They grow to wrongly believe love and abuse can coexist. They can believe abuse, is love. This is very understandable for a child. When this belief system continues on into adulthood, abuse from others can also be wrongly misinterpreted as love. The abuse in some cases cannot be considered wrong, or bad, because the survivor cannot bear to consider their parent chose to abuse them and this was not love. By accepting abuse in adult relationships, the survivor continues to avoid accepting the abuse in the childhood should never have happened. Often they minimize or justify the abuse as a way of coping. Sometimes, this continues all their lives, because avoiding the truth about their childhood is paramount. The fear and emotions have to be avoided, at all costs. For those survivors who do come to understand the ongoing abuse in childhood was not ever okay, it is a painful journey of grieving and intense emotions. Often this is so overwhelming – excuses will be made for the parents and then excuses made for the toxic people who abuse them in adulthood. As a result the abuse continues. Some survivors face the reality that there are no excuses for ongoing abuse to a child or an adult and they choose to end toxic relationships and have strong needed boundaries with toxic family.

“Love and abuse do not coexist.

Love doesn’t hurt”.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

10. Childhood abuse survivors are less likely to leave an abusive relationship with a toxic person in adulthood. The normalcy of the abuse, the avoidance of facing reality, the fear of being alone, rejected, can keep survivors locked in toxic abusive relationships. Some stay and never leave. Some do leave and need considerable support, as it’s a very difficult journey.

11. Some childhood abuse survivors are empathic and can wrongly believe if they just love the toxic person enough, the toxic person will change. They have a false belief they can change the toxic person and shouldn’t give up on them. Toxic people rarely ever change and this sadly means the empathic survivor’s efforts are abused, exploited and fruitless.


I want to make it clear – there are no malicious motivations in the child abuse survivor’s behaviours explained above. I reiterate to survivors all the time, that there is no shame in being abused. There is no shame in being exploited and conned, by master manipulators. People who haven’t been abused in childhood, also get manipulated and duped. These issues due to childhood abuse, does cause it to be sadly – a common situation.

I also reiterate – the shame and blame lie entirely with the adult who exploits, dupes, cons and manipulates a child abuse survivor, due to their vulnerabilities.

Childhood abuse survivors deserved to be treated with respect and dignity. They deserve love and care. They deserve safety. And they always deserved that, including in their childhood. 

It takes a lot of courage to face the issues that have made a survivor vulnerable and compassion and gentle support is needed.

A lot of grieving, learning of healthy boundaries, building self esteem, learning red flags and what a healthy relationship looks like – is how survivors begin to heal.

That takes a lot of courage and self compassion.

For information see my highly recommended Website, @ www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/

And on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/HealingFromComplexTraumaAndPTSDAndCPTSD/

~ Lilly Hope Lucario 

All blogs written by Lilly Hope Lucario and subject to © Copyright Protected.

All rights reserved.

No part of any entry/blog, may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, screenshots, copying & pasting, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods.

This includes adaptations in all forms of media.

 


Victim Shaming Throughout Society Is More Abuse ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

stop victim shaming

 

Throughout my work as an advocate and writer about abuse and trauma, it has become very clear and very concerning to me, as to the depths of victim shaming and victim blaming I see throughout society.

Just the simple and widely used phrase ‘don’t be a victim’ – is victim shaming and those with insight will understand why.

“There is no more shame in being a victim of abuse,

as there is a victim of any other crime.”

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I have become an ‘anti-victim shaming warrior’ as a result of my life experiences, research and insight and I know the depths of harm it causes and how toxic it is. My aim is always to support survivors and to help them work out why different forms of abuse cause harm, with victim shaming being one of them.

Some will argue that victim shaming is not always meant with malice and I agree – but that doesn’t make it okay, or any less harmful and education is required to reduce it and support the victims/survivors.

This is a list of some of the types of victim shaming, victim blaming, shame shifting and psychological abuse I see as a result.


When Perpetrators Of The Abuse Are Family

There is a lot of shaming of abuse survivors, where the perpetrator is a family member, or collective dysfunctional/abusive family. Sayings like “but they’re family”, “she’s your mother, she did the best she could” and suggestions that family are exempt from being accountable for the abuse, are all ways survivors of abuse face being shamed for their needed emotions about being abused by family, and shamed for wanting healthy and needed boundaries from abusive family.

No-one has to tolerate ongoing abuse and harm – just because it’s from family members.

Survivors have a right to a full range of emotions about abusive family and every right to have safe boundaries to stop ongoing abuse.

“The amount of distance required away from

abusive family, is directly ‘relative’

to amount of harm they are choosing to

inflict and their unwillingness to stop”

~ Lilly Hope Lucario


About Forgiving Abusers

This is common one I see throughout society, and within the abuse survivor community. Society has been so brainwashed by religious and spiritual abuse and the belief that you must forgive your abuser in order to heal and in order to be a ‘good person’. Neither of these are correct. A survivor of abuse can make a personal choice about forgiveness, but it is not okay to project that onto others. Survivors can heal and move on from the abuse, without forgiving the abuser. Some survivors of abuse find it empowering to forgive and some find it empowering not to. It is not an act of aggression to close the door to the past abuse and not look back.

Some survivors of abuse decide after considerable contemplation and soul searching, that it is simply not their responsibility or burden to forgive an unrepentant and unremorseful abuser. That is an educated and insightful decision. Not forgiving does not mean you hold onto anger. It does not mean you are a ‘bad/unkind person’. And it certainly is not weakness, or an act of spite or a character flaw. I see considerable shaming about this issue – even from other survivors. I also see how forced forgiveness, premature forgiveness and forgiving non-remorseful abusers, can actually be damaging to the survivor’s healing and can also allow abuse to continue.

I am thankful to see mental health professionals taking a stand on this and expressing their concern about the shaming issue of forgiveness.

For more info see:

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/why-i-dont-use-the-word-forgiveness-in-trauma-therapy-0120164

https://evergreencounseling.com/why-you-dont-need-or-have-to-forgive-anyone-if-you-dont-want-or-feel-ready-to/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/when-forgiveness-isnt-a-v_b_8870524


Not Being ‘Compassionate Enough’ For Their Abusers

Often people want to jump straight to assuming an abuser must have reasons why they became abusive and this somehow leads to being an ‘excuse’. Yes, there are reasons that may have led to someone becoming an abusive person, but they are not excuses. Abuse is a choice and that needs to be very clearly understood. Someone’s trauma and abuse history, is not an excuse to abuse someone. Many survivors of abuse and trauma do not go on to become abusive themselves, and this is a choice anyone can make.

In suggesting that an abuse survivor is not ‘compassionate enough’ about the abuser’s possible reasons for being abusive, this is inappropriate and victim shaming. An abuse survivor does not ‘have’ to feel compassion for someone who caused terrible pain and suffering and to say otherwise, is psychological abuse.


When Abuse Victims React Back To The Abuser

This is a very clear issue I see occurring, where after ongoing and relentless abuse – the victim reacts backs to the perpetrator e.g. in anger, calls the abuser names, even hitting them back. This is not abuse – when it is a reaction to ongoing abuse and provocation. But, these actions are wrongly deemed by some to be abuse.

It is very unreasonable to assume a victim of ongoing abuse, should have perfect reactions and always remain calm. It is victim shaming to suggest that reactions that are out of the normal character for that victim’s behaviour, and only occurred due to ongoing and relentless abuse, are wrong. Even the most patient, loving, kind, empathic people can be pushed to react in ways they would never normally behave, under extreme provocation and after enduring ongoing abuse.

It’s also further psychological abuse when the abuser then claims to be ‘the victim’, due to these reactions to the abuse inflicted. This occurs very often with abusers and is part of their ongoing manipulation and gaslighting abuse.

It is very normal to be angry at being abused. It is healthy to feel anger at the injustices suffered and it is shows the victim loves themselves enough to be upset at the mistreatment and harm they have endured.

For more info see:

https://www.breakthesilencedv.org/reactive-abuse-what-it-is-and-why-abusers-rely-on-it/


Not Leaving An Abusive Relationship ‘Soon Enough’

There are many very valid reasons why abuse victims don’t leave abusive relationships quickly. To suggest the abuse is their ‘own fault’ because they didn’t leave, is victim shaming and abusive. To suggest they are ‘asking for it’ if they stay or go back, is victim blaming and abusive.

The focus should not be “why didn’t he/she leave?” – it should be “why didn’t the perpetrator stop abusing?”.

For further info see:

Continue reading


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.


Continue reading


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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Nuggets Of Healing Posts, In April 2019 ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Healing

 

I often write posts on my Facebook Lilly Hope Lucario account and they are a significant part of my healing. So, I thought I would post them here, to maintain a record of them and share them further with others. Continue reading