Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


The Continuum – The Way Survivors Think About Abusers ~ Lilly Hope Lucario



It’s interesting to me – to see the survivors on either end of the continuum – as to their thinking about abusers.

On one end, are the survivors who think that being ‘so’ compassionate about abusers, making excuses for them, minimizing their heinous nature, invalidating the harm they intentionally cause…..

And then on the other end…. are the survivors who are full of anger (sometimes suppressed but still evident), rage, they hate abusers with such fury they want them to be suffering back, they want them to burn in hell and fantasise about retribution and God throwing them into hell, or their karma coming back in another life and making them suffer terribly.

Both of these, are ways people cope.

Both of these are places I truly hope people do not stay in, because they are not good places to be, all your life.

And the people at these ends of the continuum do not give healthy advice to others.

Me, I’m in the middle.

I don’t make excuses for abusers. I don’t delude myself that I am ‘compassionate to abusers’ – simply because I can’t handle the truth. I deal with the truth. And then to protect their unhealthy thinking, they demand others see it their way too. And sometimes, they have a sense of superiority over others, who they deem not to be as ‘compassionate’ as they delude themselves into believing about themselves.

I don’t have in me, to hate people into suffering back. I don’t want anyone to suffer. Be in prison to stop someone re-offending, exposing sociopaths for the heinous predators they are to protect people – is wisdom, but in my case, not from a place of revenge, or hate. And it makes me sad to think some survivors will be in this place of anger and hurt, all their lives.

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Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD Is Now On Instagram ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I have now expanded my work, to Instagram, as I know it is a very popular social media site.

instagram 1

If you have IG and would like, follow me there and I will follow you back!

~ Lilly Hope Lucario


Physical Health Issues Complex Trauma Survivors Can Endure ~ Lilly Hope Lucario



There are many physical and mental health issues, survivors of complex trauma endure. They can range from mildly life impacting – to severely life impacting.

I write a lot about the mental health issues, that develop as a result of ongoing abuse, including by ongoing child abuse, complex trauma and severe repeated abuse and trauma. The mental health issues that can develop are Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), severe PTSD, depression, anxiety and there are more. Many mental health illness/disorders can be triggered in particular by childhood trauma and abuse.

This article highlights, the physical health issues that many also develop, as well as the mental health issues… as trauma affects physical health, as well as mental health.

“Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up.

Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain.

This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer.

An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.”

~ Dr. Nadine Burke Harris – TED Med 2014

On 14th June 2017, I asked my amazing complex trauma community audience, to list the physical health issues they endure as a result of complex trauma.

These were some of the responses…

Fibromyalgia muscle pain, due to decades of body hyper-vigilance, headaches, dizziness, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, exhaustion.

Adrenal insufficiency from chronic stress

Anorexia (past), still have chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal fatigue, IBS, other digestive issues, women’s problems, detoxification issues, vitamin D deficiency, all I think linked. I think some of that is to do with the anger being stored in the liver. All to do with trauma being trapped in the body & DNA. Epigenetic etc.

Headaches, unable to distinguish the here and now physical symptoms versus flashback body issues, chronic pain ( but I also have physical injury ) I think muscle tension increases pain during stressful times, anniversary dates (months).

I have developed Pseudo-seizures due to the trauma and chronic stress I endured. When I feel threatened I start having tics. If I have to deal directly with my abuser, attend court or something that triggers my PTSD I actually have a seizure. The Psychiatric Neurologist said that the abuse and chronic stress has taken a physical form. It’s repairable through intensive therapy. My PTSD brought on my Fibromyalgia about 10 years ago. My chronic pain and tics/seizures have made it so that I am unable to work anymore or drive. It’s devastating.

Due to Complex PTSD – my worst physical symptom was inability to eat without severe vomiting , which in turn caused serious acid reflux., weigh loss etc and also stripped the enamel off my teeth.

IBS-d (which is horrid for me) headaches, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite or too much appetite, muscle tension and pain, fatigue, high blood pressure, GERD. Just off the top of my head. Hyper-vigilance and anxiety is the cause of much of it.

Sharp muscle spasms in my neck. Debilitating stress headaches.

I have IBS, hyper-vigilance and hypertension. Blood pressure couldn’t be read the other evening as it was too high? Cold feet and sweaty.  Muscle aches….feel like I’ve run a marathon. Exhausted.

Chronic migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychosomatic joint pain in my hands, morbid obesity. Continue reading


The Spiral Downwards ~ Lilly Hope Lucario



I’m not doing okay at the moment. A combination of things that matter greatly to me, that I don’t want to write about in detail. But, they are pretty devastating, and beyond my control to sort out.

I’m aware my mothers death is also causing me issues. I’ve dreamt about her several times lately and I think that’s affecting me more than I want to admit.

It’s interesting that so many severe child abuse survivors truly understand what a heinous childhood does to a person, and then how it feels when the abusive parent dies.

The people in my life, have no idea how that feels and they don’t understand, nor do they really care to try. I’m supposed to just get over it. Hey, it’s been a month…. I should be over already…

I didn’t take my children to school today. First time ever, I have not got up and taken them to school. Continue reading


Things People Enduring Complex PTSD ~ Want You To Know ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I have a thriving social media presence – particularly on Facebook, and I asked my community members, what they would like others to know, about living with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

These are just a few responses.

(I have omitted names, to protect privacy).

I wish people knew and learned to appreciate how intense feelings really are for those with C-PTSD.

Not to take my symptoms personally! if I withdraw, isolate, am short-tempered, triggered, zoned out, or have a short attention span, if I am depressed, anxious, or simply cannot sit still…..it is most-likely from the stuff that’s going on inside of me – not so much what’s outside of me. Bridging those two worlds is huge. Most of my personal relationships suffer greatly.

I wish people understood that we need a great deal of patience and love. We need to feel safe to begin to start to heal. It’s not a matter of “just getting over it”. There have been fundamental changes to our brains that cause these reactions. It takes a long time to begin to rewire the brain so those reactions occur less. But that can only occur with a strong support system.

I wish that there could be more emphasis placed on education regarding CPTSD for those who have endured sexual/ physical child based trauma. I am 54 and it seems that I am only learning about this most recently AND thanks to you Lily. Typically we get the anxiety/depression diagnosis and treatment/medication as such. But in learning that CPTSD exists and that it fits into every aspect of my life is like breathing air for the first time. I finally understand who and why I am and how I got to this point.  It is unfortunate that it has taken so long and that that my prior physicians did not seem to have any understanding. So thank you Lily! I’m doing my homework and making up for lost time.

That even just to be able to talk about it without being told to get over it and rather have the issues and feelings be taken seriously and respected. When one cannot talk about it, it becomes worse to the point of shutting down socially and emotionally.

Makes me unpredictable. Daily challenge. Like walking about in a bubble, never truly being a part of life, most of the time. Terrible memory problems. Never try to understand because it’s something a person couldn’t understand unless they’ve experienced it. How horrendous experiences means I will probably always see the world through tainted lenses. How I notice things wrong first before things that are right. Always a longing and need for something that I can’t quite define yet I also know doesn’t exist either. Never feeling like a whole person. Little concept of time, spatial awareness, dates, day and remembering names. How I can feel what other people are experiencing, empathise, support and love…but rarely able to feel that way about myself…like those things don’t apply to me because I’m nothing. The daily fight with my mind and body is real. How I wish it was taken as seriously as physical health. Hope this helps. 

I wish some people understood it’s not a choice and some people can’t remove the toxic people causing the triggers due to their children being with them. All a result of q long line of abuse and a crooked and flawed system. So there is no healing just constant reliving.

That it’s real, that it’s not a choice I made, that it can and does manifest later in life, that I can’t ‘just get over it’, that I’m still me, just struggling. That the same person who treated them well was indeed capable of abusing me horribly. Just because they never saw it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. That when triggered, I revert, emotionally, back to that child.

Living with Complex PTSD does not control my life. I am a successful human & professional, but my triggers are deeply connected to intimacy. I am whole, I am more than my diagnosis. Triggers are moments that make life a bit more challenging but they are not the totality of who I am.

That carrying a teddy bear helps me cope with the overwhelming stimuli and the anxiety of being in a crowd, it’s not because I’m seeking attention (which I loathe) or because I’m immature. I’m just too poor to afford a $50,000 service dog. Continue reading

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A Therapist Is Kindly Sending Me Her Book On Boundaries ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries………. such a huge issue to so many complex trauma survivors and in particular child abuse survivors.

I cannot emphasise enough how important boundaries are. Both physical, but even more so – emotional boundaries.

My boundaries throughout my life, have been so poor, so soft and I had no awareness of this. Having been raised in a highly dysfunctional, unsafe childhood home, with highly abusive parents, I did not learn boundaries. I didn’t learn how to protect myself. I didn’t learn how to slowly build up trust in people.

I have done a lot of work on my boundaries, but still have further to go. Even recently, I let down my strong boundaries, and the person concerned took advantage and I got abused some more. But, I know my motivation for letting my boundaries down a little, and I know I was encouraged to do this. But, now I realise, I shouldn’t have. At all. I ignored my own intuition again. I won’t anymore.  Continue reading