Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


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A Cautionary Tale About ‘Healing’ Abuse, Child Abuse, Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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I see people who have similar attitudes to the one I had throughout my 20’s and 30’s. I believed I was so strong. I wonder if these people who sound so like myself before, are actually traveling the same path I was…

Suppressing it all, because it was so terrible and painful.

Until I could not suppress it any longer. And my brain and body began to break down.

‘That’ was when I began to heal.

What may look like someone is being ‘so strong, a ‘warrior survivor’, and the ‘poster child’ for healing……….. may in fact not be doing what they need to do to heal, at all. Continue reading


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So Good To Be Able To Help Teenagers In Need Of Support & Care ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

One of my 15 year old son’s friends, was recently chucked out of his home, by his abusive alcoholic parents. He is currently staying with another friends parents home, which I am so thankful for.

When I picked my son up today, I gave his friend a card, with a message inside saying we know he is going through tough times and we wanted him to know he is always welcome at our home too. I wrote our mobile numbers and said he could call us anytime. I also included $50 for him to use, because he left home with very little.

He told me he couldn’t accept the money, but I insisted and I could see he was getting emotional. It took every bit of strength in me to not cry. To know how this boy is feeling, the abandonment, the abuse and trauma he has already endured, has made me very emotional.

I also asked if he and the friend he is staying with, wanted to come with us to basketball at the police run centre we go to every Wednesday after school, and they seemed really keen on that. So that was good. I also said I would talk to the parents where he is staying, to see how we can help.

As I walked away, I could feel the tears starting to fall down my cheeks.

I don’t know the issues going on in this boys parents home, but whatever his parents issues are, they have treated their son appallingly. And abusively. And that is not okay and not justified by their own issues with alcohol.

I want this boy to know there are people who care about him, and for him to know 2 families care about him, is important to a teen who has endured abuse. Especially when the abuse is your own parents. Your parents are meant to be the people who love you, cherish you and protect you the most. Abusive parents fail at this completely. That has deep effects on the child/teen and the adult they become.

Then we called into a fast food place, to get some ice-creams, and a girl I used to care for when she was a young teenager, was outside the fast food place, looking really unwell. She works there after university. I asked her if she was okay, and she said she was ill and had just been told to go home. So, I offered to give her a lift home and said to her she could phone me any time if stuck like that again. Her mum is a single mum, and has lots of problems associated with horrible divorces. When I used to care for this teenager girl and her siblings, she used to tell me all her problems and confide in me. She told my in-laws who were in the car, that I was the person who “helped her most when she was sad and I was like her therapist”. I nearly started crying again. It was clear I was an important part of her life, for the 4 years I cared for her after school and in the holidays. She gave me huge hugs when we got to her house. Continue reading


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Have I Already Cried Enough Tears, Grieved Enough About My Mother? ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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I know my mothers death is affecting me more than it appears. I haven’t cried. I don’t feel angry. I don’t feel sad. I feel nothing.

But, I know it’s affecting me.

I’m on the internet and social media more than I was.

I’m blogging more than I was.

I’m exhausted and that’s getting worse each day.

I didn’t sleep well last night. Despite medication.

All signs that I am struggling. But, without the emotions to go with it.

I’m getting emotional about anything else upsetting.

Like my son’s friend who is 15, being homeless because his alcoholic abusive parents chucked him out this week. Which makes me very angry. Poor kid. Such abuse and abandonment. Fortunately he is staying indefinitely with another of their friends, who’s parents have so kindly taken him in. Which I am so grateful for And I’m going to talk to them tomorrow, to see how I can help. I have a card to give him too, with a message of how is welcome anytime at our place. If he needs anything, to let us know. And some money in the card. I just want him to know there are people who care about him and his wellbeing.

I’ve cried at how this teenager must be feeling. Several times.

I cried at the news about Manchester and the terrorism that claimed so many lives and traumatised many more.

I’ve cried about a story of animal cruelty I read.

But, I cannot cry about my mother. I wish I could and just get over with already. Continue reading


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Healing Is About Transformation Of Self, Not Putting On A Persona Or Identity ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Healing is about transformation of self.
That requires us to honesty look at ourselves, our thinking, our behaviours and see how trauma has affected us.
Healing is not about putting on some ‘strong warrior survivor’ identity or persona.
Healing is about getting really real with self, and what needs to change. And continually persisting in making the changes needed, to move towards a better life. With lots of self compassion and patience, along the way. Continue reading


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I Talked Today, About My Counsellor Being The Only Significant Person In My Life – To Model Healthy Boundaries ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago, about feeling very emotional to see my counsellor hug and kiss someone, whilst knowing she never offers this to me. I know now, I went straight to that place of toxic shame, to think that there was something ‘wrong’ with me, that makes me an ‘untouchable patient/client’.

This blog is at https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2017/05/06/the-shame-hurt-of-being-an-untouchable-client-to-my-therapist-lilly-hope-lucario/

Since, writing that blog, I of course have continued to process this and start to see this from a different viewpoint. I realise, being an abuse survivor – who has been abused so much, that my counsellor needs to model appropriate behaviour, especially with regards to physical contact. To protect her and me.

It is sad to reflect on the fact that no other significant person in my life, has modelled appropriate physical contact with me. Each person has used, abused and mistreated me.

So, whilst I would truly love to have hugs and my hand held by my counsellor, I am in fact, now truly thankful that she doesn’t. It was hard to talk about this, but I needed to. And she handled it really well, and in a really sensitive way.

I know that for her sake and mine, I need really appropriate boundaries modelled. And this includes emotional and physical boundaries.

She did confirm that the person she hugged, was in fact a supervision client. She supervises therapists, for their own counselling, as counsellors. And she confirmed she did feel awkward that this therapist, wanted to hug and kiss on the cheek. So, I do know I assumed this person was a patient like myself. And I was wrong. Continue reading


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12 Life Impacting Symptoms – Complex PTSD Survivors Can Endure ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Complex trauma is still a relatively new field of psychology. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, results from enduring complex trauma.

Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma, where the victim is traumatised in captivity, and where there is no perceived way to escape. Ongoing child abuse, is captivity abuse, because the child cannot escape. Domestic violence, is another example. Enforced prostitution/sex trafficking is another.

Complex PTSD is a proposed disorder, which is different to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Many of the issues and symptoms endured by complex trauma survivors, are outside of the list of symptoms within the (Uncomplicated) PTSD diagnostic criterion. Complex PTSD does acknowledge and validate these added symptoms.

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The impact of complex trauma, is very different to a one time or short lived trauma. The effect of repeated/ongoing trauma – caused by people – changes the brain, and also changes the survivor at a core level.  It changes the way survivors view the world, other people and themselves, in profound ways.

The following are some of the symptoms and impact, most felt by complex trauma survivors.


1. Deep Fear Of Trust

People who endure ongoing abuse, particularly from significant people in their lives, develop an intense, and understandable fear of trusting people. If the abuse was parents, or caregivers, this intensifies. Ongoing trauma, wires the brain for fear and distrust. It becomes the way the brain copes with any further potential abuse. Complex trauma survivors often find trusting people very difficult, and it takes little for any trust built, to be destroyed. The brain senses issues and this overwhelms the already severely traumatised brain. This fear of trust, is very impacting in a survivors life. Learning to trust, can be learned, with support and an understanding of trusting people slowly and carefully.

2. Terminal Aloneness

This is a phrase I used to describe to my counsellor, the terribly painful aloneness I have always felt as a complex trauma survivor. Survivors often feel so little connection and trust with people, they remain in a terrible state of aloneness, even when surrounded by people. I described it once, as having a glass wall between myself and other people. I can see them, but I cannot connect with them.

Another issue that increases this aloneness, is feeling different to other people. Feeling damaged, broken and feeling unable to be like other people, can haunt a survivor, increasing the loneliness.

3. Emotion Regulation Continue reading


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I’m Going To Love & Honour My Inner Child, On Mother’s Day ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Mother’s Day, is hard for childhood complex trauma survivors, who have suffered child abuse from the person who was meant to love, protect, cherish and nurture them the most. But, instead the ‘mother’ abused them, stealing the joy and innocence of their childhood.

This leads to a very hurt inner child. I did some inner child healing over the last few years. It was hugely beneficial to my healing process. Painful, hard, but needed.

I’m very emotional about Mother’s Day this year. I’m aware this is because I have processed the cold, hard, painful horrendous truth of the abuse from my mother, over the last year. And I am grieving and I will continue to, for however long that process is necessary. And I bear in mind, it took 18 years of my childhood of severe abuse and neglect, plus continued on into adulthood. So, the healing will take time too. You don’t get over decades of severe abuse, quickly.

I’ve read different articles on how to cope through Mother’s Day, when your mother was not the loving, cherishing person she should have been.

For me, at my point in my healing, I think I need to honour my inner child this Mother’s Day. As well as celebrate myself as a good mother, for my beautiful boys.

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I will literally talk to myself, to my inner child and remind her how beautiful she is, and how much she deserves love, protection and safety. I will tell her she is a good girl, who deserved everything good she did not have. And how she did not deserve a single second of the abuse she endured. Continue reading