Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


How Complex Trauma Survivors Can Learn To Trust People ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

how complex trauma survivors can learn to trust people

Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated inter-personal trauma – abuse and neglect – caused by other people. Often this ongoing abuse causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Trust issues are one of the debilitating and life impacting results of enduring complex trauma. It’s very understandable, when you consider the survivor has been subjected to ongoing harm, particularly when from those they were meant to be able to trust, rely on and feel safe with.

This is intensified when the abuse/trauma was endured was in childhood. Not learning how to develop healthy relationships, not having this modelled, causes the survivor to have a deficit of needed skills in adulthood. Knowing how to appropriately trust people, is one of them.

Trust issues can be either not trusting anyone, or trusting too quickly and easily. Both resulting in further issues that are painful to endure. Survivors can swap between these, depending on what is occurring in their life. Often trusting too easily – results in the survivor being hurt more, and then they jump into ‘I’m never trusting anyone again’ mode. All ways of coping. All very understandable.

Not trusting anyone – is a coping and survival instinct. If we don’t trust anyone – we can’t get hurt…. right? But, this understandable way of protecting ourselves – means we don’t have healthy relationships with others. This can lead to a painful sense of aloneness and lack of connection with other people. And connecting to others, is a vital human need.

Trusting people too quickly and too easily often results in the survivor being harmed more. Not knowing how to build trust carefully – causes a greater issue of being in further unhealthy, toxic, abusive relationships.

I see very often in my work as an abuse survivor advocate and writer – complex trauma survivors saying they will “never trust anyone” and I want to gently encourage survivors to know – there is a way to build up trust slowly and carefully – that still protects them and keeps them safe.

My first trauma counsellor, was an amazing and wise woman, who helped me with my trust issues. As a survivor of multiple complex trauma endured from birth – my trust issues were deep.

This is how she explained how to learn to trust in a healthy way and develop safe relationships:

  1. Trust isn’t given, or demanded – it’s earned. Carefully.
  2. There are good people out there, that we can have healthy relationships with. It may feel hard to accept that – but it is true. Figuring out if someone is healthy, is key to forming healthy relationships.
  3. Not everyone is going to abuse us. There are non abusive people out there. No-one is perfect, but there are people who are respectful, caring and want good for others.
  4. You need healthy boundaries on your own behaviours and choices. You have to understand how we interact we others, how we build relationships, including trust – is our own responsibility and we have to learn self control in order to proceed carefully.
  5. You cannot 100% trust anyone. But you can learn who is trustworthy enough.
  6. You build trust – slowly and carefully. Not by jumping ‘all in’. And not by refusing point blank to try to trust someone.
  7. Don’t tell them straight up you have ‘trust issues’. Keep that information to yourself.
  8. Then sit back and discern how this person treats other? Are they kind? Are they interacting in a healthy way? Are their behaviours consistent? If yes, that’s a good start.
  9. If they treat others well, and you’ve gotten to know them a little, give them only a little piece of information about yourself, particularly about your trauma history. Something that’s not too revealing. So instead of revealing nothing, or telling them ‘all’ about your life – you give them a little bit and see how they receive that? How did they handle that? Did they deal with that respectfully?
  10. Once you’ve given them a little bit of information, sit back and watch over time what they do with that. Do they push you too quickly for more information. Do they seem dismissive about it? Did they not offer words of kindness? Do they go and tell others about it? Do they gossip about you regarding what you told them? If yes, to any of those, these are red flags that would suggest this person is not a ‘safe person’.
  11. If they seem to handle this well – after a while – give them a little bit more information and again – see how they respond and react? And continue this.
  12. This gradual way of revealing yourself, is about being careful. It’s about protecting yourself. You do not have to tell them too much. It’s much safer to real yourself slowly.
  13. Someone healthy and respectful will be okay with this gradual process. If they are not okay with it, then this is a red flag and someone who has unhealthy issues and I advise not to proceed with giving anymore revealing information, or any further information about your trauma history.
  14. You also don’t have to be too quick with things like sexual contact with someone, if this is a romantic relationship. If they push you quickly into sexual intimacy – this is not okay if you need to take this slowly, they should respect that. If they are respectful – you can build more trust in them over time.
  15. It’s also worth seeing how quickly they tell you about themselves. If they reveal nothing, or tell you a lot, this is someone with their own issues and we need to figure out why?
  16. Build this relationship in a mutually respectful, careful manner. Discern as you go what seems ‘off’ and take your time in figuring the person out.
  17. Proceed only if this careful process reveals healthy consistent, respectful behaviours.
  18. Enjoy the relationship you have built, based on trust and mutual respect.

Continue reading


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


Why Learning All I Have About Abuse & Abusers ~ Is An Awesome Achievement ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

10719-Eleanor-Roosevelt-Quote-You-gain-strength-courage-and-confidence

I get positive and negative reactions about my insight, knowledge and self education about abuse, abusers, toxic people etc. I’m used it now and I recognise most reactions are about people’s own needs and how they have to cope with their own lives. It’s rarely about me.

I’m a childhood complex trauma survivor, who has been abused since birth. I am a text book case of the highly abused and neglected child, who went on to be abused in adulthood.

There are many reasons for this, the main one being – being abused by toxic people is my normal and toxic people used this to their own sick advantage.

I’m a textbook case of the scapegoat child who learned to placate other people’s needs, but still always knew their toxic behaviour was not okay. I just knew nothing else and believed I deserved nothing better. 

There was nothing malicious from within me – that encouraged this abuse. I was vulnerable, with no good support and I had been groomed since birth to tolerate abuse, to self blame, and tip toe on egg shells around highly manipulative, abusive character disturbed people.

Seven years ago, I had a breakdown – due to my marriage to a narcissistic sociopath. The insidious manner in which that abuse was inflicted, was so slowly and so carefully done, I had no idea it was abuse. The emotional, psychological and sexual abuse was significant trauma. I was also abused by a church minister and church that I reached out to for support during this breakdown, which clearly did not help and worsened the pain.

Due to this breakdown, all past trauma I had suppressed, came to the surface. That nearly killed me, it was so terribly painful. I then went through more torture of working out my husband had abused me, including sexual coercion.

Throughout this process, I have learned a great deal of psychology about narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths. I’ve learned a great deal about every type of abuse – emotional, psychological, verbal, sexual, physical, spiritual. I’ve read countless books, articles and blogs. I’ve learned there are no justifiable excuses for one single moment of the abuse I have endured.

I’ve processed it all and that combined with my considerable life experience of abuse – is a profound amount of education, insight and knowledge.

I recognise this fully now and I will not allow anyone to suggest I should not have my normal and needed emotions, opinions and insight.

But, this has all hurt more than I could ever explain. I don’t have adequate words to express the pain and torture I have endured processing everything.

Quotes-About-Strength-And-Courage-1

But, it has taken considerable courage, strength and resilience.

I’ve had amazing support from within the community I manage on social media. And for that – I will always be truly thankful.

However, I’ve also encountered intolerance of my insight and negative responses to my opinions about abusers, including considerable online harassment, trolling and abuse.

I’ve also encountered negative responses from those in my life, where I have been criticised, mocked and shamed for all the education I have given myself and my views about abuse.

Yet, where would I be if I had not been so willing to learn and have so much resilience and resourcefulness to educate myself and combine that with my life experiences and insight capacity???? 

I would still be in my marriage, still be being abused every day, lied to, cheated on, blamed and shamed, being raped on a regular basis, and possibly in marriage guidance counselling – being blamed for part of my marriage issues.

But, I’m not. Only MY education about abuse and abusers – led to me being able to discern narcissism, sociopathy, psychopathy, sexual coercion, – which is what led to me getting out of my marriage.

Continue reading


Narcissists, Sociopaths & Psychopaths And Infidelity ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

thumb_narcissists-and-sociopaths-are-known-for-sex-addiction-and-infidelity-10896509

Of all the many kinds of abuse that narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths (I will refer to them as toxic people) choose to inflict on their victims – infidelity is one.

My toxic ex (we are separated) cheated throughout his first marriage and I’ve just been told – cheated throughout ours.

Someone has let me know my ex cheated back before we moved to Australia. I’m not at all surprised. Anyone who can sexually abuse a survivor of severe sexual abuse – is capable of anything.

Infidelity is just one of the many things toxic people do – with no remorse, no conscience, no guilt, no shame, no empathy. And of course – if you confront them – they will act outraged that you would suggest such a thing about them.

My ex has no understanding of love, honesty, decency, care, integrity or anything that is found in decent human beings.

Here are some links:

https://www.psychopathfree.com/articles/why-do-narcissists-and-sociopaths-cheat.374/

https://www.health.com/mind-body/sociopath-traits

https://www.bustle.com/p/13-common-mind-games-sociopaths-play-in-everyday-life-to-watch-out-for-2975623

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/manipulative-lies-sociopath-personality-rebecca-monet

It’s interesting to recently hear friend’s opinions of my toxic ex. How difficult them found him. How he’s ignorant and shallow. Very boring and weird. And he’ll never change. He will wallow in his darkness and feeling like a victim all his life. 

0774957b1267fa79561f8577fa789357

I am moving forward with my life. I’m raising my boys to be the opposite of their father. Continue reading


A Near Serious Car Crash Is Terrible – Especially With PTSD & Vasovagal Nerve Damage ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

adult alone black and white blur

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

 

My life is continually stressful now. Separated from a narcissistic sociopath sexual abuser husband. Facing divorce and all issues relating to that. Raising 2 children alone, one being a teenager. Trying to build a business when chronically ill. No family.  Vasovagal nerve damage caused by extreme distress, due to domestic violence for 18 years. PTSD. Major Depressive Disorder. Panic Disorder. Agoraphobia.

Every day is hard. Every day is a challenge to get to the end of it and be remotely okay.  Additional issues push me to the edge of any capacity to cope. And that’s not something I should be ashamed of. Many would not be able to cope as well as I do – going through less than I have. And I have no judgement of how anyone else is coping after complex trauma. I’m just trying to focus on how strong I am.

Today was a shit day. Several issues that made me feel stressed out. And then a near very serious car crash. Myself and my boys are lucky we are not in hospital. Or dead. A driver didn’t stop and give way – leading to him nearly crashing straight into my car at fairly high speed. I swerved to avoid him, and that put me in the path of a bollard and lamp post. I don’t know how – but I managed to steer the car through the really tight gap in between the other car and this lamp post. There was literally a few inches either side. My 16 year old commented how ‘f***ing awesome’ my driving was – to get through this gap and not crash – in such a fast and intense situation. He was really impressed.

Both my sons were pretty shaken up. I had a pull over about 30 seconds after the near crash. I just started crying and physically shaking. As the near crash was happening, I went into that dissociated state where I become very calm and I picture the crash that may about to occur, and then afterwards – everything is remembered in slow motion. Then 30 seconds later, reality hit, and I fell apart. I kept apologising to my sons for crying and my teenager said he totally understood why I was crying and if it weren’t for my incredible calmness and driving skill – we would have crashed so easily.

I was shaking for hours afterwards. This happened 5 hours ago Continue reading


Sexual Coercion – Is Sexual Abuse ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

sexual coercion

 

Over the last 6 months – I have come to understand all the abuse I have endured within my marriage. It’s been incredibly painful.

One of the abuse types I endured for over a decade – is sexual coercion. Being a survivor of considerable sexual abuse – starting in childhood – it has been extremely distressing to have to process all the sexual abuse – throughout 18 years of my marriage.

This article was the one I read that made me have to face all this. This sentence was a huge moment of realisation.

“Unless there is an ENTHUSIASTIC yes then it is sexual coercion.”

https://goodmenproject.com/sex-relationships/the-startling-truth-about-sexual-coercion-babb/

Sexual coercion is where a perpetrator of abuse coerces a victim into unwanted sex. Coercion occurs via many methods: guilt tripping, emotional abuse, use of alcohol or drugs, to name a few.

I was coerced via emotional abuse – where my life was made more difficult if I did not give in to sex. I was plied with alcohol. There were constant demands made for sex. There was guilt tripping – as though he were the victim by me not wanting sex. If his attempts to pressure me into sex were not successful – he would have tantrums and there was anger if I refused.

It was very obvious to him that I did not want sex. But, he didn’t care. His needs were all that mattered. It often hurt and he didn’t care about that either. I had to dissociate to cope through it. Just as I did during the sexual abuse earlier in my life. 

During the first few years of our marriage – I realised this man was not the man he pretended to be. Now, I do know he a narcissistic sociopathic toxicly selfish man and a pervert. He enjoyed himself whilst I was being abused into unwanted sex. And not once did he care about how I felt. Throughout the marriage he consistently failed to have good character traits. Just toxic character disturbance. No empathy. No conscience. No remorse. Toxic entitlement. Perversion. Pathological lying. He is a sick man.

The worst part – is he knows I am a sexual abuse survivor. And he used that to his advantage. I was more easily manipulated. I had no idea sexual coercion was abuse. I’ve been manipulated into sexual abuse since being a child.

He used me as his personal sexual perversion ‘thing’. He never treated me like a human being with my own needs, emotions etc.

There is an added level of evil when someone chooses to sexually abuse a sexual abuse survivor.

Now I know that as per the above article sexual consent is an enthusiastic yes.

An ENTHUSIASTIC yes.

I think it can’t be more plain than that.

We’re not talking about a yes with a question mark, a scared yes,

or a reluctant yes.

We are talking about an ENTHUSIASTIC yes!

Many people will think this kind of abuse is ‘normal’. But, just because it is common – does not make it okay. After all it’s only a few decades ago they made it illegal to rape your wife. Prior to that law changing – men could legally rape their wives. But just because it was legal – did not make it okay, at all. 

Continue reading


1 Comment

You Know What They Say About Opinions…..

There is a saying….

“Opinions are like arseholes…….. everyone has one……….. and most are full of shit.”

I’m not sure who wrote this – but it so very true.

I’ve dealt with people and their opinions of me…. all my life.

Most opinions have been based on toxic thinking, cognitive distortions, self serving assumptions and their own needs. And are actually nothing to do with me.

I’m aware people’s ‘opinions’ continue. Even people in my life I’m supposed to be able to trust – have wrong opinions of me.

But, I know who I am. I know my capacity for truth and my insight – make me someone some people don’t feel comfortable around. I sense things in people. I often know people better than they know themselves.

So what’s the best way to discredit my thinking…………. assume wrong things about me. Decide ‘my’ thinking is wrong,

Continue reading