Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


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5th Article by Lilly Hope Lucario – Published by The Minds Journal

So thankful to The Minds Journal, for publishing my 5th article, about Complex Trauma induced emotional flashbacks.

It is always my hope to reach more survivors, validate their experiences and educate more people about Complex PTSD.

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Emotional Flashbacks – Due to Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Other articles published by The Minds Journal include ….

https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/my-4th-article-published-by-the-minds-journal/

https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/my-3rd-article-published-by-the-minds-journal/

https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/second-article-pubished-by-the-minds-journal/

https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/published-by-the-minds-journal/

~ 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.


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Emotional Flashbacks – Due to Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

scared-child

Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma (abuse), within a captivity situation, where the victim perceives no viable means to escape.

Most ongoing child abuse, is complex trauma. The child is vulnerable, at the mercy of the caregivers, and unable to escape. Other examples where complex trauma can occur are sex trafficking, prisoner of war, severe domestic violence.

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, can result from enduring complex trauma.

Complex PTSD has specific symptoms, that are not listed within the diagnostic criterion for (Uncomplicated) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

These specific symptoms, are deep and pervasive issues with trust, abandonment, emotion regulation, isolation and many more.

One of the most common symptoms, and the hardest to understand and recognise, are emotional flashbacks. These are where emotions from the past, are triggered by something occurring now. These emotional flashbacks, do not have a visual aspect to them like flashbacks many PTSD sufferers experience. When there is something visual, it is far easier to understand, this is a flashback.

When there is no visual component, most survivors just feel they are having intense emotions, and really not understand why. They may seem ‘over-dramatic’ in their emotions and those close to the survivor, will see these intense emotions are not rational.

Once I realised I was experiencing emotional flashbacks, I began to work on understanding and recognising them, as they were occurring. Which was a very challenging and long process. It required a lot of effort and a willingness, to really work on this. It was well worth the effort.

How I learned to recognise emotional flashbacks were occurring, is by having to be really honest about my intense emotions. And be really honest about whether there was something valid occurring now to cause those emotions? Or was my emotional state, not appropriate or valid, for what was occurring now? Sometimes it is. But, sometimes, it’s not.

An example of this… I saw something said on social media, that caused an intense emotional response in me. It created deep feelings of being unsafe and scared. I had to stop and think about whether the current issue actually warranted and was rationally causing these intense emotions? The answer was no, I was completely safe. So why was I feeling like a scared child? I was experiencing an emotional flashback. This due to some abusive situation in the past, that made me fearful and scared. And at ‘that’ time during the trauma, my emotional response of fear and being scared, was very rational and valid.

Then, I learned to soothe myself, by telling myself “I am safe”. And tell myself “this issue is due to my past, and not due to something occurring now”. And I learned the different ways to comfort, ground and use mindfulness, and distraction, to help me manage these emotional flashbacks and the intense emotions triggered. Continue reading


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Songs for when I’m having emotional flashbacks.

I’ve learned to go with my emotions, emotional flashbacks. Rather than suppress them. I also know to not stay there long. But, it helps to just feel it. My past has made me who I am, and I honour each part of my journey. Rather than feel ashamed of it.

This song reminds me of being 16.

 

This song reminds me of my hurt inner child. And how I feel right now.

 

 


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The terminal aloneness, is easily triggered.

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It doesn’t take much, to trigger some of the more pervasive and chronic issues of Complex PTSD.

I’ve felt terminally alone, all my life. I still battle it.

My doctor/counsellor is away for a month. Ongoing personal issues flare up. I have no-one I trust, to talk to.

So the aloneness, the hopelessness, the despair sets in.

You can be doing okay for a little while, and then a few things occur, and you feel right back to the depths of despair you felt when in the midst of the worst trauma.

I wish I could fast-forward the rest of my life. I wish I could Continue reading