Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


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“Nothing has made so much sense than this.”

“Nothing has made so much sense than this.”

This is the type of feedback from other complex trauma survivors, that helps me realise, how meaningful my work is. Feedback that shows someone has gained something significant to them, to help their healing… is what I hope to achieve.

The feedback was in response to this blog

https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/emotional-flashbacks-are-very-real-many-dont-realise-they-are-occurring/comment-page-1/#comment-9743

I know how complex – complex trauma is. I’m still figuring it out. I’m not an expert, as some tell me I am. But, I do have the capacity to work things out, with self insight.

This feedback came today, from a survivor who read my blog about emotional flashbacks. These types of flashbacks are really challenging to understand and figure out. Let alone manage.

I’ve also has this feedback…

“This is my life. I can understand every single issue

I deal with every day now.

Finally something makes sense. This makes me cry.

For the sadness and pain I consistently endure.

Thank you.”

And I owe this validation about Emotional Flashbacks – to Pete Walker. Continue reading


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A chatterbox and tears.

My son’s school friend, was playing with a chatterbox this morning. I haven’t seen one of those, since I was in school. I used to make loads of them.

I told my son I would make him one, when he came home from school. And so I did.

I remembered how to make it, but as I was folding the paper, I could feel emotions welling up. Along with anxiety. No idea why, other than this is a reminder of my childhood in general, which was not a good one.

I tried to contain my emotions, as I wanted this to be a fun activity with my 6 year old. We worked out what numbers and colours, and wrote funny things for people to do.

chatterbox-300x300

I had to really focus on what I was doing, and focus on my son, and try really hard, to not allow the emotions to end up being tears.

But, once my son skipped off, ready to try his chatterbox out on his brother, the tears welled up in my eyes.

I hate my past interfering with my life now, when it involves my children. I don’t want my past, to be a part of Continue reading


It is always a relief, to read experts knowledge on Complex PTSD.

“I always feel a relief, from reading trauma expert’s knowledge of PTSD & Complex PTSD.

It helps me realise, I am normal, for all I have endured and my strong emotions, my fears, my reactions, my thoughts – are due to the very abnormal abuse/experiences I have endured.

This is why I share all this, so others feel validated and understand this is normal for all they have endured, also.”

~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I wrote this on my Facebook page today, after having researched info I already knew, but needed to read again. It is vital, that severe complex trauma survivors, know and understand their emotions, fears etc….are all normal for what they have endured.

It is vital for me to know this.

It’s like a form of self soothing.

“I am okay, this is normal for me, there are massive reasons, and none of it is my fault.” 

I’m aware, I have no doubt been in a big emotional flashback, for the last few days. They can last days, weeks even. Continue reading


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I don’t have to keep your dirty secrets, anymore.

Throughout my 43 years, I have never had anyone in my life, care enough to want to know about the sexual abuse I suffered as a child.

I’ve used the term paedophile, and people just assume what happened. But, no-one has ever asked me if I need to share the details. My mother didn’t care. She was too busy blaming me for the paedophile abusing my sister. I have nightmares still about seeing him abusing her.

Since childhood, no-one has ever wanted to know if I need to share these details.

So, they remained a dirty, vile, shameful secret inside me.

Secrets my inner child still feels, still has deep fear about.

Secrets my inner child still feels deep shame, blame and guilt about.

Even in counselling, it’s been made clear that exposure therapy, is not appropriate, and I’ve always agreed with that. Until now. Yes, exposure therapy can be re-traumatising. But, keeping ‘secrets’ can be damaging. I think I only went along with not wanting to go down the track of exposure therapy, because it served my unhealthy need for avoidance and kept that shame within me, of not ‘telling’. it kept that shame within me, still going.

I know this is partly about my unmet childhood needs. I needed a mother I could tell. And I didn’t have that. Instead I was severely abused further, with being blamed for my sister being abused. Every child needs someone they can tell. Someone safe. Someone they can trust. I didn’t have that. I’ve never had anyone I can trust, for my inner child to tell the dirty secrets to. Continue reading


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Emotional Flashbacks, are very real & many don’t realise they are occurring.

Pete Walker, has deep insight into complex trauma within childhood.

Emotional flashbacks, are something many don’t realise they are enduring, until they understand what they are, why they are occurring and learn how to identify them.

They are the hardest flashbacks to understand and identify, and many just assume they are feeling emotional. Often they will be described by others, as being over-emotional, or over sensitive.

I am still struggling with mine. But, I am aware, when I feel scared, vulnerable, fearful, lost, completely alone…I am experiencing not just what may have hurt me now, but the issue has triggered emotions from the past too. I know my inner child is suffering. Continue reading


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Insight from Pete Walker – Emotional Flashbacks & Trust.

Click to access emotionalFlashbackManagement.pdf

Emotional Flashbacks

Over the course of a therapy, I often reframe emotional flashbacks as messages from the wounded inner child designed to challenge denial or minimization about childhood trauma. It is as if the inner child is clamoring for validation of past parental abuse and neglect: “See this is how bad it was–how overwhelmed, terrified, ashamed and abandoned I felt so much of the time.” When seen in this light, emotional flashbacks are also signals from the wounded child that many of her developmental needs have not been met. Most important among these are the needs for safety and for Winnicottian ‘good enough’ attachment.

There are no needs more important than those of a parent’s protection and empathy, without which a child cannot own and develop her instincts for self-protection and self-compassion—the cornerstones of a healthy ego. Without awakening to the need for this kind of primal self-advocacy, clients remain stuck in learned self-abandonment and rarely develop effective resistance to internal or external abuse, and seldom gain the motivation to consistently use the 13 tools for managing emotional flashbacks at the end of this article.

On Trust.

I believe this type of dissociation also accounts for the recurring disappearance of previously established trust that commonly occurs with emotional flashbacks. This phenomenon makes it imperative that we psychoeducate clients that flashbacks can cause them to forget that proven allies are in fact still reliable, and that they are flashing back to their childhoods when no one was trustworthy. Continue reading


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I know when I have suicidal thoughts, they occur within a dissociated type state.

People talk about suicide being selfish. On one level, I see their point. The loved ones left behind suffer, terribly. And I do not want that and I know many suicide survivors say the same.

But, I know, whenever I have ‘those’ types of thoughts, I am not capable of thinking the way I do when I am calm and rational.

I have not figured out entirely what state I am in when these dark thoughts are filling my mind. They could be due to:

1. Dissociation.

2. Emotional flashbacks.

3. Psychosis.

All these being different, but still an altered state of mind, where my thought processing is different to my normal thought/processing capacity.

I have researched suicide, and I know the emerging, latest views in the psychiatry/neuroscience world, is that suicide most often occurs when people are in an altered state of reality.

Mental health disorders such as Depression, PTSD, Bipolar – can all have psychosis, at the severe end of the spectrum.

PTSD, and maybe others (I am unsure) and trauma related mental health, can have dissociation, flashbacks.

So, when someone is in this altered state of mind, their capacity to consider the needs and emotions of others, should they endure a loved ones suicide, is not there.

Many suicide survivors and people suffering suicidal thoughts, feel very ashamed of this and confused as to how they can have these thoughts, when they have family, children, loved ones.

But, I know myself well, I have deep self insight and deep honesty about myself and I know my thoughts when my symptoms/emotions have gone too far, become altered, by my altered stated of mind. Continue reading


I always form the wrong attachments & when they end, it is devastating.

I’m aware I form attachments rarely and when I do, they are with the wrong people and as a result, I always get so painfully hurt.

I know this is part of my Complex PTSD issues, due to so much abuse within my childhood and not having appropriate relationships with my own parents.

I’ve always said that to trust people, is my biggest form of self harm. Because, I form the wrong sort of attachments and trust people, who are unable and not wanting to be who I need them to be.

It’s a huge behavioural pattern within my life and I accept it, know why and try to have self compassion, rather than self hatred about this.

Abandonment depression and a deep sense of loss and grieving always follows the ending and loss of the attachments I have created in my heart. Continue reading


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Massive anxiety…at saying something my mother used to say.

I am thankful that I don’t say things my mother used to say, I am nothing like my mother.

But, I just said something that she said and I remember it vividly – visual and emotional flashback of it.

I just told my kids off (calmly), for using my sewing scissors for craft – the ones I use for cutting material.

I remember so clearly my mother really shouting at me for doing the same thing as a child, because she was so annoyed with me, because I used her scissors. I was probably about 9, or 10. Being scared of her, this was obviously a time when I was anxious that she would punish me emotionally, as she always did. I always tried to keep the peace, pacify her, keep her happy, do anything she wanted and not ‘awaken the beast’.

I always had a lot of anxiety and fear of my mother getting nasty and she knew this. She deliberately created this, for my compliance, for power and control over me. I was the sensitive one, the eldest and I was the easy prey for her.

My anxiety is massive right now.