Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


So glad I have persisted in my ladies group :)

About 8 months ago, I set up a group for ladies to have coffee and to chat.

Today, was probably the best chat we’ve had. It was a group of ladies that are now regular core group ladies who come along, and they are so lovely. They are all older than me, in their 50’s and 60’s, but I like that – because I relate to people older than myself, far more than people my own age.

coffee-cheers

There have been times when I have wanted to stop arranging it, and felt like giving up on it. But, I persisted and have carefully removed a few bitchy trouble makers, and the result of that – is it is a lovely group of nice, gentle, caring ladies, who talk about life’s good and bad stuff. We discuss life’s difficult issues, but we also have a laugh and some giggles.

Several of the ladies have connected with each other and are now friends and meet up outside of the group and I love that. Because there are many different reasons why people can feel lonely, and to have friends they relate to and connect with, is what my motivation for setting up the group is about. Continue reading


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My teenage son “you are the most caring person, Mum”

I had a moment today, which almost reduced me to tears. We were sat eating dinner.

My teenage son (14), asked me how my day went. I explained I had a lovely time at my  ladies group. And how I am so happy to see some of the group members, have made friends with each other, and meet up outside of the group, along with their husbands. To which my son responded with “you are the most caring person, Mum”.

And he really meant it. He doesn’t say things like that unless he really means them. And he is pretty vocal about his views and opinions, because I allow him that safety of respectfully speaking his mind.

It meant a lot to me, that my sons see I am caring. Because modelling that to them, is important. I am aware my empathic and caring nature, has a great influence on them developing that in their personalities too.

When I set up my ladies group, I did it because there are lots of people who are lonely, for many different reasons. There are ladies who are new to the area/country, who are divorced and have lost their friends, who’s partners are not keen on socialising, who have been ill and lost friends in the process, who’s partners are deceased, who are taking care of relatives, escaping domestic violence. Many reasons.

To offer them a safe group, where they feel welcomed, where they can just chat over a coffee, matters. It matters to them. And I am so glad that I have been able to provide this. I’ve weeded out a few shitty people, which means the group is lovely. And going so well. And I enjoy their company too.

So, to see my teenage son, understand this is caring about people, matters. To know they see me, doing something that benefits others and not just myself, matters. Especially in this increasingly egocentric, selfish, narcissistic world we live in. Continue reading


Approaching the ‘issue’ in the group.

I wrote recently, about a woman in my ladies group, who was showing red flags. Very selfish, brings every conversation back to herself, ‘tells’ people what they should be doing, no sensitivity to other people’s needs, very defensive if people don’t agree with her, likes to be the centre of attention, expects each meet to be fitting ‘her’ schedule…. etc.

I’ve been monitoring this. I’ve been vigilant about what she is saying to other ladies, and I’ve offered a more appropriate response on several occasions.

It was brought to my attention, that other ladies are finding this woman uncomfortable to be around. And it was off-putting to be told by a stranger, what they should be doing.

After thinking about this for a few days, I decided I would need to approach this woman and let her know this feedback and issues and that I need to be concerned with the whole group. And I don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable, or leave, due to this.

So, I did. I sent a polite message, outlining this feedback. She responded, with a passive aggressive – nice, but not nice – response. I can read passive aggressive, very easily.

I know to sit back and watch, to see what else happens. The same day, she then stated she couldn’t come to the next fortnightly meet, because she had other plans. When I know for a fact, that she always kept those days free, for my group.

So, this will mean she won’t be attending for at least 3 weeks. Which is okay Continue reading


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My ladies group is going so well :D

A few months ago, I set up a ladies group, for ‘mature thinking’ ladies. We meet up for coffee and interesting chat.

It’s going so well. Such a diverse and interesting group of ladies.

The ladies give such great feedback and it is lovely to see friendships forming and conversations where people feel confident and safe to share some of their more personal details. And I make sure the reactions and responses, are appropriate. Whilst being tolerant of differences in opinions, which don’t create any harm.

Of the core group of ladies, which is about 12 of us, only one is an issue. I handle her by keeping vigilant and I can already tell, a few of the other ladies have cottoned on to her issues. So that’s been interesting to watch. I offer more appropriate responses, when I hear her unhealthy ego, being flexed. She makes every conversation about herself, so I always direct the conversation back to others.

Some new ladies came today, and I ensured they felt welcomed. They both wrote lovely responses, about how welcomed they felt and left great comments about how the group is hosted. One of the new ladies, has already confirmed she is coming to the next two group chats.

I feel a little more able to show my funny/kooky side and I like to create some giggles. I told them about getting my puppy next week, and how excited I am.

I’m still not offering much in the way of personal details – other than about my children, my hobbies, my puppy.

I can really see how my discernment, empathy, sensitivity to the needs of others, and capacity to respond appropriately to issues, is really Continue reading


Managing my emotions better, in group situations.

I am a very empathic person. When I hear someone speak of something traumatic, or see people upset, I struggle not to get emotional. I feel their pain.

I’ve been running a ladies group for a few months. Today, the group was smaller, there were four of us. The smaller groups tend to be easier to talk within. They are very different and diverse ladies, different lives, experiences. I love hearing their stories and thinking.

Two ladies today, I had a feeling were going through something, and I knew one lady had been having a tough time. So, when she arrived, I gently said I was glad she was here and I had been thinking of her. I could tell she was very appreciative that I had remembered previous conversations and was asking her if she was okay.

Today, the conversation was heavier than normal. This lady I had been concerned for, shared her battle with depression and being suicidal.I could hear both the relief to have a group safe enough to share within, but also the pain in her voice and face, body language.

I didn’t want to get too emotional, because I wanted to remain controlled and be able to react appropriately.

Then another lady I had been concerned for, shared her husband committed suicide. Many years ago, but again I could feel the pain and grieving. I know and understand, grieving can go on a long time, and that’s okay.

It took everything I had, not to fill up with tears. I really struggled, but I managed it. I could feel them there, but managed to keep controlled.

I listened to both of these ladies, their experiences, their emotions, how terribly hard this was for both of them. I leaned in, nodded and validated how hard this all is. I had that ‘watching myself from outside of myself’ experience I can now have, to monitor how I am reacting and seeing how others may be experiencing my reactions, facial expressions, words, tone etc. I wanted to make sure, I was responding, in the most appropriate way I could.

I wanted these ladies to know, it is okay and safe to share. I was Continue reading


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Discerning the controlling, self serving, dishonest people.

I’ve been running a ladies group for the last few months. It’s going really well and I’m getting to know the ladies. There is a healthy mix of introverted and extroverted people. Some are more vocal than others, and some are quite opinionated. Some are chatty, some are more reserved. And that’s all good.

I’m pretty skilled at working people out, and vigilant, especially when someone is starting to show red flags, of unhealthy traits.

One woman, is very opinionated. Likes to tell everyone what they should and should not be thinking/doing. And if challenged, even in a fun, jokey way, she does not like this.

I am what some people would call opinionated. I have strong opinions about serious matters. But, when it comes to other people’s lives, their relationships, their dating lives etc …. I do not want, or feel it is my place to ‘tell’ them what to do. I may not want what they are doing for my own life, but I don’t voice this, or try to tell them what they are doing is wrong.

But, this woman does. And she is already unappreciative of me giving a different viewpoint about a particular matter. She does not take it well, if her opinion is not immediately agreed with. She also likes to dominate conversations, and be the centre of attention – with opinions. She wants people to agree with her. Only. I certainly see she is someone who wants to be the circus ringmaster. I don’t intend being one of her clowns/monkeys.

She also gave advice today, about lying to someone, when there was no need to lie. This was a red flag. If she gives advice to people to lie, then she is someone who lies. And believes this is okay. And has no conscience about deceiving people, in the process. When I suggested an alternative that did not require lying, she was not happy. ‘Her’ advice, in her mind, is the ‘only’ advice.

“If someone gives advice to others,

that includes lying to people,

you can assume they probably lie to you too”

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Continue reading


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It is okay to outgrow people.

When you are on the path of growth, wisdom/truth seeking and that inner journey, requiring courage…… it is inevitable that you will outgrow those who choose not to be on this path.

It is okay to know this is occurring, and see how little you have in common with people you were closer to, in the past.

outgrow people

Due to the changes in ourselves, when we are on this path of growth, the ones we are outgrowing, will often not be encouraging. They can feel resentful and not appreciate your different opinions, and different way of thinking.

But, we cannot let their insecurities and lack of willingness to grow, stunt our own growth journey. We cannot remain how they want us to remain, just to appease their needs. If they choose to remain where they are at and resent those who choose to grow, then that is their choice. And we do not need to feel guilty, or that it is wrong, about moving on.

I was discussing this the other day, with someone who’s relationship with another friend, had become unhealthy, due to the growing differences. There were passive aggressive issues occurring due to resentment from the friend, which is often how immature people deal with their resentment. The situation was not going to be resolved, so my friend decided there was a need to end the friendship. And sometimes, that is the choice we need to make. We do not need to feel obliged to remain in unhealthy relationships/friendships. And we do not need to walk on eggshells, to appease a fragile ego. Not when their choices, are unhealthy for our own life and journey. Continue reading


It’s a far safer way of developing friendships…

It takes a lot of self insight and honesty capacity, to be able to view yourself, from outside of yourself and then discern your own interactions and behaviours. And how they are perceived by others. Whilst also viewing other people’s interactions, behaviours etc.

Had a lovely time at my ladies group again today. A very diverse groups of ladies, all older than myself, all in very different relationship situations. Some divorced, some never married, some married. Very different lifestyles. Very difference financial situations etc.

People fascinate me. I am definitely able to use my discernment and vigilance skills, to see into the lives of these ladies.

I give very little of myself away. I talk about myself in a very careful, guarded way. But, still in a friendly way. They still only know I am married, have children, my husband is a cop. Little more than that has been revealed.

I, however, know a lot more about them. They have all opened up, shared, and the group have responded in a non judgmental way. Which is good.

I already know two of the ladies have had difficult childhoods. They haven’t said much, but I can tell from the little they have said. A couple have divorced out of unhappy marriages. One lady is unable to consider marriage, due to her childhood experiences. Which I can tell, was abusive, likely due to domestic violence type issues. One lady in a difficult marriage, with a controlling husband, who does not like her to go out. When she said ‘my husband lets me come to this coffee group, because it’s only the price of a coffee, and there’s only women attending. That spoke volumes to me. A few times, issues like depression have been mentioned. And I can see who is struggling with that, even if they are not going into any detail.

I’ve said little about what I have already picked up on. I’ve nodded and been careful in my responses. I want these ladies to feel accepted, not judged, not forced to reveal more than they want to. And with each of these ladies and their life situations, it is not my place to give opinions, or advice. I just let them be themselves.

I just want them to have somewhere safe to feel welcomed and included. Somewhere ladies can meet and not feel any pressure, in any way. Just a space and group to feel they belong.

We also have lots of laughs and giggles, and Continue reading


My ladies group is going well.

My ladies group is going well, with great attendance and good conversation. I like hearing about their lives, their interests, their life experiences.

I am aware I am not forthcoming about my own life. I give very little away. I’m aware how unsafe it is, to talk about my life. All they know, is I am a mother of 2 boys, married to a cop and I don’t work. I’ve talked about places I’ve visited, like Paris, Caribbean. But, I do not venture anywhere near my trauma related stuff.

I don’t think I will ever divulge any of my trauma related stuff, again. The subject of PTSD came up in relation to one women’s relative having it. I could have jumped straight into that conversation with all my PTSD knowledge. But, I didn’t. I have no desire to tell anyone about my health, my past, or the issues I still endure. In fact, as it was being talked about, I remained silent.

I’ve learned my lesson about telling anyone about having PTSD or why. I think this is a closed subject now with people. I think it will be a part of me that will remain shut down permanently. Being open about it, never leads to anything good.

I’ve noticed those who are very open about their lives. I’ve noticed who talks too openly and those who are more reserved. I’ve noticed who is positive, who isn’t. I’ve noticed who can chat easily and who can’t. I notice it all. Continue reading