Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


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Thank goodness for the Twitter block button.

Today, I think it was a Twitter full moon. Too many dysfunctional people, with self serving agenda’s, little empathy and little insight.

Many of the issues I write about came to surface, as exactly what I know plays into stigma, harm and abuse.

Including…

  • The shaming issue of forcing views about forgiveness. People assume because they have forgiven – everyone should. And very entitled to project their views. Which is such a lack of empathy and abusive.
  • Calling mental illness – demons…. which I know is not appropriate, very triggering for church abuse survivors. I have empathy to know not to trigger and harm spiritual abuse survivors. Others choose to not care, or think about this in a deeper way.
  • Facts confirming abuse/child abuse/violence, causing the most PTSD & Complex PTSD, which irritates military people, because they normally get all the attention about PTSD.  When the very fact that abuse is an epidemic, then it makes sense that PTSD/Complex PTSD caused by abuse, will also be an epidemic.
  • PTSD being classified as a disorder…. some demand it should be ‘injury’ not disorder, because it was caused by trauma…. But so are many other disorders – like schizophrenia, OCD, Bipolar, Depression etc So I know in demanding PTSD be seen differently, is very demeaning about other disorders. And plays into stigma about all mental illness. And again, I have empathy to not upset people with other disorders. And the term disorder, just means collective symptoms, experiences by groups of people. So PTSD is a disorder.
  • People arguing about the description of Complex PTSD, despite me following all the experts – including Judith Herman, John Briere, Bessel van der Kolk and many more. The non experts think they know more than the experts.
  • Someone demanding the self care mantra, is rubbish. Which is bizarre.
  • People’s general lack of empathy, self serving attitudes, selfishness, lack of insight, lack of self insight and agenda’s that have no awareness of having thought or empathy for others.

All these issues, that people get very irritated, angry and defensive about, would not be issues, if people had empathy. If people could see outside of their own needs. If people considered the needs and emotions of others. If people stopped being Continue reading

Always glad to see MH professionals, sharing my work.

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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


The ‘all or nothing’ thinking, about mental illness & crime.

It interests me, how so many people go to the continuum extremes, when emotive issues are being considered.

I see this more and more. Especially due to social media.

An example…..  a mother kills her child.

One end of the continuum – the mother is evil and deserves the death penalty.

The other end  – the mother must have mental illness issues and is not responsible for her actions.

Firstly, without knowing all the facts,  neither of these assumptions should be made. But, they are.

Secondly, the issue of mental illness, is not about whether there is mental illness, it’s what type of mental illness. Psychosis, ‘may’ be a reason.. Schizophrenia, may be a reason. Being a psychopath, may be a reason. The latter, meaning there is full and conscious responsibility for murder.

Most people don’t know, that some experts believe 1 in 25 people, are full blown psychopaths. Of those, a percentage will be sadistic, criminal psychopaths, who are capable and responsible for murder.

I increasingly sit in the middle of this continuum of thinking. I don’t jump to assumptions, based on the little facts, put out there by the media.

But, many will assume. Many feel entitled to assumptions. Many lack the insight to realise, their assumptions, are not wise.

So, in the case of the woman who killed her toddler child (and confessed to killing the child after lying to the police about the child being kidnapped)…… I will not assume she does or does not have mental illness issues, that made her unable to be responsible for her actions. I will not assume, she did or did not plan the death of her child. I will not assume anything.

Because, I do not know enough.

I will not pretend to be ‘so compassionate’ as to assume e.g. psychosis. That’s not compassion, that’s wanting to make a terrible situation, feel less terrible.

I will not pretend to be someone who can assume she is an evil psychopath. That’s not healthy and is a complete lack of compassion.

I’ll sit in the middle, where it is far more wise and discerning. Where assumptions are not made. Where excuses are not made. Where rationalising, is not used.

I will let the police and those dealing with her mental health issues, decide.

And pray that if she is a psychopath/personality disorder type, that she does not dupe and manipulate the psychiatrists. As can easily happen. And has happened. Many times.

And I pray if she has been experiencing psychosis, she receives the understanding, empathy and support, she needs. Continue reading


Interesting reading about Ruby Rose & her childhood trauma.

http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/ruby-rose-pens-inspiring-post-about-depression-three-years-after-hitting-rock-bottom/ar-BBrh4jb?li=AAgfYrC&ocid=U206DHP

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Rose

People’s lives interest me, particularly when they have endured complex trauma, abuse and sexual abuse in childhood. I am interested in their journey, what worked for them, what didn’t and what they have learned as a result.

I don’t compare the journeys of celebrities, to the general population, as celebrities have access to quality therapy and support, that many of us cannot afford. And whilst I am very glad for anyone who can access the best treatment – I understand these are privileges many of us cannot access.

But, I am thankful when celebrities are open and honest, and open the discussion of childhood sexual abuse, abuse, mental illness.

It is interesting reading about Ruby Rose – her openness and honesty about her past, her battle with mental health, her gender identity journey and her life in general.

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Questions To Ask Potential Therapists About Treating Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I am aware of the vital necessity, for any therapist treating a survivor of complex trauma, to have enough insight, education, training, experience, empathy and knowledge about complex trauma.

Without these, many complex trauma survivors are harmed further, re-traumatised and this can greatly harm their healing journey. It can lead to suicide. It can lead to the survivor, never seeking help again.

There are many deep and complex layers of trauma, involved in complex trauma. Complex trauma is severe, ongoing interpersonal abuse, where the victim does not have or perceive a viable escape. Trust has already been destroyed during the abuse occurring. Often boundaries have been abused and the client’s survival tools, will include a lack of trust with anyone. Very understandably.

The therapy relationship may be the only relationship the client has, to talk openly and without fear of judgment, invalidation, minimization of the suffering caused.

More information about complex trauma, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be found on my website

@ http://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/.

My website is supported by many mental health professionals, in the trauma field.

Building a relationship with a therapist, will likely be a challenging journey. But, a ‘safe enough’ therapy relationship, will be required. Safety, for many complex trauma survivors, is a fear inducing situation. It can take considerable time to build up enough trust and safety with a client. That is normal.

I advise people seeking therapy, to find out whether the potential therapist, is adequately skilled, to provide the quality of therapy required.

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The following, is a list of potential questions I recommend, to discern if the therapist will be suitable.

And remembering the therapist is there to provide a service to you (the client) and they should be receptive to questions. It is needed to know whether any potential therapist is suitable for a complex trauma survivor.

It may feel awkward to questions, but it is our right, to ask. In not asking questions, we have no gauge as to the quality of therapy and that can result in more harm, or being further traumatised.

Questions.

1. Ask the therapist, what they know about the differences between trauma and complex trauma?

They should have an in depth knowledge of this subject. They should know trauma can be caused by events such as a one time sexual assault in adulthood, a car crash, military combat, the unexpected death of a loved one etc.

They should also know complex trauma is ongoing interpersonal trauma/abuse, caused by people. It is long term abuse, or multiple abuse/trauma. It is within a captivity situation, where there is no perceived means of escape. It causes deep, pervasive and complex issues with trust, emotion regulation, sense of identity, emotional flashbacks, inner critic, toxic shame and social anxiety. To name a few.

The therapist, needs to be very aware of the deeper issues caused by complex trauma, as  opposed to other types of trauma.

2. Ask the therapist, how many clients they have treated for complex trauma?

They need to be experienced in providing therapy. Continue reading


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Thankful to see organisations like NAMI, agree with my views about ‘shaming’.

 

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I was so thankful, to see NAMI retweet this post and my comment I added to it.

I see a lot of ‘shaming’, about being both an abuse survivor and having mental illness. And a lot of stigma about both.

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The term ‘recovery’ (much used within the mental health industry) – implies there is an end goal, of being completely recovered. That is not the reality for many people. Some people can recover in full from PTSD, many will not. So this view, that we ‘should’ all recover in full………. is very unhelpful and shames those who do not.

Shaming people, occurs with the mental health industry. Professionals, clinicians etc…. can give this attitude that everyone can recover in full. Which is worrying to me, because it is not true. It shows a lack of insight to me, that is not okay.

Just because some people do recover in full, does not mean everyone can. And there should be NO shame in that. I do not agree with comparing journeys. I do not agree with being held up to comparison with the poster children of recovery. It shames people. This does NOT help people. Continue reading


Thankful to help survivors, at their lowest.

I was sent this poster, by a complex trauma survivor. Which I was really thankful to receive. maya angelo

But, it was the comment that followed, that reminds me, just how important and meaningful my work is.

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Honoured – invited to be a resident blogger & a resource.

A PTSD website, that facilitate online chat and a forum, have invited me to be a resident blogger and share my Website/Blog, as a resource. They have also suggested creating a new category, for Complex Trauma/ComplexPTSD.

I am honoured to be invited and very thankful.

The more we share our collective knowledge and empathy, for others, the better.

And I am passionate about educating about complex trauma, and how this is Continue reading