Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


PTSD re-experiencing nightmares, don’t end when you wake up ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I am writing this blog, to explain and validate why PTSD nightmares often don’t end when you wake up.

I am sure there are lots of people, who think that nightmares aren’t that bad right? After all, once you wake up, it’s finished yeah…. 

Well, that is absolutely not case for many of us.

I have nightmares about severe trauma/abuse and when I am stressed out, emotional, the nightmares always increase.

Nightmares usually result in me waking up, terrified, massive anxiety, often crying, disorientated, and I have to do grounding and breathing techniques, to calm and soothe myself.

(You can find these on my Website @ http://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/ )

I usually put the light, or the TV on and it will take time before I am calmer and not distressed.

Sometimes they are so bad, I dissociate when I wake up and I really don’t know how long it takes for me to get myself back to state of being able to have self talk and ground etc. The dissociation is like my brain saying ‘this is way too painful’ and switching off.

These severe nightmares, always worsen my other PTSD symptoms the next day too.

I will have the nightmare, replaying in unwanted, involuntary intrusive thoughts/memories, and other unwanted memories coming into my mind throughout the day.

The anxiety, noise sensitivity, irritability, emotion dysregulation, capacity to cope and function-  all worsens and my mood will be lowering, or unstable all the next day. I also can tell I have an irrational sense of fear, but only irrational because the nightmare is the past and not happening now…..

But my mind isn’t wired that way…..my PTSD mind acts like it is happening now. And all my physical, emotional and psychological responses to trauma, occur now, as if the trauma is occurring right now.

That’s what PTSD is……..your mind and body reacting to trauma, as if it is happening now.

Continue reading


Emotions, nightmares and reflection.

Any day that follows a really horrendous nightmare, is harder.

Last night’s was the flashback, 100% re-experiencing type. Waking up, massive anxiety, crying, disorientated, fear, and a good 10 minutes to calm and ground myself. My husband took one look at me this morning, and he knew.

I get severely depressed at the thought of having these nightmares, all my life. Isn’t 43 years enough of having this evil repeating over and over?

Sometimes, the regularity of nightmares lesson, and I think I am healing and then they come back, always triggered by issues occurring within life. Within the life I cannot escape.

I can’t avoid father’s day, my boys have a father, my husband. I can’t pretend father’s day doesn’t exist and my PTSD mind, won’t let me forget everything from my past.

Plus, I know I am starting to feel more anger. Anger I have every right to feel. Anger I have allowed myself to only fleetingly feel in the past, following a shed load of guilt and shame, the anger suppressed and internalised – just as my mother and step father trained me as a child.

The anger, of all I have processed, particularly within the last 6 months, is still pretty raw at times. Continue reading

Sick, sore throat, cough, temp over 38. Plus bad nightmares.

I have picked up some viral thing going round. Feel pretty sick, so taken some paracetamol and drinking fluids etc.

I also had a horrible dream last night about paedophiles. It wasn’t a re-experiencing one. But obviously trauma related. I woke up feeling fear and anxiety, even though the dream was not about my own past stuff.

It was about a really young child, aged about 3, and sometimes I wonder if these types of dreams are related to more abuse I may have suffered, that I have blocked out.

I choose not to believe dreams, as accuracy for memories, unless they are memories I have always had. I know which ones absolutely happened. But I also accept there is likely to be more. I have gaps of missing memory before the age of 7’ish. Continue reading

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I know when my husband starts worrying about me, things are not good.

My husband can be a pretty good gauge of where I am at.

He knows I have had a really horrible week and all my PTSD, anxiety and complex trauma symptoms are increased.

Nightmares, anxiety is massive, hives frequently while at home, I’ve picked my lips so much they are bleeding regularly, not eating all day, zoning out occurring more again and I just want to listen to music constantly to escape my thoughts. And I know the depression is worsening, because dark thoughts of harming myself are occurring and because I am having to force myself to write, when usually I want to.

My husband said he can tell I’m not okay and my doctor/counsellor is away.

I know why this is happening, I’ve already blogged about it and I know the deep emotional consequences of so much that has occurred within the last few years, now culminating in the worst possible outcome, and at the worst possible time.

And how it’s all a massively re-traumatising reflection of my whole sad, messed up, deeply painful, deeply lonely, horrible life.

I don’t want to deal with this pain anymore.


So weary from a lifetime of horrendous nightmares.

43 years of abuse and a life time of nightmares, keeping me locked in the pain of my past.

‘Leave it in the past’ people say.

Yeah sure, would love to, please let me know when you have a miracle cure to stop my brain involuntarily making me re-experiencing horrendous abuse.

PTSD is so fucking cruel.

I really don’t want to remember being forced from the age of 9, to perform sexual acts, having my child body being violated, by an old man paedophile. Continue reading


It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.

Woke up at around 4am’ish, from a nightmare. A nightmare about severe abuse no-one should ever even know about, let alone endure, feel such pain and suffering.

To re-experience this kind of abuse, always seems so deeply cruel. Wasn’t it enough that I had to suffer at that time, do I have to keep enduring it over and over? Seems like I do. Because I am.

It feels like I am being punished, ‘getting what I deserve’, as I was told in the past. Repeatedly.

I do try really hard to be as positive as I can, but days like today are so hard. Already tired, waking up with major anxiety from the nightmare, is not the best way to start your day.

On days like today, I wonder if I will ever be free of PTSD? Free of nightmares? Free of re-experiencing severe sexual abuse, I never deserved and should never have endured? Continue reading

Down the black hole. Again.

I am tortured by my mind.

By my PTSD.
By my past, which is never in the past, because of PTSD.
By my constant physical and mental exhaustion.
By my deep understanding of humanity.
By deep fear of humanity.
By my awareness of all the harm, abuse and suffering occurring, everywhere.
By my empathy that feels the pain so many others go through.
By the understanding I now have, of knowing I loved many people, who didn’t love me at all and hurt me.
By my understanding I have no-one in my life who understands me and loves me the way I need.
By depression.
By grieving.
By guilt that my husband and children are affected by my PTSD.
By my thoughts of wanting the pain of all this to end.

I don’t have an off switch for any of this. My brain and all these are continually switched on. And constantly whirring around in my brain, night and day.

It never stops.

I never have any peace.

Just times where I pretend to feel better, but it is simply that, pretending.

I pretended and forced myself to do/seem better at my last two counselling appointments, because I knew she was going away for 7 weeks, and it is like a survival mode I go into. That need to think, I ‘must’ be okay, because the opposite, is not okay.

But, the reality is, I am never okay.

I am tortured by my mind, night and day.

Nightmare, I can’t remember, but symptoms and hives are there.

Had a nightmare last night, I know because I woke up feeling fear, anxiety and although I can’t remember what it was about, I know my symptoms well enough to know what’s happening.

I have hives all up my arms, and I am sat in my home, my safe place.

My subconscious mind, deep memory and my PTSD knows when something is wrong – even when I can’t consciously know what is happening.

Hard to explain to people, but I know what’s happening.

When I am feeling fear, stress, anxiety and have hives, that is not rational for my current situation – like sat in my home – I know it’s PTSD, memory, trauma related.

It happens quite a lot.

So, I’m just taking it easy, husband is watching a DVD with the kids and I am doing my usual trauma response of freeze/fawn – absorbing myself in music and my laptop, providing info and support to others, distracting myself from the emotions going on within me.

I understand trauma responses and PTSD, well.

This was how I felt today, cuddling my teddy a friend bought me.

Today, I cuddled my teddy and comforted my inner child, for a while.

I woke up this morning after a yuck dream about my step father. *ugh.

Felt a bit fragile and needed to rest, so I did, cuddled up with my teddy and a blanket and watched a movie.

It was very comforting.

Dreaming about my step father = very bad start to my day.


I hate PTSD some days. I really do.

Actually I hate all the abuse I was inflicted with, that caused the PTSD.

I have so many abusers, it’s like my brain has to constantly manage all these memories, all the different emotions about them all individually and collectively.

Having severe multiple, prolonged, interpersonal trauma, in captivity situations from birth = severe pain, severely horrible night mares and trauma related dreams.


I know it’s because my brain hasn’t finished processing them all.

I know it will take a long time. Because there is so much. And more that I don’t remember too.