Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


A Cautionary Tale About ‘Healing’ Abuse, Child Abuse, Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I see people who have similar attitudes to the one I had throughout my 20’s and 30’s. I believed I was so strong. I wonder if these people who sound so like myself before, are actually traveling the same path I was…

Suppressing it all, because it was so terrible and painful.

Until I could not suppress it any longer. And my brain and body began to break down.

‘That’ was when I began to heal.

What may look like someone is being ‘so strong, a ‘warrior survivor’, and the ‘poster child’ for healing……….. may in fact not be doing what they need to do to heal, at all. Continue reading


My Speech For Young Doctors About Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


Last week, my counsellor asked me to do a talk in front of 20 young doctors, which I agreed to do. The aim is to better educated doctors so they can better help their patients.

Then I heard the news that mother had died, and I wasn’t up to attending. My counsellor said my speech was read out, and apologies made for my absence.

I am glad that it could help, even though I was not able to personally attend.

I am a survivor of decades of severe complex trauma, which started at birth. My mother was highly abusive, as was my step father. I endured daily severe emotional, psychological and mental abuse. I was intentionally exploited to be sexually abused by my parents circle of paedophile and sex offender friends.

This has greatly impacted my life, in ways that are severe, yet normal for someone who has endured such abnormal life experiences. It did lead to suicide attempts in my teens, where health professionals were involved – but did not seek to find out what might be causing this. It was assumed that I was an attention seeking, dramatic teenager. And I still have ongoing suicide ideation, whenever struggling.

Complex trauma, is interpersonal trauma, within a captivity situation, where the victim has no perceived way to escape. I endured complex trauma throughout my entire childhood, and then into adulthood, as I endured further relationships, with unhealthy and toxic people. This is common after considerable child abuse.

Complex trauma is still a fairly new area of psychology, and whilst there is increasing knowledge about, it is still fairly unknown, even within the mental health field.

There is a lot of stigma related to being both an abuse survivor, and having a severe mental health diagnosis. Victim shaming and victim blaming, are huge issues throughout society and within the health profession industry. This does impact a survivor reaching out, as this stigma, victim shaming and ignorance re-traumatises survivors. Continue reading

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Drinking On A Wednesday ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

For some time now, I rarely drink alcohol. I used to rely on alcohol to cope, relax. But, I got that situation under control. I only drink maybe once a month. And then only on a weekend. And just 2 glasses of wine. I can’t remember the last time I drank more than 2 glasses.

But, today I have been craving wine.

And I guess with my mother dying, I’m allowed.

One glass is okay right……..?

large glass of wine

(Please note – I am not advocating for alcohol to be used to cope. I am simply grieving and just need to indulge myself this week). Continue reading

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Healing Is About Transformation Of Self, Not Putting On A Persona Or Identity ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


Healing is about transformation of self.
That requires us to honesty look at ourselves, our thinking, our behaviours and see how trauma has affected us.
Healing is not about putting on some ‘strong warrior survivor’ identity or persona.
Healing is about getting really real with self, and what needs to change. And continually persisting in making the changes needed, to move towards a better life. With lots of self compassion and patience, along the way. Continue reading


8 Ways For Complex Trauma Survivors To Build Self Esteem & Self Care ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

sad girl 8-001

Complex trauma is ongoing and/or repeated interpersonal trauma/abuse, caused with a captivity environment, where there is no perceived way to escape.

If this is endured within childhood, the child often fails to learn self care, appropriate boundaries and fails to develop a healthy self esteem.

For adults enduring complex trauma e.g. domestic violence- the self esteem and capacity for self care the survivor may have previously had – can be slowly destroyed, reduced and can become almost non existent.

Self esteem and self care are linked. They both lead to an increase in self worth, which complex trauma survivors can have a lack of.

The following is 8 ways a survivor can start to build, or re-build healthy self esteem, self care.

1. Know The Abuse Was Never Deserved

A survivor of complex trauma, often feels the abuse they endured, was in some way their fault. The perpetrators of the abuse often tell the survivor it is their fault, as a way of shifting blame to the victim. And this is another layer of the trauma endured.

It is needed to know – the victim was never at fault, the abuse was never deserved, nothing the victim did or did not do – means they are at fault, in any way.

The responsibility for the abuse was always 100% the perpetrators.

The accountability for the perpetrators actions, lies 100% with the perpetrator.

No-one should be blaming, shaming or shifting shame, about abuse. Including the survivor.

Part of healing is to come to understand this.

2. Self Talk About What A Survivor Does Deserve

Once a survivor fully understands they did not ever deserve to be abused, they can begin to have the self talk needed, as to what they do deserve. And always deserved.

A survivor deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, care, kindness and compassion. And they always did deserve this. The fact that someone abused them, does not in any way mean they deserved to be abused or mistreated.

Developing this positive self talk, takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes times to re-wire belief systems and the way we talk to ourselves.

This is vital, for the healing to begin.

3. Understand Healthy Emotional Boundaries

During complex trauma/ongoing abuse, appropriate boundaries are trampled over, by the perpetrator. This includes emotional and physical boundaries.

If the survivor was abused in childhood, often the child does not learn appropriate and healthy boundaries, as they were never modelled. Learning healthy boundaries, can be a difficult step, but it is possible. Continue reading


My Work Is About New Insight Into Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I am in the position of being someone who is writing about issues, rarely discussed or written about elsewhere. I write about the many layers and deep impact caused by complex trauma. I write about issues many survivors and mental health professionals – don’t understand and/or cannot verbalise.

Many authors are re-writing work about e.g. abuse, or PTSD. They change the words, but it is still work other people have already shared. The self publishing world has led to an over saturation of work about abuse and trauma.

And I’m not saying there isn’t any merit in that, but my work is insight I have not seen elsewhere. I am describing deep insight into the way complex trauma survivors are impacted, that is rare.

This is why my work was described by a psychologist as ‘an historic milestone’. Continue reading

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Why We Need To Keep Talking About Physical Abuse ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I have never been someone to do what’s trendy or popular. I do what I know is needed.

Most abuse conversations now, are about emotional abuse and psychological abuse.

People wrongly go as far as saying they are worse than physical abuse. Yet, physical abuse nearly always occurs with emotional/psychological abuse together. So the victim is enduring several forms of abuse at the same time.

I don’t minimize or invalidate physical abuse.

It is terribly dangerous. Continue reading