Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


Complex PTSD, Real Human Emotions And Trust ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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It is so important for many complex trauma survivors to see normal and appropriate human reactions – to the horror and abuse they have endured.

My therapist had tears today as we discussed my childhood and my highly abusive mother. My therapist had a good mother and yet was upset knowing how much I missed out, in having a sociopathic/narcissistic mother. So much so, that she had tears.

We’ve had conversations in the past where I have stated when people (including her) don’t have normal reactions to heinous abuse and abusers…. it flags as dangerous to me. It makes me shut down and prevents any trust in that person.

So, it was very validating and helpful in my increasing trust in my therapist, to see this normal human reaction of compassion for all I endured and all the pain, loss and grief I endure.

Building trust with people, when you have suffered so much trauma and betrayal – can take a long time.

I’ve been in therapy now nearly 5 years, and it’s been a rocky time. But, I am in a place, where I am feeling ‘safe enough’ and have enough trust to talk about the worst things, the shame I feel and the pain.

Real, normal human emotions to what we have endured… matters.

And feeling ‘safe enough’ is vital for many of us.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Feeling safe, is one of the greatest needs, of complex trauma survivors ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Safety – one of the greatest needs of a complex trauma survivor.

Through my healing journey I have addressed this, by developing an awareness of people’s behaviour and working out what are normal issues people have (no person is perfect – including me), and what are red flags of toxic behaviour – I need to avoid.

I am very aware of my capacity and intuition for detecting toxic behaviours.

In my healing, I have turned my hypervigilance about people, into discernment.

Continue reading


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My doctor/counsellor, is the only safe relationship, I’ve ever had.

I’ve been in counselling for 4 years. My doctor/counsellor, takes time off for training courses she conducts around the world, and for annual leave, for 3-6 weeks at a time.

As much as I am totally okay and supportive of all her work and need to take time off, I am also always very uneasy whenever she is away.

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Just knowing that I don’t have that weekly time, to talk about whatever is needed and have her encouragement and support, is not a place I like being in.

My doctor/counsellor, is the only safe relationship I have ever had. And that is a big deal for me. It’s a big deal for any childhood complex trauma survivor to feel….. safe. Or as safe as is possible. As safe as I am capable of feeling.

I feel a bit lost, when she’s away. Clearly, I am still not at a point Continue reading


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Reaching out for help, when needed.

I’m very open about my journey. Good, bad ,or ugly. When it’s going badly and I’m feeling very low, I am upfront about this. Being honest is important to me. And I know how much honesty and being authentic matters, to complex trauma survivors. It matters, a lot.

I was suicidal yesterday. I am not coping with feeling overwhelmed by my own journey, my husbands issues that continually affect me, and feeling like I am failing as a mother, all at the same time. It’s too much. Too painful. It overwhelmed me and I could no longer cope.

Going to the hospital the first time, a few years back, was not a positive experience. And there was no follow up at all, despite being told there would be.

So yesterday, when I knew I had to do something to keep myself safe, I wasn’t keen to go to the hospital. But I had no other option.

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Yesterday, however, it turned out to be a positive experience. I did have to wait several hours, which is normal in the public health system. I saw 4 different people. One was not great, but the other three, were lovely.

The three nice ones, were very encouraging of me going to the hospital and how that was the best thing to do. And the psychiatrist I saw, was lovely. Very encouraging, very kind and showed compassion and used the right choice of words – that I wish every mental health professional would know to use. And he is arranging further services I can access, plus continue seeing my counsellor. (They did phone later that evening, as follow up).

I decided to post on Twitter today, what happened yesterday and how I went to the hospital. I wanted other survivors to know, that was the best choice to make, when suicidal. I wanted others to see it was a positive experience. I want people to see I needed to do that and to reach out for help.

The amount of support, kindness, understanding and compassion I have received throughout today on Twitter, has been amazing. I did not at all expect the amount of support I have received. I am truly so thankful.

It has been a real blessing. Support at the hospital and support via social media.

It makes a difference, especially to those of us, who don’t have family, and don’t have friends we can talk to about this painful stuff. Continue reading


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This is why I reach out to others.

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This was tweeted today, and is an example of why I do this. Why I share my journey with others, why I write and post and have a website.

People see I understand. And understand what most people don’t. They see I can express the deeper aspects of this journey. Were people read about my journey and they then can understand themselves better. They understand my empathy for others. They see I have a level of honesty and integrity that makes them feel safe. And trust and safety are huge issues for us. 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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I wonder what it’s like to feel ‘safe’.

Feeling safe, is a basic human need. I have never had this.

I’ve never felt safe.

I didn’t feel safe at all, during the first 20 years of my life.

I didn’t feel safe during the next 20 years of my life, which is why I suppressed everything.

Since the age of 40, and having my PTSD breakdown, I have felt very unsafe.

I still feel unsafe, for multiple reasons. PTSD, so anxiety, hyper vigilance etc. Inner child fears. Dissociative stuff, along with suicidal thoughts.

I have never had a feeling of ‘safety’.

Ever.


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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


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Poem – No Relationship Safe Enough ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Poem – No Relationships Safe Enough

~ By Lilly Hope Lucario

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Vulnerable and fragile

Unsafe and scared

Residing in emotions

My inner child endures

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No-one safe enough

So she stays withdrawn

Fearful of being hurt

All her wounds still raw

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Everyone will hurt her

She knows not to trust

Any hint of danger

She runs and hides Continue reading