Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


25 Obvious & Non Obvious Self Care Issues – Complex Trauma Survivors Struggle With ~ Lilly Hope Lucario



Self care is something spoken about a lot, and seems so very easy. Well, not to complex trauma survivors and in particular childhood complex trauma survivors.

I asked my Facebook community, what were their biggest self care issues, these were some of their responses, which express the obvious self care needs and the not so obvious self care needs, complex trauma survivors struggle with.. Continue reading


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

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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

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Surround yourself with good people ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I no longer choose to be around people who don’t want the best for me.

I have no issue with removing people from my life who have non genuine motivations.

I have no desire to be around those who use and abuse others.

I no longer feel the need to give any attention to those who criticise me, put me down, mock, scorn, ridicule, invalidate or any other toxic behaviours.

I have no feeling of responsibility for toxic people.

And what is even better – is I have no desire to even think about these people, what their issues are, or why they are behaving the way they do.

Those days are over.

I don’t care to give them any attention, any longer.

I choose now, to only surround myself with good people who are genuine, have good motivations and want the best for others.

Who I associate with, connect with, spend time with, give my energy to, allow into my inner circle …. will be a reflection of all I always deserved – good people. Continue reading


I realised, I needed to be much tougher. And that’s not a bad thing ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

All my life, I have tolerated unhealthy and abusive issues from others and never stood up for myself. Abuse was my ‘normal’ – from as far back as I ever remember.

I’m aware my childhood created the very vigilant, very intuitive person I am – who was also a doormat to anyone else’s toxic issues. I was groomed to tolerated it.

It always went really badly – when I tried to stand up for myself. Because when toxic people see their victims are going to resist/object to what they are doing – they turn up the heat on their toxic behaviours. Which is done intentionally – to stop the victim from resisting or objecting.

This pattern of not objecting or resisting continued on, all my life. Until about a year ago, when I started to realise I had every right to tell people to take a hike and they were not welcome in my life – in any form.

I had to fight with my self over this – to not feel like I was doing the wrong thing. It ‘felt’ wrong – to have boundaries with toxic people. It wasn’t my normal and I always had considerable anxiety at having boundaries, and standing up for myself – because of the history of being treated worse – when I tried.

Now, after more recent issues occurring in my life……. I really am at a stage where I am O.V.E.R. dealing with other people’s issues and I do not in any way now – feel responsible for helping them, or dealing with their issues.

I have healed enough and developed enough self esteem – to insist people behave in a way that meets my requirements for behaviour/attitude, or they will not be in my life.

I am tougher now. And I am glad to feel that anxiety about this – having gone.

I have standards and people have to meet them, or they are out.

This doesn’t mean I hate them, or want anything bad to happen to them. It doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for them – I do. So, no wrong judgments and assumptions needed – about how I feel about toxic people.

But, I simply do not have any desire to have toxic people in my life, in any way. And wherever possible, they will be removed from my life.

I have realised I need to protect my empathic self, from those who do not deserve it. And people do need to earn my respect and my empathy. People don’t get to demand or expect that from me anymore.

I feel stronger and tougher, than I have ever been in my life.

And I see how badly I was previously treated – by not having this strength of emotional boundaries, self esteem and toughness.

This doesn’t mean I no longer have empathy – but I am very selective as to whom I give that to.

It doesn’t make me compassionate – to be a doormat to other people’s toxicity. That made me vulnerable and easily preyed upon.


Toxic people don’t play fair, and they look for vulnerable people. Continue reading


It’s sad to end counselling, knowing all long she’s been a victim blamer/shamer ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I am ending 2016, with a great deal of sadness – that I know is in there. I just can’t feel it at the moment. I know I am experiencing dissociation from my emotions.

At my last counselling session, it became all very clear why my counsellor has never been enthusiastic about my blogging, website, social media, or me becoming a counsellor. (My first counsellor said I would be an amazing trauma counsellor).

All along my last counsellor believed all it was, everything I have achieved – was me choosing to be ‘seduced by trauma’.

Her. Exact. Words.

She hasn’t known who I am – all along. Her pre-conceived ideas and beliefs, clouded her judgment – for 5 years.

It didn’t matter to her, that I explained so many times – I never wanted to talk about any of the trauma. For 2 decades prior to my breakdown, I rarely spoke about it. And my breakdown at 40 (caused by more abuse), forced me to have to deal with it. I never wanted to have to deal with any of it. I have NEVER been someone choosing to be a victim. I have always taken care of myself, provided for myself and got on with my life, as best I could.

And I know the depths of courage and strength, that required.

I spent 20 years – from the age of 20 – to 40 – avoiding it all. My husband (of 16 years) knew very little about any of it. Not that he ever asked. He couldn’t care less about my past, because all he has ever cared about is himself and getting his needs met. He is a highly narcissistic man. A compulsive liar, and someone I don’t respect, like, or trust. And that is all down to him. I don’t expect change from him. He isn’t capable of it. I only tolerate him, for our children. As long as we stay together, I know exactly what is happening to me children, at all times. If we split up, I wouldn’t know what they were being exposed to when with their father. Keeping us together, is in the best interests of my children.

And I do know, I have indeed always ended up with selfish, abusive/using, manipulative, liars – like my husband. But, that was not because I was ‘seduced by trauma’. That’s because abusive, narcissistic people – were my ‘normal’. And not knowing what healthy was, did not in any way justify anyone lying, manipulating, using or abusing me. That is all their choices, their responsibility.

I don’t tolerate toxicity anymore. I now have self esteem and healthy boundaries. And I know why narcissistic people have always been drawn to me. Because I was easy prey. I was groomed from a young age, to tolerate abusive people. I didn’t believe I deserved better.

Now, I do.

And my counsellor knew all this. I’ve spend 5 years talking about all this. Talking about all the abuse in my childhood, in my teenage years, in adulthood.

She’s counselling my husband now, for his narcissism. Which I have no doubt is a waste of time. As an expert on toxic people (Dr George Simon) said – there are therapists who believe they can change toxic, character disordered people. But, they cannot. They just buy into the lies the toxic people tell them. They buy into the manipulation and deceit. The faked ‘shame and guilt’. And to make this all easier – they victim blame and victim shame – these toxic people’s victims.

It’s easier to sit with paedophiles, narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths – when you can make them seem less heinous – by victim blaming and shifting some of the responsibility for the abuse, onto the victims. Life feels better, when you make evil people – seem less evil. I see that clearly is how many ‘professionals’ deal with heinous people.

No matter the success of this blog, all the mental health professionals (who are more trauma informed than she is) commending me on my work and insight, all the 1000’s of people who let me know my work is so meaningful to them…… my own counsellor all along – believed all I was doing – was worthless.


It’s a cruel kick in the guts.

What she also fails to understand, is my work kept me alive. Being abused by church people, whilst also married to a selfish, manipulative, compulsive lying narcissist and then dealing with all the severe trauma I have endured, is horrendous.

And writing about it all, connecting with others, educating myself as much as I have, kept me alive. But, in her mind, anything keeping me alive – was clearly worthless. Continue reading

Still learning to accept the positive things many people say about me ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Feedback I received today, which keeps encouraging me to write, reach out and bring darkness into the light.

Lilly–although you went through all kinds of Hell(s) to get here, YOU are a gift to all of us…an Angel. Thank you seems so inadequate. Almost immediately after I was diagnosed CPTSD (about 6 mos. ago–I am 61🙀), I dug for helpful information. I was led to your website…a treasure trove, a fountain of information! WOW, just wow…I’m just one of MANY who are blessed by your ability to rise above, survive, and then some (!) and putting all of your experience & pain to use as a vessel to help others…yep! You’re a gift 😇


I’m not going to invalidate this feedback, minimize it in someway, or dilute the power of what I write and the depths of how meaningful my work is to others. And I continually receive comments and messages like this.

I have always dismissed all the positive feedback – because it’s hard for me to really believe good things about myself. As is typical of how many complex trauma survivors feel. Those deep down shame and ‘not good enough’ issues, are still there, but I am working on them

It has taken me several years of work and therapy, to know when people say these lovely things, they mean them and I should not dismiss it. It’s their opinion and they are entitled to that opinion and I should not just ignore it. Continue reading