Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


Discussed in counselling, my ‘normal’, not being everyone’s normal.

As I have already blogged, a lot of people define and label me as brave, courageous, honest, insightful etc…. and I receive continual messages, emails etc…. about this.

I realised recently, I have had to survive toxic dangerous people, all through my childhood, including a psychopath, who killed a former girlfriend/victim/prey. By the age of 20, I had survived a considerable amount of severe abuse and trauma. And then survive more abuse and trauma throughout my adulthood.

The results of this, are my capacity for courage, being brave, inner strength, resilience, honesty, insight etc…. are deeper than average. Purely because of my non average life experiences. And not all survivors of severe complex trauma gain a lot of insight. But I have.

We discussed this today in counselling. Until recently, I have been confused as to why people see my capacity for courage, bravery, survival, honesty, insight, as something extraordinary. Something very unusual. Then I realised my normal, is not everyone’s normal. Your average person, does not have the capacity for that level of courage, or honesty, or insight, of depth of thinking. It’s not ‘normal’ for people to be as honest about themselves, as I am. Including when I screw up, and deal with it immediately, honestly, openly, fully, publicly, with no excuses.

So, I am no longer confused. And when I receive these compliments and nice descriptions of myself, I can just accept them for what they are.  People are recognising my strengths, and that’s okay.

We also discussed these labels, of ‘brave’, ‘courageous’, ‘honest’, ‘insightful’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘intelligent’, ’empathic’. My counsellor has described me as all these throughout my therapy.

I do accept I have the capacity for all of these. And this has been clearly demonstrated throughout my life and throughout my counselling. And my counsellor is not into labelling people, so I do see that describing me as all these, is definitely something she believes.

We also discussed the amount of support from mental health professionals, I have. And how Continue reading


Thank God, I have someone who understands.

I feel like an alien – surrounded by so many people with bizarre thinking, bizarre attitudes, no self insight and cognitive distortions. I see it everywhere.

I see little wisdom, rational thinking, honesty, or good judgment. Or the capacity to think things through and see all the potential consequences.

Thank God, my counsellor understands what I think and is able to confirm I have a greater level of capacity to think, be rational, wise and have good judgment, than your average person.

We went through examples I have seen within the last few weeks, both people I know, decisions made by ‘intelligent’ people about really serious issues.

One example….. many here in Australia are advocating for and demanding a plebiscite about marriage equality. Because they don’t want marriage equality. They want to spend half a billion dollars on this…. to delay the inevitable. Gay marriage will be a reality at some point in the future. So they want to waste half a billion dollars, on delaying it. Wow.

Imagine where that could be spent instead…. mental health services, domestic violence services, more police tracking paedophiles grooming online etc. It is bizarre to me, that so many people want to waste half a billion dollars. And many of these people consider themselves intelligent. Continue reading


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The journey of self discovery, takes courage.

self discovery

It takes courage, inner strength, deep honesty, a willingness to be wrong, have humility and lose the ego.

It’s not an easy journey. It’s not the easy road. It’s the road less travelled.

But, a necessary one to grow and mature and develop wisdom.

I believe it is also necessary, to truly heal complex trauma. As self insight is needed, to know how the wounds have harmed us, to know how Continue reading


It’s a far safer way of developing friendships…

It takes a lot of self insight and honesty capacity, to be able to view yourself, from outside of yourself and then discern your own interactions and behaviours. And how they are perceived by others. Whilst also viewing other people’s interactions, behaviours etc.

Had a lovely time at my ladies group again today. A very diverse groups of ladies, all older than myself, all in very different relationship situations. Some divorced, some never married, some married. Very different lifestyles. Very difference financial situations etc.

People fascinate me. I am definitely able to use my discernment and vigilance skills, to see into the lives of these ladies.

I give very little of myself away. I talk about myself in a very careful, guarded way. But, still in a friendly way. They still only know I am married, have children, my husband is a cop. Little more than that has been revealed.

I, however, know a lot more about them. They have all opened up, shared, and the group have responded in a non judgmental way. Which is good.

I already know two of the ladies have had difficult childhoods. They haven’t said much, but I can tell from the little they have said. A couple have divorced out of unhappy marriages. One lady is unable to consider marriage, due to her childhood experiences. Which I can tell, was abusive, likely due to domestic violence type issues. One lady in a difficult marriage, with a controlling husband, who does not like her to go out. When she said ‘my husband lets me come to this coffee group, because it’s only the price of a coffee, and there’s only women attending. That spoke volumes to me. A few times, issues like depression have been mentioned. And I can see who is struggling with that, even if they are not going into any detail.

I’ve said little about what I have already picked up on. I’ve nodded and been careful in my responses. I want these ladies to feel accepted, not judged, not forced to reveal more than they want to. And with each of these ladies and their life situations, it is not my place to give opinions, or advice. I just let them be themselves.

I just want them to have somewhere safe to feel welcomed and included. Somewhere ladies can meet and not feel any pressure, in any way. Just a space and group to feel they belong.

We also have lots of laughs and giggles, and Continue reading


Surround yourself with…

surround yourself

https://www.facebook.com/Di.Riseborough.Intuitive.Life.Strategist/?fref=ts

Great advice. I have learned – it is pointless trying to explain your thoughts, to anyone who is committed to not listening. Some people don’t want to learn and grow. Some people don’t want to challenge themselves, or their thoughts. Some people don’t want to hear a different view. Some people chose not to have a path of self insight/self honesty. For a variety of reasons.

So, leave them to it. Their life is their responsibility only. Have needed Continue reading


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Healthy boundaries……do I really ‘know’ what they are yet??

Posted to my page..

“Something I have been thinking about recently…

I talk a lot about healthy boundaries….they are needed. For healing, for protecting self, for general wellbeing etc.

But, I don’t think I actually know what they are yet. I kinda know on an intellectual level, but when tested, particularly when in an emotional state, I am aware the concept of healthy boundaries….is not there.

Need to work on this.

Does anyone else relate?”


This received a lot of responses, with people really relating…….including one that said..

Absolutely and 1st time that I have heard another person be so honest about it“.


I added to the post…

“This is what I am needing to learn in counselling. I realise – much to my complete embarrassment – that as a 43 year old woman, I need someone to teach me things I didn’t learn when I was supposed to learn them, in childhood…(And I have to shut up, listen and stop being so stubborn, as otherwise, I am not going to learn anything).

But, I have to have self compassion, to know this was not my doing, and that I still revert to my trauma-survival modes when emotional – which is normal for me and as a survivor of massive trauma.

And to also recognise – this is self insight and real honesty about myself, that many people don’t/can’t have. So, whilst embarrassing, at least I am aware, insightful and willing to be honest about the stuff I need to work on.

And give myself credit, for being ‘willing’ to work on it. It shows I don’t have an unhealthy ego, that can’t bare (or is it bear?) to have self insight and prefers to just assume I am fine as I am. I know I’m not ‘fine’ as I am.

So, for all of us who know we have stuff to work on –

give yourself credit for that –

it takes courage and inner strength!! Continue reading


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It is messages like this, that make me know my work, is needed.

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To know this survivor, now realises she has complex PTSD, and has sought a trauma therapist, based upon my work, is so wonderful and I am so thankful she has this now.

These are exactly the responses that drive me on.

To know people are understanding themselves better, are seeking support and counselling, and they can beginning their healing journey…is so amazing and why I do this.

To know the little ripples I put out there, do reach people in need, do help in a truly profound way – leading to people starting their healing journey, shows how the work I do, is needed, vital and has an impact. As I keep being told.

Bringing in other people’s amazing insight and promoting this, like Pete Walker – to further help people more than I can alone, is also needed. No one person can help as many as a group of people. And I refer to other people’s greater knowledge and insight, and use that with my drive to get the info out there.

I also use my own insight and capacity to express this, in a relatable way to help people too, which is why these blog posts are so popular.

I like to see my work, as a collaboration, of insight, knowledge and experience, providing ripples within an aspect of psychology, still fairly new, and so very needed.

Blessed to bless others.


A survivor sent this message, via Facebook, to add to this

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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