Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


9 Comments

30 Helpful Things To Say To Someone With Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

beige 1-001

Often people don’t know what to say to someone with Complex PTSD. As a result some say things that are harmful, invalidating and hurtful. Often unintentionally. Some avoid us, either because they don’t know what to say, or because they don’t want to deal with our pain. Some suggest we should be over this, or shame us for talking about past trauma. That increases the isolation and shame survivors often feel.

I could write an entire article on the things people have said to me, that were completely inappropriate and very hurtful. Being someone who suffers suicide ideation and suicidal thoughts, I am aware of the life threatening result of being victim shamed, invalidated and being further traumatised by other people.

So, this article is a list of things survivors of complex trauma, who have Complex PTSD, feel are helpful. It is my hope this leads to more productive and helpful interactions and support.

I asked my online Facebook community, and these were some of their responses. Continue reading


2 Comments

It’s Rape – If There’s Sexual Coercion ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

 

DSC_2740-057

I am processing this information and it is devastating to realise – I have been subjected to this throughout my adult life.

And to know…….. this was never love. But sexual abuse. And rape.

There is also emotional and psychological abuse occurring when a victim being manipulated and coerced and the consent is not being freely given as a result.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Articles….


..

https://www.bustle.com/articles/67926-is-it-rape-if-you-say-yes-5-types-of-sexual-coercion-explained


From this article…. which was significant to me being a childhood sexual abuse survivor…

https://goodmenproject.com/sex-relationships/the-startling-truth-about-sexual-coercion-babb/

Growing up as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I didn’t understand what was considered consent and not consent in sexual relationships. Although I felt uncomfortable being pressured to do something I didn’t want to, I didn’t understand the best way to say no. I am a freezer. That means when I get scared, I freeze. So likely when I feel uncomfortable with something, my whole body will get rigid, my eyes will get big, and I will become mute. When I learned more about consent by working at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, I soon realized that nearly all my relationships involved sexual coercion. Continue reading


3 Comments

I can now call my abusers anything I want.

DSC_2740-041

Now I don’t have to care if I say the ‘wrong thing’ in counselling, I am free to call the abuse what it was – evil.

And the abuser – evil.

And a narcissist. Or sociopath. Or psychopath. Or paedophile. Or sex offender. Or whatever else I want to call them.

There is a greater level of freedom, when you don’t feel like you have to please your counsellor, who always minimized and invalidated everything I endured.  And always made me feel like a bad person, for talking about abusers in a ‘bad’ way.

Now I can say anything I want and not risk the patronising tone, the invalidating attitudes, the loaded silences, the obvious displeasure – when I didn’t say what was expected.

I’ve endured major anxiety for 5 years, about supposedly calling them the ‘wrong thing’ – because to her ‘that’ was the priority. Not the decades of abuse. To her the terrible thing, was me labelling them wrongly. Continue reading


3 Comments

I’m Glad To Have Finally Decided To Create An Ebook – I Can Promote Via All My Platforms ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I have deliberated over how to publish my book and I’ve settled on an PDF ebook, I can promote via all my social media, this Blog and my Website.

ebook

I considered doing it via Amazon, and I see the advantages of it being promoted on a big audience, but I also see the drawbacks other authors have encountered, of dealing with reviews, dealing with trolls leaving bad reviews, when they haven’t even read the book.

I haven’t got time to deal with that crap. I don’t have the time or the motivation, to deal with negative stuff. And I don’t need my book to become a ‘best seller’ – I just want it to reach the people who need it. I just want to know it made a difference for people. And I could always re-publish it again in the future.

My Website has a lot of traffic and I could pay to have the SEO etc increased.

This Blog – has a of traffic.

And that is all enough for me. I know the book will reach those who need it.

SOOOOO glad I have finally made this decision. Continue reading


6 Comments

12 Profound Ways Child Sexual Abuse Impacts Survivors ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

woman crying-001

Child sexual abuse, is heinous abuse, and no child should ever be subjected to this. it destroys childhood, steals the child’s innocence and creates specific life impacting issues, that continue on into adulthood.

If the wounds of child sexual abuse are not processed and healed, the impact will continue harming the survivors, throughout their adulthood.

1. The Sexual Abuse Often Occurs With Emotional And Psychological Abuse, At The Same Time

Sexual abuse often occurs with other forms of abuse, at the same time. So the survivor is dealing with multiple forms of abuse. As a vulnerable child.

Emotional/psychological abuse often co-occurring are threats the child to keep quiet and denial of the abuse, being doubted. Family members may also demand the victim keep quiet ‘for the sake of the family’. The perpetrators and others – may blame the child for the abuse. This sadly occurs a lot.

When I hear non insightful people talk about e.g. emotional abuse being worse than child sexual abuse, I note they are failing to understand these abuse types occur together, and so therefore, this invalidation of the impact of child sexual abuse, all too often occurs and is re-traumatising.

2. Victims Are Often Not Believed/Doubted

This is something that occurs frequently. If the child tells someone the abuse is occurring, they will often be told they are lying, or exaggerating. Which is further abuse. Often the perpetrator will have created and manipulated a situation, where the victim will be doubted if they do speak out. The perpetrators and others may deny the abuse, will claim the victim is crazy, an attention seeker.

This act of invalidating, denying and not being believed, is more trauma and abuse. And this can profoundly affect how the survivor feels about themselves, and will create such deep levels of distrust. Which is an understandable consequence of being sexually abused, and then not believed.

I liken this to ‘sticking the knife in (the sexual abuse), and then twisting the knife (not being believed).

3. Thinking Sex Is All The Survivor Has To Offer/Promiscuity

Child sexual abuse survivors, often go on into adolescence and adulthood believing sex is all they have to offer other adults. Their self worth can be so low and they believe that is all adults wants for them.

Promiscuity can occur, where the survivor continues to seek out attention in unhealthy ways. This can be dangerous and lead to the survivor being abused and traumatised again.

Some survivors subconsciously seek to repeat the trauma of the sexual abuse. This is explained well by Dr, Bessell van der Kolk – a world leading trauma expert. His book that discusses this, is on my Website list @

https://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/book-recommedationsresources

There are survivors who completely shut down and avoid any sexual contact, due to the fear and anxiety being so great and debilitating.

It can also lead to gender identity problems, and confusion about sexual preference.

4. Shame, Guilt & Self Hatred

Often survivors of child sexual abuse, feel dirty, damaged, unlovable, repulsive.

A huge shame issue can result from the child being confused as to why they may have enjoyed some of the abuse. Our bodies can respond to sex, sometimes even within abusive situations. In fact, predators and paedophiles, often groom the child in a way, that the child feels what is occurring is pleasurable. And being a child – they are more easily manipulated. This can create deep levels of shame. A survivor needs to begin to understand that no matter what the child was feeling at the time of the abuse, it was still child sexual abuse, was absolutely wrong, and was 100% the perpetrators responsibility. Continue reading


14 Comments

12 Life Impacting Symptoms – Complex PTSD Survivors Can Endure ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

sunset_miscarriage

Complex trauma is still a relatively new field of psychology. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, results from enduring complex trauma.

Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma, where the victim is traumatised in captivity, and where there is no perceived way to escape. Ongoing child abuse, is captivity abuse, because the child cannot escape. Domestic violence, is another example. Enforced prostitution/sex trafficking is another.

Complex PTSD is a proposed disorder, which is different to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Many of the issues and symptoms endured by complex trauma survivors, are outside of the list of symptoms within the (Uncomplicated) PTSD diagnostic criterion. Complex PTSD does acknowledge and validate these added symptoms.

fullscreen-capture-7092016-121003-pm-001

 

The impact of complex trauma, is very different to a one time or short lived trauma. The effect of repeated/ongoing trauma – caused by people – changes the brain, and also changes the survivor at a core level.  It changes the way survivors view the world, other people and themselves, in profound ways.

The following are some of the symptoms and impact, most felt by complex trauma survivors.


1. Deep Fear Of Trust

People who endure ongoing abuse, particularly from significant people in their lives, develop an intense, and understandable fear of trusting people. If the abuse was parents, or caregivers, this intensifies. Ongoing trauma, wires the brain for fear and distrust. It becomes the way the brain copes with any further potential abuse. Complex trauma survivors often find trusting people very difficult, and it takes little for any trust built, to be destroyed. The brain senses issues and this overwhelms the already severely traumatised brain. This fear of trust, is very impacting in a survivors life. Learning to trust, can be learned, with support and an understanding of trusting people slowly and carefully.

2. Terminal Aloneness

This is a phrase I used to describe to my counsellor, the terribly painful aloneness I have always felt as a complex trauma survivor. Survivors often feel so little connection and trust with people, they remain in a terrible state of aloneness, even when surrounded by people. I described it once, as having a glass wall between myself and other people. I can see them, but I cannot connect with them.

Another issue that increases this aloneness, is feeling different to other people. Feeling damaged, broken and feeling unable to be like other people, can haunt a survivor, increasing the loneliness.

3. Emotion Regulation Continue reading