Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


How Complex Trauma Survivors Can Learn To Trust People ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

how complex trauma survivors can learn to trust people

Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated inter-personal trauma – abuse and neglect – caused by other people. Often this ongoing abuse causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Trust issues are one of the debilitating and life impacting results of enduring complex trauma. It’s very understandable, when you consider the survivor has been subjected to ongoing harm, particularly when from those they were meant to be able to trust, rely on and feel safe with.

This is intensified when the abuse/trauma was endured was in childhood. Not learning how to develop healthy relationships, not having this modelled, causes the survivor to have a deficit of needed skills in adulthood. Knowing how to appropriately trust people, is one of them.

Trust issues can be either not trusting anyone, or trusting too quickly and easily. Both resulting in further issues that are painful to endure. Survivors can swap between these, depending on what is occurring in their life. Often trusting too easily – results in the survivor being hurt more, and then they jump into ‘I’m never trusting anyone again’ mode. All ways of coping. All very understandable.

Not trusting anyone – is a coping and survival instinct. If we don’t trust anyone – we can’t get hurt…. right? But, this understandable way of protecting ourselves – means we don’t have healthy relationships with others. This can lead to a painful sense of aloneness and lack of connection with other people. And connecting to others, is a vital human need.

Trusting people too quickly and too easily often results in the survivor being harmed more. Not knowing how to build trust carefully – causes a greater issue of being in further unhealthy, toxic, abusive relationships.

I see very often in my work as an abuse survivor advocate and writer – complex trauma survivors saying they will “never trust anyone” and I want to gently encourage survivors to know – there is a way to build up trust slowly and carefully – that still protects them and keeps them safe.

My first trauma counsellor, was an amazing and wise woman, who helped me with my trust issues. As a survivor of multiple complex trauma endured from birth – my trust issues were deep.

This is how she explained how to learn to trust in a healthy way and develop safe relationships:

  1. Trust isn’t given, or demanded – it’s earned. Carefully.
  2. There are good people out there, that we can have healthy relationships with. It may feel hard to accept that – but it is true. Figuring out if someone is healthy, is key to forming healthy relationships.
  3. Not everyone is going to abuse us. There are non abusive people out there. No-one is perfect, but there are people who are respectful, caring and want good for others.
  4. You need healthy boundaries on your own behaviours and choices. You have to understand how we interact we others, how we build relationships, including trust – is our own responsibility and we have to learn self control in order to proceed carefully.
  5. You cannot 100% trust anyone. But you can learn who is trustworthy enough.
  6. You build trust – slowly and carefully. Not by jumping ‘all in’. And not by refusing point blank to try to trust someone.
  7. Don’t tell them straight up you have ‘trust issues’. Keep that information to yourself.
  8. Then sit back and discern how this person treats other? Are they kind? Are they interacting in a healthy way? Are their behaviours consistent? If yes, that’s a good start.
  9. If they treat others well, and you’ve gotten to know them a little, give them only a little piece of information about yourself, particularly about your trauma history. Something that’s not too revealing. So instead of revealing nothing, or telling them ‘all’ about your life – you give them a little bit and see how they receive that? How did they handle that? Did they deal with that respectfully?
  10. Once you’ve given them a little bit of information, sit back and watch over time what they do with that. Do they push you too quickly for more information. Do they seem dismissive about it? Did they not offer words of kindness? Do they go and tell others about it? Do they gossip about you regarding what you told them? If yes, to any of those, these are red flags that would suggest this person is not a ‘safe person’.
  11. If they seem to handle this well – after a while – give them a little bit more information and again – see how they respond and react? And continue this.
  12. This gradual way of revealing yourself, is about being careful. It’s about protecting yourself. You do not have to tell them too much. It’s much safer to real yourself slowly.
  13. Someone healthy and respectful will be okay with this gradual process. If they are not okay with it, then this is a red flag and someone who has unhealthy issues and I advise not to proceed with giving anymore revealing information, or any further information about your trauma history.
  14. You also don’t have to be too quick with things like sexual contact with someone, if this is a romantic relationship. If they push you quickly into sexual intimacy – this is not okay if you need to take this slowly, they should respect that. If they are respectful – you can build more trust in them over time.
  15. It’s also worth seeing how quickly they tell you about themselves. If they reveal nothing, or tell you a lot, this is someone with their own issues and we need to figure out why?
  16. Build this relationship in a mutually respectful, careful manner. Discern as you go what seems ‘off’ and take your time in figuring the person out.
  17. Proceed only if this careful process reveals healthy consistent, respectful behaviours.
  18. Enjoy the relationship you have built, based on trust and mutual respect.

Continue reading


A Near Serious Car Crash Is Terrible – Especially With PTSD & Vasovagal Nerve Damage ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

 

My life is continually stressful now. Separated from a narcissistic sociopath sexual abuser husband. Facing divorce and all issues relating to that. Raising 2 children alone, one being a teenager. Trying to build a business when chronically ill. No family.  Vasovagal nerve damage caused by extreme distress, due to domestic violence for 18 years. PTSD. Major Depressive Disorder. Panic Disorder. Agoraphobia.

Every day is hard. Every day is a challenge to get to the end of it and be remotely okay.  Additional issues push me to the edge of any capacity to cope. And that’s not something I should be ashamed of. Many would not be able to cope as well as I do – going through less than I have. And I have no judgement of how anyone else is coping after complex trauma. I’m just trying to focus on how strong I am.

Today was a shit day. Several issues that made me feel stressed out. And then a near very serious car crash. Myself and my boys are lucky we are not in hospital. Or dead. A driver didn’t stop and give way – leading to him nearly crashing straight into my car at fairly high speed. I swerved to avoid him, and that put me in the path of a bollard and lamp post. I don’t know how – but I managed to steer the car through the really tight gap in between the other car and this lamp post. There was literally a few inches either side. My 16 year old commented how ‘f***ing awesome’ my driving was – to get through this gap and not crash – in such a fast and intense situation. He was really impressed.

Both my sons were pretty shaken up. I had a pull over about 30 seconds after the near crash. I just started crying and physically shaking. As the near crash was happening, I went into that dissociated state where I become very calm and I picture the crash that may about to occur, and then afterwards – everything is remembered in slow motion. Then 30 seconds later, reality hit, and I fell apart. I kept apologising to my sons for crying and my teenager said he totally understood why I was crying and if it weren’t for my incredible calmness and driving skill – we would have crashed so easily.

I was shaking for hours afterwards. This happened 5 hours ago Continue reading


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2 Million Views

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I just shared some blogs on my Facebook page, as I want to start sharing my work again. And I realised my blog is over 2 million views.

Which is a huge achievement, and still overwhelms me to think how many people all round the world read my thoughts and writings.

This blog has made a significant difference to many suffering and struggling. Those who have endured complex trauma. And it’s helped many mental health professionals understand complex trauma more – to better help their clients – as per their messages.

I’m glad my capacity to write in a way that helps many, is making such a difference.

I’m glad my capacity to understand complex and highly emotional issues, helps others.

I’m glad I have the heart to want to help others, after all I have endured.

I’m glad I show that no matter what you have personally suffered, no matter how much pain and abuse you’ve been subjected to……….. you can still be a good person. An empathic person. A person who wants to help, not hurt.  Continue reading


2 Comments

Jeff Brown – The Buddha Was The Master Of Dissociation

Thank God for people like Jeff Brown. His insight and capacity to discern the toxic and unhealthy thinking out there, mirrors mine and is rare.

I will also add Buddhism also perpetuates victim blaming and re-victimising trauma survivors.

It is nothing but toxic, irrational and unhealthy thinking.

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

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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


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

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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


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Validation of my intelligence is good …. but it doesn’t reduce the pain, or the aloneness.

The last couple of counselling sessions, have resulted in a lot of validation. It was stated I am far more able to clearly see my trauma history and understand toxic/unhealthy people and their motivations and issues, than at any point in my life. I am far more able to speak up about all I know, understand and express the depth of that understanding.

This has all been validated. Along with being told that I am a very intelligent woman, with a capacity to think things deeply and rationally. To a much deeper level than average. And what people cannot understand – they will reject. So rejection features a lot in my life. It’s always the default for people who don’t understand something, to reject it. Few people ‘get me’. That’s the reality I am enduring.

Also validated, was my understanding of victim shaming, victim blaming, shame shifting in all it’s many forms. Plus, why it happens, the motivations for it, and why it is so wrong. I understand people’s motivations are very often not at all what they delude themselves they are. Rarely do egocentric, selfish, narcissistic, unhealthy, irrational, character disturbed, or delusional people – ever admit their true motivations and issues. They reside within lives of delusions, fantasies, lies and irrational thinking. I understand that very clearly. And how much this occurs throughout humanity.

And I can now verbally express all this, far more easily and with considerable clarity. Which is about my healing/growth.

This includes the depth of my understanding of all the harmful people who have abused me throughout my life.  Including my husband. Who it was confirmed, is highly narcissistic, with sociopathic traits. And it was validated he comes from a highly dysfunctional, narcissistic family. It was helpful to have this validation. And that I was duped, manipulated and exploited. I was not in fact looking for an unhealthy or co-dependent relationship. I fell in love with a man who did not exist. I fell in love with a fantasy my husband (and his parents) believe about himself. Who lied from day one. And he continued on with his selfish, manipulative, deceitful and toxic ways, for 16 years. Stealing from me the right I had to find someone genuinely good/ healthy/ decent/ trustworthy, who would be a good husband and good father. Plus, the validation of how I know this man never loved me, never cared about me, and is in fact incapable of love, due to the depths of his fantasy/delusion about himself. And I’m glad my counsellor has done counselling with him, as that is further validation, based on her own therapy with him.

But, all this validation, does not take away my reality, that I am different to most people. Feeling different, is something I have always felt, and continue to feel. And it makes me feel so terribly alone. And that was validated as a very real situation I am in. It is not a ‘complex trauma irrational issue’. It is a very real issue, with very valid reasons why, which are not about anything wrong with me. But in fact, are due to deeper intelligence skills.

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The validation of all this, is good. It helps in knowing I am correct in my thinking. But, it doesn’t take the aloneness away. Just because I understand why I am so different to most people, doesn’t make me feel less alone. Or make it less painful. In fact, it makes it worse. Continue reading