Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


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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.

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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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Insight from Pete Walker – Emotional Flashbacks & Trust.

Click to access emotionalFlashbackManagement.pdf

Emotional Flashbacks

Over the course of a therapy, I often reframe emotional flashbacks as messages from the wounded inner child designed to challenge denial or minimization about childhood trauma. It is as if the inner child is clamoring for validation of past parental abuse and neglect: “See this is how bad it was–how overwhelmed, terrified, ashamed and abandoned I felt so much of the time.” When seen in this light, emotional flashbacks are also signals from the wounded child that many of her developmental needs have not been met. Most important among these are the needs for safety and for Winnicottian ‘good enough’ attachment.

There are no needs more important than those of a parent’s protection and empathy, without which a child cannot own and develop her instincts for self-protection and self-compassion—the cornerstones of a healthy ego. Without awakening to the need for this kind of primal self-advocacy, clients remain stuck in learned self-abandonment and rarely develop effective resistance to internal or external abuse, and seldom gain the motivation to consistently use the 13 tools for managing emotional flashbacks at the end of this article.

On Trust.

I believe this type of dissociation also accounts for the recurring disappearance of previously established trust that commonly occurs with emotional flashbacks. This phenomenon makes it imperative that we psychoeducate clients that flashbacks can cause them to forget that proven allies are in fact still reliable, and that they are flashing back to their childhoods when no one was trustworthy. Continue reading