Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


Don’t allow anyone to minimize severe ongoing suffering/intentional abuse, with their lack of empathy.



I have encountered this a lot in my life. I have learned boundaries are vital. And realising most people employ a range of cognitive distortions to deal with the worst of suffering in life. It makes it easier to deal with.

But, that never helps complex trauma survivors. It only hurts them more. It invalidates their suffering and creates shame and further isolation, withdrawal. And further pain and suffering. Continue reading

Current reading ‘The Empathy Exams: Essays’ – Leslie Jamison


From personal loss to phantom diseases, The Empathy Exams is a bold and brilliant collection; winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.

This book is recommended, as an intelligent read about empathy. It has mixed reviews, so it will be interesting to see if the minority of negative reviews, are valid. Or if they are simply due to Continue reading

Being empathic, is not easy or pleasant. But, it’s okay to show emotions to people in pain.

Being someone who feels other people’s pain, is not easy, or pleasant. It means you feel the pain others are feeling. I am pretty good at managing emotions these days, but there are times when it becomes more than I can handle.

Today, I was in tears, when a friend was upset and in a lot of pain. I felt her pain with her, because I can put myself in her shoes and imagine how painful it will feel. I ended up in tears with her. Which I was annoyed at myself for at the time, because I want to be able to manage my emotions better.

However, on reflection, I think it is okay to show emotions when someone is so upset. It shows you are human and you care enough for them, to be emotional for them. It shows you are not disconnected from your own emotions.

After writing about how mental health professionals being ‘clinical’ and emotionally detached while discussing highly emotion issues, I see that my capacity to be in tears for another person in pain, is not wrong. Continue reading


8 Types Of Toxic Patterns In Mother-Daughter Relationships – Peg Streep, Psychology Today Article


This article focusses on emotional abuse, toxic and disordered mothers inflict on their daughters.

It is sad when you read through insightful articles, and realise you are ticking all the types of toxic behaviours and as you go down the list.

It is important the ‘parentification’ (role reversed) abuse, is highlighted as not commonly known or talked about. It is a deep form of neglect and abuse, rarely understood.

My mother is a deeply toxic, disordered, sick, unwell, intentionally abusive woman. And I have no guilt in saying that anymore. There were more abusive behaviours from my mother, than detailed in this article.

And it is needed to be understood – other types of abuse can cause even greater damage, like physical abuse and sexual abuse/sexual exploitation and often to far greater depths, because they are combined with this emotional abuse.

It is an act of self compassion and healing, to state and know the truth. As only then can you begin to truly heal and grieve. Continue reading


I see how talking about abusers with mental health professionals, can be harmful. And why ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


Psychologists, counsellors, psychiatrists etc, all have to deal with any clients and any behaviours, in a respectful and what is considered ‘non judgmental’ way. And need to remove their emotions, to deal with worst of behaviours.

I see this can lead to a continual emotional disconnect from the reality of the harm highly abusive people cause to their victims. They choose to see the abuser/perpetrator, in a non emotional way, and that can transfer to how they speak about them, with the victims. Which is really insensitive and lacking in empathy for the victim of the abuse.

I’ve seen this happen in my own counselling. And I’ve raised it and pointed out the lack of empathy.

I watched a psychologist on a TV program about sex the other day and what is considered normal. One person being interviewed was a paedophile. And what he considers as absolutely appropriate sexual contact with a child as young as 7. (It made me nauseous listening to him). The psychologist spoke of her struggling to deal with him and his obvious deeply sick mind, and how that struggle was because she was out of her clinical environment. Inside a clinical environment – she could remove her emotions and deal with paedophiles in a manner considered appropriate. Outside of that, she struggled to contain her disgust. I could see it on her face. So inside her clinical environment, she wasn’t in fact acting like a normal human being would.

It made me realise, mental health professionals in their clinical environment, can remove emotions and deal with vile, disgusting people, in certain ways. Which is appropriate for that client. And they choose to see that as empathy for the abusive client.

But, this becomes a big issue for the victims, when this lack of emotion, and seeing vile, disgusting people, who have caused such profound and intentional harm, spoken of in a ‘clinical’ way, is also displayed to the victims. (Or they harp on about compassion for abusive people, which is even worse). Continue reading


Reminding myself, there is no point in expectation of someone who lacks capacity for empathy.

When dealing with a journey with so much abuse and trauma, it is normal and appropriate to want those closest to us, to care about what we have endured. And offer kind words, when we need them. When they don’t, it’s hurtful (again normal emotions) and perpetuates the lifelong issues, of those we love not having any compassion or empathy, when we truly needed them to.

So, when dealing with people who clearly lack empathy (even if they don’t realise it), it is helpful to remember, not to expect empathy from someone who lacks capacity for it. Some people are very limited in their ability to see other people’s pain, have any empathy and it is always healthier, to not expect anything from them. Some people can’t even offer sympathy. And some turn every conversation, into being about themselves.

Expectation, of emotionally/EQ limited people, is a futile and emotional waste of time. That can, if you allow it, cause a lot of hurt. Because, they truly do not care. For whatever reason. Continue reading

“The finest souls are those who gulped pain and avoided making others taste it.”

I love this quote.


There are many who do make others, feel their pain. And abuse people.

There are some who don’t. And they are the courageous and empathic souls, who know pain and suffering and don’t make others feel it too.

You can have empathy and a moral compass, despite what you have endured and abuse is never excusable. Continue reading

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I have been asked a few times if I get paid to do my work. No, I don’t.

When I tell people I run a website, blog, social media etc, I get asked if I get paid for this. And asked why I bother, if it doesn’t earn me an income. No, I don’t get paid, at all. And I don’t do it for money. I do it because it’s needed, even though it can be unpleasant, emotional and challenging.

Like many out there who volunteer and work unpaid, I do it because people need help. People are struggling, need support, need education, need someone out there providing info that shows they ‘get it’, need compassion. I only aim to help with this in the small way I can. We can only make little ripples, only help a few or even one at a time, and that is all that is needed. Continue reading


The kindness of strangers, was sometimes all I had.

kindness strangers

I’ve sometimes received more kindness from strangers in my life, than from those known/close to me. In fact, there are times in my life where the kindness of strangers, is all the kindness I received.

I always smile at strangers. I may be the only person who smiles at them that day. And I know how that feels. I sometimes strike up conversations with strangers, depending on whether it feels safe.

I believe in helping strangers, not just those close to you. It’s why I volunteer and donate. I’ve donated all my adult life to charities, even when I couldn’t really afford to. I give things away to strangers, because they need help and may not have help or love anywhere else. I know how that feels. I help people online, even though I have no idea who they are.

I think when you’ve been someone who has known true absolute aloneness, known a horrific long term abusive captivity situation, where you have no connection to anyone except an abuser, you learn what true aloneness is. You understand the value of a smile and passing hello from a stranger.  Continue reading

Compassion, is a verb…


Connecting with several domestic violence & homelessness charities/organisations, to provide my part in helping share with people in so much need. Donating non perishable items I purchase weekly.

I realise this, plus volunteering, answering emails for people reaching out who have suffered abuse, is enough. And I keep in mind much needed balance in my life too.

I understand the need for community. I understand helping others because ‘they’ need help – not for my own needs. I understand empathy for people enduring what I have not personally endured.

I understand modelling all this for my children and including them in conversation about this, to an age appropriate level. Continue reading