Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


After being ‘shamed’ within so much complex trauma, I don’t intend being shamed anymore.

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I am repairing my sense of self, identity and all the shame I have endured over decades, at the hands and dark souls of too many people, since early childhood.

I realise how much shame I have been inflicted with. I don’t intend to be shamed any further. By anyone. As even my counsellor was told, this week.

Shame has been heaped on me throughout my life. I won’t allow it to happen any more. Continue reading


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Disclosing child sexual abuse to disordered, dysfunctional, toxic families, often leads to further severe abuse.

 

Dysfunctional, toxic families/parents etc, often cause further abuse and trauma to children who disclose child sexual abuse. The abuse is often denied, minimized, ignored, trivialised, justified, the child blamed and shamed, and in some cases the sexual abuse is encouraged and enabled.

Child sexual abuse is also emotional, physical, psychological abuse, and when the child is not supported after disclosure, this further abuse is severe neglect and emotional abuse.

The layers of trauma, wounds, shame and neglect within all of this, are profoundly life impacting.

Often survivors of this deep trauma, particularly when it is prolonged child sexual abuse and grooming occurs, need to dissociate to cope/survive. Many mental health and physical health consequences occur from this continual severe fear, anxiety and hypervigilance and severe abuse and violation to the child’s body occurring.

When the child is left unsupported, blamed, shamed etc when disclosing, the trauma intensifies.

The child’s world is shattered.

The child’s sense of any safety, is shattered.

The child’s sense of the world being good, is shattered.

The child’s sense of trust in people, is shattered.

The child’s sense of self and identity, is shattered. Continue reading


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My husband thinks I should go to counselling tomorrow.

My counsellor has been away for a month on holiday. Prior to that, I had become really annoyed at the continual ‘shaming’ of being made to feel like I am not good enough and a bad person, because I do not think about predators/perpetrators of severe prolonged abuse, exactly as she does.

I’m increasingly aware of ‘shame shifting’ from perpetrator to victim. I’ve always instinctively known this is very wrong and I refuse to be ‘shamed’ any further. I have an appropriate thought process, for predators, paedophiles, sex offenders, and other such people.

I don’t believe in revenge, karma, retaliation, them being abused back. Because all that is wrong. And I’ve never wanted any of that. I don’t condemn them, I don’t want them to ‘burn in hell’. My opinions are actually far more ‘compassionate’ than many in society who do believe in retaliation being required, think paedophiles/predators should be hurt back, given the death penalty etc. I don’t.

But, I also believe for those who choose to make people suffer, particularly children, and are likely to do it again (which is most of them), they need to be in prison. The rights and safety of children are more important than the rights of offenders, who are mostly pathological liars.

I do not believe in demanding victims having to have compassion or forgiveness for those who intentionally harmed them in such vile, disgusting and horrendous ways, and especially when they have no remorse/empathy/conscience.

Demanding this, is shame shifting. To suggest survivors are ‘bad people’ for not forgiving/having compassion is shame/blame shifting. So very wrong.

Considering all I have been through, the very fact that I cringe when I hear of any prisoner being beaten up (regardless of what they have done) – sex offenders, paedophiles, those who sexually exploit children – and I do wish for their sakes they were not people who enjoy making others/children suffer, I still remain very aware of the choices they choose to make. Repeatedly. That is choosing evil.

I’m aware my counsellor believes she is right, and needs to think the way she does so she can be seen/feel she is ‘professional’ as a doctor/counsellor. And it makes her feel like a good Christian. Her constant need to project her opinion about predators/offenders and how she feels about them etc… is simply nothing more than her opinion. Continue reading


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Shame shifting – from perpetrator/offender/abuser – to victim. I see clearly how much this goes on.

‘Shame shifting’.

A common occurrence in society. Prolific behaviour within dysfunctional/disordered/toxic families. A much utilised tool for spiritual abuse by many church/religious people.

I see this all very clearly.

I’ve always ‘known’ instinctively how wrong this is. Always felt it. But, didn’t have the understanding or ability to put words to it.

I do now.

Shame is about feeling like a bad person. Being made to feel like a bad person. Abuse survivors, do not need to be abused further, by being shamed. Abuse survivors, did not have a choice when abused. The abuser, did have a choice.

Shame shifting is common with those who demand forgiveness for abusers. And claim those who don’t forgive their abusers, are the ‘bad people’. Shame shifting from abuser, to victim.

Shame shifting is common with those who demand ‘compassion’ for abusers. And claim those who don’t have compassion, are the ‘bad people’. Shame shifting from abuser, to victim.

Shame shifting is common with those who demand abuse should not be exposed and the victim should keep quiet. And claim those who do speak up, and do expose the evil of abuse, are the ‘bad people’. Shame shifting from abuser, to victim.

No severe abuse survivor, especially those where the abuse is denied by the abuser, ‘has’ to forgive, or ‘has’ to have compassion for an abuser, or ‘has’ to keep quiet.

All that is for the perpetrator’s benefit, and often simply enables them, and protects them. And these demands by others, deeply and negatively affect the victim’s healing journey.

Healing is not dependent on forgiveness, despite what some say. Survivors of severe abuse are free to forgive and free not to forgive and neither is morally better than the other.

But, I see continually how shame is shifted from the abuser… to the victim. Continue reading


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My ‘anti-victim blaming/shaming’ & ‘anti-mental illness shaming/stigma’ messages… are getting out there.

I know my life, my capacity to think deeply, my deep awareness of what feels wrong…. enables me to sense and consider matters to a deeper level than many. Deeper than even within some in the mental health industry/advocacy field. As had been shown over the last few weeks within interactions.

I realise it is only through my own suffering, my own severe trauma history that I have this capacity. I am never going to say abuse is a gift – it isn’t – as abuse is something no-one should ever endure and is never deserved/needed.

But, I see deeper life experiences can sometimes create a deeper sense of life wisdom and thought process. A deeper sense of empathy and authenticity to the realities of life. And to use that to help others, is my passion.

Complex trauma survivors, who despite all the abuse are good people and don’t hurt others, have suffered enough.

I’m glad through my posts, the message I have about ‘shaming’ people who have already suffered greatly… that I see clearly is perpetuated within society overall…. is being heard by some people. Continue reading


Two apologies in the last few weeks, from highly experienced mental health professionals.

I have received emails including apologies to me, from both David Susman Ph.D and Dr Cheryl Arutt. Both of whom are highly experienced clinicians and mental health professionals, with impressive careers and much valued by many in the mental health field.

I am always very surprised by apologies and thankful for those seeking to want to sort through problems, and considering what has been said, and a willingness to think about my point of view. And interestingly both of these situations have involved the issue of ‘shame’ – of which I can see I am becoming an ‘anti-shame’ advocate in not wanting abuse/mental health survivors – shamed any more than they already have.

Both have confirmed the value in my work, which was validating. Dr Arutt yesterday stating “I have really appreciated your website, and I think you have a lot of value to add for trauma and PTSD survivors” and that us no longer being connected “would be a loss for me (and my patients and people I refer to sites such as yours)”.

I am always willing to work through situations with genuine people. Whilst maintaining my needed boundaries away from those who are not genuine. Continue reading


I started to do better, when I rejected the pressure of being a ‘warrior recovery success story’.

I stopped putting pressure on myself to be a ‘recovery warrior’ some time back, when I realised the pressure and the shaming involved in that, was too great a burden to carry.

I see how people with mental health issues, are shamed continually. This includes being compared to the ‘recovery success’ stories, those who claim to be healed etc. The poster children for recovery continually projected onto us all.

I see clearly how this ‘black & white’ thinking (cognitive distortion) of how trauma survivors ‘should’ be in their journey, is actually harmful to many. The pressure to be continually healing/progressing, and so ‘strong’ all the time… is an inappropriate demand/expectation, that harms and shames.

This journey can be steps forward, steps backwards. It is not a linear process and that needs to be understood and accepted. And there is no shame in this. It is normal for the healing journey.

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I battle my health issues – both physical and mental health issues, every day. I do my best and that is always good enough. No matter how it looks to anyone else.

I have okay days, I have bad days and I have downright ugly days. And I never give up, I never quit, I keep at it. And that takes courage and strength and I am now absolutely okay with this.

There has been healing along my 3 year healing journey. I’ve learned many coping strategies and got better at them. I’ve processed a considerable amount of horrific trauma. I’ve come to have to accept the truth about the depth and severity of the abuse I endured in the first 20 years of my life…. and that is trauma in itself… to deal with reality and truth of sexual exploitation, my mother and step father being complicit in it all etc.

It has taken considerable courage to face and deal with all this.

I have had the deeply profound and complex issues of complex trauma to deal with, as well as the ongoing PTSD and Complex PTSD to deal with. And each day I deal with it.

I am okay I am not a ‘recovery success story’ …. of the type demanded by society and the mental health industry.

‘Success’ in society is a huge issue. In any area of life, people are only considered worthy when they are a ‘success’ and considered unworthy when they are not. It is a huge ‘shaming’ issue that many in society embrace. Sadly.

“There is a fine line between inspiring/encouraging people and shaming people.

Sadly too many cross that line and that is not okay.”

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I may never fully recover, but I keep moving forward to a better quality of life and healing all the many wounds. I have hope and I try to give hope to others, in a far more empathic and non judgmental/opinionated way than many I see.

I may never be considered worthy of being TED speaker, or a motivational speaker, because I am not the ‘success story’ society demands and only considers worthy. And I’m okay with that.

But, I am a success in my own journey. Of surviving all I have, never giving up, and working as much as I am capable on my wounds and my health.

And when I realised the stigmatising issues and further shaming that goes on with having to be seen to always be a ‘recovery warrior’, and how many journey’s are not an elevator ride up to being recovered….. I actually started to move forward in my journey more. Removing the pressure, was a relief and a much needed act of self compassion.

This is a message I hope others take to heart. Continue reading


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It looks & feels like complete destruction…. but that’s how healing & dealing with shame, goes.

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It not only looks like compete destruction, it feels like it too.

In a complex trauma healing journey, the destruction is the trauma of facing the truth, the deep grieving, facing the reality of all the exploitation, all the abuse, all the intentionality in the abuse, all the abandonment and all the legitimate pain and suffering that goes with it.

Healing is about change. Changing ones life from denial, minimizing and all other cognitive distortions used to cope …. to having ones eyes opened about the truth…. and that is intense and takes time.

Even to acknowledge in a real way, how horrific complex trauma is, where child sexual abuse, exploitation, all forms of abuse were suffered, and people you loved wanted to destroy you….. feels like destruction.

Destruction of any hope these people had any love or care within them……. and facing the reality of the opposite of what I held onto for so long. I wanted to believe they loved me and cared about me, and they did not.

I am coming to the point of understanding, they were incapable of love, even for themselves. Their deep inner hatred of themselves, projected outwards, and vomited all over their victims, including me.

I do understand their darkness, their love of hurting others, was actually nothing to do with me…… it was all about their own pathological darkness and self hatred.

I hold separate understandings, at the same time….

1.The understanding of the suffering caused to me, that I every right and need to have all valid emotions about.

And to name that, name the types of abuse endured, name the pathological abuse types used, to come to this deeper understanding and truth.

2. The understanding that their darkness, is about themselves. It was never about me and anything I did wrong.

It was never about whether I was good enough… it was all about ‘their’ lack of being good enough. ‘Their’ deep self loathing. And that part of me, does know this is a terrible place to be in. And I wish no-one was at that place. Whilst also acknowledging they still had choices and they made their choices they knew were wrong and they knew were hurting me. Continue reading


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Hoping this book will help me deal with this current stage of my journey.

Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame – Beverly Engel

http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Your-Emotional-Self-Self-Esteem/dp/0470127783/ref=pd_sim_14_7?ie=UTF8&refRID=111VBQ2GMW2ZK8YX6WDF

healing emotional self

Healing Your Emotional Self “Emotionally abusive parents are indeed toxic parents, and they cause significant damage to their children’s self-esteem, self-image, and body image. In this remarkable book, Beverly Engel shares her powerful Mirror Therapy program for helping adult survivors to overcome their shame and self-criticism, become more compassionate and accepting of themselves, and create a more positive self-image.

I strongly recommend it for anyone who was abused or neglected as a child.” –Susan Forward, Ph.D., author of Toxic Parents “In this book, Beverly Engel documents the wide range of psychological abuses that so many children experience in growing up. Her case examples and personal accounts are poignant and powerful reminders that as adults, many of us are still limited by the defenses we formed when trying to protect ourselves in the face of the painful circumstances we found ourselves in as children. Continue reading