Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

It takes time to adopt new language about mental health/illness. As I found out…


The language used in society about mental illness, increases mental health stigma.

People are not bipolar, they have bipolar.

People are not schizophrenic, they have schizophrenia.

People are not EMO, they have self harm behaviours.

People are not OCD, they have OCD.

People are not PTSD, they have PTSD.

I see language used continually, that further stigmatises mental health illness as something ‘bad’ and to be feared and something different to physical illness.

And it adds to the ignorance and wrong opinions so many have.

I’ve come to realise the important of using appropriate language and how this is vital to educating people and education is the only way to change anything for the better.

I also realise how easy it is to use wrong language. I did this myself in counselling this week…….. after tweeting about appropriate language. That is how easily done it is to say e.g “the bipolar woman” – instead of saying “the woman with bipolar”. I noted I did this, and corrected myself immediately. With my counsellor nodding along, as she does when I am on the right track. Continue reading


Dealing with stigma about mental health/illness/disorders, is a complex issue. Requiring empathy for others.

I see stigma everywhere. Including within the mental health industry and within those who are dealing with mental health issues. I see people with certain disorders, saying theirs is different, and shaming others in the process.

I see the deeper, bigger picture and do not want to shame anyone with mental health issues such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, autism etc.

I don’t intend getting bogged down by individual people’s opinions on certain mental health disorders, being treated differently to others, based on how they were caused. Fact is, most mental health issues, are caused by neglect and abuse in childhood. As most mental health issues, develop before adulthood. Along with genetic and environmental factors, adding to the likelihood of mental health issues developing.

I have the empathy needed, to see the whole and bigger picture about how the brain and psyche are affected by what happens to people and the resulting mental health issues. It is how people deal with that, that matters to me. How people treat others that matters to me. And shaming someone else, for having a mental health illness different to my own, is wrong. (Yes, how people treat others matters).

As the very inspiring Eleanor Longden stated in her amazing TED talk – she belives all mental health issues are ‘not about what is wrong with you, but about what happened to you’.


Schizophrenia, receives considerable stigma and shaming attitudes from many, and yet Eleanor has helped changed that. She was abused as a child, and the result being a ‘sane reaction, to insane circumstances’.  Continue reading


WHO stated severe PTSD – equivalent of being a paraplegic. Severe Depression – quadriplegic. Both…

While watching Australian Q&A this week, about mental illness, the following was stated in response to why mental illness is not considered as debilitating as physical illness….

WHO – World Health Organisation have stated…

Having severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is the equivalent of being paraplegic, and..

Having severe Depression, is the equivalent of being quadriplegic…

In terms of debilitating impact on life.

My thoughts go further, in stating Complex PTSD  – which is more debilitating than uncomplicated PTSD – there will be even further impact.

And for those who have these combined with severe depression, the impact can be even greater.

It is good to see mental illness being talked with much compassion, in a rational manner, where people are stepping up and confirming mental illness, is real and equivalent to physical illness, despite many people in society being unable or unwilling to accept this. Continue reading

Sadly, a lot of shame/stigma about PTSD & abuse, is caused by sufferers, advocates & those in the mental health industry.

I am certainly seeing a huge amount of stigma created by those who have suffered abuse and those with PTSD.

I am also increasingly seeing stigma and shame created within the mental health profession/industry itself.

And from advocates, who often only care about their own needs/experience.

I am not okay with this and will keep doing what I can to help bring awareness to this.

People who don’t ‘think’ deeply enough, or only care about their own needs/situation and don’t see outside of that, often cause a lot of stigma and damage.

I see cognitive distortions and self serving needs, everywhere. I can only do my little part to help raise awareness of all this.

And I know I will continue to receive opposition and resentment along the way. Continue reading


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

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

‘Recovery In The Bin’ – more people who object to the demand that everyone can ‘recover’.

Below is from http://freepsychotherapynetwork.com/2015/03/11/recovery-in-the-bin/

Very interesting points and it is good to see there are increasing numbers of people who refuse to be compared and shamed by politically based mental health policy.

Recovery In The Bin

This User Led group is for MH survivors and supporters who are fed up with the way colonised ‘recovery’ is being used to discipline and control those who are trying to find a place in the world, to live as they wish, trying to deal with the very real mental distress they encounter on a daily basis.

Recovery In The Bin 18 Key Principles, agreed and adopted by group members on 6th February 2015.

• We oppose the ways in which the concept of ‘recovery’ has been colonised by mental health services, commissioners and policy makers.

• We believe the growing development of this form of the ‘Recovery Model’ is a symptom of neoliberalism, and capitalism is the crisis! Many of us will never be able to ‘recover’ living under these intolerable social and economic conditions, due to the effects of social and economic circumstances such as poor housing, poverty, stigma, racism, sexism, unreasonable work expectations, and countless other barriers.

• We believe “UnRecovered” is a valid and legitimate self-definition, and we emphasise its political and social contrast to “Recovered”. This doesn’t mean we want to remain ‘unwell’ or ‘ill’, but that we reject the new neoliberal intrusion on the word ‘recovery’ that has been redefined, and taken over by market forces, humiliating treatment techniques and atomising outcome measurements.

• We are critical of tools such as “Recovery Stars” as a means of measuring ‘progress’ as they represent a narrow & judgemental view of wellness and self-definition . We do not believe outcome measures are a helpful way to steer policy, techniques or services towards helping people cope with mental distress.

• We believe that mental health services are using ‘recovery’ ideology to mask greater coercion. For example, the claim that Community Treatment Orders are imposed as a “step towards recovery”.

• We demand that no one is put under unnecessary pressure or unreasonable expectations to ‘recover’ by mental health services. For example, being discharged too soon or being pushed into inappropriate employment.

• We object to therapeutic techniques like ‘mindfulness’ and “positive thinking” being used to pacify patients and stifle collective dissent.

• We propose to spread awareness of how neoliberalism and market forces shape the way mental health ‘recovery’ is planned and delivered by services, including those within the voluntary sector.
• We want a robust ‘Social Model of Madness’, from the left of politics, placing mental health within the context of the wider class struggle. We know from experience and evidence that capitalism and social inequality can be bad for your mental health! Continue reading


A very powerful song & video clip. This is about suicide. The pain. The Stigma. The shame. The reality.

***Trigger Warning*** This is about suicide. Which does occur in many complex trauma/child abuse survivors and awareness of this, is needed.

This song was emailed to me by the singer/songwriter, to see what I thought.

Lyrics – Shell Shocked

I’m shell shocked
from my childhood
This is why I’m like I am
Yet I can still feel good

I copped a lot of shrapnel when
I was you I was shooting blanks for years
Now I take my time a
and I still shed some tears

I’ve got a paranoid streak
and at times it’s handy
Although I’m still learning to love
sometimes I still can’t stand me

I’m shell shocked
Its’ travelled to my brain
Sometimes I borderline
A world where it’s all gone insane
It’s all gone insane do do do do do do do
Do do do do do Continue reading

The Mental Health Profession’s agenda of trying to fix and cure everyone.

agenda 2

I have come to realise that so many within the mental health field are determined they will cure and fix everyone. That is the agenda and it is very tunnel visioned.

They demand everyone can heal and recover in full, based upon their agenda’s and their preconceived idea’s that everyone is the same in the way trauma affects people.

Of course, the majority are going to believe this, as it’s their business, their job and their ego’s can be hurt when their clients don’t recover. But, it’s not about the therapist, it is about the client.

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Invited to participate in a university mental health initiative, due to my Website & work.

Received the following request to join an initiative, this being based upon my Website and work.

I feel honoured to be asked, and I have confirmed I will participate, as it will help more people.

Northwestern University’s #BreakTheStigma campaign has launched!

Message Dear Lilly: I’m on the marketing team for Northwestern University and I wanted to reach out to you directly about the launch of our #BreakTheStigma Campaign for May’s Mental Health Month!

We would love to get your participation in our efforts. You are an example of someone who is breaking down stigmas surrounding mental illness. Counseling@Northwestern is honored to celebrate leaders like you who work every day to stomp out negative attitudes and stereotypical beliefs about those who have mental health conditions.

We recently posted an announcement on our blog for #BreakTheStigma that details how we plan to spread awareness about this initiative. http://counseling.northwestern.edu/announcing-the-breakthestigma-campaign/ Since you are a voice with an audience in the mental space, would you do us the honor of partnering with us to promote our campaign on your website? I can send you an intro/description of our Call-To-Action along with our mental health month logo to illustrate for a quick and easy blog post. Continue reading