Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


Started volunteering at the local Meals On Wheels. It went so well!

Volunteering is important to me. It’s also important I am within an organised, well run, friendly, healthy environment.

So, with the kind help of a friend, I started today. I was showed around, introduced to some of the people there, and they all seemed lovely. The managers were lovely and very friendly ladies and I felt comfortable.

After helping out in the kitchen, my friend and I went out on a delivery run. It went so well. We met some lovely elderly people, and sadly saw some living in filthy conditions. But, I felt at least we were helping them with these meals.

I’m used to seeing all kinds of living conditions, having worked in social housing for 15 years and visiting social housing tenants. You get to see everything in that job. The good, the bad and downright ugly stuff of life. Including elderly people who have varying home and health conditions.

I felt completely comfortable doing this delivery run, chatting a little with the people we visited. It went well and I felt like I was able to be a part of a professional, mature, well run, organised charity that makes a difference in the community for those in need. Continue reading


Volunteering, is one of the ways to increase Post Traumatic Growth, as well as growth and compassion.

volunteering2Volunteering, is something those with empathy, a conscience and a willingness to give, with no reward in return. Volunteers are often wonderful people, with big hearts and light in their souls.

I’ve always known since I was 20, that volunteering is an important part of life.

I see how so many people only give with a ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude. And want money, fame, recognition, or something that makes it ‘worth their effort’. Volunteers are not concerned with this.


I’ve been volunteering my time and effort for 3 years, helping those who are dealing with PTSD and Complex PTSD, abuse and complex trauma  survivors, via my website, blog and social media work.

I started volunteering at a food bank charity several months ago and it’s already somewhere I feel makes a difference to those in need. They are diverse group of people I volunteer with and I have spent time talking with some, listening to their life problems and offering a compassionate ear. Being someone who listens, non judgmentally. Most of the volunteers have some level of issues occurring. Such is life.

Last week, a woman was withdrawn and quiet and not being her normal self. As I am someone who subconsciously learns people’s behaviours, and picks up on people’s emotions etc… I noticed she was not okay, where others didn’t. I started a conversation and it led to telling me her stresses and her being emotional and in tears. I let her talk, and validated her stresses and worries, which were mostly financial, were valid and understandable. We had hugs and she said she felt better being able to release some tears and someone listening and not being told to just ‘be positive’.

I barely know this woman, but what I was able to offer her, was what she needed. And she was glad I noticed her need. This led to a conversation with others who joined in, where it was discussed how emotions are okay and bottling them up, isn’t healthy. How it’s okay to not be okay, and reach out for help. It was a good conversation, with a good outcomes. Continue reading


Feeling sorry for my son’s teacher, led me to volunteer to be a class helper.

Two conversations with my youngest son’s teacher this week, showed she is a bit stressed and I felt sorry for her.

I had asked her if she had a good Easter Holidays and she replied defensively that she was working each day here at the school. Then my son asked her yesterday why his name hadn’t been moved on a chart, and she replied even more defensively that she does not have the time and if she had more parent helpers, she would have more time.

I got the feeling she is stressed and felt sorry for her as she is a lovely teacher and who knows whether she has any other issues going on in her life too. Continue reading


Volunteering went well – but exhausted again.


So much I could write about today, but I have virtually no energy to write.

I realise there are many reasons why volunteering is emotionally and physically draining, but I am glad I did it.

I think the anxiety, the hypervigilance of being in a new environment and around new people….. plus all these people who came in today for the food and told me some of their stories, plus a few volunteers were in tears about Continue reading


Volunteering was exhausting, but good.

Started my first day of volunteering today and it went really well.

The people were nice, it felt like an okay atmosphere. Some of the people were very friendly.

The work was good and worthwhile, although a lot of lifting and bending and I do already have back, neck and shoulder pain, so it was hard on my body.

The whole thing was pretty exhausting ….. new people, new environment, not knowing what I was meant to be doing being new, physically demanding.

Continue reading


A flicker of hope? Just as I had completely given up….


I am scared to have hope. Scared to think something will be good, in case it’s not. Sacred to be disappointed. Scared to get hurt. Bottom line …….. fear. Of people.

But, I do have a flicker of hope.

This being due to the community volunteering I am going to be involved in every Wednesday and Thursday, which I feel very thankful to be able to be a part of. Community volunteering is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and now suddenly – I am going to be doing it. I’ve known since I was 20, that community and volunteering work is needed as a way of giving to others, reaching out to others, showing compassion – which is a verb.

And also I have some hope, due to the possibility of joining a community of Christians who follow a different model of following Jesus, whilst enjoying being in community and fellowship with each other. A model far more suited to me and where I am at.

I know I need to move into this slowly, steadily and carefully and not expect too much. Whilst, also keeping an open mind and heart.

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Officially community volunteering & a very interesting conversation with a community chaplain.

Went along to check out the community project I found that helps provide food and other needs, to those in need.

It went really well. A nice bunch of people, diverse in characters, and they were very friendly, very welcoming. Got involved in a few conversations and said I would like to join in volunteering with them, as serving within the community in something I know I want to do. So agreed to help every Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday at the church packing and sorting through the food and items, into boxes and then as I have a large car, I can help transport the boxes to the community hall on the Thursday, and help with the people coming in for them.volunteering

While there, a community chaplain rocked up in his shirt with the Churches of Christ logo. He introduced himself and said he thought he knew me from somewhere. He was such a friendly guy. We had a conversation about schools, and he let me know his son used to attend the same school my older son attends. His son has aspergers and due to several reasons, including bullying, they pulled him out of the school and are now home schooling. He talked about his son’s mental health and how he was suicidal at one point. He was very open.

The conversation progressed and I asked him if he attended the local Churches of Christ that supports this community project. He said he used to be a pastor there, but now runs a small community of Christians, not as a church – in the normal sense of a church – but as a group who meet up and talk. He still supports the church and left on good terms, but stated there was ‘story’ there. And now he works as a community chaplain, working with that church.

The conversation went on to speaking about churches. I explained I was pretty nervous of church people due to bad experience at a Baptist church and he stated how he is aware of many who are hurt by your average church people.

As he showed me his facebook page for his community, I noticed a post about James Fowler’s Stages of Faith and I said to him that reading about that was a huge eye opener for me, and how I had struggled so badly with ‘stage 3’ church people and been hurt by them. I explained I have been identified by a Christian counsellor that I am at stage 4 -5. He seemed genuinely interested in what I was saying.

He talked about how the community he runs, there are no demands on people, no demands on children’s behaviours and several attend who have children with aspergers and autism. How they don’t ask for money, or  collect tithes and gave his views on how ‘money focused’ churches are and how this is not okay. He even explained with the use of some cups and a pot of salt how he views being a Christian as a stage 4, 5 person, as opposed to a stage 3 person.

Quite frankly I could not quite believe I was having this conversation!

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Where I am thinking of volunteering.

I’ve been thinking of volunteering for a while now, but been very tied up in my work online. I know I need to cut back on that and have work I can do – volunteering outside of trauma related stuff.

So, I’ve decided to contact Operation Christmas Child (Samaritans Purse), and see if there is a location near me, where I can volunteer as I know their work is year round, not just leading up to Christmas. I also know there is a Mercy Centre near to where I live, where they provide food parcels and very cheap clothing etc, for those in great need – like those escaping domestic violence, homeless, refugees, pensioners etc.

They are such needed causes and require as many volunteers as possible to keep them going and I would like to offer my time and whatever I can do to help. Even if it is jus a few hours a week, it all helps and then I won’t get overwhelmed, as I have a lot of stress going on.

Charity work is something I have wanted to do since I was 20 years old, and since then I have either been working full time, or trying to survive and heal.

Although my work online is not paid work, so that is charity work. I don’t do it for money or anything other than because it is much needed. But, I know now is the time, to start doing more, give to the local community and help those in need in other ways.

So, I am going to contact them, and see what I can offer, that may be of use to them.

I also know I am likely to meet and be around people who are more like myself – people who give, who care, who have empathy and compassion for others in need, and I know this will be good for me also to be around good people, which in turn will be good for my wellbeing and therefore, good for my children.

This will also be something my children will see me do, and will help them -as they grow to want to also be people who give – who volunteer, have empathy etc.

A doctor ~ helping homeless people every night ~ 23 years ~ not for money. True compassion.


Now this is the kind of person that gives me hope and reminds me of the true goodness in some of humanity.

People who work for less than can earn…and volunteer, with no other motive than to reach out and help people who need help……are the kind of people I wish I had in my life.

This doctor…..who could be using his skills to make more money….instead is helping the homeless 5 days a week……and has been for 23 years!

I’ve always known that true hearts of compassion, come from those who help and volunteer and do so, not within their own community and group of people….but for those who they are not in any way connected with.

This is why I don’t ever want my ‘work’ to become about money. Not that I remotely compare what I do, to that of this wonderful doctor……but once money becomes involved……the real heart of compassion goes right out the window.

Empathy and compassion, are not meant to be about money, job, career, ego, success……they are meant to be about others….completely.

I told my husband the other day……much to his raised eyebrows response……I don’t want to make money from what I do. I would rather have a job doing one thing – that is worthwhile……but keep my passion, totally money free.

This is why the Mercy Ships are amazing……all volunteers, who take a whole chunk of time out of their lives, to completely volunteer to help the most poor people in the world.

These are the kind of people, who volunteer in truly worthy ways……who inspire me…..that make me cry with joy and give me hope in humanity and I thank Jesus for.