Understanding the Impact of Trauma and cPTSD
I'm not a doctor and cannot claim to cure cPTSD. Honestly, no one can claim to cure or heal someone else.
Each person travels their healing journey. YOU heal yourself. That's true physically, and it's also true emotionally and mentally. You have the power even if you don't feel like you do and don't believe it's possible. With the right tools, you can do it.
I share my healing journey, how I healed personally, what living a life in constant fight/flight looked like and what cPTSD felt like. I share how I moved forward toward emotional balance and healed myself. What I share lights a path and forms a roadmap for you. It took me years, and I share my tools and journey so others might shortcut their healing journey. As someone trauma-informed and intimately familiar with cPTSD, I offer a system and program as a roadmap to guide your healing journey. 

Here’s what my healing looked like and some things I wished I’d known sooner:


Healing cPTSD is very different from PTSD. Two completely different healing paths are required. The goal of healing PTSD is to return to the "normal" one had before the trauma. Healing cPTSD requires creating one's "normal" from scratch while healing"Normal" never existed or is long forgotten for someone with cPTSD. 


PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

cPTSD – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that results from chronic or long-term exposure to emotional trauma over which a person has little or no control and from which there is little or no hope of escape.

What is Trauma?

"Traumatic stress includes events, experiences, and exposures that greatly exceed the individual's capacity to control, cope with, or withstand and that compromise the individual's psychophysiological equilibrium or stasis…. they pose an imminent threat or actuality of death, or through other means cause fundamental and life-altering psychophysiological harm" (Ford & Courtois, 2020, p. 4)

Life in this system is designed to create trauma. Some experience more or deeper trauma. Life affects everyone differently. 

Healing cPTSD – Main Challenges

First, the concept of "post" traumatic implies that the trauma has passed. With complex trauma, the trauma is often very much in the present. The people and situations causing the trauma often remain close and intimately integrated into daily life, so the trauma is ongoing and continuous. There is no "post" to the trauma because it hasn't ended. There's may be no end in sight.

Second, even if the situation or person is not part of our daily life, the trauma often lives on in the form of an internal voice (or inner critic) that continues the emotional abuse. The negative self-talk and internal bully are very much alive and active. Daily. Constantly. Incessantly. Relentlessly.

Third, it's entirely possible what is happening isn't even seen as trauma or abuse. Emotional and mental abuse can become so "normal" that one knows things no other way. One may not even recognize what is happening is trauma. This is especially true if trauma begins in childhood and continues throughout life. It's just accepted as normal that humans speak and treat one another that way. It's always been that way so that is considered acceptable and isn't even seen as abuse or trauma.

Fourth, this is NOT a disorder but rather it is your nervous system's adaptation to complex trauma. You may not have received the nurturing, protection and guidance that is your birthright. It's time to heal and receive that from within yourself. You are not broken beyond repair.

Fifth, The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in 2018 it would be included in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) which was published in 2022. YES you read that correctly. It's that recently it's finally recognized as something diagnosable, even if the naming convention isn't ideal for those of us experiencing cPTSD. This is just one of two manuals professionals use. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has not included cPTSD and is used by the American Psychiatric Organization. 

How can you get help if professionals do not recognize or even know enough about the problem? Here's what I finally did to help myself starting back in 2013 when I first learned what was happening. At the time, doctors suggested I was depressed which made me laugh. I didn't feel like the people diagnosed with depression that I knew personally and I have strong faith and hope. My mental health specialist didn't understand why someone who was a corporate professional even had such challenges. So I found my way and created my own healing path. 

How to Heal Amid Ongoing Trauma

Your healing efforts must outpace the incoming and ongoing damage. 

To do this, it’s crucial to unload prior damage, memories and trauma while creating a healing and nurturing environment by offloading and preventing present and ongoing damage. 

Those two things must happen in tandem.

Here are some tools for you:

My blog and website have tools and resources for you at no cost and require only your time and effort. I've been publishing a weekly blog for a number of years. You're welcome to browse these tools and research I share with you. Most people who connect with me do not realize they’re experiencing cPTSD so I present my information from my perspective of what it feels like, how it may show up in your life and what you might do to heal and empower yourself. 

Here are three complementary tools for you:

1. My weekly email to subscribers supports your healing journey. Sign up for free weekly email here. I view my subscribers as members of a community that shares a common interest in empowered growth and healing.

2. Your primary tool is Aroma Reset which I recommend as a daily practice to support healing your nervous system. This technique combines bottom-up with top-down healing to rewire your nervous system and includes somatic (body-aware) practice with 1:1 breathing. Healing means you can stay present, feel peace from within and begin to heal. 

3. Sign up for my free workshop waitlist to stay in the loop on masterclasses and workshops designed around emotional balance, gentle boundaries, empowered growth and healing. 

When you're ready to level up your healing further, here are some next steps:

My Level UP Program is how I present my healing roadmap to you. It maps out what I learned and created to help me heal. Here's a summary of how it works together:

My Emotional Balance Course and Calm Your Inner Critic Course are designed to accelerate healing, while my Gentle Boundaries Course is focused on minimizing the incoming damage. These three courses work together to accelerate your healing. 

In 2021 I discovered Aroma Freedom Technique which is healing my traumatic memories. This specific aromatherapy technique was developed by Dr. Benjamin Perkus, a clinical psychologist. I had used aromatherapy before and this technique amplified the results. Using this technique, I let go of medical, food and other trauma and all the associated physical issues of trauma locked in my body.

I'm a trauma-informed Certified Aroma Freedom Technique Practitioner and you can work with me one on one. During your session, you do not share your memories or specific details of your trauma. This is not talk therapy and is deeper than what talk therapy can offer you. This is a bottom-up approach combined with a top-down approach offering healing at a deeper level than you may have experienced in the past. What I offer is a rewiring of your nervous system adaptations combined with memory reconsolidation. 

Traumatic memories are in a part of our brain that doesn’t respond to logic and doesn’t have a sense of time. This technique helped me tremendously. I combine it with somatic techniques for added benefit. 

About Level UP 

Here's a quick overview of each component of my Level UP program: 
1. Emotional Balance focuses on noticing current emotions and situations. I teach you how to back up and pay attention sooner before our nervous system is in the high gear upper levels of fight/flight. I had to learn this on my own through bits and pieces, trial and error.

2. Calm Your Inner Critic focuses on turning our inner critic Into an inner voice that is supportive and compassionate. Our inner critic is additional incoming damage we have control over eliminating. It's old voices and stories that do not serve us. 

3. Gentle Boundaries focuses on boundaries with a unique approach. It was how I managed to have boundaries true to my peaceful nature spoken with kind gentleness. It was a way to protect myself while still showing love for others. I read lots about boundaries and couldn't do them the way others taught them. Being assertive was going to cause me more damage. I created gentle boundaries to minimize damage to myself and others.

4. Fully Claim Your Life optional course or attending live workshops creates your “normal” once you have some emotional healing, can do gentle boundaries and your inner critic has surrendered its grip. We create your “normal” from scratch and define yourself as a healed, whole person who owns your life. Sign up for free workshop notifications here. 

My Level UP program is available at various price points and I meet you where you are when you're ready to level up your healing journey with empowered support. You won’t find this program anywhere else because I developed it combining the best tools and methodologies I found that helped me. 

In the meantime, my website provides free tools and resources at absolutely no cost to you except for your time and effort. 

Putting It All Together

Our nervous system is designed to protect us but is often stuck in overdrive. Without emotional balance, we can't do gentle boundaries because our nervous system and emotions are heightened to an extreme degree. There's no way at that point to have boundaries or be gentle. If we try to speak up in that state, we're bound to cause ourselves and others damage. Every fiber of our being fights us in having boundaries because they are can, and often do, cause Issues with the people involved which just sends our nervous system further into protection mode. Eventually, we tip over, freeze and shut down because we're beyond coping. 

You may be flipping between high level fight / flight and freeze / shutdown like I did for years. 

Nothing out there taught these things from a perspective of cPTSD and amid ongoing trauma. I built my roadmap, and now I share it. Rarely do I use words like cPTSD or trauma because, as stated above, many don't even realize that's what's happening. Most only know what their day-to-day life feels like, just trying to survive.

How It Feels

Realizing something isn't right feels like finding yourself in a thicket of thorn bushes. Maybe you headed in for some tasty raspberries. Suddenly you realize you're in the middle of the patch and full of scratches. If you move, you get scratched more, so maybe you stand still while figuring out what's happening. Carefully, you assess your situation. It's not possible to stay there. You've run out of food, are growing weak and getting dark. You realize, quite possibly, your very life is at stake unless you get out. However, attempting to exit the thicket means you will probably get scratched more, but you have no choice. At this point, it means your life. So you start to carefully look for the best path out, resulting in the least damage. Imagine, at that very moment, someone outside the thicket reaches back to let you know they made it out with minimal damage. They're willing to share how they got out and their path.

If you're ready to begin your healing journey, click here to choose your healing path 

Here's what cPTSD looks like and feels like. View List

Fill out this complimentary consult application if you'd like to chat more about where you are in your healing journey and your next best steps. Let me know that you read this post and you are seeking information for cPTSD.

Share your thoughts and comments below ▼ I love hearing from you ❤️

Click here to get your Aroma Reset guide - This simple technique clears your limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. Your powerful sense of smell unlocks the part of your subconscious brain responsible for making decisions on autopilot. That instinct or survival brain isn't open to reason and logic. Empower yourself at that level to accomplish every goal you set!

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved by Lemons and Sage, LLC

1 Comment

  1. patricia m ligday  06/20/2024 04:50 PM Central
    so many "dead-ends" in addressing complex ptsd

Leave a Comment