2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Philippians 3:8-11 (NKJV) – 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Written by Pamela K. Orgeron, M.A., Ed.S., BCCC, ACLC, Author
Traumas…sexual assaults, car accidents, war, natural disasters, unexpected death of a loved one, abuse in all forms and fashions, and the list goes on. Trauma is no respecter of persons. Most of us have lived through some sort of trauma in our lifetime. What are the effects of trauma? How do people react to trauma? The answers to such questions are beyond the scope of this article. What I do want to focus on is complex trauma and one of its proposed aftereffects Complex PTSD, which I have lived with for most of my life but was not able to put a name to the condition until recently.
First, let’s look at the definitions of complex trauma and complex PTSD. What is complex trauma?
Complex trauma refers to a type of trauma that occurs repeatedly and cumulatively, usually over a period of time and within specific relationships and contexts. The term came into being over the past decade as researchers found that some forms of trauma were much more pervasive and complicated than others (Herman,1992a, 1992b). The prototype trauma for this change in understanding was child abuse. (Courtois, 2004, p. 412)
What is complex PTSD? First, be aware that complex PTSD results from experiencing complex trauma. It’s worthy to note not everyone who experiences complex trauma develops complex PTSD. Those with stronger support systems and a higher resilience are less likely to develop the symptoms. However, for those who do develop Cptsd, the condition is life-altering and progressive in nature, if left untreated. Since my own realization last fall that I have dealt with complex PTSD most of my life, I have found the writing of Pete Walker, M.A. MFT, a specialist in “helping adults who were traumatized in childhood, especially those whose repeated exposure to abuse and/or neglect left them with the symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [Cptsd]” (Walker, n.d., ¶ 2), most helpful. Thank you, H. Norman Wright for referring me to Walker’s work!
Walker (2013) defines this proposed psychological disorder Complex PTSD as “a more severe form of Post-traumatic stress disorder. It is delineated from this better known trauma syndrome by five of its most common and troublesome features: emotional flashbacks, toxic shame, self-abandonment, a vicious inner critic, and social anxiety.” (p. 3)
Most of us are familiar with the “fight/flight” instinct responses that occur when a person is in danger. These are inborn healthy responses of the autonomic nervous system when an individual is faced with danger—either stand up and fight or flee in the opposite direction. Walker (2013) believes a more thorough and precise description of possible responses to danger are fight/flight/freeze/fawn. Walker reported that
Traumatized children often over-gravitate to one of these response patterns to survive, and as time passes these four modes become elaborated into entrenched defensive structures that are similar to narcissistic [fight], obsessive/compulsive [flight], dissociative [freeze] or codependent [fawn] defenses. (p. 13)
I recall having experienced all four of the aforementioned reactions to danger at different points in time. I also believe that to one degree or another at different points in my life I have experienced each of the 5 common symptoms suggested by Walker noted previously.
In reading about Complex PTSD, the two symptoms I see most throughout my life are the internal critic and catastrophizing. I’ve always been my own worst critic, which reflects a perfectionistic nature. Catastrophizing is always thinking of the worst possible outcome. I still have problems with this phenomenon, especially riding in the car with someone. A recent example occurred when my husband and I were riding down the road. A police officer had a man pulled over. When my husband failed to obey the traffic law to get in the far lane, I rebuked him, as I imagined us in the middle of a shoot-out.
Living with Complex PTSD: My Story
No doubt symptoms of my complex PTSD began immediately upon experiencing the early childhood sexual abuse and the witnessing of a murder that I described previously in the blogs, Sexual Abuse & Witnessing a Murder . . . It only happens in the movies. Wrong! It happened to me and What a Shock!–How God Prepared Me. The immediate symptoms I recall experiencing were losing my voice for days and an uncertain fear and distrust of others. The only ones I remember trusting at that time are my father, his mother, a few other extended family members, and God. In the next several paragraphs I would like to use hindsight to describe how Complex PTSD has affected me throughout my life.
When I wasn’t spending the night with my paternal grandmother, Earl Smith Owens (Mama) who lived across the street from my family, I remember staying in my room most of the time. Getting to spend the night with Mama or just to go visit her by myself was my safe place and my salvation. Speaking of salvation, it was laying across Mama’s bed that I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I begin to understand Jesus as Lord too.
Because my parents’ church did not believe in children getting “saved”, my salvation experience was not acknowledged. When Mama told my parents that I said I was saved, I recall the response was, “She is not. She’s too young.” With no one but Mama believing me, I repressed the memories of my salvation experience so I don’t know the exact date. I’ll never again forget the circumstances though. I remember one of my uncles, Jack Sturgill, had gotten saved. A lot of my extended family including my parents were invited over to his house to celebrate. Because I was so young and the adults feared that I would be in the way if I went, I was left at Mama’s. At her house I remember she and I laying across her bed talking. When Mama told me the reason I was left with her was because Uncle Jack had been saved and they wanted to go see him, I asked her what saved meant and a lot of other questions. She explained the Gospel of Salvation to the best of her ability to me. I listened intently with all my heart. I remember when she came to a word I didn’t know, accountability, I stopped her to ask her what that meant. She told me it was knowing the difference between right and wrong. I told her I knew that. She said, “You do.”
“Yes, I do,” I said.
For the past several moments I had felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Immediately I bowed my head on the bed asking God to come into my heart. After I bowed my head, I remember feeling such peace. I heard the Spirit speak to me and say, “Look up.” When I looked up, I remember seeing a vision of Christ on the Cross and heard the Spirit’s voice again speak to me saying, “You’re saved. You’re saved. You’re saved.” I have no doubt that was when I was converted.
By the time I started grade school my family had already moved away from my grandmother’s neighborhood but Mama and I still had a lot of time together. She became a spiritual mentor to me in addition to being my grandmother. She taught me to pray about everything. She shared Scripture with me.
Problems that I attribute to Complex PTSD showed up quickly once I started school. First of all, I couldn’t pay attention in class. My first grade teacher wrote home to my parents in a report card that I was a “daydreamer” and just stared out the window. Looking back, that was me dissociating. Well, that problem was overcome by my having to always sit right up front under the teacher’s nose. I had no choice but to listen. I soon learned that listening got me good grades, and good grades got me positive attention, which I craved immensely. That also was when my parents adopted the “homework first” policy where when I got home from school, the first thing I had to do was my homework before I could do anything else. I became a straight “A” student. I also became very good at people pleasing (codependent), back then teased as being “teacher’s pet” and a “brown noser”.
A second problem I had in early elementary school, not related to school, was that I kept wetting the bed, a common symptom of children who experience abuse. I remember being taken to a doctor to see if something was wrong. When the doctor found nothing wrong, he told my parents not to let me have anything to drink after dinner. Eventually, I outgrew that problem.
I continued to be a “star” student all though elementary school and got along well with all my teachers. My relationship with my classmates was another matter. As mentioned previously, I was made fun of a lot for being a “teacher’s pet”. I also was made fun of because of the clothes I had to wear to school. When time came to buy school clothes, I was always bought dresses that doubled as church attire, and since my parents’ church didn’t believe in women wearing pants or shorts, I stood out appearance-wise from the other girls in my class who were allowed to wear pants and shorts. I also started putting on more weight than I should have, which gave me another nickname, “chubby”. I also felt left out among my circle of friends at church, as I was the youngest in the crowd.
On the surface, I appeared to not be bothered by feeling left out from classmates and other children at church but deep down I was hurting. Thankfully, what got me through was Mama, praise from being a “star” student, and God. I loved God so much. I remember being at Mama’s once when she asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her, “a writer, an author, because that way I could tell more people about Jesus.”
Mama replied, “That’s a ministry.”
“What’s that?”, I asked. She explained the best she could for my young age.
Junior High School
I remember in junior high school all the students from the three elementary schools in our district were assigned to three groups based on how well each student had done in elementary school. In the seventh grade, I was placed in group one but when I was upset not being able to compete with students from the other elementary schools and make straight A’s like I had to have to be happy, I was moved down to group two in eighth grade where I became one of the top students in group two. I was known as the student who always blew the curve. Thus, I never felt like I fit in during junior high school either.
Senior High School
In high school I was popular, but only for my academic accomplishments. I had a few close friends at school but deep down I really felt like I didn’t fit in with my classmates or with my family until I was about 16 years of age. At 16 years old, I made my first public profession of faith, joined the school’s prayer group, and was slowly building more and better friendships. I took all the college prep courses, as much math and science as I could get. Because of my intelligence, high school counselors told me I needed to go to college, and to take as much math and science as I could get. Trying to please everyone, including my father who wanted me to be a doctor, I complied, graduating as co-salutatorian and as the most outstanding math and science student in my class.
Wow! Did I ever get a rude awakening in undergraduate school! I jumped from high school trigonometry and algebra straight into college calculus. When I flunked my first calculus test I was crushed. I wasn’t a quitter (obsessive-compulsive) so I went and signed up for a tutor, determined to finish the course. When I barely scraped through the class with a “D”, I decided being a math teacher would not be a part of my future. I had always loved to write, and switched my major to English. No longer being the “star” student in my undergraduate courses was difficult and embarrassing for me at first. That was one way God humbled me to bring me back in line with what He wanted me to do in life, Christian ministry, in the form of writing, teaching, and counseling. I ended up graduating with my degree in journalism-public relations, with minors in English, psychology, and political science.
First, of all, I never dreamed I would attend graduate school. After taking 7.5 years to complete my bachelor’s degree, I was glad to be out of school and thought all my test-taking was over. Boy, was I wrong! In between graduating from undergraduate school and entering graduate school, God had a lot more humbling to do in me before I would make that decision. Humbling experiences included crushing my left ankle, Mama’s death, a bout with depression and anxiety, and realizing I had been a victim of abuse. During that time I was misdiagnosed more than once. I remember one psychiatrist who put me on medication for bipolar disorder. I started hallucinating and spacing out on the medication. My psychologist noticed something was wrong on our next visit, and told me that I was not bipolar and to quit taking the medication immediately. Those are days I would not want to relive.
The decision to attend graduate school came after getting through all the aforementioned crises and after I surrendered to a call to full-time vocational ministry. After surrendering to my calling, a former pastor advised me to try to go back to school to better prepare myself for ministry. After praying for God’s will, He opened the doors to make that possible. Looking back I am thankful for the obsessive-compulsive tendencies from the Complex PTSD that got me through graduate school making mostly A’s. I did have another humbling experience in graduate school. After being out of undergraduate school for about 10 years, I went straight into graduate statistics completely unprepared. I flunked the first test. Much wiser after my experience with calculus knowing how much the “D” had lowered my GPA, rather than get a tutor, I dropped the class immediately and went back to take undergraduate statistics 101 to refresh my math skills. I don’t regret that decision even though it took me longer to complete my higher level degrees. I worked hard four long years to complete the two-year master’s level degree, and another year or two to complete the Education Specialist degree.
Finding “Mr. Right”
For as far back as I can remember I dreamed of finding a strong Christian man who would love and accept me for the way I was without always being critical or abusive. However, with all my fears and trust issues, God had me wait a long time on that. I never did date anyone seriously while growing up. I had a lot of crushes on different boys at school but nothing ever came out of any of them. I was always the wallflower. I believe there were several reasons for that. One, with my being a top student academically, the boys didn’t want to date girls who made better grades than them. I also was very picky about who I would even consider dating. I didn’t smoke, drink, or sleep around. Neither did I want a life companion who did any of those things. My parents were even more picky than I was about who they let me go out with. I remember one really nice gentleman whom I hit it off with as a college sophomore, but when Dad found out he had been divorced, I had to end that relationship. In hindsight years later when I learned he was abusing another woman he married, I was and still am very glad that I took Dad’s advice.
I remember Mama always told me regarding marriage that “if a marriage isn’t made in Heaven, then it’s not worth the paper it was written on.” She also advised me never to date anyone you wouldn’t want to live with because you never know who you will fall in love with if you start dating them. She said if you don’t want to live with someone who smokes, then don’t date a smoker. I always share that advice with young people today when I counsel them.
Well, Milton and I both will tell you that our marriage was one made in heaven. Both of us had given up on finding a lifetime companion. For our complete “love story”, read the chapter entitled “A Marriage Made in Heaven” co-written by my husband and me in the book The New ABC’s of Life for Children and Adults: Short Stories, Essays, and Poems Promoting Christian Concepts (ABC’s Ministries, 2016).
Childhood Dreams Fulfilled
I am very blessed. So many of my childhood dreams have been fulfilled. No doubt, Mama and Dad are in Heaven smiling down at me. Though I never made it to be a doctor, I know Dad and Mama would be proud of my accomplishments. After being told not to expect much from life, I believe, praise be to God, that I am doing well having followed God’s call into ministry which enables me to work at home as a writer married to the most wonderful Christian man in the world, at least in my eyes. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I look forward to see how God leads me from here while on earth until I can reunite with Mama and my earthly father in Heaven. Praise God!
Preventing & Overcoming Cptsd
I know from personal experience how vital forgiveness is recovering from past abuse. Many Christians, as I was, are encouraged to enter into a quick “forgive and forget” mode before working through their emotions and allowing healing of the heart. By acknowledging forgiveness, Allender (1990) noted that the actions of the offender are not condoned; but the complete work of Christ’s blood on the cross is acknowledged, for in light of the cross, there is no difference between the abused and the abuser (Romans 3:23). However, Allender pointed out that before a person can offer forgiveness, an injury and its pain must first be acknowledged.
Grieve the Trauma (Walker, 2011)
Grieving the losses. Langberg (2001a) suggested that the stages of recovery are similar to the stages of grief. Robert Kavanaugh (1972), as cited by Leming and Dickinson (2002), identified seven stages of grief. These stages are shock and denial, disorganization (feeling out of touch with reality), volatile reactions, guilt, loss and loneliness, relief, and reestablishment.
A godly response in the face of abuse is to grieve—for the perpetrator’s sin and for the damage done to our soul; but the natural response is to cower in shame, condemning our own soul for being so foolish as to hope, want, or risk. (Allender, 1990, p. 51)
Wright (2003) noted, “The Bible dignifies grief by presenting it as a God-given, therapeutic response to loss” (p. 85). Scripture exemplifies grief in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 6:6, God the Father acknowledges grief in His heart over the evil during the days of Noah. Jesus Christ the Son grieved over the death of Lazarus, according to John 11:35-36. Ephesians 4:30 suggest that the Holy Spirit grieves over the sins of believers.
Grieving the losses through recounting what happened during past abuse does not change what occurred but offers emotional release. Nehemiah 2,…, is the scriptural basis for needing to ponder the effects of sexual abuse. Before starting to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem, Nehemiah went from gate to gate viewing and weeping over the devastation. Before a person sets out to rebuild a life that was damaged by sexual abuse, the losses and damage to the life must be surveyed (Frank & Frank, 1990). When a person has been victimized or experienced loss similar to Nehemiah, he or she must recount the experience and survey its effects before offering forgiveness and moving on with one’s life. Orgeron would add two important points to remember. First, although circumstances may seem to get worse before they get better in recovery, it is only through Christ that one can grow to become known as a survivor rather than a victim of past abuse. Orgeron bases this on John 15:5. Secondly, although relapses occur, it’s important to move on and not get stuck along the way. Just as Nehemiah and the Jews reached their common goal of rebuilding the wall, Orgeron believes anyone with the help of the Lord and others can rise above past abuse.
Recounting is only the beginning of “removing the debris” left by early childhood sexual abuse. For complete recovery, there must be a connection of the emotions. This step may be uncomfortable for persons who were never allowed to express or even experience emotions in childhood.
God does not want our emotions to totally control our lives, but He does want us to express them in an appropriate manner. When a sexual abuse victim continually suppresses intense feelings, physical maladies, such as an ulcer, result.
Accepting responsibility is crucial to the recovery process. We have to “grow up” and take responsibility for our lives. We have to decide we won’t be the victims of our circumstances because God has given us a way out. We are not to stand in our own power but to stand strong in Him (Omartian, 1991, p. 249).
(Above information excerpted from Orgeron, 2016b, pp. 84-86)
In my experience, resilience has been a primary factor in both living with and recovering from abuse. What is resilience?
Dent and Cameron (2003) defined resilience:
Resilience is the concept that is used to describe the flexibility that allows certain children to cope with and manage major difficulties and disadvantages in life, and even to thrive in the face of what appear to be overwhelming odds (p. 5).
Wolin and Wolin (1993), as cited by Siqueira and Diaz (2004), identified seven factors that individuals can work on to improve resilience. These factors are:
• insight (Know oneself.)
• independence (Disaffiliate from turmoil.)
• relationships (Seek out close, rewarding relationships.)
• initiative (Develop goal-directed behavior.)
• creativity (Be expressive to relieve pain.)
• humor (Look for the comic in tragedy.)
• morality (Develop a conscience.). (Orgeron, 2016b. pp. 45-46)
Both formal and self-taught education were probably two of my biggest tools in learning how to live with and overcome past abuse. Throughout the healing process, an individual who has experienced early childhood sexual abuse should be continually educated on his or her problem issues. “This education can come from reading books and articles, viewing documentaries, and tapping available community resources (for example, support groups and specialized counselors). (Frank & Frank, 1990).” (Orgeron, 2016b, p. 87)
Reparenting through Positive Self-Talk
What reparenting does is get rid of old negative false beliefs and thoughts learned from the abuse to replace the thoughts with healthier thoughts that can result in a more mature, healthier self-esteem.
Positive self-affirmation was a major part of my healing. What I love to use for self-affirmation statements are Scriptures. For example, Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Develop Healthier Relationships
To overcome and heal from Complex PTSD, one MUST cut off old dysfunctional and abusive relationships, even if these individuals are family members. Otherwise, these individuals will keep pulling you down, especially if they are in denial of the abuse. There needs to be a period of time away from dysfunctional environments where one can get stronger and learn healthier attitudes and behavior patterns. Those in recovery need to seek out healthier friendships that edify rather than criticize. As Mama told me, “You can’t choose the family that you were born into but you can sure choose your friends.” I’ve dropped more than one friend because they were always complaining and gossiping. I didn’t want that influence so I did what I had to do. I encourage others to do likewise. Choose positive, uplifting individuals as your closest friends.
Healing through Christ
Being able to live with and perhaps overcome complex PTSD is only possible through Christ. Why? Because being abused makes one vulnerable to demonic influences. I know that from personal experience. I recall two times when I have no doubt that demons were physically attacking me. The first attack happened one night when I was startled awake by an evil presence on top of me trying to choke me. In a few moments I realized what was happening. I started praying aloud and rebuking Satan in the name of Jesus Christ. Immediately the evil presence left.
The second demonic attack was one evening when I was getting ready to attend a church function. I started feeling sick, like I was going to throw up. I knew there was absolutely no reason why I should be sick at my stomach, as I was taking medication for GERD. When I got into the bathroom, I developed an intense headache. The thought crossed my mind, this is a satanic attack. Immediately, I rebuked Satan in the name of Jesus. Guess what happened? Immediately the headache was gone and I was no longer sick.
How does one resist Satan and his demons? Well, we are told in James 4:7—”Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” That verse tells me that there’s humility and obedience required from us towards God. We submit to God by practicing spiritual disciplines, which include the following:
*prayer—Mama taught me how to pray early on. She told me praying was like having a conversation with God—that I could go to Him anytime and tell him anything without anyone else knowing. I have been labeled a “prayer warrior” by several of my closest friends for years. I encourage other victims of abuse to develop a constant attitude and mindset for praying anytime anywhere.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)
“pray without ceasing,”
*fasting—Allender (1990) reported, “Fasting is the choice to put aside legitimate satisfaction, for a time, to concentrate on a more pressing spiritual pursuit” (p. 194). This discipline, according to Allender, is more than abstaining from pleasure and an exercise in self-control, but fasting expresses a single-minded intention to pursue experiential knowledge of God. I have been on a number of fasts along my journey with God. During my last year of working on my Education Specialist degree I used to fast one day a week. I have completed several 3-day fasts, and even one 40-day fast. All of these fasts were done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I do not recommend fasting for everyone, especially for those with food or body image issues. In fact, I recommend anyone considering fasting get clearance from a physician first.
Matthew 17:21 (NKJV)
“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
*Scripture reading & memorizing—The church I grew up in did not offer Bible school or Sunday school for children. Thus, I did not know much about Scripture, other than what Mama taught me, until my late teens and early twenties after I joined another denomination from what I grew up in.
Reading the Scriptures directs the mind and heart to issues of greatest concern to God. The Word of God searches our motives,
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV)
*repentance—At the point of my conversion, I experienced repentance as feeling conviction from the Holy Spirit that l was a sinner and needed God in my life. He entered my heart and forgave my sin. Over the years the Holy Spirit has used conviction to bring me back in line with God’s ways when I strayed. In my journey to healing I had to repent of sins that I committed in reaction to the abuse that were wrong. Allender (1990) reported that repentant behavior moves the client away from any abuse or self-destructive or self-protective behavior patterns experienced in the client. Thus, I believe that the process of breaking through denial, which clients must do, and, in time, of learning healthier behavior patterns are forms of repentance.
Luke 5:32 (NKJV)
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
*church attendance—Scripture (Hebrews 10:25) commands Christians to attend church faithfully. For many survivors of past abuse, many may find themselves feeling closer to their church friends than to their biological family. I know I always have and still do.
Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV)
“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
*comfort others—Comforting others comes last in the recovery process. I have found that by comforting others I in turn grow stronger in my own faith and victory over past abuse.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
Other Key Scriptures:
1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV) – “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Philippians 3:14 (NKJV) – “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Resources with Additional Information about Complex PTSD
Allender, D. (1990). The wounded heart: Hope for adult victims of childhood sexual abuse. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress. Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Wounded-Heart-Victims-Childhood-Sexual/dp/1600063071
Beauty After Bruises (n.d.). Beauty after bruises…bringing light back into the eyes of survivors with Complex PTSD and Dissociative Trauma Disorders [Website Home Page]. Retrieved February 8, 2018 from https://www.beautyafterbruises.org/home
Beauty After Bruises (n.d.). What is C-PTSD?. Retrieved February 8, 2018 from https://www.beautyafterbruises.org/what-is-cptsd/
BetterHelp (2018). What is Complex PTSD? Retrieved February 8, 2018 from https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/ptsd/what-is-complex-ptsd/
Brookhaven Retreat (2017, December 14). What is C-PTSD? Complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Retrieved February 8, 2018 from https://www.brookhavenretreat.com/cms/blog-22/item/3060-what-is-cptsd-causes-symptoms
The Center for Treatment of Anxiety & Mood Disorders (2017). Complex PTSD. Retrieved February 8, 2018 from http://centerforanxietydisorders.com/complex-ptsd/
Courtois, C. A. (n.d.). Articles and chapters. Retrieved February 8, 2018 from http://drchriscourtois.com/articlesandchapters.html
Courtois, C. A. (2004). Complex trauma complex reactions: Assessment and treatment. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 41(4), 412–425. Retrieved February 9, 2018 from http://drchriscourtois.com/images/Complex_Trauma_Complex_Reactions-Psychotherapy_Theory.Res.Prac2004.pdf
Dent, R. J., & Cameron, R. J. S. (2003). Developing resilience in children who are in public care: the educational psychology perspective. Educational Psychology in Practice, 19(1), 3-19.
Frank, D., & Frank, J. (1990). When victims marry: Building a stronger marriage by breaking destructive cycles. San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life. Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/When-Victims-Marry-Don-Frank/dp/0840744420
Herman, J. L. (1992a). Complex PTSD: A syndrome in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 5(3), 377–391.
Herman, J. L. (1992b). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence—From domestic to political terror. New York: Basic Books. Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Trauma-Recovery-Aftermath-Violence-Political/dp/0465087302
Herman, J. L. (2015). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence—From domestic to political terror. New York: Basic Books. Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Trauma-Recovery-Aftermath-Violence-Political/dp/0465061710/ref=dp_ob_title_bk
Langberg, D. (Writer), & American Association of Christian Counselor (Director). (2001a). Sexual abuse/rape/sexual assault [Videotape Lecture]. In Light Learning Institute (Producer), Healthy sexuality. Forest, VA: Director. Available for purchase at https://www.lightuniversity.com/?s=Healthy+Sexuality&post_type=product
Leming, M. R., & Dickinson, G. E. (2002). Understanding dying, death, and bereavement (5th ed.). United States: Wadsworth. Updated edition available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Dying-Bereavement-Michael-Leming/dp/0495810185
Lucario, L. H. (n.d.). Healing from complex trauma & PTSD/CPTSD: A journey to healing from complex trauma [Website Home Page]. Retrieved February 8, 2018 from https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/
Lucario, L. H. (2017). 12 life-impacting symptoms complex PTSD survivors endure. Retrieved February 7, 2018 from https://themighty.com/2017/08/life-impacting-symptoms-of-complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/
Nicholas, E. (2015). The living nightmare of complex post-traumatic disorder. Retrieved February 8, 2018 from https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vdxjn8/worse-than-ptsd-the-nightmare-of-complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder
Omartian, S. (1991). A step in the right direction: Your handbook for inner happiness. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Step-Right-Direction-Stormie-Omartian/dp/0850095646
Orgeron, P. K. (2016a). The new ABC’s of life for children and adults: Short stories, essays, and poems promoting Christian concepts. Nashville, TN: ABC’s Ministries. Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/New-ABCs-Life-Children-Adults/dp/0692639500
Orgeron, P. K. (2016b). We survived sexual abuse! You can too! Personal stories of sexual abuse survivors with information about sexual abuse prevention, effects, and recovery. Nashville, TN: ABC’s Ministries. Available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Survived-Sexual-Abuse-You-Can/dp/099795650X
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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2016). Complex PTSD. Retrieved February 7, 2018 from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/PTSD-overview/complex-ptsd.asp
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