Recovering from Complex PTSD: Student Edition Healing in Community

Recovering from Complex PTSD


This week Bianca is joined by two of our incredible alumni: Vicky Cadot and DeZarayé Manning. Both Vicky and DeZarayé share their passion for birth, healing and body autonomy. Vicky,  recovering from Complex PTSD (Postraumatic Stress Disorder). She was suffering religious and sexual abuse. After suffering a panic attack while caring for her children, she realized she needed to do some deep healing work and she found a community that helped her name and understand what she was going through. She started reconnecting to herself, to the things that brought her joy and made her shine. She realized she was pregnant with her 5th child and decided to advocate for herself and embark in the journey of unassisted homebirth. She now runs her own business serving families and is a leader for Black doulas in Quebec.

DeZarayé also experienced trauma, in her case it was in the form of getting electrocuted at work and having to leave her career as a body worker, which she was deeply passionate about. DeZarayé first tried to heal in silence, ignoring red flags and the signals of her body, but eventually she found a community that helped her do the deep work. Finding birth work helped her come back to herself and get grounded. She is now pregnant with her second child and planning an unassisted homebirth.

Click here for the transcript

This week featuring:                                                                                                                                                          

Bianca Sprague feels especially passionate about creating access to quality pre & postnatal care for marginalized communities. She is an advocate for mental wellness for the entire family, and especially for the birthing parent, after suffering from PPD in silence and losing her father to suicide in 2012. She recognizes the barriers put in place for female entrepreneurs and believes that understanding the evolving online space can even the playing field for women in business.




DeZaraye Manning is a wife and mother to a beautiful thriving young queen and with one on the way. She is  a proud business owner to My Sacred Sauna and The Mothering Lotus.









Vicky Cadot-Mercéus is the founder of solarinaissance that provides birth and postpartum in person services to families in Québec, Canada and virtual assistances around the world. I’m a breastfeeding support volunteer for allaitement Québec. I’m certified EC  coach. I’m a mother to 5 precious little humans. I’m all about bringing humanity, grace and body autonomy to my birthing client and creating a safe space where they can feel validated and seen. I love to sing acapella harmonizing songs with my children. I also like to share, teach, dance. My two favorite words are: simple and authentic.





Hot + Brave 

The Blog-Cast:

In this week’s BlogCast, Bianca interviews two amazing bebo mia alum to talk about trauma and healing through birth work. Both of our guests, Vicky Cadot and DeZaraye Manning share some really painful experiences and traumas this week and discuss their journey’s toward bodily autonomy, and happiness. 

What is Complex PTSD?

For Vicky, coping with Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been a difficult path. She experienced panic attacks from her trauma and was trying to hide them and just push on for her children. She describes recovering fronm Complex PTSD as revealing for her that she was not alone and that she could take back control. In her description, flashbacks or episodes were caused by what can be a one time event (or repeated events) but your body holds on to it. This can manifest in serious trust issues or difficulty in similar situations even if trauma is no longer present. When dealing with Complex PTSD it feels like the trigger or fear is still there. DeZaraye also lived through a traumatic event that impacted her daily life and caused serious harm and impacted her wellbeing. She describes suffering in silence until she was able to build community to help in her healing journey. In addition to therapy, there are many self-help strategies that can aid in recovering from Complex PTSD. These may include mindfulness practices, journaling, creative expression, and self-care activities 

Empowering Yourself on the Healing Journey

Building community is key when trying to heal and avoid suffering in silence .Community provide a safe and confidential space to share experiences, feelings, and coping strategies with others who are going through similar struggles on the journey to recovering from Complex PTSD. For example, DeZaraye started a book club of like-minded women to share her experience. Having people to talk to that understand and are committed to care can be the difference when it comes to surviving and moving through our trauma. Another helpful hint is to find a therapist that can actually help you. It’s not always easy to find the right match, however it is necessary. If your care practitioner, especially a therapist or counselor, is giving you a bad feeling, there is always the option to seek out someone else that better aligns with your values and is an expert in your specific needs. It is important to remember that recovering from Complex PTSD is possible. Vicky shared a terrible experience where after seeking therapy she was advised to confront her abuser. It was then that she decided she deserved better care. Confronting a person who has abused you and is still a part of your family or community can just bring back the same traumatic stress trigger. If confrontation feels right to you, make sure that you are safe and protected and always follow your instinct – but please note this can be very dangerous. 

The Role of Joy in Recovering from Complex PTSD

Another great tactic for working through your trauma is finding joy in things you love. Many of us struggle to put ourselves first or to connect with things that genuinely bring happiness. For Vicky, this was singing and dancing. Being able to put on Beyonce and Lizzo and dance it out made all the difference in re-connecting to her body and her happiness. She notes that after this reconnection her husband noticed an acute difference, even saying that she was “glowing”. For DeZaraye, working within the birth space sparked joy within her life. She always loved being around birth and babies, so registering with bebo mia and becoming a doula felt like her calling and was the spark she needed to take control and be back in her body. Recovering from Complex PTSD is a complex and challenging process, but with the right support and tools, it is possible to heal and grow.

Empowerment Through Birth Work

So, how does being a birth worker help? Bebo mia community is a community of support and in birth work you have a calling to help others feel safe in what can be a very difficult experience. Both Vicky and DeZaraye speak to how healing it is to help someone that could be struggling and be their advocate. Birth should be beautiful and not a horrific experience like we see on TV or the movies. Just knowing that because of you a person is less likely to struggle in their birthing journey can be life changing and life affirming. Through birth work and the bebo mia community our guests shared that they are more aware of how people can become victimized in a vulnerable situation. This gave them the ability to find their own voices and also speak up to protect others, all while helping other people to tap into this as well and find their own voice. Recovering from Complex PTSD is a journey that can take time and effort, but it is possible. It is important to be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.

Recovering from Complex PTSD

Dealing with trauma can bring up a lot of latent feelings. It can cause a lot of rage and it is helpful to find an outlet for it or to harness and use it so that it does not hurt you or cause harm. Through birth work, Vicky learned that having authority over your own body and knowing that you are in control does wonders for the fear and rage that our bodies hold onto. For DeZaraye, being a doula brought her back to being happy and tranquil; being in the birthing space brought upon a comforting feeling for her that was grounding. These experiences were all part of the difficult healing work of trauma and CPTSD. However, it is important to know that recovery from Complex PTSD is possible with the right support and tools.

Healing is important for birth work because you need to hold space for others. Someone who has not healed themselves, cannot heal others.  If you are suffering it can cause them harm to those around you, especially if you are in a care position. Suffering in silence is a position that is extremely difficult and can cause outbursts and the inability to connect. You can’t take on other people’s problems when you haven’t dealt with your own. We will leave you with DeZaraye’s final tip: “It is okay, not to be okay”. 

What else is going on at bebo mia?

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Classes start March 23, 2023. Click here to register now!


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