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  1. Hi Phoenixxx, I appreciated your response on my first post too. It does mean a lot. High-fives for all of us that make it here, and take the step to write! That is an encouraging sign itself.
  2. Thank you - patriciag, MeBeMary, phoenixxx - it means so much to open up the site and see your messages today. It is encouraging to feel support and recognition simply from taking the first step of posting! I am very grateful. Sending everyone at AS some strength for another day of self-acceptance and growth!
  3. Hello AS Community, I was so excited to discover AS earlier this year, but never posted or kept up with the forums, and let it slip away from my consciousness. I'm glad to have found myself here finally. This is my first post, which I'm forcing myself to write. I'm overcoming my own resistance and vulnerability to really let myself be seen (heard), and hoping I'll be motivated to write more. It's difficult for me to talk about myself in a positive way, let alone share things out loud that I feel embarrassed about or ashamed of. What makes it even more challenging is that I don't really feel like what happened to me was that cruel or terrible. It's not a frightening story, there wasn't violence, there were no drugs slipped into my drink... And yet I know that it was wrong, and that I was deeply hurt. Eight years later it still brings me pain, and so much self-blame and shame. A few distasteful, shameful experiences in my youth piled up into one ugly burden that my inner judgement/critic/worthless narrative happily went after. But this year, 2016, I believe I am closer to confronting my fears; allowing myself to really feel and experience my own discomfort and shame, so that I can accept myself, and let the hurtful, self-critical and judgmental voices go. I want so badly to let myself free. These do not make up the strong adult that I am. I think that 'speaking' up here is an important step for me to take, in order to keep growing. I'm looking forward to being part of an understanding community, where I don't have to hide anything. Thanks in advance everyone, and thanks for reading.
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