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First post here. I'm struggling and seeking community

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Hi there. This is my first post. I found aftersilence after my therapist suggested I find an online community where I can post anonymously and connect with other survivors. I'm currently struggling with Complex PTSD symptoms and awakening to the fact that I was sexually abused by my teacher when I was 12 years old. The abuse happened repeatedly over the period of a full year. I repressed the whole thing for 11 years, and was suddenly hit with a flashback at the age of 23. I've struggled with my mental health since I was 18 and I'm just beginning to understand why. I now understand all of my mental health issues as symptoms of PTSD. I now understand that the reason I began withdrawing from the world at the age of 18 was because I was in a constant state of being triggered. Every where I go, and everything I do seems to end up triggering me somehow. When I'm triggered I dissociate, become numb, my muscles tense, I get a migraine, and I plunge into the depths of toxic shame and suicidal ideation. The simplest emotional connections with other human beings trigger me, and as a result I don't have any friends or any sense of love and belonging. I feel all alone, and I'm scared I'll never be able to form healthy relationships again. This is why I'm here, I hope through this anonymous online forum I can begin to ease my way into some form of human connection and communication that can be healthy and validating for me. I also hope to begin sharing my story, and with the help of the community find some sense of meaning as I work my way through it. At this point I still don't know how the story ends. My memories at this point are hazy, fragmented, and emotionally charged (particularly with shame) and slowly but surely new memories are resurfacing for me day by day. I know I have a long road ahead of me and I worry I don't have the courage to face the pain and make it through this.

Thanks for reading my post and having me as a member of this community.

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@zenguy Hello and welcome to After Silence. I am so sorry to hear the trauma you have experienced. You have come to a very supportive place full of people who can understand you

By reading your post I have actually realized something about my own behavior:

8 minutes ago, zenguy said:

The simplest emotional connections with other human beings trigger me, and as a result I don't have any friends or any sense of love and belonging.

This. Wow. Thank you for your honesty :) 

I think we have a lot in common actually.

I hope this place can be a place of comfort for you while you heal from your trauma



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Hi zenguy,

Welcome to AfterSilence. I am very sorry that you experienced trauma when you were twelve by your teacher...someone you should be able to trust. It wasn't right and I am sorry he hurt you and you struggle. Sometimes we don't understand why we struggle until much later, I am one who can attest to that. It is not easy to deal with the things we do, but certainly being here has helped many of us...and hope it does for you, too. Being understood, not alone, and validated are big things and you will find that here.

Take your time and look around. When you are comfortable, feel free to interact. I wish you the very best as you start this path of healing.



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Hi, @zenguy - 

Welcome to After Silence! I'm sorry for what you've been through and everything that came after. I hope you can find some healing here and that we can help you on your journey. This is such a supportive community and we are all here with open arms when you're ready to talk. 

If you need anything in the meantime, I'm just a quick PM away!

Wishing you the best,

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Dear zenguy

I am sorry for all that you have been through.   You have been so brave in reaching out to us, please know that this is never easy!   We are all here for you and we want to support you.  You're not alone in your healing journey and are always welcome to lean on us for extra support.  You can post as much or as little as you like.  We are here to support you in the way you need.  I have found this community to be very helpful.  Everyone is so understanding and non-judgmental and I am hoping you feel the same way once you've gotten to know us a little.   

All my best,

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Hi @zenguy

Welcome to AS. I'm sorry to hear about the trauma you have experienced, but I'm glad you found the site and decided to join. This is a safe space and we are all here to support each other. It is never too late to begin the healing process. It will take time, but you will heal and be able to have healthy relationships. You are not alone in your struggle on this site. You are welcome to post or share on the site whenever you feel comfortable. I hope you end up finding this site to be as helpful as I do. 

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Welcome @zenguy. I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I hope you can find that sense of belonging here. I'm fairly new here, as well, and everyone in the community has been incredibly supportive and kind. Please know that you're not alone in this. 

If you ever want to talk, feel free to message me!

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Welcome @zenguy to After Silence.  I’m sorry for what brought you here but I’m happy you are here reaching out for support.   Good job taking this step in your healing process.  You are not alone and what happened to you wasn’t your fault.  Take your time exploring and post when you are ready.  If you have any questions feel free to message me. 

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