Sufferer My intro - hi! / hard to actually feel supported by support system

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Hey I just joined - I know this is super long, sorry! Hard to be concise sometimes :) Earlier this year, it became clear that I've been dealing with PTSD. At first, I didn't want to tell any of my friends because it felt so new and hard to put into words. I also felt very vulnerable to their reactions so I feared talking about it with people besides my therapist.

Slowly, I began to open up to friends little by little. I read that it helps for PTSD to form strong relationships and find community. It helped at first but pretty quickly I started to conflicted. I went from being afraid of their reaction to feeling now that I just don't know anybody who can have the conversations with me I so deeply desired and continue to yearn for. Some of my friends I've known the longest seem to understand initially the level of pain and exhaustion I feel but I soon realized that they seem to want some version of me that isn't me.

There was a version of me who was easygoing as a child and then the teenage/young adult me who tended to feel so ashamed that I couldn't see my own perspective. I am still that child in some ways but I am also an adult in my 20s who has had to fight for my survival, who is finally facing the traumas and finding my own way. I have a couple of friends who have been such great listeners and even with them, I'm realizing how much I want someone to want to get to know me.

I've always been interested in creative passions, ever since I got my hands on my crayon I was hooked. I felt so bad recognizing it because I've spent so many years feeling like a burden, too negative, too sad, too shameful, too much in every way and yet too little in the ways that matter. And still I'm beginning to feel that strong desire that somebody share my hope, along with my pain. Because I am not only someone who has faced multiple traumatic experiences throughout my adolescence and early college years, I am someone who has always found a way to pull through and survive even when others couldn't share that perspective because they didn't truly understand the extent of what I was dealing with.

I think I've spent so much of my life muddling through, rushing back into commitments, picking up the phone for anybody who wanted my help because I truly want to be a giver of unconditional love. But it's hard because I'm realizing for the first time I didn't just hate myself - I felt misunderstood. Part of the unconscious fear has been I think if I loved myself and didn't believe I was a bad person, I would have to acknowledge that I didn't cause my own trauma, my own pain. And from a very young age, I didn't believe in "bad" people - I always had this hunch that there's history at the scale of this Earth and societies and families and individual lives. I think I believed growing up that it isn't about good versus evil. But what was it about? I wrote tons of questions down in my notebook because I always had way more questions about life and this world than adults seemed to want to answer. I just never felt validated for who I am at my core. Yet I was not ostracized, no outward signs I saw of how differently I thought. So I was just left with this huge confusion that grew and grew and grew.

So I guess all I want from another person in this moment of my life is to see my life as something of this world: complex, nuanced, real. There is so much suffering and hardship in this world - I haven't asked why me. I'm just wishing for someone (who's not my therapist) to share with me the idea that my child self was creative and kind and courageous and loved sharing whether it was laughter or art supplies or my stuffed animals, because to me everything has always been more beautiful when shared AND at the same time, my experiences will continue to strengthen those qualities in me that I value and I'm beginning to see.

It feels like a lot to ask often: to not only be seen but feel seen, to feel heard instead of just being heard.

I don't know - the more I acknowledge my past, the more I see something special in myself but talking to people besides my therapist about my life can feel exhausting, depleting, lead to more insecurity as I struggle to get people to hold the beauty and the pain in the same conversation. I know that the PTSD sites recommend rebuilding relationships - I guess I'm feeling confused about the ones I already have and whether I know people who can see me for who I am. It's hard to just talk about something else completely because I don't have the mind space for that right now - I really just want to know how my friends are doing and talk about my music and art but it hasn't seemed to work in a way that feels right.
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Welcome to the forum. So much of what you shared resonated with me and probably many others here.

To not have people in my life that 'got it, got me'. Needing 'mirrors' that reflected back to me that I was seen and heard.

Glad you found us. Sorry for the reasons, but rest assured you will be seen and heard here. Many of us are artsy and creative so we relate that way too.

I've made a lot of progress since being here. And have been on this journey forever it feels like. Hope you get the same results.

Take your time, read around the forum, it's very diverse and people from all over the world. Topics from trauma to weather and what's for dinner.

Glad you are here.
To not have people in my life that 'got it, got me'. Needing 'mirrors' that reflected back to me that I was seen and heard. Glad you found us. Sorry for the reasons, but rest assured you will be seen and heard here. Many of us are artsy and creative so we relate that way too.

Thank you so much. Your reply means a lot. It's strange how validating it feels to read your response, one message on an online forum, but strange in a really good way. And yes 'got it, got me' is exactly what I was trying to explain. Thanks for the hope tonight - I really appreciate it
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