One of the most important steps you can take towards your healing is to get social support. Selecting people in your life who care for you and treat you with respect can help heal emotional scars caused by others, get you through tough seasons, and lessen the feeling of being alone. C.S. Lewis once said, "Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself...". There's just something powerful in knowing you are not the only one going through your struggle.
But, often getting support can be hard. If you find it difficult to trust, that itself can make it difficult to be vulnerable with others. Other times, you are willing to build that network around you but finding people who "get it", or who are willing to learn, or who will stick by you without judging you can be near impossible. You might think then, that there's no way to get the support you need in order to heal.
Enter: online support forums. Whether you want support you don't yet have, or you are adding to your network, online support forums can be a great place to find people who've been there and get it. You can go and ask the questions that have been nagging you, and chances are, someone will say they've been there too. Online support forums are also low-commitment. You are more than welcome to build relationships, and lend support to others, but you can also go in anonymously, and only as needed. It's a great place to start small in getting support.
Head over to one of these two great PTSD support forums and check them out. Start by "getting to know" the forum and other members by reading posts written before. Whenever you are ready, you can add your own thoughts or questions, or just say "hello". Here are two great online PTSD support forums you can try.
The MyPTSD Forum has been around for 10 years and connects survivors of PTSD around the world. It is a great place to go to find support ("has anyone else experienced... this?"), to get information about PTSD, resources, and connect with people healing from specific types of traumas (childhood trauma, assault, military trauma, domestic violence, etc).
Michele Rosenthal, a trauma survivor and founder of HealMyPTSD.com moderates this HealthUnlocked online community along with several other survivors. They are serious about creating a safe atmosphere for healing and support. This forum is not just a forum, but a community.
These are just two out of many places to get support online. There are also plenty of online support groups, facebook groups, and twitter networks to join and connect. Do you know of a great way to get support online? I'd love to hear. Share in the comments below.