cPTSD is making it really difficult to socialize and almost impossible to form relationships with people.

I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time! I also have taken martial arts as self-defense in the throes of my C-PTSD. This is what helped me:

I told my instructors before I even had my first class. Over time, I gave them a more complete version of my story. But the important things I disclosed initially was that I’d been assaulted and that I’m there to learn what I can to make sure it never happens again.

In class, I used to have constant panic attacks and there were sequences that took me months to do without feeling triggered. Initially, I was only paired with the instructor (as opposed to other students) so I could develop a bond and learn to feel safe. Eventually, I made friends and I was consistently paired with my best friend at the dojo. After months of that, I was able to pair up with any of the regular students. It was slow progress but I did it. And you can too!

I think it’s important to let someone know that some of the moves are triggering. An easy script for me to follow is something like ‘Hey, I’ve been through some traumatic things in my past. If I seem distant, inattentive, [insert word here], it’s not intentional. I’m trying to work through my trauma at my own pace.’

And like I said earlier, telling them before class is ideal. So if something comes up and you are feeling triggered, you don’t have to come up with an explanation in that moment. They will already know and hopefully be there to support you.

Martial arts was a huge part of my recovery. And I hope it is supportive for you too. Good luck!

/r/CPTSD Thread