I wanted to congratulate you, RunforJoy, on your project of experimenting with taking risks. I know it's hard work and can be nerve-wracking.
Each time you successfully take one of these risks you build up a database of experience for yourself. As you build this database of experience you'll gain confidence in both your ability to do things like ask questions and speak up when you want to, and in the consistency of how each experience turns out (that they turn out OK, not badly).
Things like talking in groups, "taking up space" in the world, being a part of relationships, etc. will become more familiar to you and more comfortable. You'll have a sense of predictability about them.
Building our own databases is crucial for us. No matter how much we trust what someone tells us about it being OK or safe to take one of these kinds of risks, it's only when we experience something for ourselves, "see it with our own eyes" that we fundamentally trust something.
You are so on the right track. I just want to support you, and everyone else engaged this project, in continuing. I'm impressed by your strength and perseverance. And I'm thrilled that posting a comment on this blog is part of your recovery process.