My story begins from when I was a little girl. An innocent child at the hands of a cruel grandfather. About twice a year my family would fly out to where my grandparents lived. Thats how my young life started, being violently raped and abused over and over again. And thats how the sexual abuse continued throughout my entire childhood.
When I reached 9th grade, I was sent away to an all girls boarding school. I had been in and out of schools every year of high school and when I was in 11th grade (in yet again, a new school ) thats where I met perp #2. She was my teacher, and I confided in her, the secret that I had been holding in all those years. She responded with kindness and compassion. But soon after, she went on to take advantage of my vulnerability, and continued the horrid pattern that my life had claimed. She would crawl into my bed at night and exploit and shatter whatever human part of me my grandfather had left behind. She stole any innocence that had been forgotten, she tore me apart once again- leaving me more broken than I had ever been.
The next two years went by, filled with numbness and unbearable pain. Filled with emotions I had never known existed. Filled with an emptiness that was so hollow , I was a walking dead person. The endless amount of sleepless nights became a ritual in my twisted schedule. The daily confusion and absolute loss that consumed me is indescribable. This torturous hell was my life as I had come to know it.
The amount of strength and courage shown by each and every member of this wonderful community, has taught me life lessons that I will take with me wherever I go. Pandora’s has opened my mind and touched my soul. It has given me the ability to reach out to others in my situation and the strength that I need to go on every day. It has given me a sense of stability that I don’t think I would have been able to find anywhere else. A place to go wherever and whenever I need. Pandora’s has been a huge tool that I’ve used to move forward with. It continues to give me hope – a new sense of hope each and every day.
I am still continuing on in my healing journey, with the help of my amazing therapist and of course with the help and support of my irreplaceable ‘online family’ Pandys. There arent enough words to express my gratitude and appreciation to the mods and administrators who obviously put forth an awe inspiring amount into this community, and to the survivors for their courage and bravery to survive this horror, and for being here and making pandy’s what it is. Thank you pandys for bringing me to the next level on my healing journey.
Content courtesy of pandys.org
When I was a young child I was sexually abused. I dealt with it by never telling anyone, and eventually forgetting it myself. After high school I was date raped, and again I dealt by keeping it a secret. Throughout high school and college, I strived to make sure people only saw perfection in me-I was an Honor student, sports captain, hung out with the “good” crowd. But hidden away where no one else could see, there was shame, fear, and guilt. I coped with these feelings by running away from home, abusing drugs and alcohol, sleeping too much or not at all, and engaging in self-injury.
I went through severe depression. I first began thinking about suicide as a young child, and later on I acted on these urges. Beginning in college, I was hospitalized several times. After the first hospitalization, I began receiving therapy. We worked on all of the negative coping mechanisms I used, but I was never able to open up about my past. When asked in therapy, I would outright lie and say I had never been abused. I just wasn’t able to face that part of me.
Out of frustration I did a search, and Pandora’s Aquarium came up. I gathered up the courage and checked out the site a few times, but it was very difficult for me to register. My shame and guilt were so strong, and I didn’t feel like I could ever be considered a “survivor”. It was terrifying to think about registering at a place that would identify me as one. Eventually I gathered up the courage to register. I remember shaking so much. It was the first step I took towards healing.
While scary and overwhelming at first, it eventually became such a relief to be able to read other members’ posts and realize that I wasn’t alone.
No matter what had happened to me, what struggles I had, or what feelings I experienced, there were people here who understood. Reading their posts and seeing their courage gave me the courage to begin posting myself. I received support and understanding, and was slowly able to realize that I didn’t deserve to carry the shame any longer. I began to use my voice here and break my silence after so many years.
Volunteering as part of the chat mod team has only added to my healing, allowing me to continue to use my voice to help others and give back to a community that has given me so much. I continue to work towards healing, but because of all the support I’ve received, I’ve learned that I’m more than just the pain and shame I held inside for so long. I’ve become a wife, mother, professional, friend, and finally, a survivor.
Content courtesy of pandys.org