Testimonials: In Our Members' Words
How does joining a rape and sexual abuse survivor message board and chat room help with healing and recovery? This is what our members have to say:
I am a rape survivor. I didn't know where to turn before Pandy's. I was depressed, had nightmares, and was scared all the time. I felt like no one understood. Then I joined the message board. I almost cried when I saw the responses to my introduction post. I never knew there were so many other rape and sexual abuse survivors who understood. Pandy's has been a blessing. If you're feeling nervous, just please join and give it a try. I was scared and I am so glad I joined. I've gotten to tell my survivor story, help dealing with flashbacks, and ideas for my partner. Thank God for Pandy's.
I know for me, finding Pandy's and just meeting others who understand and have unfortunately been there has changed my life. That isn't just words...it is so true. Getting into counseling is one thing...you go once a week and then pontificate on what you talked about until the next week. In btwn, life happens and you need someone to talk to for support. I don't have friends/family who (a) know what happened and/or (b) can provide the support I need. You know how some folks don't want to hear stuff or don't get it b/c they haven't been there or think you should just move on. Now I have Pandy's.
I first joined Pandy's through a friend. She found it and told me about it. At first, I was nervous and unsure because of previous experiences. I had been to other boards, and I have never seen the kindness, compassion and love on any of the others as I have here. Pandy's has been such a blessing in my life. I don't know how I survived without everyone here before I joined. The strength I've seen here has strengthened me. This place truly amazes me. People here really do understand me, and understand what it's like. Thanks for all the support.
Pandys has been a wonderful source of support for me. I was at a painfully lonely point, on a waiting list for counseling, when a member invited me to check the site out and consider joining. I've had many great experiences in the forums and the live chat area here. I have started to make great progress in my healing as a result. I highly recommend the site to survivors and secondaries looking for somewhere they fit in and are understood.
When I first joined Pandy's about a year ago, I was very skeptical. I thought that I would be hated - or at least ignored - because my rapes weren't as "bad" as some others, because I have urges to recreate the rapes, because not all of my problems stem from sexual abuse, and because I am transsexual. Over the months, I was proven wrong on all counts. People here do not compare pain, and by and large Pandy's is a stigma-free zone. The unconditional support and the sound advice amazes me again and again. It took awhile to get to know people, but that time was time well spent.
Since joining Pandora's Aquarium, I've recieved nothing but kindness, support and understanding. I haven't been a member here for very long, but the board given me an incredible insight into how crucial unity is between survivors and how valuable we all are. Each story is unique and deserves to be heard. I feel heard!
Although my account has changed over the years, I am still here. No one needs to even know my name and I feel supported. This was one of the best healing places when I was first injured. Rape changes everything and I am glad that I had a place like this to go to. I kept writing poetry about how 'no one else knows'...but at pandy's I found some courage to open up and then I started telling people who were close to me.
This is just what I needed, when I was at a very difficult time. I appreciate everyone's positive feedback, support, as it felt the closet thing to being unconditional. Thank you.
I am one of the younger members here so at first I kind of felt out of place and like I didn’t really belong here. I learnt though that I do belong here and I was quickly welcomed with open arms. Since I have joined pandy’s I have had amazing support from other members. Pandy’s has definitely been one of the best things to happen to me. This is the best place to be if you are looking for support, kindness, love and understanding.
I found Pandora's Aquarium through www.welcometobarbados.org thee years ago. I was too nervous to say much at first, but found great strength in the healing other members were going through. Being able to find unconditional loving support here has given me the strength to start healing in my own way. Today I am back in a positive place that I never imagined would be possible before. And I thank each and every member for their patience, feedback, and unflagging encouragement. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Pandora's Aquarium and all her wonderful citizens.
Pandora's Aquarium has been like a lifeline for me. I am still waiting for psychological therapy but in the meantime Pandy's is really like having amazing friends all over the world. People who have all experienced some form of trauma and have come out the other side. Surviving. It's hard at times but we come through those times together. Pandora's aquarium facilitates a haven of support where friends meet, share and support each other. It is the best place i have ever been in my life for help. I wish i had known of the place much earlier. Thanks Shannon, you are a star
- Laura xxx
Pandora's Aquarium, and also affectionately known as Pandy's, is my safe place and home. I have never found more compassion, and close friends that have become like sisters to me. I never fit in any where, until here, where I am accepted, and always met with a hug, comfort and compassion, which are the hallmarks of this board. Pandy's is helping me heal and find my voice, and I've found some incredible sisters along the way. I never want to be with Pandy's. I still haven't been able to identify what has happened to me...but one thing is certain you are never alone, because someone can always relate and have a shoulder to lean on.
Pandy's has been a lifeline for me during some of my hardest times. It's been a privilege to witness the survival and healing of so many courageous people. From practical tips for coping with PTSD and aftermath issues, to learning the meaning of resilience, unconditional love and acceptance, Pandy's has been an invaluable resource for me..
I was at the lowest point I had ever been when I found Pandys. I had lost everything pretty much and was struggling just to hold on. Pandys was my saviour. Pandys offered me understanding, support, compassion and friendship. I have made some great friends at Pandys and now never feel alone!!!
Pandys has reassured me, just by being able to talk to other survivors, that everything I am feeling is normal, that I am normal and thus has given me the courage to seek counselling and start on my path of healing.
What I like about the place is when all other doors, the avenues, are closed off to you at that odd hour when no one wants to hear you, or when you just can't stand to be in your own damn skin, Pandy's is here-for you.
Here, no matter what your story is...
Penetration, no penetration, bruise, no bruise, once, multiple times, 2 months, 2 years, 2 decades ago....you don't have to justify your presence here to nobody.
Was it really rape, sexual trauma or abuse? Do I have to say the word?
Did my parent, grandparent, spouse, significant other, date, pastor, neighbor, stranger, just do to me what I think?
Where the hell are my instincts? Do I even have them anymore?
Am I a human stain now, that no one can love?
Sex-expression of love that I'll never know?
Can I ever feel truly safe with another human being again?
The questions themselves are the tokens, the gifts we leave behind for one another.
They help us to mourn, to grieve, and to know we are not alone.
That is how we came here.
Seeking what we could not always get, from out there.....
I found Pandy's when I was lost and confused and hurting badly. I had just allowed myself to remember my csa and to process it. I was living in a home that wasn't safe and it was very hard for me. The support I received here was wonderful. I have been able to grow and learn. I was supported when I started counseling. Through Pandy's I was able to find my inner strength and above all, I was able to find my voice. I am still on my path to healing, but with the support from everyone at Pandy's, I am thriving.
Pandy's has been a safe and supportive environment for me since I joined nearly 2 years ago. This community of fellow survivors has helped me in more ways than I am able to express. Here I have found people who are warm and caring and who remind me that I don't have to make my healing journey alone.
To find a genuine sense of community among a group of strangers has been a rare and precious gift. I am continually amazed and inspired by the strength, compassion, and comraderie the members of this community have demonstrated through their mutual support of one another. It is a place where I have found acceptance and understanding, whether I share my struggles or my triumphs in overcoming the aftermath of SA. It is a place that has encouraged me to use my voice again. And perhaps most healing of all, this community has enabled me to experience the very real power of human kindness in a world that is otherwise so hostile to survivors of unspeakable crimes.
When I found Pandora's Aquarium, I was in a place where nothing seemed to be going my way. I had been looking and looking for a group in my area, with no luck. After searching for several months, I found Pandy's. And although I was nervous and skeptical about joining this sort of a group, I figured I couldn't lose more than I already had. I was shocked when I suddenly found a place that felt more like home than a group. A place where I could share anything, even if I was embarassed about it, and no one would judge me or think differently of me. And most of all, a place where I felt understood. Pandy's has made a world of difference in my life and I know that if you choose to become a part of our family, you will see that you will also be heard, validated, and understood.
When I stumbled across this board I was wary of joining with the thought that focusing so much on being a survivor would drain and overwhelm me. I quickly found that this was a place where I could not only be a survivor but a friend, a student, a teacher, a joker, and sometimes just an ear to listen or a person who needs to complain. Here I have a voice and the voice has all the tones of mine. Here I am not just a survivor, I am all of me.
I have seen so many victims blossom into survivors in my time at pandys. It's really such an empowering place to be.
I ventured on to Pandora's Aquarium to look for information and found a vast community of people like me. Survivors of rape, assault and sexual abuse of many different kinds. I found people who understood what had happened to me, who knew what I was feeling, who did the same shameful things to cope. People who hated themselves, who blamed themselves, people who wanted to die. Then people who wanted to live, who were learning to place the blame where it belonged, learning to look after themselves. Bit by bit I moved from the first group to the second. Pandora's Aquarium is a source of incredible, immense, unconditional support and was the key to my recovery.
I was searching the internet for rape related sites, blindly looking for some comfort and understanding out in the big, bad world. I finally came across Pandora's Aquarium and it was like I had found home. I felt safe, comfortable, loved, understood, and cared for by people I now consider my family. Pandy's has helped me furthur break my silence, build my strength, and lengthen my hope. Pandy's is the place that lifts me up and the place that is the soft landing on the days I stumble and fall.
Finding Pandy's so soon after my rape I believe is helping me heal faster than if I were trying to heal on my own. At Pandy's I always find words of encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, inspiration to heal, and reassurance that my feelings are valid. These people are amazing, and the struggles they have been through and overcame give me the strength I need to keep going day after day.
After I was raped at the age of 17... I was sent into a lonely place of silence for nearly 2 years. I found Pandys when I first started to deal with the aftermath of my attack. I was convinced when I first joined that my voice ended there... I would never let my family or friends in on my "secret." Nearly two years after the endless encouragement & support of the wonderful members here, I was able to share my story not only with my friends and family, but I shared my pain and my story on national television. This is something that I would have never been able to do if I would have never found this wonderful family we call Pandys. I used to be so ashamed of my past... with the help of Pandys, it became less shameful, less painful, and most of all, never at one point did I feel alone again. As awful and unforgettable as my past was, I now realize that I am a better person because of what happened to me. I've done most of my healing here, and when looking back, it's amazing to see how far I've come. Pandys has been the backbone in my healing, and I will be forever thankful.
Right after I was raped, I felt incredibly alone. I felt like no one else could understand the horror and brutality of my experience, or all of the ways my head was "messed up", or the depth of my pain. Then I found Pandy's and discovered, as I shared my story and myself little by little, that there were others who understood all of those things. I found wonderful, supportive people who would cry with me when I was hurting, who would offer to hold my hand across cyber-space when I was frightened, who offered advice when I needed it, who encouraged me when I wanted to give up, and who rejoiced with me in the little victories that make up the very slow process of healing. THAT is truly priceless.
While I came across Pandy's on accident, the moment I found this site, I knew the answer I had been searching for throughout my life arrived. I was so glad to realize I was not alone in dealing with my painful past, and I knew that while I would have to do some healing on my own, I knew I had a place I could reach out to for support and know that on some level, I'd be understood because there were others out there going through simliar struggles on the healing journey. I've been a member for several years, and I am fortunate to have the members at Pandy's as part of my "family."
When I first came to Pandys I felt unworthy and didn't care about myself at all. Through time, heartache, and the support of all the wonderful members I regained many pieces of myself that I thought were long gone and some I didn't even know I had. If it were not for Pandoras Aquarium I would never be who I am and where I am today.
Pandys is home in my internet support network. I've been a member for one year. I would not have made it through many a dark night if it were not for Pandys and it's heroes to help light my way. I've never known such a compassionate, wise, and understanding family and I am very grateful to be a part of this group.
Pandy........ is a Godsend. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and then rape as an adult. This place is like group therapy on the Web. What can I say about Pandys........wow. First of all, it is quite possibly the most encompassing site regarding sexual abuse on the Web today, which is why I think it is vital to most of the members who come her, including myself. I have felt nothing but supported, understood, and cared about everytime I come here. I would recommend this site for anyone struggling with sexual abuse issues. This place is to celebrate, heal, struggle, laugh, cry, question, share, care, love, learn and Survive.
Pandy's has been a wonderful place to vent and be heard. Everyone here is accepting of each other, and supportive when things get rough. This community has been an invaluable resource in breaking the silence and healing from sexual violence.
Ready to join these and thousands of other survivors? Visit Pandora's Aquarium to read more and register.