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BIG plans, I am going traveling. In 8 days I will be off to the beautiful Allegheny forest in Pennsylvania.
I will be volunteering at a camp. Not only that but I will be dressing up as an 11th century nun to do it. (Which let me tell you has brought no end to the giggles I have subjected my self to with that costume)
And then 18 days after I get back I am off on a cruise but that is another subject altogether.
I have been helping run this camp for several years now and I love every exhausting minute of it. I will see friends that I have know for years and see only at this camp. I will sing songs, wrangle leaders and hand out water. I will eat camp food, compile statistics and stay up way to late. I will see the joy on a child's face when they accomplish something new and I will laugh like a fool over campfire skits I have seen a million times. Did I mention I can't wait?
I first started going to this camp about twenty years ago when I was a youth. I was one of the first girls to go to this particular camp and back then there were no facilities for girls; I even had to have a guard when I used the KYBOs, since it was the only way to ensure my privacy. The camp has come a long way since then. Now there are facilities and female leaders, and no one would ever think of telling a girl she didn't belong there just because of her gender. The problem comes from the fact that the first time I went to this camp all those years ago, my attacker used the event as another opportunity to assault me.
I have always known this; I just decided that he wouldn't take this camp from me as well. So I joined the staff and kept going. I have occasionally had some rough moments, times when I was nervous or unsettled, but nothing I couldn't handle. I just made sure I was never with out a light and that I didn't get left alone in the dark and that has always kept things under control. This year however, I am more than just a little worried about it. With every thing that has come up lately with the pending charges and having to tell my story to the police, I am so very raw. I haven't had these kinds of flashbacks and nightmares for years. I am so scared that being back there will make every thing that much worse.
And I know I could cancel. I know that all I would have to do is say I'm not up to it and no one would hold it against me but, I don't want to. I want to go to camp. I want to see my friends and sing songs. I want every crazy moment of it and I won't let him take that from me. And to make things both easier and harder, I wonít be sleeping in a tent this time, (easier) I will be sleeping in a building with other leaders. One of which is my long time friend (harder).
The reason this makes it harder is complex. He has been my friend for YEARS. I would willingly put my life in his hands, in fact I actually have, and he is a loving husband and a great dad. I know of few fathers as committed to supporting their children as he is, and he campaigns tirelessly to provide equal opportunities for children of both genders. He is a gentleman I would be proud to have raised (were I not several years his junior). It is these qualities how ever that makes sleeping in the cabin with him problematic this time.
He is a dad that hears his child's nightmares and responds to them, that can tell when something is wrong with the people he cares about and actually wants to help if he can. I know that if I have a nightmare, he will hear, and will probably check on me. I know that if I am having a hard time he will be able to tell. And I know that the details of my past history at the camp will hurt him, both for my sake and for the organization.
I have already given him the information that I was assaulted and by who, when I called him last week to make sure I was in a building not a tent, but I didn't give him any details. And now I am getting ready to tell him the rest. I know I don't need to. But I want to. I want someone else in the organization to know just exactly what the asshole that raped and assaulted me did. I want to tell someone who will get the betrayal of the uniform part of it.
I'm not worried about my friendís reaction. His only anger will be towards my attacker and his only doubts will be how any one could do such a thing. I am pretty sure that as a former member of the USMC he might very well have the kind of righteous anger that you see when you harm one of their loved ones and they are prevented from retaliating. (On a side note it is actually a fascinating thing to watch; the care and concern warring with the need for vengeance, and sheer willpower it takes to reign it in)
What I am worried about is getting through the weekend. I am worried about flash backs and nightmares, and all the rest. I am determined to go to this camp. I know I will get through it, I just don't know if I will be able to enjoy any of it this year. This means, I have yet another thing to be angry at my attacker for. Great.
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