Welcome to Pandora's Aquarium, a rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse survivor message board and chat room.
If you've been a victim of any type of sexual violence, you belong here. What you see below represents just a fraction of the resources and survivor support available. Register now to join our community and take full advantage of what this online support group has to offer you as you heal and recover, or sign in to remove this message.
You are not alone, we can support you as you heal, and you've made an important step toward recovery by reaching out. If you are unable to register or have any questions, please contact the staff or view our home page.
When I was a freshman in highschool, I remember not fitting in at all. I felt like some kind of psychopath... everyone else seemed to know something I didn't and I just floundered, tried to be invisible. Bit by bit I adopted habits and mannerisms that helped me fit in. I smiled a lot- I remember looking at a mirror and teaching myself to smile even though I never felt like it. I dressed to fit in, joined a sports team that I didn't really like, and buried myself in my school work. I learned to be pleasant and approachable, but not let anyone get too close. My therapist brought up the concept of Winnicott's false self and I told him my metaphor of an attack surface; in a security analysis your attack surface is the sum of all the possible ways that you are vulnerable and that someone could potentially bypass your security or gather information about your defenses and what you are protecting... my mask was a way of minimizing that attack surface. Not altogether fake, just limited... narrow... a cross-section of myself that got me through my day-to-day life.