Well, I just recently had to write an Essay for a scholarship I am applying for, and I thought I'd share what I wrote here because the whole time I am promoting Pandys
T warning though for uncensored R*** spelling. Healing
From a young age, I was sexually assaulted and raped by my cousin. When I was finally able to break free from this violence, I had only just turned thirteen. The abuse went on for eight years. In the following years, I didn’t immediately address the issue, and my family did all they could to hide the matter and act as if nothing had happened. We were still a normal family from the outside; Every Thanksgiving, the whole family would eat together, extended family and all (cousin included)- minus one: Me. This went on for a good three and a half years,-until I was about sixteen. That’s when I began actively trying to put a stop to it. Finally, after about a year, I found something that helped me: a survivor site known as Pandys.org.
Pandys.org has allowed me to open up in my healing. Before, I could hardly focus on my past without becoming overwhelmed and completely shutting down, but I knew I would have to focus on it in order to heal and move forward. I just didn’t know how to get there. Pandys helped me in so many ways to do that. The site offers such strong support; it’s like a healing pool. Through another person’s story and experience, I myself, as well as others, can find a multitude of ways to come to terms with what has happened and learn to grow from it; to become better people from our tragedies. At Pandys, you can share your story without fear of discrimination or shame. No one is going to tell you what you “should have done differently” or ask you, “well, why didn’t you tell anyone?”. They are there for the same reasons, and know your pain as well as they breathe their own.
Through this site’s thoughtfulness, many different sections have been incorporated to help with addressing key issues. Some of these sections are as follows: My Story (Which is, often times, the hardest thing to get out in any form), Mental Wellness, Moving Forward, Healing Together, Survivor Communities, Self-Injury (a safe place to come together and fight against it), Body Image, Nightmares, Flashbacks, Anniversaries, Triggers, Relationships, Perusing Legal Action, Research, Activism and Speaking Out. All these subjects and so many more are what make this site amazing. In my opinion, it would not have come off the ground without such places where survivors can go, where I can go, in order to discuss these key issues and learn from them. One of the most impacting articles I found was on ‘Grey Area’ rape. It stated that there is a belief in a ‘half rape’ within society because of a supposed ‘half consent’ due to prior relations, not fighting back, no clearly spoken “No!”, or due to intoxication of either the perpetrator or the victim. Because of my personal experience, this struck a chord with me. My first therapist tried to convince me that because I eventually stopped saying “No” every time, if he thought it was consensual, then it was. So when I read about ‘Grey Area’ rape and its atrocity, I began pondering it for an overly extended period of time, until I was finally able to re-validate what had happened to me. What he did wasn’t okay, I still had no power to stop it. Sure, there may have been a hundred million other ways I could have come to discover this, but it was unveiled to me through this group, not any other source. Without Pandys.org I might still be sitting around wondering if my old therapist was correct in her thoughts, that my abuse was my fault for no other reason than the fact that I gave up on fighting, like so many others who have similar experiences. Using Pandys most certainly helps me more than anything in gaining closure, which is a slow and tedious task, but thanks to this site, made completely attainable.
Another amazing thing about this site is this: it’s not just dedicated to survivors, it was founded by survivors of rape and sexual assault. Considering this, it’s no wonder the site has been such an outstanding guide and aid for me and, no doubt, countless others. These people understood from the beginning and still understand what it is like to endure this kind of suffering, and therefore were able to create the perfect sanctuary. In addition to this, as the number of members grow, so does the realm of possibility for what will be brought up and discussed. This is because Pandys is a community. Any idea can be made into reality and all for the betterment of the group. It is awe-inspiring when people who have been hurt, take their pain and turn it to something good, for not only themselves, but thousands of others, which is exactly what they have done. Their passion and desire to create such a place also mirrors my own. I was getting doubtful that I could ever help anyone because of how I always felt, but this site, through its love, care, advice, resources and direction to an affordable therapist, as given me my strength back. It reestablished my faith in me. This is something, that for the longest time, I thought was gone forever.
The things that happen in this life will never leave us. Even if we forget, sometimes a memory will come floating back to us, maybe as a great memory, or a horrible one. and if fortune would have it to be the later of the two, it doesn’t mean its going to stop us from pushing forwards in our lives. On the other hand, we might just sit and ponder it for a bit. For a few days we may work on this memory that suddenly decided to show its ugly head. We will go to the places that we know can help us, for many out there, and especially myself, that place will be Pandys.org. It is because I know whether I am facing my past, my future or both at the same time, I’ve got people there for me who can help and who understand. They will not let me down just as I have no intention of letting them down. No group has touched me more so then they have.