My Journey as an ANBU Volunteer
I came across the organisation through social media and had never imagined that I would be the one posting on the account one day. My journey with ANBU began in Summer 2018 and there was no going back. I attended the Summer info session where I registered my interest to be a volunteer after a gaining a thorough understanding of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA).
As Digital Media Support, I often post material which have been prepared beforehand. Eventually, I started to create content myself and pitching in some ideas. I was not sure as to whether the content would work but the team was very encouraging. A message which I try to put across when I create the content is – “You’re not alone”. The main reason towards this is because I have myself felt lonely many times despite being surrounded by people. I’ve felt as if I have not been understood. I even write letters and express my feelings through that because I feel very anxious when it comes to conflicts. I have experienced both depression and anxiety, which makes me clumsy, overthink and panic! Slowly, I realised that I have people who I can speak to – ANBU is one of those safe spaces! I also met individuals who went through similar experiences which made me realise that I was not alone. We often suffer in silence – I did for years. But, not anymore!
Another recurrent theme is self-love and I use animations which brings out my inner child. As a child, I made a major decision to move away from my parents – I still can’t believe it myself! Therefore, I like to awaken that inner child in everyone occasionally. I was taught to be independent from my childhood but was not necessarily taught to love myself. It is not something you can teach, to be very honest – it is in ourselves! Later, I realised that self-love is extremely crucial, especially for our own wellbeing! Therefore, I make it a point to enforce how important self-love is when I make my posts. It is so easy to blame yourself, but we all make mistakes and that is okay. Those mistakes do not define us – it just helps us learn and grow. On a creative level, it has been immensely satisfying to draft and publish the stories and posts that I create.
This summer, a few roadblocks in my personal life led me to take a short break. I got back to my day-to-day activities which included ANBU. Despite that, the uncertainty in my personal life and coming to the forefront with the abuse that I had endured myself was extremely difficult and character defining to say the least. I was shattered and I remember saying the following:
“It feels like my world has been turned upside down.”
Being an ANBU Volunteer, I had knowledge on different types of abuse and abusive behaviours. Alas, it did not mean that I could have prevented it. Sometimes, it is so intricate, you don’t even realise it – it can happen to anyone! I realised that I needed to heal which is something that ANBU focuses on as an organisation. I had an honest conversation with a colleague who guided me towards the right path. I went counselling with the support of my family and friends despite their reluctance. It helped to unpack the trauma, but the healing journey was difficult and overwhelming at times. You learn so much about yourself in that small room. It was unfamiliar but liberating. We need to do what is best for ourselves and that decision is often the most difficult one to make. I am extremely proud of myself for making that choice. But, ANBU has been my rock through it all – thank you!
I am also immensely proud of the direction that ANBU is heading towards. We are nearing the end of the year and whilst reflecting, I have realised how far ANBU has come as an organisation.
I look forward to creating more content for social media – which has been a great platform to reach out to people. I am also very excited for the Transition and Wellbeing project and hope to see you all there!
Most importantly, I would like to mention that the community’s growing support is enabling ANBU to provide a safe space and opening dialogue surrounding CSA!
Therefore, a huge thank you to all of you for creating a positive impact in our community.
Lots of love,