My life and experience of voices has been shaped by the traumas I have experienced in life. And I have experienced a lot. This section of my story could be triggering for some so please take care. When I was in year 6 at school I was 10 years old and we were going away with school to an outdoor adventure camp. I was so excited. I’m not sure how my mum managed to afford it but she did and I couldn’t wait to go. We had been assigned rooms, I was put into a room with all the girls that bullied me, despite this I didn’t let it dampen my enthusiasm. We had been given a long list of clothes and things we would need for the trip, like waterproof clothing and wellies. We didn’t have a suitcase so I had to pack my clothes into a black bin bag. When we arrived at the school the morning we were going the other children laughed at me for my black bin bag and joked. Even though mean words were being thrown around I was still too excited to care. I sat on the bus by myself, feeling anxious, excited but a little bit sad that I didn’t have friends to chat with like the other children.
When we arrived we were shown to the dorm rooms. We made our beds and organised our stuff. Straight away the mean girls were making nasty comments to me. We got ready to go orienteering, this iwas great fun I loved every minute of it. I was brave and not scared of the dark like the other children. Afterwards, we came back to the centre and had dinner and I found a group to sit with and tried my best to fit in with them. Dinner was tasteless but at least it was vegetarian. After dinner, we played a few games then headed to our rooms where we all got changed into our pajamas and got into bed.
The girls in my dorm stayed up late playing games and ignoring me. So I choose to get some sleep. However, I was woken up in the middle of the night to them stripping me of my clothes, touching me and making comments about my body, I was quite well developed for a 10-year-old. They touched my private areas, hit me and made really mean comments. I froze and didn’t know what to do. I cried myself to sleep that night. I was scared the rest of the trip that they would do this again but I didn’t dare tell my teachers. They, however, made sure to tell the other children how disgusting my body was. I didn’t enjoy the rest of the trip. I just wanted to go home. When my mum picked me up she was excited to hear all about the trip, but I didn’t tell her anything. She has since said to me that she knew something happened on that trip because when she picked me up I had changed. I have talked about this incident in length with a therapist, I am now able to recognise that I was sexually assaulted by minors. Talking about this in therapy allowed me to build up the courage to talk with my mum about it. Although she was heartbroken, I think it gave her some answers.