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Saprea > Survivor Stories > Encouraged, Empowered, and Hopeful


Encouraged, Empowered, and Hopeful

Note: This story mentions self-harm/suicidal ideation. If you or someone you know is struggling, or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Confidential chat is also available at 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I was severely triggered in August 2021 due to some horrible family events. After many years of work, I was again in desperate need of peace of mind and sleep. I used my story of trauma and nightmares on stage to encourage others and be a light emerging from the darkness of sexual abuse and four suicide attempts. I was determined to help others arise from the horrible grips of abuse, depression, and trauma. The thought of being forced to face this heinous past again was unbearable, and it began a horrible return to sleepless nights. 

One day, I made the decision to “be ok”. I was going to continue to take control of my life and simply move forward no matter what was on the horizon. One day, while on a social media site, an ad for a retreat for survivors of childhood sexual abuse popped up. The ad asked me to click a link to find out more and apply. I’d never heard of this retreat; apparently, this was the best-kept secret on the planet. I applied. I was accepted. And I was TERRIFIED. I had no clue what to expect. Would the retreat help or hinder me further? I had no clue. But I did it afraid. 

I attended Saprea’s Retreat in December 2021. This was one of the best decisions of my life. I learned so much. I didn’t realize how much I needed to be a part of a community of overcomers. I thought I was doing just fine on my own. Boy, was I wrong! I became a part of a greater community of SURVIVORS and that word no longer has a dirty, defeating connotation. You see, I hated the word survivor before attending the Retreat! However, the Retreat gave me a better understanding of the word. I began to see myself in ways I hadn’t imagined. And although there was no cure for the fright and dread that I was facing in my family, the Retreat reiterated that I was not, and am not, alone. A vast, powerful, gifted, and amazing community is available to me. Saprea’s Retreat is incredible and helped provide additional resources for me to walk in peace and maintain my joy. 

I am so thankful to the Maxfields for this INCREDIBLE gift of love to survivors. My life has forever been changed in such a positive way that I can’t fully articulate. At 50 years old, I finally feel that I can truly live and not just exist no matter what comes or revisits me from my past. I am encouraged, empowered, and hopeful about my future. It’s been almost a year and a half since I attended the Retreat and I still communicate with the group of courageous women who attended during the same time. 

For those thinking about attending the Retreat, I strongly suggest that you attend. It will change your life for the better in a long-term and significant way. I am eternally grateful for the Retreat. 

– Michelle, Survivor