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Saprea > Survivor Stories > Sometimes You Just Gotta Jump in


Sometimes You Just Gotta Jump in

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.

It’s been almost a year since I attended the Saprea Retreat. I couldn’t even begin to imagine my life without such an incredible opportunity. 

One of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done, was venturing out on my own for the first time in my life and knowing that I would be in the presence of multiple other women and a number of therapists that would all know one thing about me…that I was sexually abused as a child. I had carried so much guilt, shame, anger and humiliation around with me for so many years, to the point where I had some pretty destructive coping techniques and felt as if I was the one at fault. 

The ice broke almost immediately as we all made ourselves comfortable on the huge, welcoming couch. We talked about “normal” life things at first, and as the week went on, we each made closer connections and shared parts of our stories with one another. The therapists were amazing, group therapy was extremely tough, but incredibly rewarding and I finally felt like, maybe it was okay to talk about these things that had weighed so heavily on my heart. While each of us went through our own terrible trials, there was something so comforting and reassuring, knowing that each person really understood some of the things you felt and struggled with as a survivor. 

Although it was a rough road at first, I now find myself wanting to open up more. Sharing my story doesn’t seem as scary as it once did, and some day soon, I really hope to be in a position to help others affected by sexual abuse. 

I’ve struggled with a number of things from PTSD and depression, to negative self-esteem and self-harm issues. I now know those things aren’t my identity. I also know that overcoming those trials is an amazing feat, but very possible! As I’ve overcome these issues, one by one, it makes me realize just how courageous and confident I’ve become. 

I will never be able to fully explain just how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to attend the retreat. Not only has it helped me gain knowledge and understanding, but it’s helped bring out my confidence and determination to work through the things that have caused so much pain. It’s nice to finally view myself as a survivor, and to share that empowering word with seven other brave and outstanding women! 

The Saprea Retreat helped me take my life back! Sometimes you just gotta jump in with both feet! 

-Sarah, Survivor