Skip to main content

Saprea > Survivor Stories > To be a Survivor Means that I Exist


To be a Survivor Means that I Exist

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’m going to be honest – it bothered me deeply to be called a survivor. To me, to be called a survivor meant that I was saying that I was weak. So before I attended the Saprea Retreat, and to ease my mind, I decided to look up what the word “survivor” meant. To my surprise, the definition touched my heart. 

To be a survivor means that I Exist. I am still here and thriving. The sexual abuse that was done to me as a child and early teen wanted to define me and wipe me out of existence physically and emotionally. For many years I struggled with my very existence and I hated my existence. It wasn’t until three years ago when I was going to commit suicide that I realized my choice would not only affect me but everyone that my life touched. My powerful choice was choosing to LOVE myself for the first time and exist. 

“1. Someone or something that still exists after an event that could have killed or destroyed them. 
2. Someone who manages to continue a successful life despite very bad experiences.” 

No longer would suicidal thoughts exist to cloud my mind. No longer would depression exist to steal all of my beautiful moments. No longer would fear paralyze me from fulfilling my dreams and no longer would the pain of my past exist to block me from feeling or receiving Love. 


My very existence is POWERFUL. The very fact that I exist, that I survived, has changed this world for the better. 

My experience at the Saprea Retreat will never be forgotten. It was truly life-changing and has helped my heart to open so that I can receive Love. This is HUGE for me and such a great breakthrough. 

Thank you so very much to Derek and Shelaine Maxfield for Saprea; it is truly a Godsend. Thank you so very much to all the beautiful staff at the Saprea Retreat. Your love, care, and support are graciously appreciated. God bless you all abundantly. 

To all my beautiful survivor sisters, I want you to know that you are loved, you matter, and you exist. You are more powerful than you think. Keep shining bright being you and don’t, I repeat, don’t ever turn down your light for no one. You were made to SHINE. Lastly, celebrate yourself with every step that you take. You are worth celebrating. I love you! 

-Charmaine, Survivor