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#23710 - 02/27/02 08:27 PM CA retreat
Ken Followell Offline
President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 989
Loc: Bradenton, FL
I registered for the retreat in California last night. I have never attended a retreat of this type and would appreciate any advice on preparing for it that any previous attendees would care to give.

thanks in advance

Ken

_________________________
Ken Followell

Everything works out right in the end. If things are not working right, it isn't the end yet. Don't let it bother you, relax and keep on goin
- Michael C. Muhammad

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
� Rabbi Hillel

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#23711 - 03/01/02 03:23 PM Re: CA retreat
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Ken,

I've gone to two retreats so far that Mike Lew has lead at Kirkridge in PA. The first one was in 2000 and I had been seeing a therapist for 2 years at that time but had never been in a group situation. I had never met a fellow survivor before that time. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was scared to death.

I was a wreck for the first night and most of Saturday. I cried a lot, for me and for my fellow survivors as I grew to know them and know their stories and share mine. But just being there helped me, to be there was a statement, to be there was taking a stand. I had never acknowledged the abuse that happened to me in an open forum, to do so was so empowering. The retreat also allowed me to vent some of the 38 years of pent up anger in a controlled environment and I felt so relieved.

I was afraid of going the first time. I was afraid that I'd have a roommate who would be abusive or manipulative or ? Guess what, my roommate felt the same way, he was afraid of me too and what I'd be like! Some of the most theraputic healing came out in our talks late into the night. He and I still keep in touch and he is still someone who I can talk to. My roommate last year is the same way, though I havent' called him lately, I've thought of him and his courage often. Both of them have given me insights into myself that I wouldn't have thought about any other way.

To prepare for a retreat, first just try to allay your fears, the other participants probably feel the same as you do. Be open and willing to talk and share your feelings and fears. And lastly make sure that you have someone to talk to when you get back home. I made sure that I had an appointment with my therapist within a few days of returning.

I hope this helps. I'll be there at the retreat too.

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#23712 - 03/01/02 11:07 PM Re: CA retreat
Thad Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 1752
Loc: Oakland, CA
Ken,
Thanks for voicing the question I was feeling. I am going to the retreat also, my first, and have some anxiety about going.

Steve,
Your answer was re-assuring and much appreciated. Thanks for your open sharing. I don't expect it will be easy but that is good – since I know I need to work on issues and have the safe support of real people who understand. I am sure it will be hard to hear the stories and share the pain of others. But I suspect/hope in some way the empathy I feel for others will help me develop more caring for my sheltered inner child who is still starved for so much and with whom I have so much trouble being connected. Perhaps with the openness of others in a safe place, he will come out to be heard and, dare I hope, play? I have met some fine people here at NOMSV. I look forward to knowing some of you better at the retreat.

I have a copy of Victims No Longer by Mike Lew which I hope to read before going. Your advice about support when I return is well taken.

Thanks to both of you. See you there. ….t

_________________________
"..this place isn't a discussion forum..it's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.

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#23713 - 03/02/02 02:51 PM Re: CA retreat
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
I went to Mike Lew last July and to Nomsv's in Sept. It would be good to write things, journal, poems, feelings whatever. Just keep them in a note book somewhere, even if you do not use them. for theraputic reasons,
think about who you are, not the abused person but you. That is who is going to this retreat to get healthier.

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#23714 - 03/02/02 04:24 PM Re: CA retreat
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I haven't been to a NOMSV retreat but I have been to some other survivor events. One thing is your life will most likely be changed after going. There is something about the power and strength you get from meeting other survivors face to face. I mean this in a very positive way as well.

Someone mentioned writing your feelings and thoughts in a journal and that is an excellent idea. It will help give you a balance and help give you a voice to the fears you will probably experience.

My first time, I was so scared and in fact I waited until about two weeks before to actually make the travel arrangements. I wanted to be able to back out in every way possible because I was so scared. It didn't take too long once I go there to realize that I didn't have to be afraid for I fit in and I felt welcome and I did not feel alone.

It will take some courage, but the fears you will face will be worth it.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#23715 - 03/02/02 07:46 PM Re: CA retreat
Ken Followell Offline
President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 989
Loc: Bradenton, FL
Thanks for the encouraging words. I am looking forward to going, but it is with a fealing of fear as well. I grow up in a world where changing your life was the worse thing you could do. Above all you maintained the status quo.

Stephen and Thadd, I am looking forward to meeting both of you there. I almost asked for a private room, but I am glad I didn't. Thanks for sharing about the late night chats, Stephen. Thadd, as another first timer, let ask you to keep doing what ever it takes to be there. I know it will be hard, but it sure sounds like it will be worth it.

Michael Joseph and Mr don, thanks for sharing your experiences.

Thanks to all of you.

_________________________
Ken Followell

Everything works out right in the end. If things are not working right, it isn't the end yet. Don't let it bother you, relax and keep on goin
- Michael C. Muhammad

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
� Rabbi Hillel

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