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#25384 - 08/05/05 06:05 PM Mike Lew Retreat Question
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Has anybody been on a retreat sponsered by Mike Lew (Author of Victims no longer)? I am supposed to be going to this years retreat at Kirkridge in PA. I am having a problem with the concept of sharing a room with a complete stranger. I have slept alone since the abuse stopped about 13 or so years ago. I haven't even slept in the same room with people I know let alone people I've just met. I contacted Kirkridge and they said they would try to get me a single room but no guarantees.

Also any info on the retreat would be helpful, just curious, if it is worth it or not. especially since I have been to a level I and Level II retreat from Male Survivor.

Jason

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#25385 - 08/05/05 06:10 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
Nathan LaChine Offline
Webmaster
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 5378
Loc: Washington State
Hello Jason,

Man are the retreats worth it? Heck yes they are worth it. I have found for my self I learned more about my self in my Weekend of Recovery then in the last couple of years. The great thing for me is that it helps me face my fears with the love and support of T's and other survivors. I would hit another Weekend of Recvoery if I could sneak away from work an all.

So I guess what I am trying to say Jason is yes they are totally worth it. As far as rooming requests get ahold of Howard he is the main contact for the Weekends.

Nathan


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#25386 - 08/05/05 08:47 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 465
Loc: UK
Hi Jason,

I did a retreat run by Mike Lew some weeks ago here in the UK, I hadnít done a retreat before. I donít think I would have been up to sharing a room, I hope you can get a single. The retreat was a great and rich experience for me, a lot of that was down to the other guys, but Mike absolutely gets what survivors need, he was excellent.
There was a timetable, but no pressure to do anything that didnít feel comfortable. The atmosphere felt pretty safe and more comfortable than I expected. I managed to get angry with one of the perpetrators for the first time, something I hadnít managed to do before. If you have any specific questions you are welcome to pm me.
Good luck with it, well worth doing in my experience.

Peter.


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#25387 - 08/05/05 09:43 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Nathan,
I'm not talking about the Male Survivor retreats, but retreats that are run by Mike Lew. Thanks for all the information.

Jason

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


Top
#25388 - 08/05/05 11:58 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Jason,
Quote:
I am having a problem with the concept of sharing a room with a complete stranger.
I haven't been to any weekend retreats, but I thank it is important to keep in mind that this stranger is also another survivor.
Hope you go and have a good time.

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#25389 - 08/06/05 12:34 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Jason - I was on a retreat w/ Mike at Kirkridge last year and will probably see you there this year. I know other guys from MS will be there too! Last year I had a single...usually do. I don't know this year, though. I am probably much like you in the sharing room area. I know there are several single rooms available. Jan Lewis who is registrar is pretty accomodating with facilities. Anything especially you want to know?

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#25390 - 08/07/05 02:35 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Jason,

I went to two of Mike Lew's retreats about four and five years ago. I'm still trying to get him to do one on the west coast.

The thought of sharing a room with another person was very frightening to me too at the time but I did it. I still communicate with both of my roommates, one more than the other.

Even if you can't get a single room don't let that stop you from attending. Mike Lew's retreats are run differently from MS retreats but they are very powerful and rewarding. My attendance there was in the second year of starting therapy and it helped me immensely in getting down the road to accepting the past.

Take good care of yourself and I hope that it is rewarding for you 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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#25391 - 08/07/05 05:12 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Damn, everybody is describing the Mike Lew Retreats so favorably. Which of course makes it worse LOL. Now I can't just not go if I don't get a single room.

Hmm..theres a Days Inn 3 miles down the road? Nah, Mike would never go for it

I'm gonna contact Janet Lewis via email in the morning see if she came up with something.

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


Top
#25392 - 08/07/05 08:47 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
Bobby Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 1287
Loc: Arizona
Jason, Last year at the MS retreat I had this roommate...remember I'm an old guy...anyway, I walked in and this guy was in his twenties, probably a body builder, dressed in sweats with one of those knit caps that guys where down over thier heads. There I stood, an old fat guy with my breathing machine in my hand thinking, "I don't think this is gonna work." God only knows what he was thinking. But what we looked like and our age difference had nothing to do with anything. We had one very important thing in common. He was one of the nicest guys in the world and I learned a lot from him. Also I learned a lot about books and covers and how not to judge one by the other. I hope he felt the same way. If you don't get that private room, chances are you're going to meet someone very interesting, kind, caring just like you are and also just as nervous as you are about what his roommate is going to be like. I have a really good friend who is going with me to my next retreat and we have decided not to room together just because we got so much from our roommates last year. We figure we already know us. Bobby

_________________________
I'm healing now, and I wasn't sure I would.




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#25393 - 08/16/05 05:09 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
CFO Dave Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Millis MA
Jason,

I've alway loved your tag line by Switchfoot. Everytime I read one of your posts I have the song in my head for a while

I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to interact with you at Kirkridge. We all missed you at the closing meeting. Mike even specifically asked about you. I hope you got something from the weekend.

It was an increadible experience for me. I was scared of having a roommate too. The guy I roomed with was great and we both learned a lot from each other.

It was also wonderful to meet some of the guys from this board.

Bobby, I didn't see the breathing machine this weekend. I hope that means you're getting better.

Dave

_________________________
"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more."
-Madame Swetchine

"The soul that is within me no man can degrade."
-Frederick Douglas

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#25394 - 08/18/05 01:39 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
Splitting Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 62
I to was at Kirkridge last weekend. It was the first of an annual pilgrimage for me. To actually be present while miracles unfold before you is a priceless gift.

Mike has an incredible gift of making the participants feel safe, loved, and secure, while making sure that all boundaries are observed. This retreat was the first time I have ever felt safe.

As good as Mike is at the leadership, it is the guys who make the retreat. They are real. They are the only ones that can truly appreciate the hell that a survivor endures because they are a survivor themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting ScottyTodd, CFODave, and Lostinpa.

Hope this helps!


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#25395 - 08/18/05 02:32 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Dave,
I probably should explain why I left for you and the other people there. I let my fear get the best of me. I have a social anxiety so everytime I had to interact in small groups and they weren't assigned, I isolated myself. Its nothing personal, everytime I did interact with people, I had a good time. The problem those were few and far between.

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


Top
#25396 - 08/18/05 05:11 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
DP Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Granby MA
Has anyone actually done therapy with Mike?

I attended the Workshop at Kirkridge this past weekend, and yes, we missed you at the closing Jason...

_________________________
There is a place in every heart where fear turns to courage...and courage takes flight.
Radio Flyers

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#25397 - 08/18/05 03:32 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hey Guys!! It was really great to see who I was talking to on MS this last weekend! Yes, the weekend pivots soooo much on the guys who attend! The whole sense of accomplishment, meeting goals and seeing other guys make such headway in their recovery makes the weekend very special for me. Thanks to everyone who openly owned their MS activities!!

No, I've not known anyone who used Next Step Counseling (Mike & Tom's counseling center). I would try it for myself only because I've seen and experienced Mike's compassion and watched his insight with survivors over the weekends.

Keep safe, guys!! I look forward to posting with you in the future!

Howard

PS: Jason, we all move at our own pace. Never apologize for too slow or too fast as long as you are able to handle the pace and recovery is working for you!! Take care of yourself!!

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

Top
#25398 - 08/18/05 07:02 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
chuck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 97
Loc: mid atlantic
Jason,

I was glad you did force yourself to attend the retreat at Kirkbridge, because it was my first weekend also with Mike. Yes I had great anxieties about the weekend but it was good and I did have anxious moments about the small group discussions. There were moments during the discussions that I did disassociate becasue the story might have been to close to mine and paniked me.

Did anyone take Mike's stress test that he handed out in the last session? If you haven't you should go to the site for the test, because it is very telling about stress.

Chuck


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#25399 - 08/19/05 07:39 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
CFO Dave Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Millis MA
Hey,

Splitting, and Chuck, will you guys pm me and let me know who you are? Did we introduce ourselves as fellow board members?

DP, I do know who you are. BTW, I had that song in my head all week. Congrats for having the strength to go there given the other sudden family obligation. I hope that all went well. My thoughts were with you.

I'm seriously considering switching to Mike for my individual therapy. Thom is my group therapy leader. It really helps to be in Boston. I do know someone who was at Kirkridge, lives in MA and has Mike as his therapist. There were only 4 of us from MA and it's not DP or me so that narrows it down.

_________________________
"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more."
-Madame Swetchine

"The soul that is within me no man can degrade."
-Frederick Douglas

Top
#25400 - 08/19/05 10:29 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
Carlo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/19/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Boston
DP,

We did not have a conversation at Kirkridge but I know who you are. I have been doing private therapy with Mike for 3-4 years. I have been in a mens group facilitated by Thom for 2-3 years. The best testimonial I can offer is that with Mike's guidance I have been able to cast off some addictive and destructive behavior and thoughts to reveal an authentic me. I am starting to like who I am.

If you care to send me a pm I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Take good care,

_________________________
Carlo

'Let somebody love you before its too late'

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#25401 - 08/20/05 02:03 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
DP Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Granby MA
Thank you...everyone.

I thought, well, let's see where this goes...the "entertainment exercise" at the Workshop allowed me to risk something there. The "active expression" LOL, funny de>
_________________________
There is a place in every heart where fear turns to courage...and courage takes flight.
Radio Flyers

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#25402 - 08/20/05 03:08 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
Carlo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/19/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Boston
DP,

Geez - Granby to Boston is a 'hike and a half'. I'd worry that the travel time puts a lot of pressure on the session - like I better get my money's/time's worth out of this! I don't want to add to your stress but I feel compelled to point out that Mike runs a very professional session. He's a start-on-time, end-on-time, 50 minute hour guy. He keeps the small-talk 'how about this weather' stuff to one line. He will not regale you with his stories. It is your session. What is great is that you do not have to explain anything to him - this is one guy that you can count on to 'get it'. I never thought of this until now but it is also eminently safe in that room. There are things I can tell him that I had not had the courage to tell myself.

Traffic. I see Mike at 8 in the morning. Going with the traffic it takes me 1.5 hrs to get in - 50 minutes out. My mens group at the same location is at 6 at night. Same thing 1.5 hrs in - 50 minutes out. If you are coming with the traffic you should give yourself an extra half hour just for the stretch from the Mass Pike @ 95 to his office.

Good luck.

Take good care,

_________________________
Carlo

'Let somebody love you before its too late'

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#25403 - 08/20/05 06:23 PM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
DP Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Granby MA
Which is exactly what I'm hoping for...I've never worked with a therapist that had any real knowledge beyond what I was trying to tell them. For the opportunity to skip over the "this is why I feel this way..." and be able to simply talk...is well worth the drive. Yea, Boston traffic sucks...but I drove a semi in Boston...I think my little Explorer'll get through. Thank you very much for the advice though, it is greatly appreciated.
When we set it up I requested a two hour time slot. That'll more than make up for the travel time...and maybe even time enough to talk about the weather, too.

Thanks, Carlo...


Dave

_________________________
There is a place in every heart where fear turns to courage...and courage takes flight.
Radio Flyers

Top
#25404 - 08/24/05 03:02 AM Re: Mike Lew Retreat Question
CFO Dave Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Millis MA
DP,

Good luck with your new T. I'm meeting with Mike too. I've never really liked my T and am looking forward to meeting with someone who understands. The group with Thom is great but even there there are somethings I'm scared to say.

Carlo, welcome to the board.

_________________________
"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more."
-Madame Swetchine

"The soul that is within me no man can degrade."
-Frederick Douglas

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