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On August 13th, 2018 I did the scariest thing I have ever done. I hit publish on the most vulnerable blog post I have ever written, Sex Addiction and Betrayal Trauma- My Story
I sat on that post for almost a year before I hit publish. I know God wanted me to publish it. I knew other women needed to hear it.
I also KNEW bad things would happen if I did. People would reject me. People would hate my husband. People would stop reading my blog. People would judge me and say hateful things.
Guess what? I was wrong. Only one person said unkind things to me. Not only did his comments not destroy me, but they inspired a second blog post which has become the most read post on my blog. 5 Things Sex Addicts Say When They are in Denial
Instead I have received amazing amounts of love, support, and understanding. I have been able to talk to beautiful women who are also suffering and no longer have to feel so alone. I have become part of a community of strong women who are determined to rise.
It has been AMAZING.
Ladies if you are suffering from abuse and trauma the number one thing you can do for yourself is GET OUT OF ISOLATION.
Now I know that coming out publicly isn’t the right answer for the vast majority of you. For many it really isn’t safe, and you will deal with a lot of the repercussions that I feared.
That is why the Determined to Rise retreats were created. The Determined to Rise Project is a 501c3 nonprofit run by women who have been there. They understand the power of being able to sit with other women who just get it. Their goal is to unite women in need of healing and support and to provide the tools needed to thrive.
And they are GOOD at what they do.
I attended my first retreat lat September, just 6 short weeks after hitting publish on my story. It was absolutely amazing.
It started with picking up a few other Sheroes that I had never met before. Imagine my surprise and pleasure when I realized one of the ladies I picked up was Anne Blythe, founder of BTR.org and voice of their podcast. If you haven’t listened, go do it now, she’s incredibly knowledgeable and so much fun.
Once we arrived I was warmly greeted by the other Sheroes in my bunkhouse. I had already gotten to know many of these women online and on Marco Polo. Meeting them in person was magical in and of itself.
As we sat around our room sharing our stories I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. I wasn’t alone, and neither are you.
Not only was I not alone, but I was loved. The sisterhood in that room was beyond description. Some women I had just met that day, yet I felt as though our spirits were welcoming each other as long lost friends. These were my people. This was my tribe.
The retreat was full of amazing speakers and workshops from women who have walked this walk themselves and trained therapists and coaches. We also had the opportunity to participate in yoga, art journaling, horseback riding, and more.
My favorite part was the night that we were invited to go firewalking!
I left that retreat empowered and full of new life. I have thrived in the last eight months in ways I couldn’t have dreamed of.
I have learned to set and stick to hard boundaries in my life and marriage. I found the courage to really share the message I knew God wanted me to share on this blog. I started doing more art again. I have found a drive and determination to succeed that I didn’t know I had any more.
The girl who made it through Marine Corps boot camp, fueled by the people who told her she couldn’t do it is back. This retreat and the women I have connected to in the betrayal trauma community have helped me regain my muchness!
Now for the really great news, they’re doing it again this year!! I know it’s scary to come out of isolation, but I promise you this is the safest place you will ever find to do it. The women who run this retreat are true angels. They will protect your privacy, I promise.
Please come join me at this year’s retreat. If you have any questions or are planning to come alone and need a friend shoot me an email. I’d love to chat with you about it!
Please come join me at the Determined to Rise retreat this year. I promise, it will be magical for you too.
P.S. If you feel so inclined I’d love for you to check out my new shop. The proceeds will help keep this blog running and help fund my retreat road trip!