Videography and select photography by Brendan Donohue.
Our Survivors’ Workshop is an opportunity to step into the light. Where you can finally lay down the mantle of shame, unearth the tattered pieces of your story and knit them back together.
Mary and Laura, both survivors of sexual abuse, are deeply committed to helping people who have had similar experiences. Their goal, through sharing and guided writing exercises, is to help survivors take back their own stories, and tell them on their own terms. To help them understand that they are NOT alone. To help them say, ME TOO.
Because, friends, that’s how things change.
We warmly invite you to join us in an upcoming writers workshop.
"I could not have imagined a safer place to reveal what felt so ugly to me, than at your Survivors' Workshop. To be in the company of such brave and powerful survivors as they shared was life changing. Being together gave me a strength I had not felt before. I came away feeling like someone totally different ~ new, lighter, softer and stronger than I knew. Thank you for creating a place to hold space for each other to grow and learn more about each other and ourselves. Thank you."
"Laura and Mary are such compassionate, understanding, loving, (hilarious!) individuals. From the moment I walked in the door, I knew, This is where I’m supposed to be. This is going to be the missing piece. We laughed, we cried, we wrote, and we healed. I left with a clear understanding, more solid than it had ever been: crimes had been committed against me. I was the victim, and I had nothing to justify, prove, or explain. And I would no longer allow anyone, including myself, to question, judge, or shame my experiences. Following the workshop, I felt as rooted down as I had ever been, so I stood tall and wrote the blog post I had been waiting to write. The one where I told the world, “I am a survivor.” I pressed submit, and felt no shame, no dread, no fear – just strong, tall, free, and light. I had never felt that way before, and the workshop helped me get there. My gratitude is endless."
"The Say It Survivor Writer's Workshop was the very first place and time where my story was "out." I do not share the fact that I am a survivor with anyone besides a therapist and my husband. No one in my day-to-day life has any idea that I know of. When I realized this, I admit I was a little panicked about attending. However, Mary and Laura walked us through the process of telling our story and owning our story so gently, so lovingly, so intentionally, that my panic disappeared. Somehow, with each person in the room was at a different place in their healing, Mary and Laura magically made us feel like individuals with our own struggles and coping skills AND like a group that shares an unwanted but powerful bond. I would recommend this workshop for anyone dealing with the repercussions of abuse -- whether you've been working on your healing for decades, or you've very recently remembered things long-buried. The workshop is a place to lay down your burden, and experience acceptance and empowerment."
"First of all, thank you for creating the space for sharing our stories. I definitely returned home with some new insight, understanding, and shifts in perspective. This alone made the long drive well worth it. I appreciated discovering how similar all our stories are, especially in the ways they have had an impact on our lives. I felt safe and comfortable and it was clear you have a solid understanding of the subject matter in addition to your personal stories. You created a space where I felt ’held’ and heard."
"Let me start out by saying THANK YOU! I came home from the workshop feeling alive and peaceful. I felt like myself. The night before I was nervous and anxious and as we drove to the location, the nervousness bubbled in me. As I lay in bed the evening after the workshop, I felt both loved and alive and peaceful. I hadn’t known that was possible, to feel not so alone and misunderstood, and that the feelings/emotions/struggles that I have in my everyday life are actually ones that others do as well. I have read dozens of books on abuse and incest and rape and trauma, but mostly they have felt of little use, because I didn’t know anyone who really over came it and didn’t just survive, but was thriving. Then, in the workshop for the first time, I met someone like me. There’s someone like me! I cried."
- Workshop participant
“Meeting Laura and Mary in person was great - I am so honored to have been a witness to your stories and so happy you found your way back to each other. This is a great step in the right direction for me in my effort to get rid of all this shame. I am proud to be one of the first SIS participants and for once, feel hopeful that I will be able to shed this baggage of shame I have been carrying around for 40 years.”
" I loved every beautiful minute with everyone at the workshop. Risky, brave idea!
I actually was very happy that it was JUST survivors and not any licensed therapists or counselors. I find these people to be VITAL to the healing process but in my opinion not needed for Say It Survivor, mostly because you ladies were able to tell your stories and time also allowed others to tell. I thought Say It Survivor had a wonderful balance of getting to know YOU two amazing founders & for our own voices to have a safe platform.
I also felt very comfortable! I shared things I've NEVER shared. So many good things came out of this conference & I left feeling SO positive about myself and eagerly shared all of my notes with my amazing husband as we drove back home, basking in the fact that we are NOT ALONE."
- Eve - Survivor Workshop Participant
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