Weekend of Recovery

I met with my therapist today and he mentioned Weekend of Recovery, suggesting I might want to check it out. I've noted references to WoR on this website and see badges some have next to their names about it. I did a quick check of the website I was referred to but thought it might be useful to ask folks on this website what their experience has been attending one of these events. Honestly, I haven't felt especially comfortable with groups of men during my life so I have some trepidation about immersing myself in an event like this. How was it for you to attend? What did you take away from the experience? Would you recommend it to a friend in recovery? I appreciate any thoughts folks who've attended may wish to share. Thanks.
 
I have been to two. Blue Ridge 2015 and Hope Springs 2016. Both were level 1 and yes I did successfully complete both - I chose to return for the same level as I could not afford Level 2 travel to Utah at the time and was in an even better environment for growth with a trauma experienced T the second time. They were for me the catalysts to actually accomplishing majo movement toward being able to feel movement from victim- survivor to rebuilding my life and baby steps starting to be a thriver.

The toughest part for me was actually going the first time - after you apply they will interview you to make sure you are ready to participate and feel safe. What every person individually needs to feel safe, where you are at on this journey, and your questions are most of the interview. Interviews are conducted by Phone and involve one of the therapists from the professional team - all of which specialize in male sexual trauma.

Both times I had to have a second interview with Howard Fradkin or Jim Struve who were the leaders of the therapy team because the Perp did some of my “education” with other boys and they are very careful NOT to allow any predators in.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask here or by private conversation. For me these weekends started the lessening of the flashbacks, the body memory sensations and actually shifting the guilt and shame back to the Perp. They truly were a step forward out of the miry pit.
 
I highly recommend it if you are at the right time in your journey to benefit from it. if you feel drawn to it, that is a good sign. the application interview is also a good assessment tool. I attended the WoR at Hope Springs, Ohio in October about 5 1/2 years ago. I was scared to death and shaking so hard I found it difficult to sign in. but once in the meeting room with about 40? other survivors and about a dozen or more facilitators, it was an incredible feeling - to know that EVERYONE there knew exactly what I was feeling and had understanding, empathy and compassion for one another. one of the first things we did was to share what would make us feel safe and to establish guidelines. it was a good mix of large and small group activities and exercises, some contemplative, some active, as well as some unscheduled time with electives or to just hang out and relate to others. I can't express how much it did for me - a VERY positive experience.

Lee
 
I went to Hope Springs Ohio where I met Lee and others in 2013. I was in a very bad place having just been left by my then wife and feeling, (ironically), hopeless. I just knew that it was time to finally face my past, stop denying what was done to me, work on healing my shame.
I was very uncertain, scared, and nervous, going in, but had been doing therapy for a few months.
It was the first step on my path to healing, and I can't think of another, or better way I could ask to take those first steps.
It was so emotional and freeing to be among others who get it, to FINALLY tell my story in a small group setting and let that poison out.
As Lee says, it did SO much for me too and was very positive!
 
Thanks so much for sharing your experience guys. Although I live on the west coast I LOVE the name Hope Springs... but I'll likely attend in Utah if I actually go ahead. I've seen a number of YouTube videos about men's groups working on abuse in Australia. They also have relatively long videos with therapists who are part of that program. I watched them with longing that I could be part of that, so you can imagine my curiosity about WOR mentioned here and then seeing the website menhealing.org. The therapist with whom I'm working I found through MaleSurvivor and it turns out he part of the staff for weekends held in Utah and Washington. I don't know if he works in the East. I guess I stumbled into about the best situation I possibly could for doing this work.

Here's a link to the videos from Australia for anyone interested. They have speakers at a conference on this subject as well as interviews with therapists. I'm amazed there are only 178 subscribers to the channel.


I do know from about nine months I spent in a mixed group of sexual abuse survivors as well as 11 years of 12 Step work around food addiction how wonderful it is to be with others struggling with a particular dis-ease. I even spent five years attending SLAA meetings, typically men's meetings, so I guess my anxiety about working with men is overstated. The irony, of course, is that while I've always been much more relaxed around women, my mother was my first abuser... I simply denied that fact my entire life until I came to a description of complex trauma. Now I get the picture.
 

MACH123

Registrant
I can't quite get there. My therapist has encouraged me but, I'm not up for it. I'd want to do a group for maybe an hour first lol.

Going away is hard, staying in hotels is hard, being with other people is pretty much out of the question and no women?

I've done weekend things on other subjects and business trips and so on. I'm all set. But thanks!
 
Reading the Ohio WoR, I'd really like to go, because what I've read, heard in videos, it sounds great and aligns with some stuff I'm working on in T. One of my major issues is sharing a room with another man, I hope that is not offensive, I'd just be a twisted up.

The June 2020 at Whidbey Island, WA - This is so close to me in Alaska, and travel there won't be so expensive flying. Maybe I'll be in a better place in sharing a room, that or save to afford my own room.
 
I'm certain the WoR was life changing for all who attended & for me it was literally life saving. My thought processes weren't so good at the time & my group was able to help me see that my silence & isolation had only served to fill my head with false assumptions. My mind was playing a lot of bad tricks on me & I credit the experience with exchanging so many erroneous beliefs with some new realities that have served me well. Things like having a right to live & heal, & reassurances I hadn't outlived my usefulness, and finally an examination of the culture of death & suicde that took the lives of so many I'd been close to, & then an examination & focus on the guilt of survival I was carrying and had carried for far too long.

There was some anxiety sharing a dorm room with two other guys especially when one guy started talking in his sleep but his rant subsided & it actually was validation of how the crap impacts our sleep even. I felt anxious but not unsafe. When my stinkin thinkin starts & I feel my self starting the downward spiral, I reference my notes & photo's and am comforted still to this day.
 
Yes, I feel *more* comfortable in a Triple, than a double (power in numbers?!?) - I would bring earplugs. and I will bring some to share with roommates since I have been known to snore, and... when stressed... to scream bloody murder in my sleep... as well as talking, mumbling, etc.
 
@NC-Survivor - I like the idea of power in numbers, but I seriously have issues when it comes to men. As I think about it though, my anxiety goes through the roof in public restrooms. I don't even go swimming pools (my poor kids), or if iI go to a gym, I leave with what I show up in, no locker rooms. SHIT! Fear screws and limits me so much, I wish I could go this year, it sounds like it lines up with therapy so much.

Added: But I do feel a trust in the familiar names here, so that does count for something. :)
 
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The Alta WOR is a lovely location sir. Might we recommend spending the extra money to have a private room if possible sir. We think that might have made a big difference when we attended it but who knows.
 

MACH123

Registrant
You have to know your limits and for years I made myself do stuff that was SO bad for me because I thought I "should be able to or had to."

There is no possibility I'd spend a night in a hotel room with anyone not in my immediate family. If I can't afford it I can't go.

That's only one reason and of course my wife tortured me with the stuff I should have been able to do. She didn't know though and I was really asking her to in a lot of ways. It was hard though.

But now I know what's going on and if it's going to make me uncomfortable I don't do it. It's working pretty well the the therapist helped me a lot to assert myself and that I actually had rights.
 
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I attended my first WOR within the first 6mos. of beginning therapy. My therapist advised me against it. I wasn't sure I could survive a room mate, so asked for a private. But, I believed in the people here who recommended it...so attended it anyway.

When I arrived...I immediately went into "numb" mode. I thought what the hell am I doing? Then I was told that there were no private rooms available. I wanted to run..just leave. However, stuck it out. Friday I was numb...that night one of the room mates asked if he needed to be afraid. I didn't answer and turned toward the wall. Saturday I was numb...still wanted to run. I stuck it out.

The most interesting part to me was that I was hearing approximately the same stories...seeing the people, hearing their voices. This made it real for me. I finally realized and understood what it felt like to be like other people...not alone. All of a sudden I began to feel like a real person. I ended the weekend on a real high. This whole experience catapulted me into real recovery. I highly recommend the weekend. To get "unstuck" from what we have believed for so long...we sometimes need to push ourselves beyond our safety net...sometimes we need to just take the leap. The therapists are educated/trained and experienced in sexual abuse. They have heard these stories before. They watch and listen carefully...they know what to look for. They know what they are doing, as opposed to just finding any therapists near us because they have a degree. We need more of these specialized therapist. And at the WOR you get the best.
Greg
 
Appreciate all the comments. One of the things I most appreciate about this website is that no one is asked to be anywhere except where they are. I have apprehensions about participating in one of these weekends and they certainly require a financial commitment. It also gets complicated when you can't stay at the meeting location the night before or the night after the program. Since I'd be flying in this means staying at a hotel near the airport the night before, then arranging transportation to the event and repeating the process at the end of the program and flying out on Monday. That adds to the complications and sometimes making such arrangements feels like a stretch for me. But reading comments from those who've attended one of these programs definitely makes them attractive to me. I'll have a more in depth conversation with my therapist when I see him next week. I really want to heals these wounds.
 
I attended my first WOR within the first 6mos. of beginning therapy. My therapist advised me against it. I wasn't sure I could survive a room mate, so asked for a private. But, I believed in the people here who recommended it...so attended it anyway.

When I arrived...I immediately went into "numb" mode. I thought what the hell am I doing? Then I was told that there were no private rooms available. I wanted to run..just leave. However, stuck it out. Friday I was numb...that night one of the room mates asked if he needed to be afraid. I didn't answer and turned toward the wall. Saturday I was numb...still wanted to run. I stuck it out.

The most interesting part to me was that I was hearing approximately the same stories...seeing the people, hearing their voices. This made it real for me. I finally realized and understood what it felt like to be like other people...not alone. All of a sudden I began to feel like a real person. I ended the weekend on a real high. This whole experience catapulted me into real recovery. I highly recommend the weekend. To get "unstuck" from what we have believed for so long...we sometimes need to push ourselves beyond our safety net...sometimes we need to just take the leap. The therapists are educated/trained and experienced in sexual abuse. They have heard these stories before. They watch and listen carefully...they know what to look for. They know what they are doing, as opposed to just finding any therapists near us because they have a degree. We need more of these specialized therapist. And at the WOR you get the best.
Greg
“LIKE”
 

Nothing Man

Registrant
I went to the WoR in Hope Springs in 2015, at the suggestion of my therapist who was also one of the facilitators and coordinators of the event. It was extraordinarily helpful. Just being around others who have actually walked in my shoes made a big difference, and the feeling of acceptance and love was wonderful. I was daunted by the prospect of sharing a room with two other strangers, but it went well and I have no complaints whatsoever. I do recommend this program for anyone struggling with the effects of CSA.
 
Thanks NM. As the days have gone by and folks have commented it is becoming increasingly clear that I will attend WoR sooner rather than later. I'm a relative newcomer to this website but the more time I spend here the clearer it becomes that you are "my people." I often check to see how long folks have been coming to this site and it is heartening to know so many have been part of this community for so long and still contribute. I've always been amazed in Overeaters Anonymous at the old timers who continue to share their "experience, strength and hope." Forgive me but I'm reminded of the old Karl Marx slogan... "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need." I'm not a communist but this sentiment makes sense to me. Those who've found peace and serenity through their work in recovery have something of value to share with those still struggling. I see it on these pages over and over again. I am humbled and appreciative. This is sacred work... claiming our aliveness. We do this together.
 
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