When Amanda and Bev first invited me to come on the Lotus programme I had so many different feelings. I felt like there were people who would benefit more than me and I was less deserving, that I didn’t want to take the time off work or have to tell my friends or family where I was, that I wouldn’t get on with the others on the programme and it would just leave me feeling even more alone than ever, that I would have to talk about my experience with total strangers (even though they assured me I didn’t have to say anything at all if I didn’t want to).
However, I can hand on heart say it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve gained more from it than I could have ever imagined and met people who I hope I’ll always stay connected with. I’ve never spoken to anyone about my experience and always struggled to know how to. Yet being around people who have experienced something similar and have a total understanding and zero judgement is amazing. Although I didn’t go into any specifics, you don’t have to, they’re able to understand exactly what you’re going through without even trying. Finding out they’ve had the same thoughts, feelings and behaviours as me really made me feel like I’m not alone, that what I’m feeling is okay and it will get better. I’ve never felt more comfortable or connected with a group of people like I have on the Lotus programme.
The workshops were hard and emotional at times, but hugely beneficial and everyone who ran them were incredibly inspiring and supportive! Overall we laughed so much more than we cried! It really is the safest space I’ve ever had and although I was sad to leave, the programme has left me feeling ready for the next steps in my recovery and optimistic (for the first time) that things can and will improve.
But don’t take my word for it, come and see for yourself. You can always leave if you really don’t enjoy it and I hope that you find the experience as amazing as I have.
P.S. Amanda and Bev have been absolutely incredible and I’ll never be able to thank them enough
for giving me the opportunity.
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"I am now in control of my thoughts and my life. I have gained self-confidence in so many ways and I am no longer haunted by the past."
"I have been given the tools to cope with everyday life. Without counselling I would have continued to deny my situation and feelings which was having extreme detrimental effect on myself, family and friends… RASAC has saved me from self destruction without the support I would have crumbled – a true life saver."
"My RASAC counselling has completely changed my life… I am a better mother, a more involved member of the community and I am able to keep myself safe."
"I was counselled for almost a year. I had a wonderful counsellor who helped me through a very difficult and unpleasant time in my life. It has been a process of healing by revisiting past places which at one time felt unimaginable. The journey has been raw and unnerving but slowly I came to see how I was repairing my damaged self. I finally accepted ownership of what had happened to me and was able to let go of my guilt and shame. My counsellor understood my outlook on life and created a connection with me that was very special. I eventually looked forward to my session as a weekly debrief rather than a purge. I am as happy and confident as I have ever been and I tell people about what I have learnt to help turn their negativity into positivity. Fear can be a very powerful emotion and prevent us from moving on in our lives but once it is confronted the clouds separate and you can focus on that hint of sunshine."
"Thank-you for the support, for the first time since talking about the sexual abuse to someone it is really helping me."
"Thank you so much for all your time and support while I was working through all of the stuff that happened - I really couldn't have done it without your help and input." Male client - June 2021
"The support, understanding and guidance that I've received from START has been life-changing. The whole process has been crucial for me to understand some of the trauma I'd experienced during my childhood. Who I've become as a consequence, who I am today, and how I process some of my thoughts, feelings and emotions." - April 2023
"I cannot thank Sarah at START enough for the counselling I received. I was a bit sceptical of the EMDR therapy I was offered at first but it really has helped me a great deal and I'm grateful for having the opportunity to go through it." - April 2023
"I'd like to thank everyone involved at START. You're doing a phenomenal job. I can't stress how important this journey has been for me. It's been a life altering experience." - April 2023
"Thank you for the Lotus week end, my life is taking a turn for the better and my new journey begins now." - July 2023