Good Afternoon Michele,
I just wanted to say a special thank you to you for setting me on a path where I can actually see light at the end of this very, very long tunnel. As you know 14+ years ago my husband died from suicide leaving me broken and confused. Over the years I tried to fix the broken me on my own. It seems that nobody in this city can deal properly with suicide. So, here I was, 14+ years later and the temporary fixes wore away. I was a wreck. Alone and at my wits end. I was just about to call my physician to inquire about "happy pills" when I saw your ad in the Goldstream Gazette for the peer group for Suicide Survivors. Gave it a passing glance and actually tossed the paper in the recycle bin...but the ad kept niggling at me so I took it back. I wasn't sure that after all these years I would be welcome at the group because, after all, 14 years....that's a long time ago and long enough to have dealt with it. But I called you anyway. Here I am six weeks later enjoying my new attitude and thankful for you.
The emptiness I felt for so long is starting to fill. You've equipped me with the tools I need to keep going and to keep filling that void. Those tools enable me to remember my life before suicide without falling apart and to live my life now with renewed hope and joy. You taught me it's ok to smile and enjoy life. For that I can never thank you enough. I am no longer a victim of suicide...I AM a survivor!
These suicide peer group sessions are a lifeline for many, including me. Your empathy and understanding is something that I will never forget. Please continue to reach out to others, like me, who are looking for that one glimmer of "you" to give them hope.
Thank you again, so much!
I have been working with Michele over the last few years sine the tragic loss of my child. I have suffered from a debilitating trauma that affected me emotionally, physically and mentally. Michele was always just a phone call away and spent lengthy hours talking me through my darkest hours.
When no one else understood my anguish and despair, Michele did. She had the ability to understand me, and my situation and provide logic behind all my thoughts and actions. When I thought I was going to lose my mind during my heavy grieving, Michele always made me feel that everything I was going through was a normal process and gave me excellent tools to use to move past my painful moments. I am now able to stabilize in order to manage my triggers. During my invaluable relationship during therapy sessions with Michele, I always felt her compassion and acceptance.
She has gone beyond the call of duty in making sure that I was on a healing path.
I am so very grateful to have been able to work with such a dedicated, caring, and supportive trauma practitioner....she saved my life!
Michele has been regularly facilitating an effective trauma peer group every Monday night at the Mustard Seed. We were planning on running a ten-session temporary group, but there was so much demand from the participants, out of love for what they experiencing , to keep the group going that we decided to extend the timeline of the group. There have been many very encouraging testimonials so far with people saying they have gained helpful insights and healing while taking Michele's group.
I have been very excited to work with Michele as she volunteers with us. She has been nothing but professional and easy going. I could see Michele being successful in many roles and am fully confident in being a reference for her.
Pastor Sean Lewis
"Be Set Free"
Thank you Michele.
Life bombarded me. Within weeks my life changed. I lost all my personal belongings, motorbike and car in a trek to Newfoundland that failed miserably. Lost my best friend Brian suddenly. My girlfriend committed suicide. My house was going to be seized by the bank. My ex-wife racked up huge credit card debt in my name. I was a grief ridden wreck. The despair of feeling like my whole life had been stolen from me. Nobody knew the war plaguing my mind and heart. I had been suffering for years. Broken relationship after broken relationship. My newest relationship inflicted with betrayal, feelings of loss. I searched for answers at church. That's where I found Michele. She had hosted a trauma group. I finally found out what was plaguing my mind. Trauma. Now that I knew and with personal counselling, that taught me the tools to cope and grow as a person. To learn who I was again. The trauma was like cycle of negative images and overwhelming emotional despair. That was trapped in my fight or flight mind, survival brain. With counselling and personal mental exercises, I began the journey to work the trauma to a place I could understand it. I now had the knowledge to know what to do when I felt the trauma and feelings beginning to rise within me. My life has gotten a thousand times better. I am no longer that broken and defeated person I once was. Stumbling in the darkness. I've learned to embrace life and nature with all it's beauty it beholds. Every new day is a chance for more success. One of the most important tools I gained is the ability to handle new traumas as they unfold in my life. Recent loss of job, my brother suddenly passing away, my mother's attempted suicide, my fathers diagnosis with a tutor on his heart and my girlfriend leaving me. All of which happened within a couple months. I was able to handle the new traumas with additional guidance from Michele. The gift you give to people, to recognize what's plaguing them and how to begin the process of learning to live with trauma and how to become free of it is something you take with you and use your entire life. For that, I am eternally grateful.