What brought me to the EV Programme…

In November 2010 I was bereaved through homicide, by the loss of my younger brother. My introduction to EV came from a referral from SAMM to EV. I spoke at length with an EV facilitator about the workshop, and decided it was for me.

So early in 2012 I attended the workshop over four days in the North. I felt naturally a bit apprehensive and nervous of the workshop ahead, but in hindsight there was no cause for concern.

I was met at the railway station and taken to the beautiful hotel where I was to spend the next few days. A very friendly welcome. I went to my room and knew it was going to be a very holistic experience as the rooms were extremely well equipped, with everything you could wish for, and the hotel and surroundings were absolutely beautiful and calming.

After an introductory session we had a very tasty lunch, we were certainly going to be very pampered over the next few days. As the workshop unfolded, we very quickly realised that being involved was the key to helping ourselves understand our trauma and how it had affected us individually. It was a great revelation to me about how our brain responds to trauma, and learning that, helped me to understand myself much more.

Wow, did I meet some wonderful inspirational people on this workshop. As we started to get to know and trust each other, some of us were able to share our really traumatic experiences, and every experience was so different, but we felt a common bond together as we learned about the strategies to help us cope with the future ahead.

The workshop also provided us with therapies, such as massage and art therapy. I remember having a head and neck massage, which I felt uncomfortable about, as I have never been a person who has experienced that before. But, I was so glad that I participated. It was fantastic.

I also remember that we were encouraged to unlock the inner part of ourselves that was creative. One day we were provided with disposal cameras and given some photographic tips on how to take good photos. I went out into the countryside by myself for a long walk, a beautiful sunny, warm day. It was so uplifting, I took some wonderful photographs which I treasure to this day. I discovered that I had put aside my own needs through the trauma I had experienced. I found I got back in touch with myself and who I was, and that for me was the key I needed to continue my life with the rest of my family who still needed me.

I got stuck in the trauma before attending the EV workshop, I was not functioning properly. EV showed me the way forward.

I am pleased to say that since the workshop I have continued to move forward in my life. I have now been able to put the explicit trauma in my memory. Not for everyone, but I have been involved in Restorative Justice programme. This has helped me to prepare for the eventual restorative justice of the perpetrator, who killed my brother. This is not for everyone I know, but my particular case it is for me however relevant.

There are no magic answers for anyone who has suffered the pain and suffering of homicide, but for me the Escaping Victimhood Workshop gave me the knowledge and understanding I needed to bring me to the place I am in now. Enjoying my family, I value each day I have with them, hope for the future and more importantly trying to make changes for the future.