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This edition of Friends Friday comes to us courtesy of a guest who generously wrote on behalf of the Breaking Free Foundation to assist our application for provincial funding to continue our Therapy Grants program. We thank you for your kind words and expression of generosity and gratitude as we endeavour to help make trauma healing more accessible for everyone. 

I cannot express in words the gratitude and appreciation I have for the Breaking Free Foundation.

I discovered the Foundation when I was in the middle of reading Theo Fleury’s book, Playing With Fire, that was in August of 2016. I read what they were about and decided that this sounded like a place for me to be. At that point in time I was at my lowest of lows. I had been laid off from my job, I was separated from my boyfriend, and had contemplated taking my own life. The next meeting coming up was three weeks from when I discovered the foundation. That felt like the longest three weeks of my life, just trying to breathe and get out of bed each day was a chore.

The day of the meeting I found myself in the parking lot 30 minutes early. I sat in my car debating with myself whether I should go in or not. I made the best decision of my life by going in which took every ounce of courage I had. When I walked in my head was down and I did not have any confidence or self-esteem, I was scared to death. When Theo came in and came over and introduced himself, he made me feel more comfortable and his persona put me at some ease. The meet-up was three hours, and in that time I was surrounded by a group of people that were all there for the same reason. To be able to either speak of their trauma or just listen and gain some insight on some helpful techniques on how to deal with different issues. I had it in my mind that night that I would just listen but when the conversations started and I discovered that there are a lot of other people out there that have been through child sexual abuse, I found myself telling my story. I felt so comfortable, safe and was not judged in any way. I had never felt that before and to be able to be with other people that could understand what I went through.

It is one year later, and in that year I made the decision to return to school and receive a diploma in the medical field, my relationship with my boyfriend went from a separation to a marriage in August. He has told me he can see the huge strides I have been able to make with my confidence, attitude towards life, well, everything. I now walk into the meet-ups with my head held high and a smile on my face, I look forward to our meetings every month. They always give me that extra boost I need by that time.

I have also witnessed the transformation of other people in the group as they attend more and more meet-ups. Myself, as well as others that would always cry speaking out about their trauma, can do so now without tears. I have made some really good friends in the group and we support each other between meetings.

The Breaking Free Foundation has helped so many people but there is such a long waiting list for the therapy program. Without this foundation I’m not sure what path my life would have taken, if any.