Survivor Stories

We are grateful to each of the victim-survivors from the Awake community who has chosen to share their story on our blog. We invite you to listen to their voices with an open mind and open heart.

Mike Hoffman

“To be able to share my story, which I kept secret for over 30 years, and still feel safe and loved was such a profound experience.”

Esther Harber

“That profound understanding that I am not alone takes a great deal of the shame away. ”

Zac Zepeda

“Years of therapy and support groups have shown me that to heal I must talk about the abuse.”

Deborah Rodriguez

“The greatest challenge I have had to endure as a survivor is shame. Because others forced me to keep silent about the abuse, I thought I was the one at fault, that I had done something wrong.”

Carol Longsdorf

“One of the most helpful things is working with a trauma therapist who has helped me understand why childhood trauma is so very difficult to uncover.”

Bill Kessenich

“Pope Francis says that the Church needs to be a ‘field hospital’ for the marginalized. I believe that we survivors of trauma have roles to play as doctors and nurses for the field hospital.”

Kathryn Walczyk

“Writing has been a catalyst to health. As a child I didn’t have language for what was happening to me.”

Michael Koplinka-Loehr

“Talking about these things in a place where you’re profoundly understood is a gift in the healing process.”