What can I say about the Rebuilding program and experience, other than it’s been the most positive and transformational thing I’ve done for myself since my 23 year relationship ended in the fall of 2011. 

I was shattered and working with a great therapist for about a year – I raged, I cried, I questioned ‘why’ and I isolated myself (all natural reactions to the initial nightmare of loss), but I’d come to the realization that in order to come back to the land of the living, I needed to connect with other people. Not just any people, but people who were experiencing the same pain and awkwardness of being single after years of marriage. My therapist recommended the Bruce Fisher program so I researched local offerings and found this class. 

Ok, so all that was fine and good but how could I walk into a group of strangers (vulnerable, full of emotions, scared shitless) and expect to bond, heal and grow?? That first night was a true step of faith – I walked through the door and sat in a similar seat you’re sitting in now. I looked over a room filled with people I knew were as uncomfortable as I was – hoping no one would seek me out and expect me to engage in an emotional exchange. Yet that’s secretly what I desired most – to be seen and understood after so many years of feeling invisible.

Initially, sharing in the small group was challenging, but over time, as others stepped out of their comfort zone, opened up and expressed their struggles, I began to bond with them and admire their courage. A community began to emerge around me – one where I knew I was accepted, one giving me tools to take my life back and become acquainted with myself again.  By the time of graduation, I was feeling liberated and had hope for a future. It’s been 5 years this month since I’ve graduated, but I still remain friends with several from my group, considering them the truest friends I’ve ever had in my life. It’s been a process – I wasn’t healed in 10 weeks but boy did I grow, I expanded my thinking, I challenged my old beliefs and I began to create a way forward.

– Susan S.