Survival Over Surrender

Real stories from victims of extraordinary circumstances who chose to survive


Download my book for free during the COVID-19 crisis

March 25, 2020

I’m making my unpublished manuscript, Nothing Left But Dust, available for free. In the event of Coronavirus, we’re all struggling to some extent with getting through a challenging time. This book helps to remind us of the strength we each have to get through hard times. Donations graciously accepted via Venmo (Melissa Geissinger). As of May 23, 2021 the manuscript is no longer available for download.

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Latest Posts

Fire Victim’s Survival Guide

August 6, 2021

On the night of October 8th, 2017 I lost my home and everything I owned in Santa Rosa, California to the Tubbs fire. Nothing can prepare you for what it’s like to go through something like this, but hopefully what I learned from my experience can help. This guide can be helpful for those suffering from the loss or a loved one who is trying to help.  For anyone going through loss from fire. Understand…

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How to Recover from Trauma: Tip #6 See a Therapist

July 10, 2019

Repeat after me: therapy is not a dirty word. Mental health is important. There is no shame in seeking professional help to address the areas where I am struggling.

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How to Recover from Trauma: Tip #5 Be Selfish

June 17, 2019

When It’s Too Much I’ve talked about how in my experience when you’re going through a trauma, most days you just need to focus on being okay and not necessarily worry about making progress in life. Well, sometimes there are bad days. Days like today for me when my mortgage company is struggling to get a check out to our builders who have already begun building our house. Days when you drop the ball for…

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The Narcissist and the Empath

May 23, 2019

Google the relationship between a narcissist and an empath and you can see for yourself, just how toxic that journey can be… well, I survived it and let me tell you, I am still rebuilding myself and that process is going to take some time.

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Fire and Heart: Finding Silver Linings When the Universe Hates You

May 16, 2019
Right after he coded

Hi, I’m Melissa. In October of 2017 I became a victim of the Tubbs Fire that burned through Santa Rosa, California. Then two months later, I gave birth to my son Apollo, who would have four major surgeries before he was eight months old as a result of a severe heart defect.

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