By Shelly Beach
I was living in Michigan. Wanda was living somewhere in California–I had no idea where. And in that first phone conversation, she wasn’t ready to tell me.
One thing Wanda told me in our first conversation was that she was divesting of her possessions and giving them to the people she loved. She was depressed and had withdrawn from work to live at home. Her family even called her “the hermit.” She was terrorized by nightmares and flashbacks. Symptoms she’d suffered with for years were escalating. And coping mechanisms that had helped her control the pain of PTSD were no longer working.
Wanda believed she was broken beyond repair. But it was easy for me to see that everything about her made sense–that from the time she was a child, she had created a way to cope with the pain of her life. But the coping mechanisms were failing. They always do.
The problem was, she’d already tried drug rehab programs, eating disorder clinics, counseling, therapy, and cried out to God for years for healing. She believed she was “unfixable.” And she’d had friends for ten years who had never seen her face and who only knew her through Internet relationships.
I wasn’t sure, but I knew two things.
In spite of all the efforts Wanda had made to address her PTSD, I believed Intensive Trauma Therapy in Morgantown could help her. And not only help her, give her back her life. I believed God had put Wanda’s name in my head, picked three songs that told her story, and urged me to call her. Then a week before I called her, he made sure I knew about Allen, a young man who was healed of a lifetime of struggle with PTSD at Intensive Trauma Therapy in just five days of outpatient treatment. I figured God had set everything up in the first place, and He had the details all figured out.
During that first visit, Wanda and I went to a public park and completed the intake forms for Intensive Trauma Therapy. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty.
To be continued…