• Broken Places: A View from the Other Side, Part 2


    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.

    The only thing I knew for sure was that she wanted to die. And she had a plan to carry it out. Several plans, in fact.

    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 She was depressed and had withdrawn from work to live at home.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.

    She needed help, and she needed it fast.

    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.

    Just how was a woman in Michigan supposed to help a woman in California she’d never met and who struggled to trust anyone?

    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.

    Weeks later, I stepped off a plane in California and met Wanda for the first time.

    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.

    But Wanda had taken a huge step of faith. And from that moment, her life began to change.

    To be continued…

4 Responsesso far.

  1. Carol Owens says:

    I’m so glad to know this about Wanda. And so sad to know it. It helps us relate to this amazing lady, and to you. We send blessings,
    Jimmy & Carol

    • admin says:

      Thank you,Jimmy and Carol. Wanda’s story shows the depths of God’s unrelenting love for us,in spite of the pain of this world. So many people played roles of grace and healing in her life along the way.Thank you for the healing gift of music that God has used to touch so many lives through you.–Shelly

  2. katie holme says:

    Thanks so much for posting. Please see my story on healing horses.I suffered for almost 20 years with the horrors of ptsd until I started horse therapy. I am now completely symptom free and have a non-profit horse rescue where the healed horses become ultimate healers for people suffering from trauma. The results are amazing and we get to witness healing in amazing souls. katie@halinghorses.us

    • admin says:

      Thank you for the work you do, Katie. A friend of mine also works with horse therapy. Blessings on your work.

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