In this section we share some of the encouraging stories of clients who have met with Dr. Rita. We hope that this will help you realize there is HOPE for whatever situation you are in- The following is the story of a child who came in for counseling-
Once I have lost, now I am saved
Hello, I consider it an honor to speak about my experience working with Dr. Rita from Trinity Counseling. She has been a very important and positive part of my life for many years. My ability to stand here before you and talk about this is a testimony of the healing that has taken place inside of me through Rita’s guidance.
To give you a little background, I was brought up in a physically and emotionally abusive home. My dad was an alcoholic and my mother abused prescription medications. My parents were very cold and unloving. It was common for my father to do things like flip the dinner table upside down in the middle of dinner – or for my brothers and I to lay awake at night while my mother was being beaten by my father.
The fear inside my home grew as my father’s anger intensified. One particular incident has stuck with me throughout the years. As a form of discipline, my father forced my brother to kill my pet rabbit, forced my mother to cook it and forced me to eat it. As my brothers got older, my father switched from using belts to attacking my brothers with knives and baseball bats. As I grew older I started cutting myself with razor blades because watching myself bleed was the only way I could tell that I was alive because I felt dead inside. I was going to school with black eyes and telling the school counselors that I fell down the stairs because I was so scared to let anyone know what was happening at home. It was our horrible family secret.
When I was 17, I decided to run away from home and to be on my own. I managed to find a job, find a place to live and graduate from high school. But from that point on, I was wandering haphazardly through my life. My struggle with anxiety and depression had only just begun. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere -- like I was always on the outside looking in—with no real connections. In my 20’s I hung out with friends in nightclubs and developed unhealthy relationships. I was looking for a way to replace the love I never felt as a child. I ended up finding men who were emotionally and sometimes physically abusive toward me. If these men rejected me, I felt my world crash in around me. To me -- Love was pain and pain was love. Stress overcame me and I developed severe panic attacks, insomnia, depression and I became suicidal.
Over the years I went to several counselors trying to find out what was wrong with me. Some of them were not very helpful. I told one of my counselors that I was so angry at my parents that I wished they were dead. The counselor stood up and said he was going to call the police – so I quit counseling. Several years later I confided in a coworker who was a Christian and he referred me to Dr. Rita. I was not a Christian and was I very nervous to go back to counseling. I had written everything down on paper the first time I went to see Dr. Rita. But I soon learned that I didn’t need a list. I could be me. I finally felt totally accepted and understood. And most importantly, I felt loved by Rita. She talked about Jesus and God and the best thing was that she would pray with me. She explained to me that I could fill up my empty love tank with Jesus.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from Rita is that it is okay to cry. It seems so simple for most people but when I started seeing Rita I couldn’t cry. I was the oldest child, always feeling that I had to be strong. Because I had so much sadness inside of me, I used to think that if I started crying, I would never stop. With Rita’s help, I learned that crying is healing – and that I wasn’t physically able to cry forever. I also learned that since my parents could never give me affection, I needed to learn how to love that little scared girl inside of me. As I began to work with Rita, she helped me to begin to feel safe expressing my emotions with her. I really liked it when she gave me homework assignments. The assignments really helped me to focus on the lessons I learned in counseling.
When I started seeing Rita, I felt very alone in this world. I had been estranged from my family since I left home. With Rita’s help, I was able to reestablish a relationship with my mother and brothers. In one of our sessions, Rita had me go to another room and write a letter to my mother, who had divorced my father and had remarried. I wrote an eight page letter and I experienced some serious emotions while I was writing it. I mailed the letter to my mother she responded after a long period of time. Thanks to Rita, I was able to have some kind of relationship with my mother before she died. I also managed to reestablish contact my brothers. One of my brothers passed away but I have developed a close connection with my younger brother. We now get together with each other during holidays and I finally feel like we’ve become family.
Over the years, I would stop going to Rita when I was able to get back my own feet. Whenever I have a crisis, I always came back to her just like a college student bringing dirty laundry back home. I feel like she is my family. We connected easily every time I came back; it was like there was no time space between the periods of time I went to her.
My family attended church on and off during my childhood. As an adult, I developed mixed feelings about God and the church. I stopped going to church. Love was pain to me. Recently, Rita prayed with me to accept Christ as my personal savior. My friend, Dave and Rita encouraged me to go to church. Within the church, I found my family. To day, I am actively involved in Meridian Christian Church. By the way, we are planning a pink slip party for those who are unemployed. If anyone from you church who is unemployed, please encourage them to come. It is free.
I am very happy with where I am at in life now. I will graduate in November with a Master’s degree. Thanks to Rita, I found out I could do many things that I thought I was incapable of doing before. Rita told me there was gold in any bad situation if you looked hard enough. Some of the gold I found is that because of my dad’s abusive behavior toward animals, I’ve developed a love of animals today and as a result of the abuse I experienced at home, I left home early and learned to be independent at a very early age. If I have crisis in life, I can go to God and come home to Rita! They will be there for me!
Dr. Rita (PhD, PsyD, M.A., M.Ed.) is a qualified and compassionate Christian
therapist with over 20 years of experience. She has worked at Dr. Paul Meier's
New Life clinic before working as the director of the counseling ministry
at Trinity Church in Lansing, Michigan. Her counseling expertise is now
available to the community. Her office is at Executive Office Park, 5020
Northwind Dr., Suite 101, East Lansing, 48823
Need an appointment?
Office Hours are by appointment only. Please e-mail us
or call (517).332-6300.
Telephone Counseling is now available.