Debbie was raising four children, working 12-hour days, and
doing all the cooking and housekeeping.
"I was unhappy, crying,
and my house was dirty. I'd try to cope by doing just a little bit more,"
"Needless to say, it unraveled."
healed through months of therapy.
"I felt guilty for feeling bad,"
she says. "I walked into the therapist's office crying, mute. I felt as if no
one heard me."
In therapy she revealed past abuse. She explored
the trauma of living with alcoholic parents. "I would show up in my most
neurotic state, and he'd say, 'How natural that you feel that way.' "
With her counselor, who was also a minister, she felt safe to examine
everything about her life. Debbie wrote for hours in her journal and would drop
off pages for her therapist to read between sessions. She stayed in therapy for
"It's by grace I escaped being in a hospital. They just
didn't get ahold of me," she says laughing.
Now a writer and
motivational speaker, Debbie promotes a holistic message of
"People can and do recover," she says.
Debbie's story reflects her experiences as told in an interview. The photograph is not of Debbie, to protect her privacy.