If you’ve come across this blog, but haven’t yet been through treatment at Freedom’s Calling Trauma Therapy Institute, I encourage you to check out our website at http://www.freedomscalling.org.  We are one of only two treatment centers that specialize solely in trauma treatment.  We employ the highly effective Instinctual Trauma Response model that has outcome studies verifying the benefits of treatment.  Videos describing trauma and treatment according to this method can be viewed on YouTube.  Just go to YouTube and search for Margaret Vasquez.  Perhaps watching these videos and understanding just how much better life can be after effective treatment, you’ll gain some insight into how the further growth discussed on this blog is possible.

Here at Freedom’s Calling Trauma Therapy Institute, Inc.  We are honored and privileged to work with so many survivors.  Through the time of treatment, we witness those who have lived a life of survival move on to the path of thriving.  This new found healing opens the doors for growth and integration that many have never thought possible.  That’s where I was after I went through trauma treatment as a client so many years ago.

With the self newly discovered or recovered, it is a path of hope that opens out before people after treatment.  This blog is set up as a way to share some markers on that path of ever-growing, ever-increasing integration.  Happily, there is always more that God has in store for us as we grow more fully into His image and likeness.

I welcome your comments and thoughts.  If there are things you have found helpful on your freedom journey, please share it so we can all learn from one another.

7 responses

14 01 2012

I was thinking today how dubious I was before treatment. After suffering for so many years, how could I be healed at all, much less in so short a time period? Yet the traumas took a relatively short period of time to change my life in very negative ways mentally, spiritually, and physically. As a nurse, I still cannot wrap my brain around the pathophysiology that must be behind this treatment. However, if a few moments can cause memories that alter us so drastically, it is logical that ‘processing’ those memories could (and DOES) bring about the exact opposite mental, spiritual, and physical effect…HEALING, HOPE, PEACE! Such peace as I have never known before, and I will be 50 years old this May! Ha! When Deb asked me what my goals for treatment were, and I told her one of them was to know in my heart that God loves me…that anyone could love me, and she said “we can do that with this therapy”, I was thinking “Yeah, right.” LOL!!! Decades of suffering end with two weeks of therapy (due to the number of different traumas – some people need only a week). Yes – it sounds incredible. I pray more people have the courage to believe it is possible and take the chance. Life really can be wonderful!

22 01 2012
Margaret Mary Vasquez, LPC, CTT, CITTI

Thank you so much for being willing to share! As a trauma survivor, I know how unbelievable it was to me that this treatment could actually work. Even when I went to treatment, I didn’t expect it to work, but rather went so that I could know that I had tried everything before I committed suicide. Thank God I didn’t! It just seemed as though I was avoiding the inevitable, though. But, God has provided a way out. I never dreamed that way would lead to a life of freedom rather than a life of simply coping.

How many people live a life of searching for God’s love in “all the wrong places”, and remain separated from that love of His by the trauma wounds they carry. Would that all people were free to experience His love!

20 01 2012

I spent my whole life suffering from anxiety due to various traumas I had experienced. I never thought I’d be freed from it this side of heaven, but after treatment I was completely set free! It has drastically changed my life in many positive ways and my loved ones have been amazed to see me grow and thrive. I can honestly say now that I am fully alive – mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I feel as if, after treatment, I have only just begun to really live. My only regret is that I didn’t go through treatment sooner!

22 01 2012
Margaret Mary Vasquez, LPC, CTT, CITTI

Thank you for sharing your experience! I know that signing on for treatment is an intimidating process. We do everything to try to make it not be so, but no one likes the word trauma or the word intensive or the thought of investing that kind of time, money energy and perhaps mostly the hope it requires. It certainly can feel like a gamble, but the truth is that this evidence-based treatment is solid science. God is a God of order and when we work with the order with which He has made the brain, treatment works. He is a GOOD Father and wants His children free. Praise God!

22 01 2012
Jennifer Carr BSN RN OHN

I like the analogy of the man with a broken leg. When you said God may give him the grace to be an olympic runner, but he cannot physically do it until his leg is healed. Grace works on nature (was that St Thomas Aquinas?) So, I could not accept so many of God’s graces until my memory was ‘fixed’. I had to be able to put the past where it belongs – in the past! The very real chemical changes that were effecting the seratonin reuptake in my brain (a result of the traumas/neglect) had to be reversed. There was such a change in me that my spouse asked if I had been put on drugs. LOL A few weeks after treatment, I was laughing with my children and my 10 year old innocently asked “Mom, what did they do to you in Georgia?”
I used to argue with my spiritual director when he tried to tell me that God wants us to be happy on earth as well as in heaven. I believed then that life was just one painful sacrifice after another. I never dreamed I would be able to sit on the couch with a cup of coffee and relax, knowing that God loves me. The first time my spiritual director told me that God would never put me in a situation where I could not please Him, I about fell out. Now I can believe in every cell of my body that God has my best interest at heart. “Neither life, nor death, nor any creature can seperate me from the love of God.” has a whole new meaning!
What is ironic is, as a nurse, I would explain to patients that they should not feel ashamed of taking antidepressants, or antipsychotic medications to treat PTSD or depression. I explained to them that the chemical changes in their brain were just as real as the changes in a diabetic. No one would, or should, condemn a diabetic for taking insulin. So, why condemn oneself for needing antidepressants to survive? My own experience with Zoloft was that, yes I could feel peace for the first time in decades, but I was not myself. I wanted to be myself. And I can tell you now that the drugged peace from Zoloft was a poor imitation of the real thing. It was a ‘numbing’ of the pain, versus a healing….a healing much like a blind man seeing for the first time, or a lame man able to walk.
I am finally finding out what it is to truely “be myself”! and guess what, I can actually be funny! ;D All the fears, panic attacks, desire for death (thinking that was the only way out of the pain), feelings of abandonment….all gone!…and replaced with a deep, deep, deep peace, and an awareness of love that I have never before experienced.
Yes, it was expensive. Knowing what I know now, I would get a second mortgage on my house if I had to – or even put it on a credit card (something I do not normally do) What good are material possesions compared to peace of soul? It is the absolute best gift you can give yourself and your family!

22 01 2012
Margaret Mary Vasquez, LPC, CTT, CITTI

Hi Jennifer,

I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about something that I think you hit on here. There really are two ways of living – living out of love or living out of fear. Unfortunately, trauma wounds can prevent us from living in the experiential awareness of God’s love for us. In that case, we are left to view ourselves, our world and our situation through the eyes of fear. We “expect with alarm” as Merriam-Webster defines fear. When events happen, we more often then not view them in light of that alarm. Thus, the fearful expectation is the prophecy and the perception of the event itself is the self-fulfillment. E.g., If when we live out of fear and we are delayed in getting to work due to spilling something on our clothes and conclude that the day is going to be botched and so we get ourselves into an emotional set-up for a pretty crappy day and not thinking clearly and so the day is botched. But, when we live in the experiential awareness of God’s infinite, unconditional love, we thank God for His wisdom and omniscience and loving hand and we trust that He has allowed that delay and will use it for His LOVING purpose. Amy Grant sang a song called Angel’s Watchin’ Over Me. It has a line that says, “a reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way. Near misses all around me, accidents unknown, though I never see with human eyes the Hands that lead me home.” That is the love perspective. Not expecting with alarm, but resting in confidential knowledge of a loving father who acts in love at ALL times.

Trauma can prevent us from seeing God this way because being out of control has taught us that not being powerful means that I’m vulnerable and vulnerable leads to hurt and deep pain. That fear response is so intense from a physiological and emotional perspective that though we can ascent to the truth in faith, we cannot muscle past the emotion and anxiety that ensues.

The good news is that Jesus is the Good News! He is perfect love and casts out all fear. He has revealed to us the Father-heart of God. Once traumas are miraculously healed (not ordinary) or processed effectively through this method (extraordinarily effective ordinary means), then we are able to live in the freedom that knowledge of truth brings.

12 02 2012

I have been meditating a lot on John 5:1-9 lately and can’t help but think of how much it relates to those of us who were/are so in need of healing. “One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up…”
The man sat there for thirty-eight years “wanting” to be healed but couldn’t bring himself to take the steps to make it happen. How many of us do that?! Jesus is asking us “Do you want to be well?” as in “do you truly want to be well or do you want to hang on to your illness, wounds, weaknesses, etc. because you are comfortable with them, because they are a part of you and you might feel like you have lost who you are if they are really taken away, because it would mean being vulnerable to allow someone to help heal you…”. The man’s response, too, was typical – it is someone else’s fault that he hadn’t been healed yet.
I personally had someone to put me into the pool of healing, which was trauma treatment. It was the very life-giving water the Lord offered me through natural means – at the hands of experts. In the process I had to examine myself as to whether or not I truly wanted freedom from my past and from the mental and physical effects of it. Through others, the Lord asked me, “Do you want to be well?” and he is asking everyone else the same question. Why wait thirty-eight years?
It reminds me of a time when one of my little nephews got a sticker on his finger. (The pokey seeds that are found in the “grass” in the South) He cried and cried, begging me to get it off of him but wouldn’t give me his hand. He “wanted” the pain to stop but he wasn’t willing to face the possible pain of getting it out so he could be healed. After several minutes I was finally able to pursuade him to give me his hand so I could make it better. In an instant all of the pain was gone and he was on his way of joyful toddler play. “Do you want to be well?” The healing opportunity is available.

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