Many clients share their journey and their experience with Dr. Rita in hope that you can also find help in overcoming whatever you may be facing. The following is chronicle of the journey of one couple. Please check the dropdown menu above for more true stories and a few analogies that Dr. Rita uses.
Ever since we moved to Michigan, we experienced one hardship after another. We came to Michigan so that my wife could go to law school. I managed to find a job to support my wife through law school and to provide for my family with four children. It was very hard because the job was not paying very well. Then the work hours kept being cut shorter and shorter, so my income was insufficient to support the whole family. Eventually, I lost my job and I was on unemployment. In the mist of these financial difficulties stress was building from law school, so my wife and I argued every night. We knew we had to get help. That was when we walked into Dr. Rita’s counseling clinic.
While we were in counseling, I found another job with limited income. Dr. Rita used the Silver Lining Scholarship Fund to help us pay part of the counseling fee. For that we are very grateful, we would not have been able to receive help without the scholarship fund. The first sessions were very rough because we continued to argue in the sessions as usual. Dr. Rita identified our communication problem and coached us how to talk to each other. We tried to apply those skills. Sometimes it worked; but other times it didn’t because we were so used to our old way of communicating.
I felt very inadequate as a husband and a father because my wife continually found fault in me. She had angry outbursts whenever she did not get her way. I felt like I was walking on eggshells trying to please her, yet constantly failing. Especially when it was her exam week, everyone in the family was yelled at.
My wife yelled at me at home and my boss yelled at me at work. I just wanted to hide in my mother’s basement and escape from reality. I knew I needed to take care of my family, but it was too hard. I contemplated filing for divorce. But I realized I still loved my wife even though she was an angry person. I felt trapped.
Individual sessions with Dr. Rita helped me to realize that I was responsible for some of my wife’s anger. Whenever she expressed her feelings to me, I could not wait to defend myself to justify my position. This was a result of having a mother who was verbally abusive towards me as a child. Whenever I saw people’s facial expression showing any kind of unhappiness, I immediately interpreted it as an attack so I needed to defend myself. When I started to listen first and allow my wife to express her feelings instead of simply defending myself, her anger outburst became less and less.
Our communication has been improving, and then I lost my job again. We could not come for counseling any more for we had used up all the sessions that were provided by the scholarship fund. But we started seriously using the techniques we learned in the past couple joint sessions. We started praying together often as Dr. Rita suggested during our sessions with her. When all the doors seemed shut to us, God opened another way. God wanted to send both of us away from our extended family and move to a different state. I got a job there and my wife got an internship there. Our relationship is better than ever. If we did not have God or Dr. Rita, our marriage probably would be dissolved by now and my children would be suffering. We are very happy together now.
I was under tremendous stress going through law school; but I know I had to get through it so that our family could have a better life. With my husband‘s job being so unstable, I was afraid I would not be able to finish law school. My frustration turned into anger and my family had to deal with my anger during the time I had to prepare for the examinations. I knew I had anger problems, but I could not seem to be able to control it. I requested to have a few individual sessions with Dr. Rita to work on my anger problem.
My father left my mom and me when I was a little girl. My mother had to work so hard to support us that I was often by myself. I determined to study hard as a child to make something out of myself. I did not want to grow up being poor. Being a high achiever was also a way to cope with my emotional pain of being abandoned. That is why I had so much fear of being a failure. My fear was overwhelming me so much that it turned into anger. Once I realized this through counseling, my husband and I were able to talk about our schedule each week so that I had enough time to prepare for all my exams. I was feeling a little more relaxed.
I told Dr. Rita about situations when I had angry outbursts. She found out it all centered on abandonment issues. Dr. Rita helped me to find ways to deal with those situations when my husband was late coming home or late coming to bed with me. Now I started to feel like I was more in control of my life. I can take responsible for my own feelings rather than blaming others for my reactions.
Our communication is a lot better than before as we used the techniques we learned in the sessions. We can actually discuss problems and come into a resolution. We have never done that throughout our marriage.
Our financial situation is a lot better than before. Our relationship with God is much stronger. God did not move us to a different state and give us stable jobs until our relationship was reconciled. It was so amazing that God worked things out in a miraculous way. We were once at the end of the rope, God showed us that He was there holding us. We think about Dr. Rita often, our family would be broken without her help.