Veronica Wright, wife of 23 years, mother of four, accomplished speaker and a leader in women’s ministry, was hit hard when a financial crisis sent her marriage spiraling.
The perfect life she had so masterfully created in her adulthood was unraveling and the stress was unmanageable.
“I became extremely sad, anxious and confused,” Veronica said. “I thought I had enough faith and was strong enough, but I couldn’t maintain my façade anymore. I was on the brink of a of a complete breakdown.”
A friend convinced Veronica and her husband, Jerry, to see Dr. Kim Paul Storm, Newport resident and clinical psychologist.
“I would never have guessed what was ahead when she first came in.” he said. “It’s not uncommon to find that a crisis forces out something that has been living under the surface for a long time.”
What Jerry and Dr. Storm didn’t know when therapy began was that Veronica harbored childhood secrets few would have survived.
Veronica and Dr. Storm spoke one evening recently at Grace Fellowship Church about Veronica’s life, her riveting new book “Boxes of Secrets: A gripping true account of overcoming sexual abuse in a “‘perfect’ Christian family,” and the therapeutic process involved in Veronica’s counseling.
During a counseling session, Dr. Storm asked each of them to describe their partner’s childhood. Veronica was struck that Jerry didn’t really know her; had no knowledge of the truly horrifying abuse in her childhood that included sexual assaults, incest and suicide attempts. With the guidance of her trusted therapist, she backtracked through the decades where she had methodically packed away her memories in carefully wrapped boxes in a special storage closet in her mind.
“My husband was a shining example,” Veronica said, “We both had issues and still have marriage issues, but he was willing to place his problems on hold until I was through with my counseling.”
Veronica explained that all the counseling was worth it and their marriage is stronger now than ever.
“We fight hard, we love even harder, we laugh ever harder than that,” she said.
Through the process Veronica realized she hadn’t been transparent with her close friends. After dropping her superficial mask in favor of honesty and vulnerability, she found a new closeness with God, her husband and with her friends. Her twisting trail to inner freedom involved hours of counseling, hours of prayer, and complete honesty. Veronica explained that over the course of five intense months, God worked through Dr. Storm to help her “reveal, deal and heal from what she had concealed.”
Veronica stressed the value of her close friends who supported her through the process. She also explained that she felt God wanted her to share her journey.
“I had no intention to write a book, but I knew part of recovery was being willing to reach out to help others with what you have learned,” she said. Veronica’s whole life has changed as a result of “Boxes of Secrets.” Her story is far from secret anymore; she has been on six radio shows, with more radio and TV interviews scheduled, and will be quoted in an article about women’s secrets in an upcoming issue of Redbook magazine.
“Boxes of Secrets,” available through Amazon.com and veronicawright.com, is detailed, but not explicit. Veronica is thrilled that the book is validating many people’s experiences and encouraging them to get professional help.
“I’m getting emails from around the country saying, ‘You told my story, it’s different, but it’s the same.’”
Psychiatrists have also thanked her and given the book to clients.
“No one has written a book like this before in the Christian community. It needed to be written so people can be healed.” said a Texas therapist.
Dr. Storm describes Veronica’s first session as a “divine appointment.”
“It seemed that God had a mission He wanted to accomplish and He was just using me to help with her healing.” he said.
He suggests that people interested in Christian counseling get referrals from their church. Dr. Storm has since retired from his practice of 26 years and he and Veronica are writing other books, including a companion guide to “Boxes of Secrets,” and planning events to promote healing. Veronica also works with International Crisis Aid (www.crisisaid.org) helping rescue girls from the horror of sex trafficking.
“I realize God truly loves me and He doesn’t want me to hurt. He wants to redeem the pain.” Veronica said.
Cindy can be reached at [email protected].