From Trauma to Trust: Tara’s Persistence to Get Her Life Back

After working with a case manager at WellPower, Tara was able to get her life back on track and was recently hired at A New Day Resource Center

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After battling drugs for 20 years, experiencing homelessness and having suicidal ideation as a young adult, Tara had become all too familiar with adversity, but nothing would be harder than losing her husband to suicide in 2017.

Left to navigate life as a grieving single mother to three young children, Tara felt as though part of her soul had been crushed. “I wish there were more services for those who have lost a spouse – a person falls hard,” said Tara.

Tara had first come to WellPower to seek services for her son who was age 9 at the time of her husband’s death and had been experiencing behavioral health issues. He started out with intensive in-home services with a therapist and then enrolled at Skyline Academy, an intensive day treatment facility for students in first through eighth grade.

Tara knew she needed help and was also dealing with agoraphobia – an anxiety disorder in which one fears people and places that may cause the feeling of being trapped or helpless. Not only did she not like being around people, but she also didn’t trust anyone. As a result, she would start behavioral health services and then soon discontinue.

A Trusted Confidant Found in Her Case Manager

While immersed in the experience of pain and grief, Tara’s children were taken away from her by Child Protection Services after she relapsed on drugs. Tara was determined to get her life and her kids back which meant she was required to meet with a case manager at WellPower.

Case Managers at WellPower provide comprehensive psychological and behavioral case management services designed to help facilitate recovery and succeed in the community. A case managers role varies day to day and can include helping the people we serve meet basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, personal safety and general medical and dental care. They may also assist with applications for income, medical, housing or other benefits to which the people we serve are entitled.

The support she received from her case manager gave her hope. For the first time she could count on someone for just about anything and Tara felt like she had finally found someone she could trust. Tara recalled, “I don’t know if I would have made it through that time in my life alive without the support of my case manager by my side.”

She recognized internal shifts that occurred from working with her case manager who helped guide her through tough conversations, gave her tools to manage her impulse control and helped her overcome agoraphobia.

“There are more benefits to working with a case manager than people realize,” commented Tara. “If someone doesn’t want therapy or they are on the fence, I would encourage them to get their toes wet and get a case manager to help take back your life.”

Forging a New Path

From case management Tara eased her way into consistent treatment by attending online therapy appointments on Zoom. She also began to find healthier ways to cope. Instead of taking the bus, she would challenge herself to walk everywhere and see how many steps she could get in a day.

Tara humbly mentioned that she has been sober since February 2020 and started college online. She made the Dean’s list the first two semesters and is currently enrolled in her third semester.  

In March 2021 Tara started working two vocational jobs at WellPower transitioned into a permanent part-time position at the organization’s A New Day Resource Center which has greatly contributed to her well-being.

At A New Day Resource Center Tara helps organize and distribute donations that include food, clothing, hygiene products, books and more. This was a resource Tara learned about when working with her case manager, and she is thrilled to now have case managers as coworkers. On days where she feels like she is reverting to old patterns or having a hard time, the case managers continue to make a huge difference in her life and motivate her to continue her journey.

Tara sorts through donations at WellPower’s A New Day Resource Center, the opportunity to work helped Tara overcome her agoraphobia.

“If I had gotten help sooner, maybe I wouldn’t have gone through as much as I did but my husband’s suicide was the straw that broke the camel’s back after 20 years of trauma,” said Tara. “My life has improved significantly since coming to WellPower — working with my case manager, getting a job and finding the ability to provide for my family. That is what WellPower gave me, a purpose, which I felt I had lost after losing my husband.”