What do you do when you discover that there are places in your story that needs healing?
How does that process begin? What can you expect as you pursue wholeness?
In today’s episode, Katie Tramonte vulnerably shares the process that the Lord walked her through as she found deep healing and freedom in her story. I believe the insight Katie shares will encourage us in our healing journeys as well.
Katie is the lead facilitator at Original Design Restored and the host of the Original Design Restored Podcast. With a background in education and ministry, Katie is passionate about the intersection of faith and mental health, believing that the combination of the Gospel, personal narrative, and experiential learning can lead to profound healing and transformation.
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Ep 60 From Perfectionism to Healing ~ Katie Tramonte
Transcript is auto-generated
life, emdr, story, healing, god, began, mom, sharing, trauma, ministry, jesus, feel, emdr therapy, healed, season, intensive, katie, people, called, family
Katie Tramonte, Denisha Workizer
Denisha Workizer 00:00
What do you do when you discover that there are places in your story that need healing? And how does that process began? What can you expect as you pursue wholeness? In today's episode Katie Tremonti, vulnerably shares the process that the Lord walked her through, as she found deep healing and freedom in her story. And I believe that the Insight Katie shares will encourage us in each of our healing journeys as well. Welcome to Living the Reclaim life Podcast. I'm Tanisha. We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest. You guys, I am so excited to introduce you to a new friend of mine, Katie Tremonti. And today's episode I believe is going to be so healing when you hear how just like minded Katie is to reclaim story and the ministry that she has going. I really believe it's going to inspire, equip you and just help you take that next step towards reclaiming your story. So as I introduce Katie today, Katie is the lead facilitator at original design restored. She's the host of the ODR podcast, which I highly recommend listening to. She has a background in education and ministry. And she's very passionate about the intersection of faith and mental health, believing that the combination of the gospel personal narrative and experiential learning can lead to profound healing and transformation. Katie, I just want to like, clap right there. Thanks. Because all of that like is my heart. I know you're a wife and a mom. And that gives you ample opportunity, I'm sure to practice what you preach in just those things alone. But I am looking forward to this conversation today. Our heart and our passions are so aligned that it just excites me.
Katie Tramonte 02:03
Me too. I'm so excited to be here. Me too.
Denisha Workizer 02:06
So okay, as we get started, let's talk about some fun things because we're probably gonna go a little deep today, right? Yes. So let's talk about some fun things. Tell me some fun things about yourself. What do you love?
Katie Tramonte 02:17
So well, I love coffee and tea, and I pretty much drink them all day long. But I might only get through half a cup of tea at a time because life is that busy. I have three little boys. So I'm not able to finish a cup of tea all the time. And I love movies. And I actually in this season love enquanto the most Have you seen in Kondo? I have
Denisha Workizer 02:39
not. But my little one has seen it and said, Mommy, I see this movie.
Katie Tramonte 02:43
Okay, well, you have to watch it for yourself as a grown up. I mean, it is powerful, powerful, especially when you consider the idea of reclaimed story. I mean, it is it is a powerful movie that fits right in with the passions of your heart and my heart.
Denisha Workizer 02:57
Nice. Well, that was kind of like how inside out was, yeah, watch that. I thought, Oh, my goodness, this is so real.
Katie Tramonte 03:04
Yes, yes. I actually recommend people watch inside out to understand the feelings that they're having inside even as adults, like watch it for yourself. It's very powerful.
Denisha Workizer 03:13
It is really powerful. No doubt. Oh, well. So okay, so I will watch in fact, my my 10 year old has been saying, Mom, you gotta watch this movie. So maybe we'll do that as a weekend watch. Yes, yes, I
Katie Tramonte 03:26
recommend it highly, highly recommend it with a box of tissues.
Denisha Workizer 03:29
Okay, thank you for that. I need those warnings. You're about to feel emotions. Okay, tell us a little bit about your story. And how did you get involved in this healing work with ODR. And just tell us a little bit about your story.
Katie Tramonte 03:45
I'm going to tell my story, the way I experienced it. And as I tell it, the way I experienced it, it might feel a little surprising that I would enter into healing work because at the onset, my life looks very idyllic. So I grew up in a family where my parents were highschool sweethearts. My mom stayed home, my dad worked really hard. I was the oldest. And then I have a sister 16 months younger than me. And so it was a really simple childhood, happy childhood. And my mom really loved Jesus. And so I remember being a little girl, and watching her pray in the mornings and wanting that relationship with Jesus. And there was it was more than just a religion. She connected with Jesus in her in her everyday life. And so I remember very early, even seven years old, having a prayer journal because my mom had a prayer journal, and I remember going to VBS and hearing an altar call and wanting to be down at the front as fast as I could, because Jesus mattered to me. I wanted to follow Jesus. So I don't have actually a moment of following Jesus but don't remember a time not following Him. As I go into my teen years, my mom and dad have two more babies when I'm 11 and 13. So there's this huge age gap. My sister and I are 16 months apart and then my other son strand, my brother are 11 years and 13 years younger than me and my mom loved being a mom. So it was very happy, friendly home, we had a lot of fun. And one of the things that started happening though, that I didn't realize what impacts me later was a lot of the praise I got was for being a good big sister for being very good. And that kind of fits into the faith context I was in as well. Although I grew up in the church, what I watched practically and no one ever preached this, but what I watched practically was, you get saved by grace. So your salvation is not at all anything you can do, you get saved by grace. But then as soon as you cross that line, what I observed as a child and as a team, is then you have to work really hard to be good. So I didn't see anyone's lives change necessarily, or anyone face difficulty, and have a transformation experience. I just watched a lot of nice people who I believe wanted to follow Jesus just work really hard at being good. And, and so that's what I did, I took on working really hard at being good and was praised for that both within my family but outside of my family as well. There was a lot of affirmation to be a good, a good girl, a good kid, a good team. And really in my family. And in the faith context we were in in our church, I was homeschooled. So in that kind of that shade of subculture, Christianity, we were kind of the model family. So people wanted to be like us. And one of the things that happens when you are a model family is if you're within that construct, you don't really have a place to deal with things that aren't going well. At the time, I didn't know any of that. We were just this awesome family that was happy and, and it looked good. And we were all trying hard to be good. So my teen years, I was working really hard to be good. And I didn't know what at the time, but I really was a perfectionist. And I actually if anyone had said that to me, I do remember hearing that as a teenager and thought that was a compliment, that being a perfectionist was a compliment. And so that really became my identity. Not that I thought I could be perfect, but I certainly was trying as hard as I could to be, and thought that was a very good thing to be. So then also in my one of the special things in my teen years, too, was I around the time I was 13 I knew I wanted my whole life surrendered to Jesus. And I remember wanting to be called to full time ministry. And I actually was afraid that it was selfish. Like I was dreaming up some selfish dream because I wanted to be called to full time ministry, and just began praying. And my mom encouraged me just keep praying. And if this is what God has for you, He will speak it to you. And right before I turned 14, I was at a youth conference. And I heard God say and it was the only time I've heard God speak, decide now. And it was in response to an altar call for full time ministry. So at 14, I knew I was called to full time ministry and given the the kind of the conservative subculture of church and and just life that I was in. Ironically, I was this 14 year old girl had a call to ministry. And I had two male pastors who affirmed my call and invested in me as a young teen, which was a gift of God, especially given the subculture I was in. I think having that affirmation that God really did speak, was kind of an another pillar in my relationship with God. People believed that I did hear and follow God. And I think that was significant as a young teenager. And I just knew I want in my life to follow Jesus, I go to college, I get a degree in education. And I meet this guy, this new guy comes to our college group, and he is so wild and so free, and unlike anything I had ever seen. And one day at college camp, he's sharing his story of meeting Jesus. And as he talks about meeting Jesus, I realize like he's talking about Jesus, like Jesus is real. And I realized I had been longing to hear someone talk like that my whole life. And most of the people that I had been around, didn't talk, like Jesus is actually really interacting with him. And so of course, the natural response was to have a crush on this guy, because he was so awesome. He knew Jesus, he talks about Jesus like he was real. And I and probably many, many other girls in our college ministry at the time, had a crush on him because he was talking about Jesus like he was real. But it inspired something in my heart as well, again, another like reinforcement to my relationship with Jesus, you could experience him like he was real, you could interact with Jesus in everyday life, and he would be there. And that was really an encouragement to my heart that I wasn't the only person who hoped for that. And actually, there are people who experience him like that. At the end of my college years, I went on staff at a church plant and living the dream. I was called to ministry, I go on staff at a church plant, and I crashed so hard. I look back now and I know Oh, I probably was burned out. I was doing my student teaching for education. So I'm working full time doing that. And then I'm working at a church plant I'm doing I mean, it was part time, but ministry is often more than what the hours are that you sign up for. And I was exhausted and I remember thinking, I don't think I'm loving God. Well, and I don't think I'm loving people. bulwell And I felt like if that's what God asks us to do, if those are his basic
Katie Tramonte 10:06
call like for our life, if that's what he asks us to do, and I can't do that, well, in this job, something is not right. And so I quit, which was kind of the death of a dream and the first time in my life that I hit a moment of failure. And it was so hard to face because there were so many questions surrounding that if God called me to ministry, and I can't do it, what's wrong with me? And how do I get back to that, but I don't even know if I want to do that anymore. I can't do it well, right now. And at the same time, I was thriving in education, I got a job as a public school teacher, and I was thriving there. And one of the graces of God in that season is I went shortly afterwards to a newer church, in town. And for the first time, I heard someone preach the gospel as a way of life. And so now, the Gospel wasn't just about crossing a line, like not just the moment you get saved. So prior in my faith experience, the gospel was about asking Jesus into your heart and getting saved. And then it really didn't have much to say about the rest of your life. But now after having failed at, at ministry at this call this dream, and going to this new church, I was hearing the gospel for the first time as it applied to my life. And they talked about living a gospel life and gospel as a way of life. And it, it changed me and it brought me hope, even for my failure and ministry, okay, now I had something that was bigger than my failure and ministry, I had a story that applied to my whole life. And in that season, I began thriving in education. I loved teaching, I was really kind of coming into my own as an adult. And so that guy that I had a crush on way back when we had been friends all these years, and he had a similar story of failing in ministry. So kind of our storyline started aligning, and we begin sharing our hearts about some of that and, and long story short, there's a very long story in the middle of there. But long story short, he asked me to marry him.
Denisha Workizer 11:57
I was hoping you would get the guy that everybody had a crush on. This just makes me happy.
Katie Tramonte 12:04
Yes, yes. And we're still together. So yay. Yeah, so. So he asked me to marry him. And so this is where my life takes kind of a sharp turn. I grew up in Nevada. So west coast, I lived in the same town most of my life. I get married, and I move halfway across the country to Oklahoma. And not only do I get married, but I stay home. So my husband wanted to give me the gift of staying home for a year, in our first year of marriage only. For me, I love to work. And that was it kind of backfired. Because I didn't know what my purpose was. So I had left my career, I had left my church, I left my family, I left my friends. And I'm now living in Oklahoma, and my husband was involved in a community here where he was already a leader, he was already known. So I was kind of, in my experience, this was not to anybody else. But I've kind of felt like an add in and I felt kind of grafted into a world where I didn't really know anybody, and nobody really knew me, but everyone loved my husband. And people would actually come up to me and say, Oh, I love him so much. And I'd be like, I do do.
Denisha Workizer 13:10
That's a little weird, but I think I know what you mean.
Katie Tramonte 13:14
And just the sense that I was welcomed and accepted, but didn't really know anybody didn't, and I got to know people, but that initial initial place kind of feeling displaced and out of place. And, and not only that, but shortly, like within two to three weeks after we were married, we're pregnant with our first kiddo. And so this whole my whole world is just swirling like all turned upside down and and I just kind of lose my orientation. And I kind of wonder if God is good and that becomes gets to be a wrestling is is God good? Did I make a mistake somewhere and, and in my mind, God, being good was tied to me being obedient. And I felt like I must if if I am struggling, if I am sad, if I feel displaced, I felt like I was disappearing in those early marriage and motherhood days. If I'm disappearing, I must have made a mistake somewhere not understanding that I could be following God completely and be struggling, not understanding that there are probably reasons in my story, why this is so hard and I have lost my way as at least how I feel inside. And then kind of for the next couple years, so that early marriage, early motherhood years, the amount of stress that kind of came on to our lives was so huge. So married baby, I've moved. My husband was in kind of a ministry position, but it was we were doing ministry way beyond the capacity that we really could hopefully sustain, so ton of ministry. We had a lot of stress within our extended families in that season. There was a lot of strain in some of those relationships as well. And then we had another baby shortly after I had miscarriages. We had challenges with one of our kiddos that we've had no clue about. So we're kind of blindly navigating our way with some things that really He needed some support and some care and, and needed our family is not normal. So anyone meets us now we are not normal, we navigate life differently than the norm. And that's because that's what the people in our family need. And we're very alive and thriving, but we don't look normal. But at the time, we had no context for that. So we're just struggling through kind of waiting our way through trying to understand what's happening. And,
Katie Tramonte 15:25
and at the same time, what's ironic, and all of this stress all of this pressure, it's kind of like a pressure cooker coming down on my husband and I, but in my experience on me, I'm in this pressure cooker of life. I'm a young mom, a young wife. And at the same time, this is the season where I really feel like God opens the door to allow me to begin to pursue transformation. It's the first time where it was safe to name things that were wrong in my story. And, and so this, this first door to transformation in my life, the first time I could step through to experience any kind of change or healing was my husband was modeling that before me. So he has kind of a crazy Jesus story. This whole other life disconnected from God, he meets Jesus and his whole life changes. And so for him, that's like, way back when he was like, 22 way before we're married. But when he met Jesus, he changed. And so he had no problem naming what was wrong in his life or his story. So as we're married, I'm going through all of the stress, he is honestly laying out what's not working in him, what's hurting him. He's allowing God to change him. And for the first time in my life, I saw someone live out, change and transformation, I saw someone be honest about their sin, I saw someone name, what wasn't working. And I saw not only could they say it, you know, say this isn't right, this is hurting, this is not working, I'm struggling. But there actually was changed, I was watching the power of God change my husband. And that led me feel safe enough to actually begin to name what wasn't working in me. And prior to this, I was terrified to name if something was wrong, or painful, or I mean, I was so terrified to name if I was struggling with something if I hit send, I needed to be right all of the time. Because if I wasn't right, then I was failing God. At least that was what my construct was. Even though we're in this pressure cooker, I'm watching him change. And I'm being brave enough to say on little tiny scales. I'm afraid of this. I think I did this wrong. Or he might even mention like, hey, this, this didn't feel good. When this went this way, could you do this instead, and I'm starting to just be brave enough to acknowledge that maybe I'm not perfect, which was so hard. It sounds silly. Now, of course, I'm not perfect. But when my efforts weren't to be perfect. When I felt imperfect, I felt like a failure. And so to be safe enough to say I didn't get that right, was life changing. And I also went to a marriage. So we actually were leading this marriage retreat. When I talked about this. It's funny, because we were leading the marriage retreat that my husband was teaching on the gospel. And it was for how the gospel informs marriage, but it changed my life because he taught the overarching arc of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration, like that big arc. But then he said, that's your arc for every day. And it was like, my mind was like, blown like, oh, wait, why? In my everyday life, there are evidences of the fall, that I can bring under the authority of Jesus at redemption, and he can restore, and all of a sudden, I had a context for when I am sinning. When I feel pain, when there is wounding, there is a story that's bigger than me, there is a God that's bigger than me. But I can actually insert that pain into that story, bring it under the authority of Jesus and pursue restoration. And that became kind of foundational for my life after that, which is significant, because shortly after that season, everything kind of crashed. And I mentioned in the beginning a little bit about my family, being kind of idyllic and happy and fun. And right around my 30th birthday on so many levels. My family of origin just crashed. And there are so many details to that better their story is to tell tell. But it became incredibly disorienting. And it felt like the construct that I understood about family and faith, all of a sudden made no more sense to me. And I remember driving on the freeway one night after kind of multiple things, things have come to a head with my family of origin this crash it kind of happened. I was driving on the freeway and I remember feeling like okay, I no longer know how to be a mom or a wife. And so I think I need to leave my family and like my husband and my kids and
Katie Tramonte 19:53
didn't like I drove home. But I got home and I started talking to my husband and I shared how How destabilizing what had happened was and how if I could not because I had been in this family that looked so ideal like, and what's the model family and it was so intertwined with my faith growing up, I didn't know how to disconnect some of the unhealthy things from my faith. And so everything just became very confusing. And I felt like, Okay, well, I can't figure any of this out. So maybe I know nothing about being a mom and a wife. And maybe I should leave, and not stay in this because I don't I don't, I can't make sense of this right now. And one of the best things My husband told me in that moment, as I was sharing how just oriented I was, was that I wasn't learning how to be a wife and mom, like my way of for that was not based only on my family of origin, but that Jesus was leading me through that as well. And that became an anchor for me, because then I had something to look to you, other than my background, for how to go forward as a wife and a mom, in my little family. I can ask Jesus now okay, how do you want me to be a wife and a mom, which was very helpful, this crash in my big family. And by crash, it's a lot of details, it wasn't an actual crash, like a car crash or anything like that. It was, it was struggle, it was pain coming to the surface. And, and this that moment, that season in my life, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me, because it was the beginning of being able to actually look honestly, at my story. And I think had it not happened, it would have been very difficult for me to name the things that weren't helpful, that weren't beautiful, that weren't healthy, in my family growing up, or even in my growing up years. Because prior to that, everything just had looked so good, and had been trying so hard to protect that image of the ideal model family that I had grown up in. So that happens, and then I have a third kiddo now. So after three kids really short, like in four and a half years, we have three little boys. And life had been a pressure cooker. I started not doing well, all of that extended family. Just that story was kind of coming in on us and all of the ministry and all of the stress and the strain. I started having chronic migraines, I started being really harsh with my kids, and did not like it every time I yelled at them, I would yell, you know, if behavior got out of control, I be yelling stop, you know, and it wasn't any mean words, but it was mean tone and mean spirited and I hated it, I would feel so awful afterwards. And I wanted it to change. But I didn't know how. And also in this season, I did not like how my marriage was going. I remember sitting with my husband, when I insane, I want this to be different. I want us to be able to disagree, and it still be okay. Every argument was fought until we're at a point of agreement and it and it would take forever. And I wanted space to really ultimately what I was asking for and I didn't know it at the time is I want space for personhood. I want us to be your own whole healthy people and know how to interact. And I didn't have words or language for that yet. I just want to knew as I didn't want to stay where I was. And that was the beginning of pursuing healing for me. So
Katie Tramonte 23:16
it wasn't in my story. It wasn't that I even knew where I was going or how I was going to heal or what that would look like or what a healing journey was, I just knew I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to be harsh to my kids. I don't want not even I don't want anything in my marriage, I want more from my marriage, I want us to be more full than we are. I don't like how we're relating and, and it was just identifying that I want something to change. And then beginning to pursue the change of those things. And so the beginning to pursue the change of those things. I didn't know where I was going or where I was headed, I just began to look for equipping or tools or healing in a kind of did anything that was kind of under the gospel context, like faith context toward healing. I did a program called your one degree where you map your story. And that was the first time that I've laid out my whole life story, and could draw, kind of draw some connections of what was helpful and healthy and what was not. It was the first time I could kind of take a overview look of my story and identify maybe what needed a little attention what needed some healing. And there were things on there, I'd met with a life coach. She gave me some feedback that I had never heard before. And it was just from mapping my story. And I began to do some grieving over areas of my life and some some curiosity over places that I was gifted and that I had not considered. I did some healing prayer and really met Jesus in different ways in prayer than I had before. And he came he would, I would I would be inhaling prayer and he would speak to certain memories and bring healing and those memories and felt safe and calm and comforted and places that were painful. And prior to this season, I didn't have anywhere to go with my pain. So you're just when you don't have anywhere to go with your pain, you just bury it. But the problem with burying anything is it still comes out. And I always kind of say, and I stole this from someone else. But the word sideways, like when we bury our pain, our sin, the lies that we believe when we bury it deep down inside, it comes out some other way. And so ultimately, for me, what was happening is I had all this pain inside, I had wounds and I believed lies that I had buried so deep, and I thought I was doing a good job at being a good awesome person, being a great mom being a great wife. But it was coming out sideways. And it was coming out as being harsh to my kids, it was coming out as functioning, I would say codependency in my marriage, not even realizing that that's what was happening. But it's coming out all this pain, all this, this wounding and things that I had believed, repressed on so deep, but they were still coming out. So we will express what's happening in us whether we know it or not, we really want to get to a place where we get to choose how we express it. And that's kind of the beginning of my journey as I didn't like how it was coming out. So I wanted to find a different way. I remember one night, so kind of in the marriage concept a we had traveled back home. And I was reflecting on my marriage, I was reflecting on my family that I grew up in. And I could all of a sudden see connections in all of these relationships that really pointed toward codependent patterns in me. And so very bravely I prayed, God, please break codependency off of me, whatever it takes, I had no idea the journey that I would begin on as I faced that. And when I say codependency that can kind of be like a weird word that becomes too clinical. But basically, for me, I knew I was looking to other people to tell me I was okay. And I was offering something in return. So I'd find my identity and what other people would tell me. And I was offering usually emotional support or practical support support in return. So I wasn't really whole. It's it's really mutually draining. So I was really wanting something from someone else. And then I would give them something else. And as I gave them emotional support, they would continue to help me continue to tell me that I'm awesome. And I'm okay. And I'm, you know, whatever things caring, loving patient, when you're in this cycle, you look for that feedback. And I began to identify, oh, wait, most of my relationships are this way. And God kind of showed me this picture one night in prayer of my heart and my heart had all these holes in it. And then on all of those holes was in each hole, there was a tube that connected to someone else. And in those tubes was kind of that mutually draining cycle like Okay, I will be emotionally supportive to you now please tell me I'm okay. Please give me affirmation. Please tell me what my identity is. And in prayer that night, I saw God begin to take each of those tubes off of my heart and begin to heal each of those holes. And I remember the day that for the first time, I felt whole, and I no longer felt like I needed other people to tell me that I was okay. And it needed to reach out just to feel affirmation to feel like I was worthy and valuable. This is all very disorienting, though to, to change on this level, in life in marriage and relationship. And I remember telling my husband in that season specifically, like matching with that picture. Being very honest with him, I am changing. I don't know how it will be on the other side of this. But we are together. I think for his heart, he just needed to know Are we together and I remember telling him I need to go inside for a while I don't even know how to relate right now. And he was only I don't know how to relate either with you. Because I was completely reworking how I interacted in relationship. I had become so accustomed to needing people to feel okay to need in relationship to needing to be emotionally supportive, that something had to completely change almost in like a paradigm shift way. And as that season closed out, I was different. I functioned differently. And I function in it from a more whole place. And he was very patient through that season, which is really brave in a marriage relationship to let someone change. And I think that is one thing I have been grateful for both he and I over the course of our years have changed powerfully and had a lot to face, to undo to heal. And we let each other have the space to do that. As I continued on in my healing journey. One of the things that I also had to face was the level of powerlessness I felt, and this was painful to face because this track back to my growing up years. And this is where I began to see maybe there were some unhealthy things so it was happy was friendly. But as I go back what I observe and what I know now is as a 14 year old around the time that I was 14 So I'd be 14 and as history was 13 and then a little sister who would You might have been three and a brother who was one. So if you imagine a family like that, and my mom homeschooled and my dad worked very hard. I really believe looking back, my mom was very overwhelmed. And life was very overwhelming. But during that season, I really believed she began to depend on me as an emotional support and as a primary emotional support. And at the time, as a 14 year old, I thought that was good. I was my mom and I were best friends. And I was affirmed for how caring and considerate and supportive I was, she also really depended on me and my other sister closer to my age, for practical support for caring for siblings. So I took on some roles and my family. At the time when I you know, when I'm a young teen thinking that I'm being a really supportive person, and this is, I was praised for being a good big sister, I was my mom's best friend, all these things looked so good. Only when I became a wife and a mom, and I'm, I'm being a mom, and my 30 years, and I'm reacting harshly, and I'm overwhelmed, and I don't like how I relate with my husband. I'm realizing there are foundational wounds here that are not healthy, that at 14, I really wasn't meant to be my mom's emotional support, I really wasn't meant to be playing the role to my siblings that I was and in my heart for me to actually change and be healthy in the little family that I was raising in the marriage that I was in my heart needed to be healed from the weight of what I had carried at a young age. And God began to do that, as well. And I began asking, I remember asking, God, please make my experience of being a mom a new experience, because I had been carrying emotionally caring for young children for a long time. And I wanted to bond with my kids in a fresh way. I wanted to be their mom. And kind of alongside that 14 year old as I was my mom's best friend, there were also times of what was confusing is, in my home, emotion was safe if it was negative emotion about external factors. But when I would bring up negative things about our family, that was often shut down pretty quickly. And I will say really quickly, I've shared these things with my mom, and she has since apologized. And so we've gotten to process that and, and really forgive and connect over those moments. But that's as an adult. Now. It shaped me as a young teen to share to voice insights that I have and had those things be shut down by the person that I was so close with. And I would say in meshed with as I would share insights, those would be shut down. And so what I learned to do as a 14 year old was I learned to not speak up, I learned very quickly to shut down parts of myself that saw things because it was not going to be accepted. So instead of being a rebellious teenager, what I actually did was I shut off part of myself to be accepted. And there was a season, I've done a multiple healing things healing prayer, you're one degree, there's a program called the journey. But then, most recently, I went through EMDR therapy and in EMDR therapy, that's where I really came to grips with how powerless I felt, with not being able to voice the things that I saw, and really invited Jesus in, through that therapy process to heal the places in my heart that I had shut down. And there was this beautiful moment, as I healed and actually wasn't in EMDR therapy itself. But it was in that season, where I invited those parts of myself back in and I felt myself become integrated again, with who I really am. And felt a reinforcement of the value of my voice of the value of my insights. And the truth is that over our lives, there is a battle going over our lives of who's going to win out basically like who's what is going to be expressed in our life. So there's God and the enemy. And there's a battle all the time of our lives. And the enemy saw a prime opportunity with a 14 year old girl and a mom who was overwhelmed. And a mom who also just had her own wounds that hadn't been healed. In that moment, the enemy was at work to tear down what God wanted to do in me. And as an adult woman, what I got to do is as I pursued healing, I got to join with God in reconnecting and healing those places in my heart that had been shut down in that battle over my life. So the now more of the goodness and beauty of God can be expressed through me because that voice has been reintegrated. It was it's such a bigger story than just oh my mom didn't like my opinions. There is a war at work over my life. And that is what God has been healing is bringing me to a place where I feel whole where I move out of powerlessness, but I am at peace and can express my perspective. From a place of being whole and safe. I no longer look to people to tell me I'm okay. But I feel hold on okay and wear the dress because as God created me and I was made in His image, and as I live that way, all of those things and that those that early 30s, when I say I want to change, I don't want to be harsh with my kids, I want to function differently in my marriage, that is happening now. And granted, I still have moments where I'm harsh with my kids, but it is nothing like where I was in my early 30s. And my marriage is so incredibly beautiful, where we're both fully present. And we're communicating as whole people and healed people. And we're processing and hearing one another's perspectives and working together as a team and really, truly enjoying each other in a way that I had no idea if we'd really get to way back when when I just wanted something to change.
Denisha Workizer 35:43
Katie, thank you, thank you so much for just sharing those intricacies are so many parts of your story, as you're sharing them, like I can relate to that. I can relate to perfectionism being my identity, I can relate to being harsh with my kids, like, I can see myself in so many of your junctures. And I really, I just appreciate your vulnerability in that, and sharing that. You know, you mentioned EMDR, can you talk a little bit about what is EMDR? I know what EMDR is, our family went through it. And it's amazing. Yeah, we've never talked about that on the podcast before. And I'd love to just hear your experience with that. And yes, share a little bit about
Katie Tramonte 36:23
it. Yes. Okay. So EMDR is a type of therapy. And let me see if I can get this right eye movement, e sensitization, and I don't remember the are essentially the idea is that you have so your brain is right and left brain and often trauma, or and it can be small traumas or big traumas get lodged, and don't get processed in a way that allows you to move through them healthily. So when we have a trauma that's lodged in our brain, it hasn't been processed, in a way it feels like it's lodged basically. And that's where we get stuck in pain or wounding. And we actually repeat cycles of reaction ism, or are just kind of like stay in that stuck places, though, we're not able to get out of that trauma or that hurt. And so what EMDR does is it allows you, your, your, it's called the eye movement part is, it doesn't have to be eye movement, but you're activating both sides of your brain to reprocess the trauma that you've been through. And so you are, as you activate those sides of your brain, you're actually going back into the painful memories, but it's a little different than, let's say talk therapy, because you're not just talking about the therapy, you're actually trying to process it in your brain to where it gets to a place where it's healed, and you're no longer in such a high pain place or such a triggered state in regard to whatever that trauma was that happened in your life. So for me, I actually went to EMDR therapy, because I had a stuck place just through a traumatic experience a few years ago, and thought, oh, I'll just go to EMDR to deal with this stuck place thinking that it was just to deal with this one thing. But often what happens is are stuck places that we're currently experiencing, the places where we feel stuck currently, are usually tied back to something early in life that hasn't been healed. So as I was going through EMDR, you're you're talking through the stuck place that you're in, but often as you begin to this begins to get reprocessed. Other things that haven't been healed pop up, and then you begin to reprocess those as well. It's it's very emotional, it's it can be draining, but it is probably one of the most healing experiences I've had especially, I had the privilege of having a therapist who was a believer as well. And so we'd open every session with inviting the Holy Spirit into our sessions. And so that the brain science of reprocessing in your brain, the trauma that you've experienced, when it's coupled with the Holy Spirit is incredibly powerful.
Denisha Workizer 38:44
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I,
Katie Tramonte 38:47
what would you say about EMDR?
Denisha Workizer 38:49
You know, we went through it when our daughter was attacked by a dog. And so she began to have some triggers, and just some like rage at a little age that we didn't understand. And so a friend recommended EMDR to us, and it was fascinating because she held these little buzzy things. And then she had earphones on. And so they had her kind of walk back through the memories like she was on a train. And I'm telling you two episodes of two like sessions of EMDR, the rage was gone, the triggers were gone. I mean, it just took that trauma. And the way the therapist explained it to us was that the trauma was almost at the front of her brain, like it was a hot memory. So they're doing EMDR like cooled off that memory and kind of allowed her brain to file it away. Yeah. So it was amazing. It was amazing for us. So I love hearing your story of going because she or she, you know she's young, right? She had one traumatic experience. I'm sure she's had many more. But like one really traumatic thing that we can pinpoint. And so as adults, I think it's really beautiful, that you have that opportunity to do EMDR and that that pulls you back to a younger age to some things and began opening up and just allowing God to heal those places that you may not even have known in your 30s. You know that those places existed? Yes. Oh, yeah. That's, that's so good. I know, I have a quote from you. And I know you said you didn't know where it came from. But you said that trauma comes out. So I'm just gonna say Katie said it.
Katie Tramonte 40:27
If only if only
Denisha Workizer 40:28
Yes, this, I thought this was brilliant that I wrote this down. You said trauma comes out as a reaction and not a memory. And I think that you just touched on that so beautifully in your story is that it was coming out in a reaction how you were, you know, talking to your kids how you were handling life like, and it wasn't coming out as a memory. And I think that's so common. We hear women say the word stuck a lot. I joke that if we had $1, for every woman that said, I just feel stuck, like Welcome to reclaim story. This is the moment for me, I described it as it was my late 30s, where I felt like I'd had this carpet in the middle of my floor. And every hard you talked about stuffing memories, girl, I was like, yes. And if you saw me, I was like, yes. And so as you're talking about the I shoved everything under my carpet. And the next thing, you know, I began tripping over that bump in the middle of the carpet and thought, what is that? And it wasn't until God gave me a very clear invitation to say we're gonna pick this up, and I was like, oh, no, we're not picking that up. Like something terrible is gonna happen. I don't know, I might even die. I don't know, there's bad things under there. And I don't like to name it. I didn't want to name it, I didn't want to, I thought if I opened back up those memories and peeked under that rug, I would get stuck there. And it was actually my story. So similar to yours in that actually, when I invited God in and said, Okay, I'm gonna take this courageous step to start unpacking this, that that was when God began to do amazing work that only he could have done in my story. And that just like you, it began to take me back to some childhood experiences. And some very similar in our stories there, like perfectionism was my identity. And there were reasons behind that. And I needed to be the good girl, and all those things were affecting me, as you know, as a pastor, as a wife, as a mom, as a friend, it was all being unpacked. So I love seeing just the goodness of God in your story, Katie, and the way he has walked you through and now your victory, the victory he's walked you through who gets to be a victory for others? And I love that. Do you want to talk a little bit about the intensives that you are there? Oh, Dr. Because you are a woman that I respect when somebody says, you know, it's funny to hear people saying, like, Oh, I'm gonna go into this, and you're thinking, but just yesterday, you're doing this totally other job. What I really respect about you in so many ways, is that you've walked it personally. And now you're able to lead others into that type of a healing experience. So yeah, share with us a little bit about that.
Katie Tramonte 43:09
Yeah. So after I had gone through one program, the program where I mapped my life stories, I'd done a life map. I remember after I'd shared that with this life coach, and she gave me feedback that I never considered, I felt so free and alive, I thought, I have to create this space for other people, like every woman should have the opportunity to share their life story, only, I had no idea how much more healing I had down the down the road to go, this was at the very beginning. But just getting the first time you get a taste of healing and freedom. The next like almost the next thing you feel with if you really feel healing, if you really feel free, the next thing you want to do is offer it to someone else. So I started dreaming, I want to offer this to other women. And I did some very early stage trial and error retreats. And those were kind of messy, but very powerful still. And I began to feel what it would feel like if I got a group of women. So the first one I ever did was three total strangers. And it was just focused on sharing our life stories. And these three strangers shared their life stories and gave each other feedback. And it was a powerful experience. God was there. There was healing, there were moments that no one had ever spoken before. And they said for the first time, and when you say something that you've been holding your whole life and you let it out and you let someone else hold it and see it. That is something so sacred, and so powerful. And guy can meet you in that that I wanted to just do that for everyone. I also had some more healing work to do. So God took me through things like EMDR program called the journey and I began to kind of amass what would I want to create? If I could gather women for a couple days in a healing intensive or transformation intensive. What would I want to do is I kind of took from multiple resources so almost everything that I do at an ODR intensive is not my own. I have gathered it from, you know, all over, brought in a lot of resources and so an intensive so at original design resort, our goal is to facilitate transformation, it is not like my role is to hold space to facilitate not to tell you the right answers to tell you how to get where you need to go. So anyone who comes to an ODR intensive, I'm really holding space and I'm creating opportunities, like activity is kind of it's the experiential learning part is creating space for the people who are in attendance, to process their life through a handful of different methods and modalities to become self aware and identify what they're feeling at any given moment. And then to ask the question, Why? Why do I feel angry right now? Why do I feel sad right now. And then to begin to process the behind the why, what is the story what needs to be healed? We have space to so there's eight sessions through an intensive and they're very specifically crafted over the course of four days to walk through some opportunities for transformation. And then we really let God lead the women, we create the space and then God comes and meets each woman where she is in every intensive, the experience is different, that the construct is the same. But the experience is different for every single woman because God is working with that woman in her story where she is and and so there are some where a certain part of the intensive is incredibly powerful for the women that are there. And then that may not be as in powerful at the next one. Because for those women, that's not the part that really their stories needed healing or, or transformation, we keep our incentives very small, partly because of COVID. Still, because that's a reality. But then also for that really safe feeling when you are being brave enough to share things in your story that maybe you haven't shared before. Having just a handful of people present feels much safer than a whole giant room. So we keep them small currently. And actually, we have a lot of fun too. So it's a lot of heavy work. A lot of I mean, that's what it's called an intensive and not a retreat. Definitely not not just retreating. But we have a lot of fun, too.
Denisha Workizer 47:09
That's so awesome. You know I love is hearing where you are now and what you're leading these women into goes all the way back in your story when you were sitting in college and saw this cute guy who experienced Jesus as he was real. Like as he was a friend who walked with Him and His every day now you got to experience that you got the guy too. And now you get to lead other women into that. I just think that is beautiful. Well, Katie I and looking forward to just getting to know you more, I think we are definitely going to be we need to be friends. Yeah, for sure. When we connected I was like oh my goodness, we have like the same exact like passions and where God's calling us to. It's just so refreshing. I know that your story was just such a blessing to our Reclaimers as they listen. And I know there's so many parts in your story where we can find ourselves. So thank you for your honesty and how can we find you because we're gonna want more of Katie, how do we find you?
Katie Tramonte 48:05
So you can find us we're on Instagram. You can find us under original design restored on Instagram and then we have a website that is original design. restored.org perfect and your podcast is on your website. Our podcast is on our website or Spotify or Apple podcasts.
Denisha Workizer 48:20
Fantastic. Alright, Katie. Well, thank you so much for sharing, and friends. We will see you same time, same place next week. Thanks for listening. I pray you found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at reclaimed story. Want to learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community ever claimers? Check out our website at reclaimed story.com all of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoy this inspirational podcast Be sure to subscribe rate and review. Not only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge help and helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.