From the Family: Elizabeth & Jim

from the family

Her father recalled that before coming to Turnbridge, Grace was going through this repetitive cycle of “getting to a certain point in her life routine, then she would crash and burn, and then have to go and reset. It was really going nowhere. Both Beth and I felt that we were really not helping Grace and that she really needed to get out on her own somehow.” Their son, Chris, works in the Men’s Program at Turnbridge and they frequently sought out his expertise. “From what I have learned recently, I was dumping my problems on Chris,” said Jim. “But I am glad that I did.”

After several discussions with Chris and others, Grace’s family decided to offer her the opportunity to attend the Turnbridge Women’s Program. “At first, she thought she was being offered a job there. That’s how far removed Grace felt from having an addiction issue.” Since Grace was prescribed the medications she was abusing, she didn’t think of herself as having a substance abuse problem. Elizabeth recalls that Grace was not initially on board with the idea that she needed to change. “Initially she rejected the idea, flat out. She eventually agreed to accept the help about a month later and decided to move forward with Turnbridge.”

Elizabeth recalls that Grace really struggled in the beginning. “It was like she was in a burning building, so anxious. Her body had been on these medications for so long that she was just crawling out of her skin and very, very, very uncomfortable. She just wanted to get out of there.” This is where Jim and Elizabeth started their own journey into understanding the nature of what Grace was facing and how they also have to grow in order to help her. “This is something that you guys [at Turnbridge] do a really beautiful job with, helping parents understand we are participating in the problem. What we were doing is we were rescuing Grace every time she felt uncomfortable and we were fixing it.”

Jim shared that he was very happy with the attention to detail and time that Case Managers put in to assure them, as parents, that Turnbridge was doing all they could for their daughter. “Michael was really firm with us in that, ‘you have to trust us, you have to let us do it, we know what we are doing.”

“To our credit, with all that information, we were willing to take a step back and let you guys do what you do,” said Elizabeth. Jim jumped in, “What you help us do is understand the problem, and where we are part of the problem, and that’s a fact.” Elizabeth agreed, and added, “The better she gets, the clearer that becomes. She now uses her support system at Turnbridge rather than turning to us.”

Jim and Elizabeth Nagle were pleasantly surprised at Turnbridge’s ability to individualize care for their daughter. “One thing I was very impressed with at Turnbridge is some of things that have been done with Grace that have been outside of the box, like the cognitive testing,” said Elizabeth. “They also have her doing neurofeedback, which is really helping her with her anxiety. They also did genetic testing to see which medications for anxiety could actually help her. Those three things have really given us and Grace a lot of support.”

In reflecting about her experience with Turnbridge, Elizabeth said, “I know we have to go through all of this to come out on the other side, where we can have a normal relationship with Grace, a relationship that isn’t always about us trying to solve a problem for Grace. I have started to feel, and I am seeing, a person coming alive. I am starting to feel some relief. I am less waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“The great thing about Turnbridge is that it grew organically,” said Elizabeth. “It grew because everyone needed each other.” The Nagles recalled that at one of the workshops Dave Vieau, the founder of Turnbridge, said, “you'll know when your son or daughter is doing better when their vocabulary changes from ‘me’ to ‘you’.” Said Jim, “I didn’t really understand it when he said it, but I watched it happen with Grace. That, to me, is what you guys do. You sit and wait it out with these women and that is incredible. You guys are putting the train back on the tracks and really showing women how to live.”