Keuterville author Myrna Thatcher grew up in a small Kansas suburb and didn’t let marriage at age 17 stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming a therapist. Sixteen years later, with a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, she started a private practice as a Christian counselor and met a patient who would alter the course of her life. Annette Smith suffered from dissociative identity disorders, also known as multiple personalities disorder. For nearly 48 years her life had been one of unhappiness and isolation after a childhood of physical and sexual abuse.“I wanted God included in my therapy,” says Smith. “I had done all secular therapy before that and I couldn’t get past the abuse.”
She asked her pastor for a recommendation and found Thatcher. As the two began working together, writing “Turning the Curse into a Blessing” became part of Smith’s journey to healing — to living life not as a child, or other people, but as herself.
Smith became a lay advisor. She moved to Idaho with Thatcher and Thatcher’s husband Larry and the three recently opened AbbaDaddy Safe and Sober House on Craig Mountain for people recovering from substance addictions or on release from prison. Thatcher and Smith treat mental health clients with a blend of cognitive-behavioral therapy and, if patients request it, spirituality, from an office in the Grangeville Christian Church.
Smith says she hopes to open doors for other people by publishing her story. The book has helped her own family discuss a past they turned their backs on and never spoke of.
“There is hope in your healing,” she says. “People can go past their abuse and illness. There is hope in this.”
The authors will be signing books:
– 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Backstreet Treasures, 212 Pine St., Grangeville
– Noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 15 at His Story Christian Gift Center, 1702 21st St., Lewiston
The book is also available at Mager Bargains in Cottonwood.
“Turning the Curse into a Blessing: A Testimony of God’s Healing Power”
by Myrna Thatcher and Annette Smith
102 pgs., $14