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007 Interview with Danielle part 2 {Transcript}

About This Transcript

This is part 2 of a two part interview with Daelynn Romo. Daelynn is the wife and mother of three, an active church member and a friend of IBCD.  She is also the face of Danielle, a counselee in one of IBCD’s Observation Videos.  At the urging of her husband, Danielle comes to seek counsel from her pastor’s wife after an old struggle with an eating disorder re-emerges.  We asked Daelynn to talk with us about her experience and to share her own story.

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Craig Marshall:
Hello and welcome to the IBCD Care and Discipleship podcast. This week’s episode is part 2 of Christina Henson’s interview with Daelynn Romo who many of you know as Danielle from the IBCD observation videos. If you miss part one you probably want to go back and listen to that first. It can be found out IBCD.org/CDCpodcast. Now let’s jump back in to hear more of Daelynn’s story.

Christina Henson:
What would you say to someone who is watching the videos and is struggling like Danielle in the midst of that feeling those things in real time, or to a counselor who would be counseling a woman that like Danielle? Yeah what would you say to them is there hope?

Daelynn Romo:
Oh yeah there’s lots of hope. I would say that if you can grab on to somebody who is safe, that can lead you through the word I think at that point for me and I imagine it’s true for many others. The word on its own can be a very daunting confusing place and even … and I don’t even think I tried to read it much I think in my mind I just said this is confusing and it doesn’t make any sense and I wouldn’t even open it. It wasn’t even that I opened it and it actually was confusing, although pieces of it are. I just I didn’t even want to try. If you can have hope that the word really can give you answers and that there are many willing people willing to sit with you and listen to you and not be judgmental.

I think that was something that was so sweet coming from Caroline in my critical way of thinking that everybody is looking at me and they’re thinking wow Danielle is just getting fatter and fatter. Caroline is looking at me thinking how could you say that that is not … that is the farthest thing from my thoughts when I look at you. To hear that as a counselee, I think is really helpful. You want to find people that are looking at internal characteristics and that can walk you through the word and give you scripture and pray for you even when you’re mean and nasty to him.

Christina Henson:
Then what about for a counselor, would you have any advice for them?

Daelynn Romo:
Give them lots of scripture and make them read it. I think that was a really key thing was I mean right away Caroline was opening up the word and asking me if I had my Bible and would I read. I hope I portrayed that that was the last thing that Danielle really wanted to do was open her Bible and to actually read. But that she did and I think that makes a real difference in how they hear it is it’s in their Bible that they have and they can go home with it and reread it again that it’s still going to be there and that you’re hearing yourself say probably the exact opposite of what you’ve been telling yourself for however long.

I would encourage counselors to know verses to go to really be fluent in the word so that you know where to go for all the different situations that might arise. You can’t really plan for it I mean Caroline said that at the end of one of the videos that she thought it was going to go in one direction and ended up going in a totally different direction.

Christina Henson:
It wasn’t scripted, Caroline didn’t know what she was going to say necessarily before she said it?

Daelynn Romo:
No there is no script. I’m not even sure if Caroline was that in tune with the real issue, I think it was Craig and I talked about it more so that it was more raw and real when you know whatever direction we took it. Yeah Caroline just did it off-the-cuff.

Christina Henson:
I am curious, what the filming process was like, what was it like just being there and doing it?

Daelynn Romo:
Well it was um yeah I’ve never done anything like that before. I had my youngest daughter there with me so there were a few times where you could kind of hear these little whimpers in the background of her. Craig faithfully watched her, held her the whole time. It was interesting because Caroline and I we knew each other but it wasn’t, we weren’t necessarily close by any means. But you’re coming in and you’re having to act out a scenario that’s not real at the moment by any means. Being mean to Caroline is really hard. I just had to really put myself back into my journals and think I’m going to kind of forgo all the times where Aria would cry and we have to stop it and it would be right in the middle of this really great crying scene. Then I would have to start up again that was hard.

It was a good experience though and it was nice as it progressed to getting better and better. That first session was definitely the most exhausting and hard emotionally and being in character. Then the next session got a little bit easier as my heart as Danielle got a little softer. Then the third session you know all the more better because I could be a little bit more like myself then and I didn’t have to bring in a character that was 5 years or 6 years earlier. I could more so just be in the moment with Caroline and still remember that that struggle was there and there was temptations but that that the Lord was working.

It was good, by the end of the day I remember Caroline and I talking we were both exhausted, it was a really long day. Lots of crying and lots of emotions get brought up when you think about the past. Then there can be lots of joy to think what the Lord has done and where he has brought you but I was exhausted at the end of that day.

Christina Henson:
It does sound like a very personal process. I’m curious, did you learn anything about yourself or did this experience going through this impact you?

Daelynn Romo:
I think it’s still impactful, I mean even just watching it a few nights ago, watching it I can still see where food isn’t the rut of any issue anymore but I still find myself being judgmental of others and critical of myself and not being in the word as much as I know it’s fruitful for me to be in the word. After I read through all of my journals I threw them all away. I figured this counseling observation would be memory enough of all of them. I had loads of them and I don’t know I go back and forth on thinking would those be good things for my daughters to read through the whole pieces of them or would that be an unnecessary burden for them to read through all of the journals and all of the mess that was in them.

I finally got rid of them realizing that just coming to the conclusion that I don’t have to dwell on all the pieces of the past that I know what the struggle was and I know the word of the Lord is taking me from. The observation videos say a lot; the girls can watch that you know if they ever want to. I don’t have to store up all of the happenings of those times, they’ve been forgiven, they’ve been forgotten and the Lord lets us move on from those places

Christina Henson:
I’m about to start crying again. I did cry a few times when I watched your observation videos.

Daelynn Romo:
There were pieces of it where I cried, not when Danielle was crying but I just cried at the bitterness of my heart because I knew that hardness was real and it’s sad to watch. It makes me pray for my girls very hard on a daily basis that we can have open relationship to talk. I would hate for them to have that hardness but I also trust that if that’s what the Lord takes them through whichever way that maybe they’re going to have their own struggles and that the Lord uses that for his glory so I’ll let him use whatever he wants to use. That hard heart is really ugly.

From that video I will say Caroline and I have gotten very close and that’s been a huge blessing that was something that was unexpected. She was always just the pastor’s wife and you say hello to them in the hall and they know your name because they know everyone’s name. That was a real sweet blessing that came from it is that we got to be much closer.

Christina Henson:
Honestly I think that’s a really experience that I think real counselees find as well is that when they do open up to someone rather than pushing someone away, they gain a relationship or friendship.

Daelynn Romo:
Really good friends are few and far in between. You know for a counselor to be someone’s first true friend it kind of teaches them how to be a better friend to other people. Because it such a fruitful, meaningful hour of time where so much gets discussed. You leave feeling lighter because something actually substantial was talked about as opposed to just hanging out with a girlfriend and you never get below the surface.

Christina Henson:
One of the dangers that your kind of mentioned as we filmed these three session observation videos is not being able to show a time-lapse. You just eluded to seven years and maybe if you could just speak to that process. People who are watching this they need to understand that it’s a process right.

Daelynn Romo:
Yes, it’s definitely a process. That’s seven years … for the first three years probably nobody knew about it and then for the fourth year, parents and siblings know about it and encourage in their own way of how to get help and to just stop. They probably don’t know the full extent of how bad it really is. Then you go … then at that point that’s when I could move out and be on my own so then I could hide it from a whole new group of people, but it’s still a major issue but it’s not something that I’m willing to work on at the moment.

Then family kind of comes back into the picture and realizes that it’s still an issue and they’re all the more concerned because now they know that it’s been going on for so much longer so they’re getting concerned health-wise about what’s really happening. Family at that point is kind of at a loss because I have pushed them completely out, so I adopt other people as family. Once those people find about it you know that I did do Christian Counseling with somebody that they recommended but it wasn’t nearly as scripture based as what IBCD does.

It was lots of just talking, you know it was probably therapy with a Christian title in front of it which I don’t see any good taken specifically from that. It was just a piece in the puzzle that the Lord had for getting me to where I ended up. You go through counseling and it doesn’t do anything and then the next year comes and you go through a church program that they have that doesn’t do anything. It might not be the first session of counseling that fixes the issue.

It’s whatever the Lord deems necessary for him to get glory. It’s definitely a process and it might not be any counseling specifically. For me it was getting pregnant and having already lost a baby before that and not knowing why but in my mind blaming it on not taking care of myself and not feeding a baby. Now when I had a husband we both wanted this baby and thinking it definitely is not just about me anymore. There has to be a change if me not eating is going to be detrimental to this little life inside of me and then it’s going to crush my spouse on top of every else that’s involved. That was the thing that hit home for me.

Christina Henson:
What about someone who either knows or suspects a family member or friend is struggling with this but they haven’t yet had that conversation it’s not out in the open. What would be the way you would suggest they should approach that or how would they know if it’s even time to approach that?

Daelynn Romo:
It’s really tricky I mean even being in the situation. The reason everybody found out about mine was because I got lazy. I didn’t want to hide it as well anymore and so all the clues led up to someone keeps throwing up in the toilet. That’s where it becomes obvious and I think that’s where somebody close to that person needs to step in and kind of lovingly and just say that you know I don’t know if you can start it off but you can say that we want to help you. You’re probably going to get a bad response back, I gave a bad response back because at that point the person is humiliated and embarrassed.

You press on, I don’t really know the right way to approach somebody about it or when the right time is. If you let it go on too long there can be serious consequences and if you approach somebody about it and it’s actually not an issue you might offend them but I don’t think that’s really ever a case. If think if you’re suspecting there is an issue that there probably is some type of heart issue going on with that person or at least there’s something that’s a miss. I don’t think you can read that really wrong. If there really is nothing going on and the person is well within their soul, they won’t get offended. They will look at you and appreciate somebody coming out of love to try to make sure that they’re okay.

I don’t really know the right words or what how to go about doing it the right way. I don’t know if there is a right way or not, you have to build relationships with people and then you just have to be bold and have a meaningful conversation with them.

Christina Henson:
Was there ever someone that came to you in a way that looking back you’re like that was the wrong way, please don’t do that?

Daelynn Romo:
I can’t remember, nobody stands out, I mean people kind of walk on eggshells when … at least for me during that time. I was pretty mean to anybody who would want to talk about it. I would deny it to their face even if there was throw up in the toilet right next to me. Out of sheer preservation for myself I would do everything that I could to deny it and to make them feel as wrong about their assumption as possible. I don’t know if any way that anybody that approached me was necessarily wrong. I just know that I’m glad that it didn’t get ignored. When I’m at the end of it I wish that at lasted 30 days as opposed to seven years or longer I don’t even know how long it specifically lasted but you catch it at the start.

Christina Henson:
What about someone who is watching this video and knows a Danielle in their life that they want to be a friend to. How can they go about being a friend?

Daelynn Romo:
I think being constant and not in the sense of overbearing and constantly calling at every meal time hour and just being like I’m watching up on you or I’m thinking about you. That would probably push someone farther away. I think just being constant in that you are going to be there for them no matter what ugly sin … when the real truth comes out about how really bad the sin is or how often they really throw up or you know what exactly they do to deprive them self. I think just to let the person know that you’ll be there for them no matter what.

I think that was comforting to hear from a few people and the word, I think if you can know the word and find scriptures that relate to the situations and to the lies that they might be telling you. That’s when I would tell my parents or friends things that were things that I was thinking during that time. A lot of it was lies and if they can come back with scripture that is saying what I am thinking is wrong. Changing the way that I think that there’s another, there’s a better way to go about doing this. The word convicts the hearts of those who are ready to have their eyes opened by the Lord and I think that it’s powerful to not forget that the word is very powerful.

My sister wrote me letters with lots of scripture in it and I thought she was being nosy and I didn’t like it at all and I probably was mean to her after her and her husband sent me that note. I kept the note and I know that they are safe people to go to, that those would be people that stand out as someone who stepped out of the comfort zone and did something that they thought maybe I wouldn’t like but they did it anyway. They knew that the word was powerful. I wasn’t ready to receive it when they gave it but it’s something that I look back on try and I cherish it now and it makes that relationship with that sister all the more sweet to me. When I think that she really put herself out there to love on me. I

I think you have to remember to come from a place of being selfless. That even if they don’t respond the way that you would like them to respond at the moment. Who knows what the Lord might be doing in their life and later on maybe they’ll recognize that you were really loving them.

Craig Marshall:
Thanks for listening to the IBCD Care and Discipleship podcast. Be sure to check out our website for hundreds of resources to help you and the people in your church grow in one another care, including our observation videos which are available in DVD and video on demand format. We are also excited to announce that the single set versions of all of our observation cases are going to be available at the summer Institute this June. All of this information can be found in this episode’s additional resources at IBCD.org/CDCpodcast. Thanks for listening.

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