Getting Unmarried™ sessions are not the same as therapy. We do not spend much time going over what happened in the past, or rehashing the upsetting details of the “story” of your divorce. Some life coaches are completely “anti-story,” starting their sessions by saying: “Imagine I’ve heard your story, now let’s get to work” without needing to hear one detail of what’s happened to you. I am not as cut and dry as that. I believe there is some healing properties in having someone (me) REALLY listen to you. In our first Getting Unmarried™ sessions together we will spend some time on the story of your divorce, and take an inventory of sorts of where you are, and lay a foundation for where you want to go. But in truth, the story is not something we spend much time on. It is too upsetting, and my goal is to have our work together be uplifting and inspiring.
I’d like to share a bit about my own story. It’s taken time, personal work, and perspective for me to shift my story, from something that was filled with pain, darkness, blame, and shame. I use it here as an introduction to who I am, and how my past experience has had a huge impact on who I am, and how I operate as a coach, but also to illustrate a story that is full of accountability, and positivity. If after reading it, you’d like to shift your own story, click the link below for a worksheet on how to do that. And if you’d like guidance through the process, reach out to me. I LOVE working on life and divorce stories. 🙂
I’m a huge fan of fairytales…and it all started from an early age with Disney’s Cinderella. That movie planted the seed for my belief in happy endings, love conquering all, and princes sweeping you off your feet.
My childhood experiences were fodder for my own personal fairytale. Like Cinderalla, I had to endure some serious hardships, including the “loss” of my father. When my parents divorced, my mother moved my sister and me across country. In the ensuing years, I often felt lost and alone, and would comfort myself with books. I searched out “evidence” of better lives, and spent hours renewing my faith that when I grew up, my life would be perfect.
Indeed it was for a time. I met my “prince charming” in 1989 while visiting colleges. He fit the bill perfectly. Central casting couldn’t have done a better job. He was a dashing freshman, older, worldly, from a wealthy New York family. I’d never met anyone like him in real life. I was all in. We were meant to be together forever…
Turns out true love isn’t always easy, especially when you have no experience with relationships or real life role models. Despite a bumpy 4-year start, we finally got the hang of being committed. And we enthusiastically spent the next ten years creating a life worthy of the silver screen, a charmed life – a perfect, fabled life.
You know the problem with perfection? It doesn’t leave any space for reality. It doesn’t allow for change, transition, or oxygen. There isn’t room for people to be who they are. It’s too regimented, structured, and immovable. People start to feel like they can’t breathe or be who they truly are. It’s in a word: suffocating.
When we separated, perfection came crashing down, and it physically hurt. My heart and head ached from the loss. I had trouble breathing and sleeping. My eyes were red and stung from all of the tears. I lost so much weight that people couldn’t help but ask, “Are you okay?”
Things were definitely not okay. My life was a disaster. It was a mess. What the hell was I going to do? How would this affect my kids? How would I keep them safe? Where would we live? I went from living a highly managed life, to a life that was completely out of control, full of chaos, and huge emotions. I was in a dark sea, and I was drowning. There was one thing I knew for certain: I needed help.
At the end of a relationship, there’s a desire and tendency to hide, to isolate, and suffer through the divorce alone. But seeking help makes all the difference in the world.
At first it was foreign and difficult for me. I didn’t want to burden anyone, or admit the failure of my marriage and my well-crafted life. I reached out to those I trusted most: my family, close friends, and life coach. I found talking and sharing quite cathartic.
Today, I am still redefining my happily ever after. I don’t struggle with perfection as much anymore…though as it is with most addictions, you don’t ever completely shake them. I’m a recovering perfectionist. I give myself permission to make mistake though. And be kind to myself when I try to hide them. 😉
Against the odds, I decided to give love another chance. I am remarried to an unbelievably amazing man, and while he too is tall and good-looking, he is also so much more…
Together my husband and I work to create the reality that we are living, allowing a lot of room for the messiness of actual life. Experience tends to surprise us with the most perfect of lessons. And by learning those lessons, life has rewarded me far greater than I ever imagined possible back when I was just a girl distracting herself with fairytales.