What were you struggling with before you first reached out to me? What made you decide to request support?
Overeating and drinking, loneliness, self-esteem issues, the “loss” of my children (who were growing up and out of the house) and residual losses from the break-up of my marriage and my father’s death. I had “finished” post-divorce therapy, but I was still overweight and was trying to get back on track when we met. I was seeing a nutritionist and had joined a new gym, but I also knew I wasn’t getting at the root causes of my struggles.
What made you initially choose to work with me?
I attended two of a four part series that you led regarding nutrition and mindfulness and really liked you and your positivity. I initially thought I would just fill-in the gaps from what I had missed in that class, but soon realized we could do so much more.
How have I helped you most?
You helped to re-affirm my self-esteem and confidence. It was in there, but it was lost and forgotten. I also worked through some of my losses – particularly of my kids (growing up and out), and was able to move further away from my dependence on my dad’s role in my life. Further, after 25 years in an abusive marriage, I feel like I have put him (and other bullies in my life) “away”. I also now have permission to take care of myself…a novel concept for this mother!
What has transformed within you as a result of our work together?
I am back to being me – capable, strong, confident and powerful. We spent about a year together working through all of this. The process was at times easy, at times challenging. I am letting go of some of my roles, such as – as caretaker of my children – and picking up new ones – like caretaker of myself. I remember crying for a week straight at one point over the loss of my children as children who needed my care. It’s been a long, long time since I allowed myself to take care of myself, so from that perspective, it was really long and hard. But truly, it needed to be done and was really quite seamless.
What specifically can you point to in your life that has changed/unfolded as a result of our work together?
Specific things I have gained – I got rid of a bully of a boss (not all on my own, but surely an accomplishment regardless), got a 10% raise, and rejuvenated my confidence. Also – let go of my son as he moved out on his own, and stopped rescuing my daughter.
One unexpected result from our work together was …
I stepped away from the “rescuer, bully, victim” triangle. Understanding that paradigm was truly life-changing for me.
Your favorite part of working with me is:
No longer feeling like I have to be the rescuer/caretaker of my daughter, and my renewed confidence.
What’s next for you….how are you wanting to grow even more now?
I want my arthritis to be better/more manageable. I want to continue to lose more weight (62 lbs. gone in the past year and a half, 20 more to go) so I can continue to regain my related health. I am reveling in taking care of myself for a change and I really want to continue to do so. I am so much more comfortable being alone, but think there is still room for progress there. Three of my best friends have moved out of state – I want to grow and develop more friendships – male and female.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that feels important to share with someone who is considering working with me?
Penny did an amazing job of making my transformation “mine”. I never felt like she injected her beliefs or thoughts into my ruminations in a way that was imposing or not natural. She was particularly good at reflecting my words and capturing my thoughts and making them a part of our work together. I am very grateful to have had this time with Penny and would do it again in a heartbeat.