By Erica T, Journey Beyond Divorce Client
"The first time I ever spoke to Karen, I had gone for a walk around the block to blow off some steam and calm my nerves. This was a regular occurrence for me, since I had a constant feeling in the pit of my stomach that was a mixed bag of anger, resentment, anxiety, and fear of the unknown. My previous divorce attorney had given me her name and number and recommended I give her a call.
I had been seeing a therapist for many years. She was very insightful and I enjoyed meeting with her on a weekly basis. I had held off on calling Karen because I had built up a great relationship with my therapist (let’s face it, it takes a long time to find someone you really feel like you can talk to without being judged). After three years working with this therapist, I received a notice in the mail that said she would no longer be accepting my insurance. Cue divine intervention.
While on that walk around the block I decided to call Karen just to see what she’s about. She explained what she does to help her clients and how her work differs from that of a therapist.
Boy, was she ever right.
I was divorcing a spouse with a personality disorder who was using every emotional tactic in the book to control me -- and he was succeeding, despite the years of therapy. Every decision I made went through a filter in my mind that determined how he would react. It determined what the repercussions would be for my actions, what my punishment would inevitably be. I tried to keep the peace by going against my gut instincts, however peace was nowhere to be found.
I was a ball of nervous energy, doing everything I could to avoid the wrath of the ex and protect myself from the emotional storm that would certainly ensue. I was harassed by texts and emails on a daily basis, finding it difficult to function at work, socialize with friends and spend meaningful time at home with my young child. My mind was always focused on exactly what I didn’t want in my life – my ex-husband and his unnecessary drama.
The magic of coaching is in listening, analyzing, reflecting, and understanding
“I was able to help myself more in the first 3 months of working with my new coach once a week than the previous 3 years working with someone I had considered to be a great therapist.”
Coaching wasn’t about just listening to me vent and then spitting out advice for me to follow. Instead, it helped me learn to listen to, analyze, reflect upon, and understand my own thoughts, actions, and reactions. Coaching helped me to understand my role in contributing to the weight of that bag of emotions I carried around. To understand that by changing the way I think, I am better able to lessen that weight.
It wasn’t easy, and it didn’t happen overnight, but I went from carrying around what felt like a large suitcase of bad energy that kept me emotionally charged and always on edge, to toting a small gift bag containing just the tools coaching has given me to have clarity, to maintain my confidence and to live a peaceful existence.
Having a persistent and determined ex-spouse provides me with plenty of situations to use these new tools. My ex is still the same person who tries to exert his control, and I know that he will never change. Thankfully, though, through coaching, I have. "