Darlene: “Please, I need you to help my son. I feel he is losing it. He is struggling all the time, has terrible self-esteem, poor socialization, sleeping too much, untidy, sad all the time. COVID is making it worse. He is a great kid and terrific at his job but he is suffering and I can’t help him. He avoids me and I am frantic over it. It’s all I think about.
Me: “Let me help you first.” A debate followed about the importance of helping her son. Then her willingness to do whatever it takes to help her son allowed her to consider helping herself first. “When there is so much unresolved pain from any experience with our children’s struggle, we can’t isolate our pain and we inadvertently transfer it directly back to our child. They do the same thing in reverse. What if that exchange was mutually reduced and healing took place of both?” We talked like this for an hour on the phone.
Darlene: “Okay, I get it. I agree. When do we start?”
“Terry came to my home, we sat on my patio. We talked about what I want. I saw that I was codependent with my child’s struggle, so much so, it actually created mine. Terry invited me to find my own wisdom and desires rather than rely on my son’s wellness to create my happiness. In two weeks, I had simple tools and strategies to reduce my anxiety of needing him to be okay, to be okay myself. I’m still so sad about his struggle. But I see that paying attention to my struggle was just as important. Then what happened was amazing. Terry asked to speak with Connor. downstairs in his “ space” They were together for an hour. My son said “Yes” to Terry because he saw a change in me. He is paying for the coaching himself and the two of us have the same advocate guiding us through the evolution of improving our lives separately and together! It’s is profound!
Conner: “Ya, I am lost in a bunch of ways.” I’m great at my job but I need to escape a lot too, ya know, to deal. I wish my mom could leave me alone. It’s just harder when she’s so worried about me. I feel her judging me and so I ignore our relationship. I love her so much but nothing is working between us.”
Connor: “Working with Terry has given me a great new perspective about how to manage so many things that were tripping me up. I don’t have to ignore them to deal with them. It’s pretty cool. It’s been three months since we started this life coaching thing. I don’t to escape or do other stuff as much either, I got a huge promotion at work. Mom and I laugh together, play , and do cool stuff on the computer to help her with being a special ed during COVID. It’s working better than ya know that other stuff I’ve done like therapy and counseling. I want people to know this is special and I am a happier guy because of it. Still got a lot to work on. I am continuing to work with Terry beyond that first 12 weeks because everything is better and I want to keep that going. It’s really great.”
Darlene: “I cannot explain the relief Connor and I experience because Terry is advocating for both us. When I get in my loop about “My Poor Son” Terry won’t let me stay there. She supportively encourages me to look at myself and shows me how to engage in the tools because I forget. My habits are so deeply rooted in my story that I revert to them so easily. But, I never feel bad about it. Terry’s work is not about judgment it’s about inspiration. I know we could not have made this progress any other way. For both of us to change simultaneously is wonderful. I am committed to telling everyone I know what a difference this has made and how grateful I am to have said “Yes”.
Both of us are willing to talk with anyone interested in confirming our experience first hand. Just reach out to terry.
The actual names of mother & son are not used for this article.