"You've got to kick the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight."
25 years of compassionate care
For more than 25 years, I made my living as a consumer bankruptcy lawyer. I worked with many couples whose relationships suffered under severe financial stress. Some of those couples resolved their financial issues and found that their trials had strengthened their relationships. Many marriages, however, did not survive.
During many of those years, my law partner was my husband. We met in law school, married the day before graduation and like many couples spent the ensuing years raising two fantastic children and building careers.
We never got rich, but we did okay. Unfortunately, like many families, we didn't do enough to plan for retirement. Nevertheless, after more than 20 years of helping people re-order their financial lives, I was ready for a break and stepped away from the law practice. Not long after, my marriage floundered, we divorced, and due to circumstances over which I had no control, lost virtually all our savings.
In the course of less than a year, I had become an empty-nester, I lost my husband, my financial security, my home of 20 years, and my pets. At 60, I was unemployed and penniless. Not only was I suffering the emotional roller coaster of divorce, I had to find a way to support myself.
I sought out financial help from relatives. I got on food stamps. I visited food pantries. I qualified for a federal senior housing subsidy. I shopped at thrift stores. I visited indigent medical clinics. I did what I had to do to survive.
I stumbled a lot along the way trying to figure out the best course. I had stellar credentials as a lawyer, but I couldn't get anyone to hire me full time (was it my age?) I tried starting a law practice, but my specialty had become very competitive with the booming economy. I got by doing some freelance work for lawyers and writing articles for legal websites and content for legal website developers.
Eventually, I realized that there was another way. I had the potential to totally re-invent myself.
During those early months, I had a counselor, a wonderful woman who very much helped me survive those first months. She focused on helping me manage my emotions and come to terms with the "why" of divorce. I loved her and what she did for me, but all the while, as I worked to come to terms with the "why," I struggled to get a fix on where I wanted to go. I actually thought, "I wish there were someone like a life coach who works with people going through divorce."
As I searched for a livelihood, a friend who was a coach working with adult college students, suggested that I consider life coaching as a career. That's when I discovered that there are indeed divorce coaches. Almost immediately I decided that I would devote myself to helping people like me find a new place in the world.