© Justin Hackworth Photography

Our 15-year-old son entered a wilderness therapy

program in February of 2018. What lead up to his arrival that day was more painful and confusing then I’d like to remember – more anger and heartache, worry, and disbelief than anyone should ever have to go through. The day my husband dropped him off was the first time I’d breathed in 6 months. In truth, it probably took me about a week to take a breath. He was finally safe and somewhere I knew he would be! No more sneaking out, no more lies, no more fights, no more late nights wondering where he was, no more worry, no more pain. 

But that first intake of breath brought a new problem. Now what? What do I do while he’s gone? It feels like my life has been given back to me, in a way, and some normalcy would be keen, but what if there was something I could do now that would help him when he gets home. Is there a way to help things go better? Is it possible to rebuild our relationship without him even being here? Is it possible to live together again in some resemblance of peace? I realized I wanted help for ME! I knew that I could be part of the solution. I just didn’t know how.

And that is how you are reading this right now. I created this program out of sheer desperation. My desire to help myself, and a recognition that I wasn’t alone, has opened up this opportunity to you. It is now my life’s work to guide parents to help things go better, rebuild family relationships, and the knowledge that love is always an option no matter what life has in store. 

The truth is I was looking for answers long before our son started getting in trouble. I honestly believe I was being the best parent I could be to my 5 boys with the tools I had. I read books, listen to podcasts, sought counsel from mentors, took supplements to help myself be calm in the chaos. I tried to emulate good parenting to the best of my ability. I truly wanted to stop the madness, the yelling, the drama and victimhood, but all of these attempts left me wanting.

After our son went to wilderness I knew it was time. Time to figure out how to actually help myself and my son. How to believe in his future, even if he didn’t. How to have a relationship with him that was more than correcting all the time. How to set and hold boundaries with love instead of anger. How to stay in my own lane. How to let natural consequences happen. How to deal with my emotions in a healthy way and not have his actions affect me so much. How to essentially turn my pain into purpose.

After researching and looking into several programs I enrolled in the most qualified Life Coach School I could find, offered by my (she doesn’t know it) mentor, Brooke Castillo. I had no idea at the time the massive impact this decision would have on my life. I am changed. The concepts and tools I learned at The Life Coach School have given me everything I need to accomplish all that I previously mentioned. Everything has changed for me and everything has changed with our son. My dream is a reality. I am living proof that relationships can be rebuilt, love is always a choice, and the more emotionally consistent I am, the more I can help things go right. I am no longer reliant on my son’s actions to make me feel a certain way.

The tools, education, and application methods I learned have completely changed the way I parent, love, communicate, think, and act. I have been reborn, so to speak… I have learned to release my son from my controlling grasp, crushing fear, and my emotional roller coaster. The relationship we share now is respectful, fun, nurturing and enjoyable.

This is what I offer in my parent program. I teach tools, concepts and methods to recognize a heart at war and a heart at peace. How to take responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. I teach how to build a better relationship with your teen, create boundaries from a place of love, be emotionally available to support and hold space for your teen. If you have a desire to believe there is hope for all, I’m here to help.

“It is now my life’s work to guide parents to help things go better & rebuild family relationships knowing that love is always an option no matter what life has in store.”

FROM THE STAGE:

I had the honor of speaking at the Makana Outreach launch event in November (more to come on this initiative). I tell my story and share my passion for this work. Run time is about 24 minutes. Grab a snack and have a watch. 

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