I have started and re-started this piece several times, unsure where the story begins. Perhaps it needs to begin at the end, as that is ultimately the most important part. The end of the story is that Patti helped me find my voice.
Having been in a marriage which made me feel reduced, diminished and a smaller version of ‘me’, Patti helped me rediscover my voice, my authority, my self-belief, my authenticity. I left my husband, uprooted my two young children, left my family home, in order to live with a woman who I had fallen in love with. My values and beliefs were deeply challenged by my own actions, and I felt this as guilt, for what I had done to my family and my husband. Patti helped me process those feelings of guilt. She helped me as I struggled to reframe my future; in a way it was a grief process within me as I mourned the life I had envisaged. She helped me see my new family life for the wonderful positive that it is, and helped me to trust my instincts. She taught me to have the hard conversations and stand up for myself as I worked on building a productive co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband. She helped me rediscover my sense of self, my confidence, my internal belief system and my voice.
And all of this without meeting each other! Over the telephone, conversations over weeks and months, listening and comforting and most importantly challenging me to be the version of myself that was most authentic.
Thank you Patti for your time, your patience, your care, your guidance, your intelligence.