J.A’s story

“When I first asked Dorota for help, I was struggling without input from my ex-partner (other than his criticism!!) and I had an out of control child.

My son was about twelve and I had reached a point of not copying with him on my own anymore. His father had been absent from his life for huge chunks of time, then the period of transition into teens became really intense.

I can’t believe just how much easier my co-parenting relationship is now. But then, God, it was hard.

It just felt, and I’m sure that other people must have felt this, that we were so much at logger heads with my ex that it was not possible to find the love anymore. Our relationship felt completely irreparable.

We were so far down the line of blaming, judging and accusing. The pair of us were really angry and stuck in it. We could only see the worst parts of one another and it was like a dog with a bone, neither would let go.

Fortunately for me, Dorota found the tiniest thread of compassion in me which started to bring in a chink of light and a bit of hope and softness in me.

What especially helped me was acknowledging my anger and pain and making all of my feelings and the way I was trying to express them okay. That was really important for me.

When Dorota helped me to drop under the rawness of these emotions, to the part that was hurting, I really softened. I found enough compassion to wonder about how my ex-partner was feeling too.

I was able to step into his shoes and have compassion for his experience. I saw that we were BOTH doing the best with what we knew…

It’s really difficult when you have such a massive history with someone and when you’re doing it on your own to come from a loving place. More than that, it felt impossible.

Dorota told me: “You don’t have to reply now. You can step back from it, feel it, move through it first.”

It felt amazing to have my hand held through that process of acknowledging what I was really feeling, letting go of that, softening and seeing my ex’s response soften over time too.

He stopped projecting everything at me, all his anger and upsets.

Before, he’d been throwing everything he could at me, dredging up the most painful stuff from our history, from even ten years before.

Dorota held me back from replying in the same fiery way.

Because I wasn’t engaging in THAT way anymore, he didn’t have anything to fight with.

He looked at his own side of things instead and has really shifted.

He’s softer. He’s apologised to our son for the times when he got really angry with him. I see him owning his side of things and working to rebuild trust with our son.

It seems that we’re speaking the same language now and he’s really taken on the responsibility for our boy.

My ex-partner seems quite a different person after I started relating to him from a deeper place in me.

In fact, he’s been here helping our son a lot this week and I had to say to him: “Hey, I need you to go, I really need to get this work call done.’

It’s a huge relief because boys really need their dad.”

J.A, Transformational Breath (R) Facilitator, UK