I’m 16 years old. My parents had divorced a few years earlier, mainly because of my father’s alcoholism. And now, my mother is marrying another alcoholic, and my father, who I felt close to, moves 1,500 miles away.

I feel lost and my self-worth drops. I’m thinking: Does anyone care about me?  (By the way, I never saw my dad again, and he died when I was 42.) My new step father dies of a heart attack a year after my mother marries him. So, I meet an older guy, who I’m thinking will give me the security I need, and we get married when I’m 19.

Now I’m 28 years old. By then, I had three horrendous pregnancy losses: A stillborn girl at eight months, then an ectopic pregnancy that required surgery, and a premature baby that didn’t survive. My husband cheats on me with a prostitute and is addicted to various sedatives, and threatens me with bodily harm, so I get a restraining order and a divorce. I had moved to a state where I didn’t have friends, I had lost my children, and at the age of 28, I feel like my life is OVER.

But I pull myself together and start to feel good about myself again. I meet someone who reminds me of my father’s good qualities. I’m feeling like this is the one, so we get married. It’s three years later, and what seemed like a “nice guy” is really someone who is very angry, and is making threats and damaging my car. I get another restraining order and another divorce, and the loneliness is back.

Now I’m 38 years old, and I’m in another troubled relationship. I’m sitting in a psychologist’s office telling her my problems. After about 30 minutes of this she looks at me and says “excuse me, do you have the word DOORMAT written on your forehead?” 

This is the defining moment, and I realize that the answer to my problems are INSIDE of me, and that I’m the one that holds the power. All those years of feeling disempowered by other people are now over. It’s time to totally shift my thinking, and to love myself.

I start my journey within by reading books on self-empowerment and mindset. I had been working in corporate for 22 years and worked my way up to be a top analyst for a major bank. It’s there that I hone my skills of digging deep to find answers. And, I discover I have this intuitive ability to help people solve the mystery of why they’re stuck, and to move on and create a life that’s authentic to them.

I study mind-body wellness, become a transformational life coach and clinical hypnotherapist helping people to go deep, heal their past and create a future that’s aligned with who they really are (including better relationships). I write an award-winning book that helps people to lose weight by healing from the inside out without diets that leave them feeling even worse about themselves.

My mother, who is living with dementia before she passes away, is able to benefit from my help. (My mother and I became best friends by the way.)

I became involved in a relationship with a narcissist, and learn allot about love-bombing, gaslighting, and finally being discarded in addition to other psychological tactics of the narcissist.

Ultimately, I learned about relationships (what works and what doesn’t work) through my own life and work, including experiencing narcissistic abuse. I know that in order to attract the right relationship, we must heal our heart and work on our own limiting beliefs and insecurities. We also must have an awareness of the other person.

Currently, I live in Arizona, which I absolutely love, doing the work that lights me up and fills my soul while I help others to reconnect with themselves and discover self-love, their inner power to transform their life and have successful relationships.

Need help to heal, get unstuck and move forward now?

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Kathleen with Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Kathleen with high performance coach and best selling author Brendan Burchard.