Skip to content

Category: Doing Divorce

Angela Dunne provides practical advice based on real examples of what she and her clients have faced through the transition of divorce.

Category: Doing Divorce

Angela Dunne provides practical advice based on real examples of what she and her clients have faced through the transition of divorce.

Another Anniversary

I never know how to feel on June 8th.  There are some things for which there are no rules, guidelines, or instructions.  This year’s June 8th would have been my 21st wedding anniversary.  Is it nostalgia, sadness, disappointment?  Does it serve as a reminder of my biggest life failure?  My largest regret? The answer is none of these. My parents are in the process of selling their home.  As a result, they went old-school and held a garage sale.  I dutifully went down to my basement to see if there was anything to purge. My brother and I sorted through
Read More

Perfect Ending: How My Divorce Cured My Perfectionism

As a child, I was annoyed when other kids colored outside the lines.  I fundamentally did not comprehend how people could not stay in a straight line behind our teacher on the way to the cafeteria. I could spend hours organizing coins, decks of cards, or colors – by strict classifications of size, color, and numerical order. These were early signs of my Type A personality being born. As I moved into junior high and high school, I over-achieved with a jammed-packed activity schedule while working 2 jobs and maintaining Honor Roll level grades.  A crumpling crying feeling would strike if I
Read More

Letting Her Go

She waited for me every single morning to start her day.  First while standing up in her crib with a big smile. Then even when she was a toddler and transitioned to her “big girl bed” (a twin bed), she wouldn’t get out of her bed until I came in to greet her.  Each morning for the first years of her life I would wrap her in my arms, feel her breath on my neck, and we would start our day… together. At seven, when her dad and I divorced, I let go of half her mornings.  I also let
Read More

Words Well Written

“I need to get this out so you can read it and know where I’ve been, where I’m at now, and where I want to be.” My writing partner recently sent me some draft work to “review and comment” for him. He is writing from a place of self-discovery and his writing is autobiographical in nature.  He is writing difficult and vulnerable memories. At the end of his pages was a letter to his spouse.  I wasn’t sure if I was meant to read it or not, but I knew it no doubt held a deeper level of the hard work he was
Read More

Connecting the Dots

“First, are you really lonely?” He challenged me in the chat box, “You seem to have many friends with various roles in your life.  A few of your relationships seem deeply satisfying.” He was right.  “He,” is a friend as far back as middle school now reconnected on social media along with a whole community of others.  He pushed further, “Does being an introvert make you lonely?  The way you talk about your hobbies in general indicate to me they give you great joy.” He was right – about all of it.  In just that week alone, I had had a heart-to-heart with Susan, coffee
Read More

Buffering the Barriers: Part III in a Series on Loneliness

The concern in his voice struck me right after I answered the second ring with “Hello?”  “What is with this lonely stuff?  You are good right?”  He asked likely already knowing that his big sister was fine. “I am fine,” I replied trying to keep the exasperation undetectable in my response. I wasn’t lying or pacifying or placating.  “Well, let’s get lunch soon,” he said lovingly fulfilling his brotherly duty to me and offering his solution to what he perceived as my problem. While knowing that connection is the antidote to loneliness, by the time my brother called, it was
Read More

Surrendering to Shame: Part II in a Series on Loneliness

I clicked on “send” before my brain could stop me.  “Shit.”  I sighed and closed my laptop.  It was out there now.  I had confessed a deep dark feeling and there was nothing I could do now but wait. I had sent my longtime editor, coach, business partner, mentor, neighbor, hero, and dearest friend, Susan, the draft of my blog, Telling the Truth, to read and review. I hadn’t told anyone in my life I was feeling lonely as of late and admitting it in writing had left me reeling. Per usual, Susan’s encouragement came in like clockwork.  She answered my questions about the blog topic,
Read More

Telling the Truth: Part I in a Series on Loneliness

The path winds and twists ahead. I breathe in the musky pine air and feel the soft moss-covered ground support my steps.  The birds beckon me with their trills and tweets. I pause to sit on a sturdy wood carved bench forcing myself into my meditation to-do. Instead, the tears gather at the corners of my eyes afraid to budge.  In the shallow first second, I want to laugh believing that the welling wetness in my eyes is born from the ever-present frustration I carry of not being able to quiet my mind. (Ever).  But as I sit with my
Read More

Caught in the Catch

I knew what I was seeing before I knew what I was seeing. My brain worked hard to protect my mom heart. What is that?  Is that a highlighter? I pulled the top off not to expose a highlighter tip, but rather a menthol pack.  Oh. OH.  My fifteen-year-old culprit daughter was in the basement working on a cheer routine.  My mind raced as I ticked through options of how best to address this.  I sent the photo to her dad and his only response was “That’s not good.”  Well, that wasn’t good either – how was I supposed to handle this?  Do I
Read More

The Why

“I can’t imagine what it feels like,” I heard myself utter in quiet dismay.  I watched from behind the news reporter and the camera as my clients were asked “Why? How does it feel? Why do you love your sons?  How do your sons feel? Why fight this battle? What is next?”  The big tv camera lens will soon morph to a microscopic lens as the court evaluates these women as parents and whether or not they should be treated the same as unwed opposite-sex parents. The truth is that I can try to imagine it – I just don’t
Read More

Archives