Marriage Education (ME) is touching the lives of couples, families and children across the country. “I Am ME” profiles people teaching relationship, fatherhood and marriage education classes in their local communities.
“As a parent in the special needs community, I constantly see parents with special needs struggling in their relationships. In this community, the risks of separation, misunderstanding, judgment, criticism, divorce, and depression are huge. Families need skills and support to navigate the challenges and stress of raising special needs children.“
Fabiola Ana Torrez considers herself a relentless seeker of truth. Born and raised in Bolivia, she has studied psychology, regressions, light energy reiki, flower essences, and raja yoga. Along with extensive community involvement and not-for profit work, both in Bolivia and the US, Fabiola is also fluent in three languages (Spanish, German and English). She is a Certified Awesomism Practitioner (AWE CP) and recently became a Certified PAIRS Instructor.
Fabiola is the proud mother of 10 year old Miguel Alejandro who, after presenting early age development delays, was diagnosed with autism at age five. Miguel is a gift in her life and a constant reflector of open-hearted, unconditional love. He also helped Fabiola to become clear on her passion and how to focus her extensive training, skills and life experiences. Fabiola is passionate about working with parents whose children have been diagnosed with Autism and anyone else that feels the opening of the heart is essential at this time. She sees the need for the collaborative development of support services and programs which facilitate connection and community building and offer forums for sharing, discovery and transformation.
1. What led you to want to teach marriage enrichment classes?
My whole life I have wanted to learn more about relationships. I grew up in doubt of what a “normal” relationship might look like. What really made me aware of the meaning and importance of being emotionally literate, was my first divorce, while having a child with autism. I became a single mom of a child who deserved to have the involvement of both parents. Even though his dad is very involved now, and I am blessed with that, it is never the same.
As a parent in the special needs community, I constantly see parents with special needs struggling in their relationships. In this community, the risks of separation, misunderstanding, judgment, criticism, divorce, and depression are huge. Families need skills and support to navigate the challenges and stress of raising special needs children.
Couples deserve to have all the tools possible to face life together. Life is not like pink roses, life is to learn. This is why I realized that a big part of my service to others is sharing my experience of life, the feelings of my heart sanctuary, but also to take a step further and use my talents to connect with people in the way of sharing information like PAIRS so that they can make a better and more conscious decision when facing any challenges.
2. What are some of the unique challenges facing couples/families today?
Some of the challenges that families/couple face these days are:
- A busy life when one of the parents or both of them have to work, not having the necessary time to spend with their children; and not having time for themselves at home or to date each other to keep their relationship alive.
- The financial challenges of the current times.
- Uncertainty of the future: How they can assist their children to prepare for life.
- False expectations of what a marriage is.
- Lack of knowing themselves.
3. How has being an instructor (or going through PAIRS training) affected your life/family?
I was blessed by attending two PAIRS Essentials workshops before becoming an instructor. In both of them I had great breakthroughs. I realized that I can work on relationships with simple tools, and that I needed to take the blindfold from my eyes when thinking that relationships will just function by itself or by using intuition. So just the expansion of awareness I had at the workshops was a great gift for me. I know today that if I would have had these tools during my first marriage, I would have been able to approach the challenges differently. I also saw that love is a feeling, but not enough to make a relationship work, and that in fact a relationship is something you deserve to work through. Also, in a special needs situation unconditional love and deep levels of acceptance and tolerance are necessary too. PAIRS helped me to be open to being vulnerable and to be teachable, qualities that can help partners and families create win-win situations for all.
4. What are some favorite hobbies you enjoy with your son?
We enjoy spending time together talking and sharing. We also like to spend time in nature, it is so relaxing and renewing. Once in a while we enjoy going to the movies or attending other artistic performances.
5. What qualities would you like your friends/family to most admire about you?
My open heart, and unconditional love. My passion and compassion. That I am a giver to the world and that my journey as a mother is one of the most important focuses of my life.
Click here to email Fabiola Ana Torrez
Phone: (305) 495-6433
Editor’s Note: If you’d like FatherhoodChannel.com to feature a Marriage, Fatherhood or Relationship Educator in your community, email their name, contact information, and a brief statement about why you’d like to see them featured to firstname.lastname@example.org.