The courage I spoke of in my last post has really been put to the test this past fortnight.
I spoke of ‘passive’ courage (showing strength in a difficult situation beyond your control) and ‘active’ courage (choosing to change a situation). There is another place one may find oneself and that is in the limbo nowhere land of a marital property settlement process. Being caught in that place of nothingness, between the past and future, I am not able to move onto my new life. I am like a butterfly transformed from the caterpillar yet unable to fly away.
These are the downsides of the property settlement process:
- Dealing with my previous life-partner in opposition to me.
- Being continually confronted with loss of dreams, as they are removed layer by layer
- Feeling out of control as the process is dictated by professionals, mainly lawyers.
- Wading through the mud of the gathering of information and processing it.
- Keeping everything ‘alive’ (ie: the business) while the process is taking place
- This is not something I can get over, it is something I must get through.
It is like prison. I am playing a waiting game and yet it requires much time, thought and action from me. Waiting for legal steps to complete; acting on required administrative steps when requested; when all emotions and brain-mush need to be swept aside in order to remain clear-headed and act with logic and reason.
So last week when a few big decisions and actions were required of me in an already busy ‘normal’ week; as I became over-whelmed with the complexities of what needed to be done and the time it would require of me; as I batted with unspoken rage and resentment; as my mind was spinning out of control; as emotions flared and brain-mush returned; I sat down in a quiet moment and ……
….. I realised that it was quiet.
The torment was in my mind.
After some time in that quiet place, my logical clear-thinking brain returned and I planned my week. I then spent time each morning in an activity for myself, then sat quietly in reflection. Doing something for me first thing each day helped squash the feelings of ‘it’s not fair I have to do this’ resentment. However, I made sure I cut the ‘me’ time short so the days did not turn into complete days of nothing. If stressed, I become good at having days of doing nothing. With so much to do, I could not let that happen.
The next part of each day (from 8am) I did a few hours of marital mud processing; then I began normal business activities later in the day. In the evenings I considered the important pressing decisions. Choosing to do marital mud before beginning my real work day was an important coping strategy. When I leave it until the end of the day I battle all day with underlying rage that another evening will be ruined in divorce mud. It is better to get it over with. Pain before pleasure. I also took Thursday off in order to get through the mud. It was awful spending a whole day in the mud, and I took frequent breaks. I got through it. (Phew…. relax for a bit).
Something for me
One of the hardest things I have been struggling with is not being able to find any shred of positiveness in this part of the process. In overcoming grief, you gain grace. In striving to a new life you gain self-esteem. In wading through a marital property settlement process you gain nothing. Yes, patience and perseverance are admirable qualities (and definitely needed) but this week I needed more. I needed something for myself.
Then I thought of one small thing. In the back and forth of many documents between umpteen people I have learned a lot in document management and high-level technical intricacies behind word-processing and spreadsheet applications. These new skills will be of benefit to me in my future endeavors. This may seem like a totally fruitless thing to cling onto. It is not. It is a tiny spark of hope. All is not lost. I still have my spirit for learning new things. Something, one tiny something, has been gained.