I’m really starting to lose it
* a court case side note
Sometime between the Mediation in the summer and the first Deposition in December, the anxiety set in.
An excerpt from my journal sometime around this time:
The court date has been set. The case is moving forward and neither one of us is backing down. My anxiety has set in and I feel it in my stomach.
I feel the discomfort in my body. And on top of this, I’m pushing ahead with a big project for work. I’m questioning myself – and I feel it deep down in the pit of my stomach.
I have to get out of my head but I don’t know how.
It’s harder than I thought it would be – having to sort through and re-read all those emails to find the ones for the best lawyer ever to submit to the court. Having to re-live all those fights, all those emotions, all that crap again.
I’m doing the best I can – but how can I stop this feeling in my stomach?
And then there was this journal entry:
I feel like I’m slowly losing my shit. I’m letting this get into my head, losing sleep and spending way too much time dealing with this crap when I need to be working.
And then things like today happen …. the chaos over Jake’s cell phone. After all these years of jerkface preventing me from talking to my son, he decided that I MUST leave Jake’s phone on at all times so can he call him when he wants.
The same phone I paid for so I had a way to talk to my son. The same phone he takes and hides from Jake when my son goes to his house for the weekend so I can’t call him or even send a good night text.
He acts like he’s still in charge of me.
And on and on it goes …. the legal BS, the paperwork, the meetings, all of it. It’s pushing me, stressing me, bringing me back to that place where I’m yelling again.
I don’t like that person who yells and screams and says things that a child is too young to hear and understand.
And I feel guilt and shame for acting that way and saying those things. I need to change the way I’m reacting. I can’t go back to being mean mommy.
A Little Lawyer’s Advice
At one of the many many meetings with the best lawyer ever, I started to cry.
Not one of those ugly cries but the kind where you’re having a conversation and you feel your nose starting to twitch. And no matter how hard you try to keep it in, that tear slowly drips out of your eye.
The best lawyer ever handed me a tissue and said, let’s take a break. I ran to the bathroom before he could see the rest of the tears run down my face. Thankfully, it was just a quick five minute burst.
Face washed and tissues in my pocket, I went back to his office and finished up our meeting. As he walked me to the door, he said, “Can I give you a little lawyer’s advice? Do you have a counselor?”
I shook my head no. He opened the door and said, “Get one.”
That’s when I met Amanda
I found my new counselor Amanda through my insurance company. Her office was close to my home, she was calm but positive and she told me that it was OK if I wanted to cuss.
If I was going to do this, I was going to be all in. And I knew that there would be several moments when I was telling her about the ex that the words jerk and crap just wasn’t going to cut it.
We met every month (sometime twice a month during the rough patches) from the beginning of Jan 2015 until the end of the trial. It took me at least 3 sessions just to give her the background information so she knew how to help me. I had to go all the way back to my marriage, the nasty divorce and now this ridiculous waste of time and money for legal fees to feed that man’s ego.
And she helped – my god, she helped me. I know that’s her job but I often wonder if she ever really knows just how much talking to her helped me get through one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with in my life.
She pulled me out of that dark hole I was crawling into and reminded me that I wasn’t losing my mind.
She was there for me when I had my deposition. She helped me deal with the disappointment when I discovered that my court date had been pushed back to Sept. She worked with me through the summer leading up to the trial, showing me how to be stronger and stand up for what I always believed was the right thing to do for my son.
After it was all over and I had won the case, we met for court date recap session. I shared with her everything that happened from the witnesses to the moment when the judge said that I had won.
I shared with her how incredible I felt when the whole thing finally ended. I told her, “It’s an amazing feeling, I finally feel like I got my power back.”
And Amanda said to me, “Your power back? Oh Penney, remember the story in the Wizard of Oz …. you never lost your power. You always had your power, you always had your power to come back home.”