Court, shopping and withdrawing

It’s become obvious that I’ve been withdrawing from everything lately.  It always starts slowly… I’ll sit at my desk, rather than go out with the others for breaks at work; I’ll leave the car out with the intention of going to take photos, but end up putting it away a few hours later because I’m “too tired” or it’s now “too dark” to take photos.  I wasn’t really sure why I’ve been withdrawing, or rather, which particular stressor was causing the withdrawal.  I only knew that is was happening.  Yesterday, I moved one step closer to eliminating one stressor – the dissolution of my marriage.  The laws in New Zealand require you to have been separated from your partner for two years before you can dissolve the marriage (get a divorce).  That milestone was up on 14 February of this year.  So we took the papers to the Family Court to start the official process… it was an interesting trip which caused the activation of ones that hadn’t been present for quite some time.

We took two hours off work to take the papers to court, thinking that would be plenty of time for the fairly simple matter of handing over some papers and paying a fee… how wrong was I!

It started off well… we went into the Family Court reception and were served by the nice lady who took our Protection Order application nearly two years ago.  She checked the forms, notarized them where it was appropriate and double checked that none of our personal details appeared on the forms to protect us from any contact from the husband.  Then we asked some seemingly innocent questions about what would happen next… in particular asking about how he was to be notified of the dissolution when we didn’t know where he lived…  This is where the smooth operation came to a screaming halt.

“What do you mean you don’t know where he lives?”  The slightly stunned clerk asked…
“Well, we actively try to avoid knowing anything about him because of the Protection Order.”
“So, what’s this address here…” as she points to the address we’ve listed.
“That’s his lawyers address.”  We reply, thinking it makes perfect sense to serve the papers to his lawyer.
“You can’t serve the papers to his lawyer, it has to be him in person.”
“But… I have no idea where he is.”
“You need to try and find him.”

At this point, the clerk confers with another worker about the situation and asks what my options are…  Meanwhile we’re dissociating, spinning and trying to keep it together despite the internal chaos… we can’t find him… don’t make us have to find him… don’t make us talk to him or his family again…

After a rather convoluted discussion, the clerk comes back to tell us that we have to try and find him through any means necessary; but if we can’t, we can fill in another form to say that the papers can be served on his parents…  But we still need someone to serve them… Someone over 18 to serve the papers to them in person…  Someone would have to go to his parents house, knock on the door and give the papers to them…

This news brought another round of dissociation and internal noise… we can’t go to the witch’s house… she hates us… she’ll yell at us… please don’t make us!

Thankfully another woman yelled out that we could pay someone from the court where they live to serve the papers on our behalf…

This just left the problem of trying to find him!  So off to the public library we went, looking for electoral roles…  We walked there thinking it would be quicker than taking the car, but on the way there was all sorts of activation by different parts… Can we buy a toy?  Oh look, a sale!  Can we go see that movie?  That’s a pretty dress. The desire to get sidetracked was immense… there was so much panic about trying to find the husband.  With each comment, suggestion or pull, M tried to assure each one that we would go back later, but that we really needed to find the husband to make us all safe.

We found that the husband hadn’t changed his details official details from when he lived with us.  We tried telephone directories and the Internet, but couldn’t find him.

There was another round of attempted distractions on the way back to court, but M deflected each one.  When we returned to court, we filled in even more paperwork to say that we’d tried to find the husband.  All the while, the internal noise was getting louder and louder.

It was only when we were driving away that the noise quietened.  So much so, that by the time we got to a toy store, to keep the promise of buying something later, all the young ones had gone quiet.

On the surface, I can see the noise and chaos was an indication of our stress about the situation.  But, I think it goes deeper than that.  It was about our fear of having to do anything to do with him, fearing possibly having to see him again, fear that he will react when he gets the papers…  It’s also about dissolving the marriage, and therefore admitting we made a mistake in getting married… it’s an indication of our failure.

I still feel the anxiety, disconnection and withdrawal from life… I don’t quite know how to ease that.  I’ve tried making an appointment with my psychiatrist to get a review of my medication, but need ACC approval and funding before I can go – which means it could be several months before I get in to see him.  This week, I’m wanting to quit therapy…  I cancelled Jo and have come close to cancelling Liz several times.  Everything about therapy annoys me at the moment – trying to talk, all of Liz’s responses, her making us draw when we retreat and can’t talk…

We found this photo called Just Red by Burning Image… it’s a good representation of how we’re feeling…

Just Red


16 thoughts on “Court, shopping and withdrawing

  1. Hi CG,

    Yesterday was huge! Amazing! I see so many positives…. while I know you see a lot of it as negative.

    Think of what you were able to do: You went to court to do something really important for the safety of all of you; and it will help. And you went to court knowing how dangerous your relationship was and how scared inside is about him.

    Then you listened to inside (despite your feeling so disconnected) and attended to inside and compromised (“let me do this, and I will go the store for you”).

    The fear reactions you are having to this situation are completely normal.

    I know you feel disconnected… and you are… but you are doing the right things internally… and now you have to ask for help from your therapist and maybe that will take the pressure off of all of you.


    • *Sigh*… you cheerleader you 🙂

      Part of me knows that what I did was incredibly important and healing. But, it was so so scary!

      Everything is out of balance… I’m looking at toy stores, while other parts are looking at butcher knives… I’m trying to arrange an urgent psychiatric visit, while other parts are planning to overdose… I’m playing Rock Band on the iPhone, while other parts are dreaming of self injury…

      Unfortunately, I think we’ve reached out to Liz too late. Her responses are being met with swear words and scorn. We are experiencing a mix of lashing out at people like a wounded cat and being totally clinical about everything. The contradictions are immense and I’m lost as to how to bring some balance back into my life and the system.

      But now, I’m off to a different toy store to see if I can find a toy for Katie… she was so brave yesterday!

      Take care,

  2. No wonder it’s all out of balance and you feel anxiety, disconnected and withdrawal 😦
    This is incredible. It makes me speechless, that the court expected this from you, though you have a protection order. This is really absolute crazy. But you can be so proud of how you handle this terrible situations.

    I really hope, that you will find a extraordinary beautiful toy for Katie.

    Thinking of you. Take good care ((()))

    • Hi LostShadowChild,

      It stunned us that we were meant to know where he lived. Surely we’re not the only person to no longer know where their ex-partners are after two years?? I even asked if we could send it to his parents through registered mail, but apparently that isn’t good enough, it has to be by someone in person – why that is different from registered mail, I don’t know!

      We’re still looking for a toy that Katie likes… all the big department stores had a really poor selection of toys, so now we’re going into the specialty stores 🙂

      Take care ((()))

  3. Oh wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Well done! I know this was scary – and doubly so because of the confusion inside – but you did it. What an amazing achievement! Well done you! ((hugs))


  4. Wow. I thought American courts were crap! I’m with the fellow commentors. You did great. How would you have been last year or so?

    Sometimes it’s okay to withdraw, regroup, etc..

    Do you feel it’s best to stop therapy now? I used to quit therapy when it actually became personal and I might have to really look at myself and make changes.

    May the rest of your week be serene, peaceful, and full of rainbows and unicorns! Just a thought…but I mean it.


    • Hi Lisa,

      I think I would’ve been more clinical last year… there would have been less attention paid to trying to take care of myself and even think of buying a toy as a treat would have been out of the question. In some respects I miss that detachment from the internal chaos.

      I’m not sure about therapy. I know that it’s probably a reaction to the stress and withdrawal from everything that I’m feeling like quitting. I know that different ones are not feeling as if Liz is doing things correctly, but I don’t know how she could do things “correctly”. It’s all pretty messy.

      We have two stuffed toys who happen to be unicorns 🙂

      Take care,

  5. Yup, I echo the others. What you have accomplished and what you are going thru is incredibly difficult in so many ways.
    So while DD can be exhausting, sometimes its useful.
    Its so hard w/so many opposing strong thots.
    My T would say to me to keep listening inside, one at a time.
    Seems thats pretty much what you been doing.
    I dunno that you can do much else, its just friggin hard what your going thru, no two ways about it. HARD stuff.
    Its ok to have anger and fear and stuff, totally makes sense.
    I think those emotions, you talk about them acknowledge them and kinda surf thru them sorta, and they somehow magically pass….
    I dunno, I’m not there yet, but thats what I been told.
    You sure are doing right things.
    Thats so cool, gives me hope it does.

    • Hope you got in to see T. Even just to connect a bit. Don’t allus got to be bout ‘work’. Sometimes just to touch base is enuf to help.
      Hope you doing OK.

      • I know what you mean about touching base, but I can’t do it as it seems like attention seeking… It messes with my head too much.

        Take care of yourself 🙂

        • Attention seeking, or seeking to have some needs met? Which is s’posed to be a good thing to do…
          Though that being said, sometimes a break from T can be a good thing.But not if its in a punish way.Or retreat mode.
          I think its usu kid parts that want to touch base and that really tends to piss other parts off.
          Crap, this stuff is confusing huh?
          And your exactly right, I just said something bout that on a board. Bout how I can’t really know how it feels when I am not in the middle of a bad time, cuz when you are in it, its just nuts. But then I consider, that that is a good time to reach out, on blogs, boards, to friends, or T. Cuz that does help.
          Be kind to alla you. As so many DD people do, you seem to have such a kind heart. Maybe thats why T’s are willing to work with us, even tho we got to be the most frustrating clients on the planet!(IMHO, ATM anyways, I am….ugh).
          Take care,
          Lotsa good in you.
          Things’ll get better again.
          They just will. Its like some kinda law, things that go down, must come up again….(yeah I know the real version..LOL!)
          I love lafiin when I can, makes my heart sing.

          • Laughing is always good 🙂

            I seriously get messed up between attention seeking and looking to have my basic needs met. I can’t tell the difference between the two, so I withdraw rather than run the risk of being labelled an attention seeker. I’ve never been good at reaching out… I often reach out in a defensive way, expecting to be yelled at or ignored, so people often don’t notice that I am reaching out.

            I honestly don’t know how the therapists cope with their clients. It’s not a job I could do… thankfully there are some out there willing to do it, and do it well.

            Take care
            CG 🙂

    • Hi Ones,

      Thank you for your support 🙂

      I know what you mean about it to seemingly magically disappear or be worked through… It’s just so confusing and overwhelming when you’re in the middle of it all.

      I don’t think I’m there either, but I’m working on it… You’re working on it to – I can tell from the glimpses you give here.

      Take care,

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