Coping With Divorce - Part 2
By Judy Churchill - Judy also featured in the Anna Fill Interviews.
Part 2 of 7
The Everyday Practicalities
When we are in a state of distress and turmoil, the emotional brain takes over and our rational thinking brain appears to go into hibernation. This means that everyday tasks such as organizing the shopping, doing the washing, getting the repairs done, paying the bills, seeing the bank manager, supervising the children’s homework, filling in forms for school trips, etc take a back seat or feel like insurmountable obstacles. We do not feel motivated or in some cases have no experience in certain areas, especially if this was previously a task that our partner took responsibility for. Again your “rock” can help you with this. If you have chosen to take on coach, then they will be able to prioritize your daily responsibilities for you and set about developing a plan to help you accomplish them. If you are relying on family or friends, you will need to ask them to give you a wake-up call from time to time armed with a check list to make sure you are keeping your head above water. It is also a good idea to make an appointment to see a social worker who can help you determine what benefits (if any) you are entitled to along with the administrative procedures you need to go through to register your new status.
Everyday practicalities also mean making sure you have a lawyer who can protect your legal interests and fight any unpleasant battles on your behalf. You should steer clear of any contentious dialogue with your ex, however tempted you may be to settle the score personally. You will only aggravate the situation. With emotions running out of control it is impossible to be objective, so leave that to your emotionally detached lawyer and save your emotions and energy for more positive pursuits. Your lawyer should preferably be able to speak your mother tongue as well as the language he/she will have to plead in. If this is not the case, make sure you use the services of an interpreter as you do not need the added stress of struggling to understand the legal implications of your situation.
If you have children, try to organize some help. Even if you do not work, you will need some ‘me’ time and there will also be times when your frustration gets the better of you and you will need a buffer to stop you taking it out on the children. Should you be unable to afford paid help, try to organize a baby-sitting pool with some friends, where you can mutually help each other out. Do not underestimate your own inability to cope with even the most basic of tasks. You are going through a period of intense stress where even the simplest everyday tasks will seem challenging.