Can you believe it? I’m sitting in Family Court for the second time in a month.
I’m not worried. I’ve been here before and have advised my clients on how to manage their time inside this emotionally-charged environment.
Family Court is where people go for orders of protection and/or issues with child support and custody.
Supreme Court is where one goes to get divorced.
While these places are known to have great power in our lives, they’re still powerless against the emotional pain that enters through their doors daily. The heartbreak, anger, and fear are visible everywhere.
When you’re dealing with a narcissist, this difficult emotional experience is magnified!
Understanding Our Emotions
Our emotions are ‘energy in motion.’
We can feel when someone is ecstatic with love and celebration Their presence is magnetic and delightful. We are drawn to family and friends that live in positive emotional energy and harmony.
Likewise, we can also sense when one is depressed, hopeless, and/or discouraged. Their energy feels heavy and depleted.
When exposed to someone with heavy depleting energy we feel the “black hole” affect pulling us down. This is a perfect description of how it feels to be around a narcissist.
Such negative energy is generally the atmosphere that fills the rooms of Family and Supreme Court.
How to Cope Emotionally
When clients attend either Supreme or Family Court our coaching provides effective strategies for how to deal with these emotions. This is especially important when your ex-partner has a personality disorder.
It is absolutely important to step into these buildings with the full protection of your emotional armor. Bring a friend to support you or headphones to block out the negative energy. For such tough times, our 12 Step Recovery Program is an effective tool to have.
Emotionally protecting yourself will keep you calm and clear in your thoughts. Thinking clearly and remaining calm will have a positive impact on your experience and enable you to be effective. You’ll be able to stand your ground or pick and choose when to engage or disconnect.
I wrote the above portion of this post prior to entering the courtroom with my ex-husband. With my headphones on and calming music in my ears, I felt at peace and prepared to go before the judge.
Here’s What Unfolded...
The judge, who was a rather cranky individual, asked questions, snapped at each of us, then finally sent us both to the waiting room to “negotiate” an agreement between ourselves.
It was in this moment, my plan began to fall apart.
I could not adhere to my stern rule of no conversations with my ex-husband.
He’s a narcissist. He speaks loudly so everyone can hear. He accuses rather than discusses.
What unfolded was a perfect reminder of why I set such firm boundaries.
After some attitude and character assassination of both me and our children, I fell for the bait.
I got triggered and responded with hurtful statements that made me feel horrible about myself. We even got scolded by the court officer and forced to take our argument into the hall. I felt frustrated, upset, and embarrassed.
I reset my boundary and told him that I would not talk to him anymore. And while he continued his attempt to talk with me, I calmly walked away from him and placed my headphones back on, blocking out his words. Soon, we were called back before the judge.
I knew that the only viable solution was to cut and run by going with his preferred proposal. It was NOT about the details of our disagreement.
I had entered the courthouse knowing the best and worst-case scenario. I had completely surrendered to the outcome.
While I sat in my car, I began to sob. The emotional impact of the morning began to show. My history of living with this behavior for years had penetrated my present-day life. My utter frustration for how my ex behaves and how I engaged was painfully apparent.
I called my sister and a few friends. I processed what I was feeling. I decided that I would go home, clear my calendar, and work on my garden to release emotions.
What I did was two-fold. First, I took care of myself instead of trying to minimize the impact of my day. I took the time to process and release the heavy emotional energy felt earlier that day.
Second, I talked to my support-circle to understand my feelings and what I needed to process them.
Our best plans may not always succeed in keeping us out of the fray of stress and conflict.
Setting a plan, doing our best, then surrendering to the outcome is the best course of action.
If you’re like me, you may feel wounded on the other side, so have a plan for that too. Surround yourself with loving people and take care of yourself.
By keeping the focus on ourselves, each experience is an opportunity for us to learn about ourselves, heal, and grow. Our online divorce support community helps you with such experiences.
Experience the difference during your divorce process with the genuine support and strategic plans from our community.
Go ahead and grab a free trial here.