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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer Question

Hi Kate...............................................
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Aha! I misinterpreted what you said. I got it now.

Talk soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kate,

I have been in one hell of a muddle, yesterday morning before I left for the lawyer I was looking at rentals in town, thinking that would be OK, and Poppy could come with me (she’d been saying it would be cool to live in town, not the city, but the local market town, so I was looking, didn’t find anything very inspiring). Then, as I was driving to my appointment I was thinking that I just need to get the divorce going, everything can stay as is, I will be free in my head and I can move on from being squashed into a corner, I can spread out a bit. Co-habiting was my thought that morning, that we could both just have separate lives, but both still live here (much as we are doing now I guess). I said it to Mark, he said you won’t be much better off than you are now, I know, but I will be released at least, and I can start to sort my head out properly. If I can’t make him go, and I want to stay, what choice do I have? I can’t keep hold of my thoughts, they are everywhere, all jumbled up, Adele did explain why, something about me not being used to having feelings bc I’ve kept everything tucked away, but I forget.

We are going for divorce asap, but there is no other way to have him out of the house except for the occupancy order, which Mark says is a last resort, BUT, should he become aggressive we can roll out a non-molestation order, and an occupancy order will often go with. Otherwise, I go, or WE stay. He said D doesn’t have to agree to a divorce, he can contest it in court, but Mark was in NO DOUBT what the outcome would be. I admit to panicking there. He is going to look at what he already has as ‘unreasonable behaviour’, and let me know if he needs more. I have asked him to run it by me before he sends it to D, I don’t want him going nuts bc of the reasons stated. So I have a few days to tell him. Not looking forward to that, but I am getting braver. And Mark said I can stop the process any time I want, I am in control.

I asked him how to communicate with him, what happens next, he said he has everything to get on with things now, but I could email anytime, or ring. I need to send him my marriage certificate (never to be seen again!!). Oh, and all the lawyers fees and court fees can be covered by legal aid bc I earn so little (ie I don't pay anything). So that is a relief (D was stabbing me with how much the lawyer costs on Wed, he’s stopped going on about how much K costs now he knows it’s free to skype- sad isn’t he?!)

If he resists the divorce it has to go to a hearing, (and HE won’t get legal aid, he will have to pay) he will have to hire a solicitor (unlikely) or represent himself. If he co-operates with everything (ie uncontested) then it should take 3-4 months, if not, a couple more. He can also choose to ignore the divorce papers, but they can still go ahead and grant a divorce even without his signature on the ‘simple tick box form’, but he will need to be served with the papers to establish that he has received them (I think that happens in court). The children are too old to be involved in custody, it is entirely their choice who they live with.

Mark said that both D and I will have to go to court at the same time to hear the divorce being read, and we both say something, about our situation I assume. That has really scared me.

I think I coped quite well with my appointment, he asked how things were, I told him his reaction to the letter, about the social services visit (I'd emailed him a copy of the email I wrote to the SS), and I told him about D's aggression that night while skyping (I'd emailed him that too), and I told him about my skype with K on Tuesday and him listening. He was very gentle and kind, and asked how the kids were coping. I told him about Poppy's behaviour lately, and with the SW at school. I tried to be as controlled as I could, but tears and anxiety was inevitable. It helped to be in no doubt as to the reason for my visit.

I had to go homw from that and spend an hour revising maths with Poppy before going to Kitty's with Poppy, so she could 'observe me at work' (learning at work day), which was nice, she was good company, and helped me with a couple of computer issues.

Then it was straight to see Adele, and I did better this week. I had emailed her about D eavesdropping, but said I was talking to a friend in my room (Kathy), not K, since I'm not supposed to be seeing her anymore. She knew I had emailed her, but she said she hadn't had a chance to read it. I wondered if that was for real, or whether she wanted to make me talk, that emailing what I want to say is too easy, and she wanted to make me speak. I may be totally wrong, and it only occurred to me after my session ended that this may have been the case.

But the session went well, I felt much more open, and I think I learnt a lot, but now I forget what! We talked about living in the same home as D, not sure what we concluded if anything. But she did jump up, and found a little action man figure, and put it on a chair. She said that's D, really and truly, and I needn't be afraid of him, unless he is violent of course, and I can stand up to him and his words and ways. I told her that it felt like I am always beneath a huge cushion being smothered, and he keeps pushing it down a little more each time. But, I said, and I sat up straight, I'm ready to fight my way out from under the cushions and beanbags (props in her room), and I pretended I was pushing them off me. She said woa, steady on H!! She said she was getting excited! I talked about my room, my sanctum, what it meant to me, and that there were parts of the house that I couldn't be in, bc he was there larger than life in every corner, and I couldn't be peaceful.

She kept me for a long session yesterday, but I was glad. She asked me if the way she worked was OK for me, wanted to know if she was too overwhelming for me, with her dramatic streak. I said no I need to bring myself out, but said that last week was very difficult for me bc I felt very introverted and could barely find any words at all, So when she asked me to role play I wasn't able to. She gave me a big hug when I left, and I felt good. It's very difficult to come straight home and have to talk to D as if I haven't been anywhere, or made any plans. I don't know if I'll tell him to expect a letter from my lawyer, K says I don't have to if it's going to make me stressed, and him abusive, so I'll see.

I have reminded myself, writing to you, that I need to send my marriage certificate off to Mark, so I will go do that right now.

Rose
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
Rose,

I understand that you feel trapped by Dave and want to find a way out and away from him. I would feel that way as well. It depends on what you really want to do. How important is it that you stay in your home compared to getting away from Dave? What if he stays in the home, makes it a mess or invites other women to live there? Would that be ok for you or cause you more stress? And how to you feel it would affect your parents? It's not your job to care for them and what they feel, but in terms of how much stress it would cause you is my thinking.

It seems your appointment with Mark went very well! I am happy to hear that you can divorce Dave no matter his opinion on it. And it's good that Mark will work on trying to get Dave out of the home based on what he has done so far. It may help you to keep the option open of contacting the police next time (and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX is never a next time!) Dave decides to act out and hurt you or the kids. Once he is on record by the police for acting out, I think you will have an easy time of it getting him removed.

If you do need to go to court to deal with the divorce, we can work together to find a way to make it easier on you. And K and Adele will help as well. You won't be alone.

I am sure glad the divorce won't cost you anything. That is great news! But it is a little disturbing that Dave is so controlling that he is upset that Skype might cost something. For one, you deserve to talk to K if you want to. And two, how much does his beer cost you and the family? I imagine a whole lot more than Skype and therapy combined. And beer is not helpful, only harmful. So what he is doing is about manipulation and control.

Your session with Adele sounded very supportive and helpful. I imagine that she brought up you and XXXXX XXXXXving together in the same home because it would be as detrimental as the situation you have now. Dave does not respect boundaries and will be even less inclined to do so if he is no longer married to you. So you will not gain any privacy or freedom living with him. It may help to consider how you could make it so hard to live with you that he must leave, like making him pay rent, share housing costs, make his own dinner, separating everything, etc. Maybe Mark has some ideas about what you can do legally. And Adele and K might have others as well.

If I don't talk with you again tonight, sleep well Rose!

Katex
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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