The second session of my divorce class/group was Tuesday night, which means I had to wait until the following day to watch the new episode of Glee. Grrrrr. Looks like Hulu and I will be hanging out for the rest of the Glee-season (Gleason?). Anyway…
All day Tuesday I found myself getting more and more emotional, leading up to the time for class. Actually, I didn’t really realize it until I was driving to the guy’s house where we met. Then it kind of came together—oh, this is what I’m so jumpy about.
The group is still in the awkward stage (“forming” for any group gurus out there). It was good to hear from other people in the class, which only happened to a minimum the first week. I found that hearing bits and pieces of people’s stories was very evocative for me, and probably could have burst into tears at any point during the first hour and a half.
There was some laughing along with all the angst. We were talking about fears and one person articulated what many of us felt at one time or another: I’m afraid I won’t see my ex again…and I’m afraid I will. (It came off a little funnier at the moment, I think.) A couple of people brought up their fears of never finding love again. One woman asked if it was possible to ever enter in to another marriage again with the full belief that it wouldn’t end in divorce. One of the volunteers who had been through the class before, and had been married three times, nodded his head insistently and said, “Yes, it is possible. I did it twice.”
Part of the benefit for me, which I talked about a bit after the first session, is being around people who are in earlier stages of the divorce process. Some are struggling with attorneys; some aren’t even ready yet to think about the legal side. As the topic was fear, I realized that the fears I have now are so different that the fears that had me paralyzed seven or eight months ago. Back then, one of my biggest fears was that the mortgage company would foreclose on the house. Well, that happened, and I survived. It’s a crappy situation, but I’m not wracked with fear about the whole thing now.
The fears I have now are broader, less concrete. What if I’m alone forever? What if I’m not and it’s bad again? What if I never get over this?
Part of our “homework” is to do something concrete to address one of our fears. I had a really hard time with this, until I realized that something I’ve been putting off could help. I don’t make as much money as I would like to. I don’t even make as much money as I used to, at the job I really hated (before the big separation and all that). I have had a general plan to start working on getting my clinical licensure (LCSW—now I’m just an LMSW, if that means anything to you), which, when I get it, could lead to better jobs with better pay. Basically, I need to find a supervisor for clinical hours, do a bunch of paperwork for the state, etc., and accrue a boatload of hours working under clinical supervision. Completing the hours will take over two years, I think. Because of that, it’s been very easy to put off, and off, and off. In addition, when I interviewed for my current position, it seemed unclear if I could even get clinical hours in my job (because of the kind of work I do on a day-to-day basis, it seemed that the state might not approve the hours I work as “clinical.”). Well, a couple of weeks ago, my co-worker told me she was just approved by the state to start accruing clinical hours. Which means…I can do the same. I’ve just got to get my shit together and start the process. Luckily, there is someone in my agency who can fill the role of clinical supervisor. So, part of my homework this week is to talk to that person about how to get started in the process. Just a little piece, but I’ve been feeling a lot of money stress lately, and at least I will feel like I’m moving in a positive direction for my career.
Starting the whole LCSW process has been on my mind, and on my mental “list” for a while, but if it weren’t for getting challenged in my small group session Tuesday night, I don’t think I would be getting to it anytime soon.
One last thing about group session #2: I brought up the topic of abuse. I was definitely not planning to do so, and definitely not in front of the whole group. We were discussing contact with our exes, and what the best way to do that is, etc. The conversation went here, there, and everywhere, and apparently I felt the need to speak up. I said that I didn’t have contact with my ex and don’t foresee that changing, and that I thought that was the healthiest thing for me because there was abuse in our relationship. Afterward, I felt a bit silly, like I had said too much, like nobody understood or agreed with me, like I had opened myself up more than I was ready to do.
Later, during the break, two of the women who were sitting by me spoke to me about my outburst sharing. Turns out they both had similar situations and were really grateful I said something. So there’s that.
Next week we’ll discuss “dumpers and dumpees.” Should be interesting.
P.S. I just realized that I don’t think I ever posted here about the “job uncertainty” update. More money was found, apparently miraculously, and my job is safe. I have job security for the foreseeable future.