If this is the first time you are getting divorced, getting served a divorce petition by a process server can send you into shock.  Your world as you know it is suddenly upended. “Stunned”, “surreal”, “mind-bending” are terms men use to describe the initial feeling after the reality of a divorce petition sinks in. That can be a matter of hours or days as you suddenly are forced to think about where you’ll sleep – the den, a friend’s place, a hotel. A part of you will be saying, “I can’t believe this is happening. What is happening?”

This is what it is to be in shock. Shock dulls your thinking, makes you forget appointments, confused… Unlike feeling out of it from a lack of sleep or a hangover, when you’re in shock, you don’t know that your cognitive abilities are compromised. You need other people to tell you that you’re not thinking or functioning normally.  You’ll be surprised to hear this because the insidious nature of shock prevents you from realizing you’re in shock. You think you are coping well with the situation — you’re getting up, getting dressed, and head off to work each day.  However, things are different — you head out to work only to realize it’s Sunday and you don’t work on Sunday. Or you forget your cell phone at home when it’s too late to turn back to retrieve it.  Shock handicaps our ability to function.  And, to make matters worse, shock wafts in and out seizing then releasing your mind over and over again. Needless to say, this is not an ideal time to make major life decisions on your own. Align yourself with someone who understands you well and understands the mercurial nature of being in shock.