19. Holding Pattern 2…
For those of you who, like us, have never been to court. There are a few things that you need to know. The first is that you need to begin living by the principle, “Hurry up and…wait”!
One thing you should know about my husband, is that he is that he likes to be organised. Brad needs to know when things are going on and likes to have a plan. Brad has spreadsheets for his spreadsheets. He likes to have an element of control over his life. Being on time, means being twenty minutes early. You get the point!
What this process has taught us, or challenged us in Brad’s case, is that you cannot hurry up these things and sometimes the best made plans can be blown to bits in a matter of seconds.
We naively thought that once charges were laid on Leon, we would then be headed to court. No one mentioned the mentions; a mere few minutes in court, where a date is set for another mention. We thought that we’d have to attend each time that Leon’s name appeared on the Court List. So, Brad would dutifully head down to the Court House, only to find that the mention was done and dusted before he’d even found a car park.
We had Interim Apprehended Violence Orders, and then the real thing. Mentions of charges laid, and then mentions of more charges being laid. Mentions to set court dates, and mentions to request more time. It went on and on and on. It was confusing and tiresome.
An eye-opening issue that we faced was that all correspondence related to the AVO and court dates, was sent addressed to the children. In our house the rule had been that you could only open mail addressed to you, so there were a few occasions early on when, Kate particularly, got a nasty surprise in the mail. I called the “Department of Justice” and urged them to have a re-think about their process of disseminating information to children. I don’t believe there has been a change.
We found that we had to develop a new mindset to navigate this road that we now found ourselves on. I resolved, early on, to relinquish control to the “gods of the courts” and to go with the flow- it was hard to be in this state, but for the sake of my children and my sanity, I knew that I had to let it go. For Brad, it was harder because it felt like going against his very nature.