The In-Between Zone is the vulnerable space between your old life and the one yet unknown. It is full of chaos, confusion and fear. It is the emotional version of a literal earthquake.
- Are you worn out from trying to keep things from falling apart?
- Have you been shaken to your core?
- Do you feel your life is scattered in pieces around you?
Not everyone has these responses, but they are not uncommon experiences for those in the middle of a transition. And divorce is a huge transition.
Metaphors for the In-Between Zone
Many metaphors have been used to describe the In-Between Zone. One I particularly like is Star Trek’s transporter. While being transported, the person or item is broken down to mere molecules, which remain in flux until they are reassembled in a new place, often on an entirely different planet. Especially if you were in a long relationship, you may have all the feelings of being dumped onto an alien world. Time is different. The geography is different. The culture is different. If you are trying to retrain to reenter the job market, you may find that the skills that once served you no longer do. The world has changed around you. You may wonder how you will survive.
The Only Thing Certain in the In-Between Zone
The only thing certain in the In-Between Zone is uncertainty—an uncertain outcome, an uncertain identity, an uncertain future. Uncertainty makes us afraid. You may feel anxious when you have so little control. Like a car floating in a river, we steer like crazy but we are still at the mercy of the river. It’s hard not to worry about what is around the next corner.
In the In-Between Zone you may feel as though:
- you’ve been broken apart
- a part of you has died
- your anger is out of proportion
- you experience symptoms of grief
- your memory is less efficient or nonexistent
- you are numb
- you are lost and disoriented, much like a hiker lost deep in the woods
- you are vulnerable and scared
- your life is in complete flux
- your drive to find stability becomes all consuming
You must learn to embrace the uncertainty as your new reality in order to deal successfully with your situation.
When we’re okay with not knowing, what we are going through—to a degree—becomes an adventure instead of a nightmare. We can be curious instead of full of dread. As best you can, take each moment as it comes without piling on regrets of the past or fears of the future. One moment at a time is more manageable.
Support for your relational dynamics and emotional impact are supported by the Collaborative Divorce Facilitator (CDF) on the Collaborative Divorce team. Ask abut it.
Portions of this article is excerpted from Beyond Divorce: Stop the Pain, Rekindle Your Happiness and Put Purpose Back in Your Life by Jeannine Lee. Used with permission.
Contact Jeannine 303-746-7000
Jeannine at BeyondDivorce.com