Yesterday I had to sit in front of a judge and explain myself. This, in case you don't know, is nerve wracking.
Short story is that I was denied unemployment after leaving a job under very difficult circumstances. I don't want to go into that in detail here, but my departure was not really a voluntary quit (despite the fact that I resigned) and I have been struggling with the emotions around it since it happened, three months ago. When I was denied unemployment, I took it personally, which is dumb, but emotions are dumb sometimes too. Mostly, I didn't understand how I had told my story and the women interviewing me didn't get what I was up against. Her denial made me question everything.
Regardless, I filled out the appeal form and then met with a friend who is also an attorney. She helped me talk out my case and encouraged me to write up a statement, collect my documents and believe in the goodness in the world.
Yesterday, sitting in front of that judge and telling my story, it felt a little terrifying. But I was assigned a judge who looked me in the eye, nodded her head as I spoke, asked me questions gently and who made me feel safe. My Mister accompanied me to the hearing and though he had to sit in the waiting room, it was so good to have him there when I walked out. "No matter what she decides, we're moving on," he told me. "We're strong and we can do anything together and this is over. Period."
Sometimes you need someone to look you in the eye and give you permission to put down the heavy stuff.
And sometimes you need a judge to tell you that you're not unreasonable, that you made the right decision, that you don't have to wonder if you were wrong anymore.