Yes, the paperwork can be emotionally draining. It wrings ya out to have to give the tribunal what they need to grant the annulment because they have to know the details of some very painful things.
When I first started filling out the paperwork there wasn't much emotion at all about it because my divorce was final eight years ago. So I had plenty of emotional distance from my marriage and my divorce. It wasn't real hard to fill out the paperwork because I was detached. I had to send away for some of the required documents so I filled out the paperwork while waiting for those to arrive. Then I emailed my answers to my advocate, John in a Word document and was looking forward to getting together with him the next week to make copies of my answers to the questionaire and the other documents and mail it all in. It had taken a few months to get to that point. Well, it didn't happen that way.
John sent me an email telling me that I had to expand on two of my answers, in areas that were key to what the tribunal required in order to grant the annulment. This is the point where the emotions really started kicking in for me. I was so disappointed that we couldn't just mail it all in and felt heavy with dread.. having to dig into those painful areas. I didn't tell many people about this delay because I didn't want to deal with what I had to deal with...much less talk about it. I wasn't able to get right on that and put it away for a little while, just needed some time before I had to wrestle that bear. The day came when John emailed me, after resubmitting the answers, and it was a joyous moment to read what he'd written...'Good Job!' We got together and made copies of everything and he had me help with the final steps by having me stamp the seal on all of the pages of the questionaire and he had me close the envelope that all of the paperwork was in for the tribunal.
Afterwards, I told a friend of mine that your blood, sweat and tears are required before your answers are satisfactory. If you don't give thorough answers to the questions, you will have to answer them again. That was the most difficult part for me, to have my questionaire returned after I thought that we were done with that aspect of the process. If I had any advice for you it would be to try to avoid that. Hang in there Katherine. There is an end in sight.
I know this feeling only too well. I started the process over two years ago. My divorce had been final (ouch) sixteen years. I really thought, as you did, that it was going to be a piece of cake. Little did I know. I started filling the forms out, my world imploded, and I set them aside for six months. I pulled them back out, tweaked some answers, and put them away to pray over.
I finally met with my tribunal rep. last fall. If I say that I sat at her kitchen table and cried for two solid hours when she helped me expand answers, I am not exagerating. How ugly!! She has been at this for a long time. At one point, she stopped me and said, "All of this happened, and you STILL got married?" That was the lowest point of that visit. It hurt and was humiliating to face those days in my life. The only answer I had was that I was not then who I am now. Still pretty ugly.
I went home, and put the paperwork back up. I pulled it out at two separate retreats, and worked on that last answer again. She asked me about it recently. The only answer I can give her is that this is in God's time. I really feel like I'm going at His pace in this, and there is a reason He is having me go slowly.
Not sure all of that makes sense, but it is very reassuring to know that I'm not the only person to be emotionally blindsided by the process. Thank you for sharing Deborah!