Sunday, 6 January 2013
Day 21: Mediation
Today is our first mediation meeting. I am not looking forward to it, in fact I am dreading it:- not the meeting itself, more that I am fully aware attending our first meeting is yet another definitive step toward the end and I have to admit to myself, however much I now say -and believe- that even I wouldn't go back... I don't actually want to go forward either. Battling with these emotions makes me particularly cranky and stroppy to H in the morning, earning another round of condescending "if only you could behave like a grown up" comment... Our mediation lady doesn't look like a lawyer (which she is) more like a civil servant crossed with a secondary school teacher, which I find unsettling:- I had hoped for a more familiar super sleek and professional environment and interlocutor. Nonetheless, she turns out to be pretty good and seems to get the measure of the 2 of us quite quickly. It doesn't start terribly well though:- as soon as we sit down, she browses through our little pre-interview questionnaire and only has to ask us one question for me to lose the stern composure I d been working on very hard and break down in tears:￼ "ahhh, she says, I see this is a very long relationship... when did you decide to do this?" "2 weeks ago" I cry out noticing how she doesn't quite manage to suppress the look of surprise -even shock- flashing in her eyes... An hour and a half later, we're coming out of her office, me feeling faint from the effort to hold my shit together -H looking flushed but relieved. In the car on the way back I try and make a mental note of key points to take away:- - this is not going to be done and dusted within 2 weeks. It will take months for us to complete this process. I must therefore find a way to operate 'normally' in the meantime - I am not fit yet emotionally to have constructive discussions/negotiations. I was 'strongly advised' (and I entirely agree) that I need help:- I must go and see a counsellor - We have been given a 'to do' plan and are meeting again in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, we absolutely should not do anything or make any decision. It is therefore with a great sense of relief that I immediately call the estate agents I contacted yesterday and cancel the three viewings I had already lined up for this afternoon. When we finally get home, it suddenly hits me:- today is day 21 -and, whilst the process is indeed going to take a while longer, today we attended or first mediation meeting -not counselling to see if we can work things through -mediation, to arrange the terms of our separation. Not merely a fancy title for a tentative blog started just over two weeks ago then... more a sadly eerily accurate prediction:- our 21 year marriage has come to an end in the course of the last 21 days.