I watched a lot of exciting Law and Order episodes in my day.
And I really loved the fast paced, action-packed drama of those mediation episodes.
You know the ones where the couple is at each other’s throat and the lawyers are fixated on outsmarting one another and pulling academic rank, whipping out legal jargon and referencing past case studies. Those episodes where the mediator stole the show by swooping in with some incredible insight that set everyone straight with the uncovering of a dramatic twist. I loved how they concluded in a dramatic finale with the husband being a complete fraud, going to jail and the super smart, savvy wife wound up with everything.
So when it came time to mediate with my ex spouse I felt I was ready… and dare I say it… somewhat excited for our big debut.
I prepped hard.
I understood my lawyer’s strategy and where she was headed in the negotiations.
I knew what I was going to say and how I would say it.
I worked on holding my tongue and practiced breathing exercises.
I felt ready to pull out my hurt, yet calm expression at my ex’s BS recall of our relationship.
I felt prepared for the attack on my personal character.
I even knew what I was going to wear and had that outfit pressed, ready for the occasion.
But when it came time to mediate I was pretty shocked at the reality of the process.
For starters I didn’t even see my ex. Nope he wasn’t in the same room as me and I couldn’t even hear his voice or look him in the eye. We each had our own room and then the lawyers had a separate space to meet as well.
I sat in my own room doing absolutely nothing for over an hour. I could hear the lawyers laughing and talking and I couldn’t help but think they were sharing great shows on Netflix and awesome restaurant recommendations! All while my meter was ticking away and the legal costs were piling up!
When they came out we each met separately to talk about the potential deal, the other side’s hot spots and the overall agreement we would each be content with.
Everyone went back and forth like musical chairs with many stints of pure isolation.
And when we got close to getting somewhere, it seemed we had to close up shop because one of the lawyers had to pick up their kids from school.
So now what? We are in for another round next week and I can’t help thinking what the hell is this process all about? Does it really work? Seems kind of silly and super boring.
I hope we get somewhere next week…..
Teressa, Dreaming of better days