Mediation or Therapy?
They cancelled school today because of the 3 feet of snow we were handed overnight. As I heard my cell phone go off at 5 am, I knew it was my boss going down the chain of school district command, notifying her employees of the snow day. Then my other boss called at 5:30 am. Then I received the “official cancellation” message from the Public Information Office.
I rolled over and snuggled into the warmth of my blankets. LB had thrown a little sleepover party in my bed at about 3 am, so I was really not looking forward to getting up. Remember Bobby McFerrin? Simple Pleasures are the best.
I know everyone wants to know how Mediation went. So here goes.
It was intense.
It was good.
It was only the beginning.
This Mediator isn’t a typical court-ordered “Dispute Resolution” Mediator. He’s a family counselor with legal expertise. He’s been teaching parenting classes for 14+ years and is smart and kind. He’s also able to see right through Rooferman’s BS, I might add.
Rooferman is very adept at making a good show; flashing the pearly whites, professing “I just want to see my daughter” and “I’m doing everything in my power to be a good dad.” He’s usually a pro at buddying up to other guys, but it didn’t work last night.
Mediator Man told him straight up that young children automatically bond to their mothers as their primary caretakers, and if there is no mother to fill that role, they find what they need in their fathers.
Rooferman immediately started preaching the Joint-Custody-What’s-Right-And-Fair-To-Me Shakespearean monologue, to which I countered, “I understand that joint custody is ideal in situations where the parents get along. We can’t even have a conversation with each other, how are we supposed to share custody?”
“Good point,” said Mediator Man. I wanted to cheer.
The dude went on to explain to Rooferman that LB is going to suffer the consequences of his hostility towards me. At one point, he asked Rooferman why he hadn’t continued going to Love & Logic classes. My ex glared and pointed at me.
“I would love to go back and take the class, but when she’s not in the same room.”
Yeah. I learned a lot about the depth of hatred Rooferman (and Blondie probably) has for me. He told the Mediator that he had “as much access to his daughter as he wanted” before he started dating Blondie. Then after that, I started limiting his contact because “I didn’t like him dating her.”
I of course clarified that Rooferman HAD no contact with LB before he started dating Blondie. He saw her maybe 5-7 times in the 9 months between me moving out and him telling me it was over. Only when he started dating her did he show interest in regular, frequent contact with our daughter. At that point it had been so long since LB had seen her dad, I wanted to start off with supervised visitation at his parent’s house and work our way up to a normal visitation schedule. I did NOT want our daughter immediately staying overnight at someones house who I had never met.
I also learned a few things about the custody situation with Blondie’s kids. Apparently both daughters have the same dad, but only one daughter has contact with him. THAT confused the hell out of me.
Rooferman also calls their dad a “prick” who fills his daughter’s head with lies when she goes back to his house on the weekends. I wanted to scream “YOU MORON! How would YOU feel if LB was calling someone else “daddy” and he was just playing along with it. Don’t you see how DAMAGING you are to this poor little girl? How angry and confused she must be? Let alone how her REAL dad must be feeling?”
Remember my bubble philosophy? He really is living in one.
Mediator Man asked when our court date was. He then proceeded to give Rooferman a severe tongue lashing on how irresponsible it was for him to wait until the last minute for him to “magically” resolve our issues and make a parenting plan.
“I’m not that good. I don’t even want to know about the issues between you two,” he said. “But I want to help you.”
So we’re going back again this Friday.
Maybe there’s hope? Maybe he can get Rooferman to listen? Maybe we can actually get along one day?
Either way, I needed this day off.