My Story: Chapter Eighteen

Mediation: The Narcissist’s Secret Comes to Light

The Juicy details

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Let’s go back to where we left off before I began telling you the back story of my failed marriage. I was still living in the shelter and trying to get my life started.

Also, if you are here just to find out why the abuser was fired, scroll down to the bolded section below. :-)

I finally landed a job working part-time in health care. The promise was it would be a full-time job soon. I started working and saving money so I could move out of the shelter.

I desperately wanted to live with my children again. I finally received a message from my attorney that he was scheduling mediation to try to come to a settlement for the divorce. I could not wait. I didn't think we would settle in mediation but I was willing to try.

I felt like I was in a bad position to ask for anything since I was still living at the shelter. I was nervous and stressed out about what the abuser and his co abuser attorney would try to do.

The legal advocate who was now more a friend than someone who worked at the shelter offered to drive me to mediation and be with me for emotional support. I was so grateful to have her with me. She did a great job of joking around and talking with me on the way to help me stay calm.

We finally arrived at my attorney’s office and my legal advocate gave him a bit of a talking to about what had already gone on and that the children should not be in a toxic environment with their father and his married girlfriend. He agreed but explained that it is the time we are living in and not much could be done about it. I felt like I was already set up for failure.

As we walked over to the building where the mediation would be held my attorney found out he had finally received my husband’s human resources records. I had been told by the security officer when my husband was fired that we should request his records as they would be helpful.

When we arrived at the mediation building my husband was standing outside the doors and I had to walk past him to enter. He was such a control freak he had to make a final play at intimidating me. My friend made a snide comment about how he was dressed so casually and then also commented that his attorney was as well. They looked like they didn’t have a care in the world.

Seeing him put me into panic mode and I had to pace the room and breathe deeply to calm down before we could begin. I was so angry that he went through the trouble to try to get a final reaction from me before we ended our marriage. I had known he would do something. I felt like any time we would ever be within twenty feet of each other he would attempt to harass me. I was divorcing a toddler who would never stop his temper tantrums.

The Secret Lies Below

We sat in our private room and met the woman who would be mediating for us. Before we began my attorney read the human resources report on why my husband was fired and then began to laugh. He asked if I wanted him to read it to me and warned me it was of a sensitive nature.

I wish I could tell you the word for word of the report but that might blow my cover as an anonymous writer. Instead, I’ll just say there was clear physical evidence that he and his girlfriend were drinking and having sex at work. Also, it seemed like whoever had written up the report relished the job and did it in the most embarrassing way possible.

This was a good ice breaker before the mediation began. Some crude jokes and comments were made about my ex-husband's unfortunate situation. I did try my hardest to remain in grace and dignity but it was a little difficult in light of what we had just found out.

Mediation took about 4 hours. My husband had just started a new job but complained that he was down to a few hundred in cash to pay for mediation, so we needed to quickly reach an agreement. My attorney made sure to make mediation last as long as possible. Seems he wasn’t much of a fan of my soon-to-be ex-husband.

I should have pushed for a court date instead of settling in mediation. I believe I had enough evidence to get more than 50/50 custody but I was afraid it would go badly for me since I was still essentially homeless. I just needed to get on with my life.

The legal advocate was asked to step out since the abuser and co-abuser objected to me having her there for emotional support. I would find out almost a year later that our state has a law stating a domestic violence survivor is allowed to have a legal advocate present. If she had been in there I would have stood my ground and never agreed to what I did.

I walked away that day with joint custody of most of my children, a minor amount of child support, and no alimony. Over 25 years of marriage and staying home with our many children while homeschooling them was worth $0.00. That still stings. I am grateful that the abuser cannot claim I am making it in life because of all the money he pays me. He makes almost 4 times what I make and I receive a pittance to cover our children’s physical needs while they are with me.

I know that God rights the wrongs in this world and a great wrong was righted when the abuser divorced me. I know He is still working for me and my children and has a plan for us. The greatest job I have is to be patient and wait for Him to work through all that has happened to me.

Click HERE to catch up on the rest of my story.

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Julia Freeman, Trauma Recovery Coach

I believe survivors of narcissistic abuse and domestic violence deserve to live in freedom and peace.