Friday, 17 February 2012

Let the Sunshine in: Resolution

The mediation has taken place. We expected that it would be a quick process, as all the indications were that the step-family was obdurately and bitterly opposed to my obtaining the family home, and that it would result in a court hearing. We thought it would be over in an hour or less, and that it would all drag on for months to come.

Instead it took four hours. We have reached a settlement. It has been agreed, and now is ratified by a  court order, that I get the house outright, and in return I pay them some money.

Once all of this goes through I can free myself from the incubus that has been hanging around my neck, clouding my life. The natural grieving, healing and recovery process can take its course. Throughout I have held fast to the determination that, one day, I would be free of them. God willing.

I could not write about this yesterday. My heart was too full, the emotions too raw, the realisation too new, the mixture of relief and compromise too great. I could find neither the thoughts nor the words. I am not sure I have them now. The reality of  the decision,  that seemed so impossible, so unlikely and so difficult still seems to float far from my reach and capacity for comprehension.

Walking into the mediation room, and seeing the step-family, was an ordeal. I was determined to display no emotion, to give no greeting or personal acknowledgment, and to remain impassive, and I believe that I succeeded in this. I hope never to see any of them ever again.

Fortunately the mediation process quickly separated us, and I did not see them again. Offer and reaction, followed by counter-offers and reaction followed. I think their lawyer must have made them realise that if it went to court the verdict was very likely to be in my favour. As my brother in law said, when you negotiate, both parties must concede something to the other, and thus it proved to be. An agreement was reached, and a court order made, and now the mechanics have to be set in place according to the required timetable.

I will have  my home, freedom of choice and an asset. These are the things I was fighting for. Because I am not naturally disputatious, and shy away from confrontation, it has been a difficult process. I believe that I have handled it with integrity, honesty (qualities the step-family has no understanding of) competence, diligence and intelligence, determination, and resolution, and I can be proud of that achievement. My lawyers tell me I have been a most reasonable client, and acknowledged that the things I said in evidence were fully documented.

I spent most of the evening on the telephone, talking to family and friends, and their gladness on my behalf has given me such great comfort, and made me feel very blessed. There is still much healing to follow. The realisation that the issue has been decided and agreed upon does not sink in immediately.
Although I feel much calmer, the stress reactions have become quite automatic and it will take some time for them to be banished.

No one can know what the future holds, but I can look forward to mine with much greater cheerfulness and courage, and make my own decisions, beholden to no one.

Next week is the first anniversary of Dr P's death. Another milestone. Another measure. I hope never again to have to live through and endure such a year.


Laura Jane said...

Great news!

what a relief to never have to breathe the same air as them again. Sorry that you are expected to pay the thieving cows ANY money, but it could be worse.

Freedom has its price, I'm glad you are able to pay it and move on, especially in time for the anniversary of Dr P's passing.

Thninking of you

molly said...

Dear Persi,
I'm so glad your ordeal is over and that you can keep your home! I'm no lawyer but it seems simple to me---you were his wife!
Here's to the rest of your life!

Hugs from Molly

molly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

Have been reading all this time and silently willing you on and am very glad for this outcome.

Frogdancer said...

Woo hoo!!!!!
About time this was all sorted. Amazing how you can be married to someone all that time and STILL have to justify why you should be looked after... it's not as if you wed him 3 weeks before he took ill, after all.

Go forth and enjoy the rest of your time without the selfish cows!

Stomper Girl said...

Such good news. And such a relief there's no long drawn-out court case for you.

Elephant's Child said...

This is such wonderful news. Even more wonderful when you realise that you behaved with integrity, dignity and courage AND got resolution. Being true to yourself is so important.
Take care of yourself next week on the anniversay. I find they bite.

Frances said...

Oh, Hip Hip Hooray.
Of course you should get your home - it is great to see natural justice prevail.
And how gratifying that you can look at yourself and your conduct with pride.
Yes, take care, Persiflage: the easier, kinder days are on their way.

Christine said...

I can feel the relief in your words. You have a home now and those cruel people are gone from your life.

Friko said...

So far so good.
I hope everything else works out to your satisfaction too.

ChrisB said...

What a wonderful relief for you. So pleased you never have to meet those horrible people again, but sad you have to pay for the right to live in your own home - grrr!

Anyway, enjoy losing that great weight from your shoulders and congratulate yourself on retaining your courage and dignity..... xx