Today my ex-wife and I joined our court-ordered Parenting Consultant for a joint intake session via Zoom video conference. I posted up at my desk, dressed for the occasion in my favorite “business casual” attire. Well lit and ready to go to work. O’s mom was backlit, dressed for a lazy Sunday and face totally in shadow. Ironic. Sitting in a bedroom at the new condo she closed on with Match.com Boyfriend, less than nine months after meeting the guy and clearly annoyed with the whole process.
Eventually, the PC tells her to change position because he can’t see her facial expressions. She manages to position herself in a way that she was visible, but an expression other than utter disdain was nowhere to be found. Her deadpan face completely filled the camera’s view. The PC and I were head and shoulders, fully engaged. She offered the occasional laugh for something I laughed at in response to something the PC said. She rarely spoke. When she did it was clearly calculated to trigger an aggressive response from me. I didn’t give her the satisfaction, though I did use her silence as a way to offer my side of the story.
When she decided to interject, it was with half-truths and lies. Apparently our new default. The truth is the enemy. My challenge was to push back without seeming unreasonable or overly emotional, despite the highly-emotional issues at hand. I’ve been living this nightmare for the last eight months. The PC is just now being introduced to our dysfunction junction. I’d been counseled to be judicious with my data dump. Roger that. Not happy to dismiss the volumes of documentation I’ve compiled, but understanding of the necessity. Introduction by way of firehose is never a good idea.
I think it went pretty good all things considered. I had so much more I could have said, but I am saving it for the last seven installments of Volume 2 before I head into the final volume of JEMs Guide, The Masters, and call this body of work done. All told, this site has been over six years in the making and about nine months in the telling. I am excited to move into documentarian mode and finish this effort off with the stories of humans other than me working their way toward grace at whatever speed fate and circumstance has allowed. Forty-two more chapters where each should be as riveting and transformative as the last. Please stay tuned!