Thursday, March 8, 2012

Facing My Nightmares


In Pema Chodron’s “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Troubled Times” she shares that a childhood friend began having nightmares of being chased by scary monsters.  One day Pema asked her what the monsters looked like.  Her friend said she did not know.  The next time the little girl had the nightmare; she stopped and looked at the monsters.  She was able to describe them in detail, but they never harmed her. After that, she no longer had nightmares…

For the last ten years while my nose has been to the grindstone working ever so hard to keep my home, get better and just survive, one thing has always remained a mystery, and, has been the subject of some of my own nightmares.

When I was fired just months after my being rear-ended on the freeway, I was told one thing to my face and years later read something completely different in a sworn deposition of my ex-boss.  It always bothered me the two stories were so polar opposite; clearly one had to be the truth and the other a lie.  

I have been taught by life’s piercing lessons along this post-injury path to follow the truth to the end, to pay close attention when things don’t quite feel right.  

 In a rare act of courage, after thinking about it for a long, long time, I wrote to my ex-boss’s wife with whom I used to work, close enough with I attended their family gatherings.  In the letter dated the middle of last month, I asked for the official reason for my firing, stating what I was told the day they let me go, and, what I read in the deposition.  

There is a strange uneasiness to facing one’s nightmares; it is dreadfully frightening, yet invokes curiosity and maybe even a little daring.  All in all, it is rather uncomfortable.  Is it more uncomfortable than living with the conflicting stories with questions I could not answer on my own for ten years?  

It was not just another job, it was the only job where I had that awesome sense of making a difference on a daily basis, it was my ministry so to speak, and it was invigorating.  There was never a day I dreaded going to the office, I truly loved my job.  

A great injustice was handed to me that day.  Was there warning?  Did I deserve it?  No and probably not.  My ex-boss and her family helped me move in the last weekend in October and here I was the first week in December without a job.  Life is tough in the Big Woods as they’d say in Little House on the Prairie.

Many things in life remain a mystery, some frightening, some enlightening and empowering.  This particular moment in my life is all of the above.  I am looking into the point of heartbreak that started an avalanche of many, many years of hard times and anguish.

When I left the boss’ wife said their consultant told them to “never hire friends.”  When I mentioned this to another person in that same line of business, she said, “That’s harsh.”

Safe to say, the definition of friends runs the gamut of mere online acquaintances we’ve never met and may never meet, to, as Anne Shirley said in “Anne of Green Gables” a “kindred spirit.”  Had I been working for what I’d term ‘friends’, the outcome would have been far more nurturing and kind and the gates of Hell would not have unleashed a cruel fury. 

It is unsettling to go back to that frightening, bewildering time of raw emotions; I’ve often said I can live pretty well with blinders on.  This year is the tenth anniversary of that accident, I need to follow the truth to the end, I need to know.

I asked for an answer before March 15th, I gave her 30 days.  It's a simple question.  Seven more days...more shall be revealed.  :)

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