***This was originally written more than a year ago. For some reason SquareSpace re-posted it as recent after I made some spelling edits.
Now that quite some time has passed, I might as well give some context. I was uniquely targeted years ago after I attempted to stop an originator and two others from doing what they ended up doing to me (sexual harassment and smear campaign), to another person on my team. They liked to single one person out for abuse and flatter everyone else. I was not keen on this. The first person had already done this to at least 3 people prior and the latter to the person who was in the exact position on the team before me—our stories were creepily nearly identical despite being very different kinds of people. I succeeded.
However, then they came after me. I ended up experiencing ongoing sexual harassment that was well-documented, followed by a lengthy period of stalking, the latter by two individuals (believe it or not, there were 5 people directly involved!), a continued smear campaign and systematic marginalization that was never stopped or remedied (one might say it was enabled and sustained by individuals that did not like accountability or conflict who were in authority). Unfortunately, I was forced to continue to interact with an entire group who enabled and sustained the situation while simultaneously attempting to “punish” me for things my original harasser would make up for an extended period (getting iced out was the least of my worries). In about 5 months, two of them were removed when someone else exposed written evidence of their harassment. The originator continued her behavior largely unchecked for quite a long time. Eventually, I developed PTSD.
That said, while I was writing what you see below, it felt like ‘I’ was messing up quite a bit even though the written evidence told a different story. There was just one standard for everyone else and another for me. Although I was doing worse, I was still doing consistently well above average (I didn’t know this at the time). Anyway, nothing like this had ever happened to me before and at the time I was trying to find some sort of reference point from my past to interpret the new situation with little luck other than my faith. I hope it will benefit someone out there.***
I am a walking contradiction: extremely confident and yet so fearful. It amazes me that I can still be scared after all these years and after all that God has done for, with and in me. Yet, at this point, I do not think it is something to repent of, but an opportunity to realign myself with God's will remembering all that he has done in the past and reorienting towards his future.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
The "solution" is not to cease being afraid as though fear (especially deeply rooted) could be turned off and on, but in meditative trust in the deeds of God in history and being formed in the process. To be specifically vague, I seem to be re-experiencing abuse except without an anxiety disorder (later note: that changed after extended harassment) and with the internal resources and faith of an adult who has already passed through the valley of "silent tears" and the death of "unborn hope." I've dealt with a narcissistic projector in the past. It was not fun. I knew the physical toll it would take after months on my body and I knew it would eventually start causing me to slip up in other areas of life whether professionally or getting behind in my personal life. Yet, when I started to slip up and was assumed to be X, I began to despair over it and everything I had lost.
And then I had to pause and remember the man of sorrows who had been appropriated by the Roman Empire to be a token mockery of a defeated people walks alongside me. The adversary finds power in iconoclasm distorting the images of those who threaten self-perception. What's another offering in what I have come to realize is a lengthy trail? And yet, I worship a crucified savior and the power of the cross is manifest in my weakness. It is in the rich God who became poor so that we could become rich (2 Cor 8:9). Finally, I had to throw up my hands: "God, I am all alone, have been smashed into my adversary's ill image, and am now making stupid mistakes! (I don't like making silly errors especially when stressed)." And yet, Christ is evident in me even in my fear? And even as I descend into incompetence?
In a moment, I felt like the man approached by Jesus after his eyes had been healed and had been thrown out of the synagogue. Its that mix of heartache in isolation as well as wonder that you could finally see after a life of blindness and realization that though alone, you have been approached by Jesus.
Maybe everything is not resolved, but at least it is in perspective as I wait for scene 2...