Everybody has their story! Some they keep buried and some they disclose. It’s your life, and your story to tell: whenever and whomever you decide to tell.
Being transparent runs the risk of betrayal. It also open you up to gossip and or criticism, but the truth is, we all have had issues and even taken detours down some sad, long and lonely roads. We all have deviated from the course we have outlined for ourselves: even the very course written for us before the beginning of time by God. “For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
We all have a story!
Don’t act as if you’ve never been there. The next time you open your mouth to gnaw at the fabric of another human being at their most vulnerablest, stop, halt: switch the channel to your own life (story) and rethink what rolls of your lips. Check the pulse of your life.
Gossip is both harmful and dangerous and its effect sometimes are irreparable.
I’ve longed for a group of people (women) to just be real and transparent with. Especially if we share a common bond – our life’s experiences. It’s like a miracle! I met some ladies and like an answer to a prayer we connected. The relationship grew over time, and some people got more closer in the group than others, but for now we were each other’s lifeline. Error #1.
We sat together laughing and talking with each other. It felt good to just be in their company. I for one am very glad to have these ladies to just hang out with and feel normal with. I didn’t want to feel like I was the only one with dysfunctionality in my family. There was a good synergy, but I sensed that some people were sizing up each other but, I put it down to my very overactive mind.
We hugged and greeted each other as we parted company. Walking out into the warm evening sun and going our separate ways. I walked a couple of blocks when my cell phone rang. If anyone knows me, my pocketbooks are usually large and over packed, and my excuse always being I’m woman. I dug into my pocketbook like I was literally searching for buried treasure. I felt my cellphone, it vibrated on the fourth ring against my fingers and I quickly scooped it out and pressed the talk button. The voice on the other end started to go on and on about how she felt something brewing within the group. I felt connected to her because we had similar histories, and not being very close to my family except my cousin. I needed someone I could just be free and open with. I liked her, and we talked the most I think in the group, but I was still guarded. She expressed how she was feeling and I listened attentively. I didn’t immediately agree with her. I just said I felt that we were not yet comfortable with each other. We changed the topic, then exchanged pleasantries then we hung up from each other.
Sigh! It’s still early days yet within the group of us ladies. The afternoon sun was unleashing it’s fury. I could feel tiny beads of perspiration forming on my brow and down my back. I continued walking, enjoying the sights and sounds. I got to my car and commenced the thirty minutes drive homeward.
My neighborhood was fairly quiet. I hooked the horn in greeting as I passed a few of my neighbours outside in their yard. I reversed park in my yard, the space being tight and I gritted my teeth. My Shih Tzu bounded up and down in excitement at seeing me and I bent down to pet her. Dinner was already made and the children were brooding over their books. Not perfect, but it’s my life. I off loaded my accoutrements and headed to our tiny bathroom. Towel clad I went to the kitchen to make my tea. I drink tea minutely. Exchanged a few words with the children, who barely responded heads still buried in their books. I ruffled my son’s hair as I passed him on my way up the stairs. Our dog bounded up the steps ahead of me.
My bed. There is this thing going on between my bed and I. My room is my safe space. I am an avid reader and after sipping on my tea I reached under my computer table for my James Patterson and got engrossed within the pages of ‘Step on a Crack’. I’m not sure when I drifted off to lala land because the next thing I heard was my cellphone blarring loudly in my ears. I reached for it quickly and checked the time, 5:30a.m. I answered, it was my faithful caller . We chatted for a few minutes then we rang off from each other.
I sat up, reached for my Bible and devotional. I read the days lesson and then I prayed.
Having teenage children is wonderful, especially when they are self sufficient (in the mornings) when you have overslept. They are good children. I showered and then blended my concoction in the bullet and poured it into my sippy cup. Lunches packed and we all bade the dog adieu until later. We loaded up in the car and off to school and work we went.
My day went quietly with little or no interference or interruptions. I was about to shut down for the day when two calls came simultaneously. One lady from the group sounding angry. Telling me that she was embarrassed by another of the ladies whom she named. She relayed the incident that caused her ire to me and I tried to allay her fears and to passify the situation. Her emotions flaring. I doubt I succeeded in trying to calm her down was my though after she hung up from me. Within minutes, the other lady called and admitted that she did see how caller #1 could be offended by what transpired between them and that she had apologized to her. Little did I know that the first caller was badly hurt, because she became withdrawn and QUIET overtime after the incident.
This was how the thread in the group of six started to unravel at the seams. I didn’t like it and really didn’t know how to remedy the situation. We still hung out and talked and yes that underlined current was ever present. I tried to remain neutral, but I could sense resentment building against me for not choosing sides. The pull in six directions made me feel awkward when we met up for our usual girls time, but I down played it.
I was still close to my early morning, afternoon, evening and night caller from the group. I tried to steer our conversations away from the group. Sometimes I succeeded and other times I failed. What struck me was the ease in which my caller would talk about the others in the group and people in general. I didn’t like that one bit.
Life progressed and the group of six was still in full effect issues and all.
My caller had an idea and threw it out to the group. Initially I didn’t know who she had asked (later I found out) . She said that she had also asked a couple other people that she knew outside of the group to join her venture. I said yes I was in when she asked me. (She was planning something and we were all included except one. This I found out later.)
The day of the event came and I was having a very difficult day. She called me several times during the course of the morning, but I was unable to respond being I was in several meetings most of the morning. A change was coming to a season in my life: a chapter was closing.When I finally got to return the calls I sensed a cold coming from her. I ignored it. After that the calls came one after the other with the different changes to the original plan. I was agitated, but I held my peace. Funny, looking back I should have said exactly how I felt, but I didn’t there was too much going on that day. My day ended and I felt flat out overwhelmed and drained, but I did what was was asked of me with a minor adjustment. I felt that it went well, but little did I know trouble was brewing.
Like clock work my cellphone rang when I got home from my anytime caller from the group. It was my ‘faithful’ caller. She went on a tirade and I sat listening too wound up in my emotions to rebut, so I listened. She mentioned one lady from the group and I quickly defended that lady. I called her honest and sweet. That lady was soft spoken and of a gentle nature. Then to my surprise I was attacked and threatened the wrath of God, because the lady I defended said I made a statement. Truthfully, after the day I had I don’t recall. The million dollar question is, was the supposed statement so unforgivable? No it was not. I removed the phone from my ear and looked at it as if I could make sense of what was happening. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t take it anymore so I got angry and screamed three times. “I am the ONLY sinner ” she called my name and said,”‘stop it.” I said, “I’m sorry if I did say what you said I said and I’ll confess to God my sins.” We hung up from each other. We have not spoken since.
All hell broke loose thereafter. It behooves me how you are treated as guilty without any evidence or proof. Then it dawned on me. They really wanted a pound of flesh.
Then started the cyber war. Facebook was blowing up. I was desimated, chewed up and spat out. Think of every negative name in the book I was labeled as such. It was mind boggling how all these parties got involved in something that had nothing to do with them at all.
The cyber soldier (also in the group now turn enemy) went on a crusade against me. She took it even further and contacted people I knew and laid it on thick telling them whatever she pleased to tell them about me. It even reached the heart and ears of my Pastors wife. DRAMA!
One person who was closest to the faithful caller sent me a text message about my faithful caller and the cyber soldier. You know me, being Ms Diplomatic responded without calling any names lest world war III commenced. I could be contacted by text messages only because I had blocked them from everything.
I have not shared anything with anyone (to date) about any of this drama. It got ugly real fast.
I cried, prayed, fasted and read the Bible for strength. I was the outcast and I was being looked at sideways by many. All this shade. People were pointing fingers at me and snickering behind my back. Real uncomfortable.
Long ago I had to learn that I can only trust myself and God. It hurt, but I tried not to let the ugliness seep into my soul.
The cyber soldier wanted me dead. She needed to know my every move, but I blocked her from all my social networks. She logged onto my FB page from her friend’s accounts. I blocked them too. Why was she so relentless I thought? It started with my faithful caller, but this has to be about something else. This had nothing to even do with her, but as man’s last crusader on a mission to do me harm-she wouldn’t let up. She had a vendetta against me. Incredible I thought.
I was asked what was going on and I couldn’t truthfully answer, as I too was wondering. I heard by the way of one of her friends that she had even contacted a Seer, to know my DESTINY path and to harm me. Was I furious? Yes and rightly so. This had nothing to do with her, and why the need to go to such lengths?
I couldn’t ask and really was worn out by the senseless diatribes.
I tried to take each day as it came. Attempting to act as normal as I could. I was happy again and truly getting on with the matter of my life. Trying to put this unfortunate and sordid situation behind me.
I came to the realization that everybody has a story and everybody ‘knows’ somebody’s else’s story (even yours). So, no matter how much dirt you think you have on a person, there’s someone out there with as much dirt or even more on you.
The world is a very small place. They say it’s not who you know but, rather who knows you!
My girlfriend’s birthday was upcoming and we decided to go out of town. My life was looking up! The day finally came and we were chauffeur driven to our destination. Let the festivities begin. The day was off to a fantastic start. Breakfast in the quaint restaurant was great. Then we moved on to our venue and quickly changed into our bath suits. Chilling on the beach! Unwinding. Not bad for four mature adults. One remembered her encounter on our last escapade with the jelly fish and decided to sit out going in the water. We swapped stories and gave updates enjoying each other’s company and the fresh sea breeze: this is the life. We agreed to go out on a boat ride. We back and forth with the idea of the boat ride then we finally agreed to go. We boarded and sat in the boat fully suited in our life jackets. We relished the afternoon’s sun and the salty sea breeze, as the boat maneuvered the choppy seas. My mind more lucid than it had been in the past months. God kept me and I never once told these lovely girls what had been going on these past months. I smiled, and they looked at me probably thinking I was just having as much fun as they were. I was having fun, but my smile wasn’t about their conversation it was because about me. I was alright. The injury was healing and the fracture to my emotions mending! I nodded they thought it was in response to what they were saying. The day was just what the doctor ordered. Debs said, this was one of her best birthdays ever.
We got back into town late evening. Collected our luggage and went to our cars. I took home two ladies, as Debs lived way out and it would be out of her way to take home anyone: apart from Debs we all lived in close proximity of each other. We hugged, chatted about our trip and promised to message each other as soon as we got home.
Night quickly descended and we chatted some en route to home as the music played on the radio. This trip was therapeutic for all of us. We were all dealing with or going through something. After the drop offs we all messaged each other and promised to catch up soon.
We returned to our lives and settled back into our normal routines. For days I kept visualizing and reliving our trip. It was good.
I got a call to go do a site meeting. I had to check out a venue for a client and report on the logistics. Did I tell you that I have no sense of direction? Well I don’t. I’m doing better now I think. I wrote down the directions given, packed up for the day to go home and prepare for this meeting which will be an overnighter.
When I got home that evening the three of us snuggled into my bed and watched a movie. I fell asleep almost immediately The Shih Tzu was sleeping on the floor at the foot of my bed.
My alarm blarring: I got up and did my usual and we were off (sounds like the start of horse race at the tracks). The children to school and me to locate this venue. I set off driving, heading out of town. I was enjoying the crisp morning air and the sounds of nature. The road was steep, but the view breathtaking. I saw a sign with the place I was going to on it. I was heading in the right direction. Pride welled up in my chest. Yeah, me! I should get there by 10:00a.m if I don’t get lost. 9:15am and all is well. My iPod plugged into the cigarette lighter and Byron Cage, singing Royalty. I sang my heart out to the song. It felt good. I put the song on repeat. The air was now cold. 10:40am I missed my turn. Darn it. I had to DETOUR. I saw a building on the right, I indicated and turned on to the dirt track. It looked like they were doing renovations to the property. I drove up to the security post and asked for directions. He knew of the place, but didn’t know exactly how to direct me there. He told me to go up to the office and ask. He showed me where to park my car. I parked the car, took of my heels and don a pair of flats. My car is filled with shoes and other things – I’m a woman.
I love nature. I saw a man made pond to the rear of the building and walked over to it. There were fishes and water lilies in the pond. The fishes looked like Japanese Koi. How lovely! There was a wooden bridge. It was weather beaten and worn directly over the pond. I made a mental note that this place could be venue for something in the future.
I reluctantly gave up my exploring in pursuit of the office. I never noticed before but there was a function in progress. The parking lot on the opposite end had cars. I figured that the office would be in the direction of that building. I briskly walked in that direction. I heard hands clapping and laughter. I’m not certain what made me peer through the tiny window, but when I looked in it was the ladies from the group. A few new faces and a few old. People I used to call friends were inside. It looked like a retreat or something of that kind. I couldn’t pull myself away from the window. I stood peeking in and nobody noticed me.
A gasp escaped my lips and my had flew to cover my mouth. We have had no contact with each other for ten months now and I heard cyber soldier saying, “she things we need her (she was referring to me) We don’t.” More laughter. I used to do “Dare to Care”. A can goods drive for the shut-in and less fortunate and it was a great success which benefitted many people. Cyber bully said that they can start such a drive. I listened until I couldn’t take it any more. I crouched beneath the window until I was a safe distance away. I stood up and went in search of the office willing my legs to get me there. I eventually found the office after I found a rest room and washed my face to regain my composure.
The ladies in the office were very cordial and helpful to me. The front office was warm and cozy unlike the war that was raging within. They called the venue for me and I spoke to the Sales Coordinator who told me that I was not late and lunch and a room was made available for me upon my arrival. I thanked the ladies they gave me their business card and a brochure and invited me back for a site visit. I thanked them and hurriedly went back to my car. The time was 11:35am.
I started back towards the entrance and thanked the Security Guard. He asked if I was alright and I managed a weak smile and said, “yes.”
I continued into the afternoon feeling a hollow in the pit of my stomach. Carefully looking for all the land marks and as I wound my window down and replayed all that transpired earlier then my destination came into view. Two other cars turned in behind me and I wasn’t even aware of them being behind me on the drive up. I parked the car, examined my face in the mirror and then I gathered up my overnight bag and papers and stepped out almost like an overdosed addict.
A smiling face approached me and asked if I was the person sent on the site visit and I told her yes. I proceeded to tell her my name and I gave her the company’s name. Someone handed me a cold towel and a waiter handed me a mimosa. The later I gulped down like ice water and then I used the cold towel to pat my face and neck. Two other persons joined us and introductions were made. A bell hop took my overnight bag to my room and we then went off to a small meeting room to commence the site visit meeting.
The meeting was a good one and a welcomed distraction from my discovery earlier. I was still in amazement. We wrapped up the meeting and proceeded to walk the grounds to select a spot for the event. We wrapped up the meeting at 3:15pm. I was offered a late lunch. I opted out of lunch and promised to meet up for dinner later. I asked the Sales Coordinator to ring me up for dinner. She agreed to do so and we separated.
I walked blindly to my room and found it with relative ease. The room was welcoming and cold. I quickly found the remote for the air conditioning unit and adjusted the temperature to suit me. My bag was neatly laid out and the bed whispered my name and invited me in.
I called home and the children were there. They took turns talking with me. We talked for a bit and then I hung up from them. I love my children. I said a quick prayer for them. I asked God to keep them safe from evil and harm. I haven’t done many things right, but these two are the best thing in my life- thank You God!
I nestled beneath the comforter to sleep or to just comfort myself. My cellphone rang, I answered it was my cousin asking if I was alright and that she had called the children and they were home and ok. We spoke for a few minutes then we hung up from each other.
I felt sleep beckoning me to come to its rescue and release my cares and rest. I started to pray again, trying to articulate my hurt and betrayal… yet sleep kept reeling me into its solace. I was exhausted. I felt tears running down my ears and I wiped it away, but as quickly as I wiped one away another slid down my nose to my ear. Then I cried. It felt like walking out into heavy rainfall. My soul was raw and exposed and the rain of my tears was refreshing and cleansing for my soul. Cleansing away months of unspoken hurt and betrayal.
Sometimes we have to detour to find our way again. Life is a journey and we can only hope for the best. There are no guarantees. We just know that strength of character is built through adversities. A seed falls in the ground, but only after it dies does the tree grow.
I took the detour to find my way. I Hiccuped, and sleep called me and I walked tirelessly into the peace of its embrace.
Tomorrow is another day and the possibilities are endless. It’s always darkest before dawn. The sun comes up in the morning. Bright radiant sun! Hope. Even, after a detour there are still NEW frontiers to be discovered. On the detour you finally discover you.
“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster…” (Deuteronomy 30:15)
Read the signs especially the detour.