Sunday, March 05, 2006

Torn

18 pages.

I've written 18 pages of 12-point Times Roman text about what happened to me last year. 18 pages.

It goes back to a handful of years before, just to set the stage.

But, I'm torn. Do I want to publish it here or not? I sincerely want people to understand what happened to me. I feel that I need to be able to express what happened and why it came pretty close to destroying me. I was diminished. But now, I am stronger. (Broke, but strong.)

I mention no names. I identify no agencies. If the people in the stories were to actually recognize themselves, I would hope it would be with a measure of genuine shame.

But now that I have written it down, I don't know if I want to post it - split into entries across a week. Was it enough to write it down? Or do I need to hit "Publish Post" and tell you the words. I wanted to scream it from the mountaintops last summer. I wanted the world to know that I was a decent person, but I was still afraid then. I was afraid of our government, and how the petty, vindictive, and foolish actions of a couple of immature people might have had a terrible effect on my entire life in our post-9/11 paranoia.

Especially here in Washington.


I'm torn.

18 pages. It's a lot of story. It's a lot of hurt. It's a lot of petty indignities and stupid wrongs that ended with me being the victim of a truly bizarre false accusation.

I have this week to ponder it.

Yes, I am stronger now. I have an amazing job. I don't wake up with fear and anger and sadness every morning. This will be a great decade in my life. However, I am still haunted by last year, and the casual way in which these foul people brushed aside the value of my life.

But I will remain strong.

And, if this exercise has done nothing else, it's shown me that I can write a chapter's worth of story over coffee breaks in a week. If I can do this, I can write a book, dammit.

Off to ponder (and see how far behind schedule the Oscars are running...)

8 comments:

Janet M. Kincaid said...

I say post it. Look at PostSecret as an example of how telling our stories, our truths, our secrets, can make a difference in people's lives.

Your story may be long, but someone out there right this very minute feels like they are the only one suffering the indignities of discrimination, recrimination, and degradation at the hands of bad, Machiavellian (sp?) bosses. By telling your story, you let them know, they're not alone. And you send a message to future bosses and leaders of the world that you can't fuck with people's lives and expect to remain on top forever.

I had a hellish employment experience in my previous job that left me a shadow of my former self. While I wish no plague-like ills on my former boss and her boss, I do hope that what they dished out on me will come back to haunt them. At the same time, as I've shared my story with others, I've been amazed at the people who have said to me, "Wow! I thought I was the only one who had experienced that...."

D.C. can be a mean, mean town. The sad thing is, it doesn't have to be. Perhaps by sharing your story, you'll start a shift in the culture around here.

In the end, it's your story and whether you post it or not is entirely your choice. Your writing, though, is wonderful and cathartic. I have no doubt what you've written about your previous horrendous experiences will be a blessing to someone.

Regards,

Janet Kincaid

kuzmich said...

*me being serious here*
I think instead of posting here, print it out and mail it to the Office of the Inspector General of said agency or the OIG at OPM. It will do more good than harm. By law, they must act and investigate each claim. Thinking of you...

vw: gfydvxu, which means
"gaining from youth damn vampires xerox unwillingly" (of course)

Claire said...

I think kuzmich has the right idea. If there's a way to submit your story with specifics to TPTB to effect some real change- or at least get a complaint file started on these folks, then it's worth doing so they don't do the same thing to someone else, or if they do, there's more evidence to work with for the next complainant.

Posting here can be a cathartic exercize and I'm sure you'll get a lot of support and me too's, but the way you talk about it... if there's a way to submit it in an official capacity, I think you should do it.

You've said you've needed to tell this story- it makes me think of lines from North Country and Erin Brockovich, a sort of stand up in court and be heard regardless of the outcome. I think telling your story where it counts may help you get past it faster/more effectively/better than telling it here.

Of course, that's without knowing any of the specifics... just my impression from the way you talk about it.

caseystay said...

I say do both; post it and send it to the powers that be. Too many times in our lives, we don't take action and then later regret that we didn't. Agree with Ms. Kincaid as well--you could be educating a lot of people and giving them the courage to confront the bullies in our lives. Even if it changes one person's life (or at least made someone think differently), you've succeeded.

I would rather you stay awake at night because your story is out there than staying awake because you don't think you did all that you could have.

If you don't share the story, it's like the crappy people "win" again. It's not about being bigger or better than them in this case by thinking there's some water under the bridge at this point. It's about exercising your voice and being heard. And maybe just once, reveling in the power of your unique perspective.

May the force be with you. We are.

Scholiast said...

Although I am, of course, about to scream of curiosity, I think giving it another week's pondering is a good idea. Posting it may be therapeutic, but then when it's out, it's out.

I can't see that it could harm you if we knew what happened, you're an amazing person! We may want to run of and smack somebody, but...

suze said...

because i am dying to know the details but have been far to polite (*ha!*) to ask, i selfishly vote for posting it...

however, in unselfish mode, i will say that only you know if publishing your story is what you need to do for you... but whatever you decide, be it publish, send it to the powers that be, or burn those 18 pages in a big old bonfire, i have no doubt it will be the right choice.

gadgetgrl said...

I think you are truly brave for writing it down. I can barely allude to some things that have happened to me in my life. Yes people who know me would be shocked at that statement- I can be very open about some things and others I have never talked about openly. Never mind even writing it down . To write it down means to acknowledge it and that can be tough. Especially if it is recent.

I personally think the way I am - I am working on changing btw. Really has not been a healthy thing for me. I know our situations are totally different but I say post it. You are an amazing writer- ESPECIALLY when it is something close to your heart( I think the posts about your mom are among the best imo) But since I am such a coward I really can't tell you what to do. But I will say this.

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.- orwell

Tell your truth for those of us too afraid to tell our own truths.

murison said...

Damn the Dorks, post it in installments (never underestimate the drawing power of a serial!), and send it to the Powers That Be (i.e., the IG). Creeps deserve to have their protective rock lifted.