Last Friday, I was emotionally abused by a stranger.
Please know that I don't throw around terms like "emotional abuse" lightly. But it is what it is--it happened, and I survived. But it was painful.
I'm not going to go into nitty-gritty details; there's no need for that. And I'm not going to bash anyone's character, so you won't see any names here. But remember the interview I was so excited about? The one where the team was already interested in hiring me, and I only needed to meet the founder of the company for the final step in the process?
Yeah, that. She turned out to be a very different person from the one she displays in videos and presentations online. Something felt wrong when she didn't say "you're welcome" -- or even crack a smile -- when I thanked her for her program (self-help, healing-centric). Something felt even more wrong when she asked me which of her books I had read. And then, when I couldn't remember the titles, she admonished me.
I'm not making this up.
It went downhill from there. She told me exactly what she thought was wrong with this blog (which had little to do with the reason we were meeting in the first place), hurled character accusations at me, and then scolded me for not "accepting her correction". I'm not one to use "WTF", but this was definitely a WTF moment.
Like many abusers do, she couched all this in "I'm just being honest". But this had nothing to do with "being honest". In the space of five to seven minutes, she reached into my soul and tried to tear it out. She didn't succeed, but she did leave me stunned and numb.
It made no sense. My experiences with interviewing for this company had been nothing but positive. It felt like a "click". I was beyond excited to meet this woman, whom I admired greatly. To have the scales torn from your eyes when a public figure isn't who they say they are is...well, devastating.
Yes, that's the word. I was devastated.
I'm not devastated any longer, though. Mr. A and I have done our research. We've learned that my experience with this woman was by no means an isolated experience. And we've also learned that at least two of this woman's books were highly plagiarized.
I also spoke with a woman whose friend, an author, apparently gave Ms. Founder a manuscript of hers to read--only to have Ms. Founder "borrow it" and ultimately publish it as her own work. Yes, this is hearsay. But these are the stories that surfaced after this thing blew up in my face.
All that to say--I am so thankful that I was rescued from working for a woman that, ultimately, I could never have worked for. One of my roles would have been to be her "voice" in blog posts and other online publications. There is no way in hell that I could have been this woman's voice.
And here is THE BEST PART OF ALL: After this happened, and because of a huge outpouring of support I received from friends, I realized HOW VERY IMPORTANT MY WRITING IS. Not that I didn't already know that. But I had definitely lost sight of that. And for the past week, I have poured my heart into its happy place--working on my stories.
And yes, it's been a great week. I'm working on a light revision right now (well, light except for the fact that I'm changing the tense--again. But I love Josh and Danielle. Yes, I do...), and I just had a break-through with something that I haven't been able to figure out for MONTHS. In fact, I was sort of despairing over it.
So there's the lemon-aide from this particular lemon. And I'm feeling terrific! I'm definitely in the right place.
Thank you for your undying support as I moved through the interview process. I really expected to be able to announce to you today that I'd landed the job. Instead, I'm announcing my renewed commitment to pursue my dreams as an author, which is really where the lion's share of my creative energy needs to go. Same as yours does.
Thanks for being here!