Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Fricassee

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!

54 comments:

  1. *Hugs*. And congratulations. I'm glad this crazy and disappointing situation led to new strength and resolve.

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    1. Thank you, Pat! I am very grateful for what I've learned, even though it was awfully yucky to live through. :)

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  2. I'm horrified to hear of your experience. And so sorry! But at the same time so glad that it served its purpose to point you to where you need to focus your energy! We all love you here :)
    And at least this all came out at the interview and not after you'd gone through the rigmarole of filling out all the paperwork, etc. of a new job!
    And I know. Absolutely know that one day I'm going to get to buy your book and read it. And I'm really looking forward to that day. I know this can sound platitud-inal (now I'm making up words), but I've always just known that this will happen for you some day. I truly believe that.

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    1. Oh Rebecca, it does not sound platitud-inal (a perfectly acceptable word!) at all. I need to know that others believe what I find I almost never can believe myself anymore. So thank you for believing for me. <3

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  3. Wow! That's horrific. I'm sorry you had to go through that kind of experience. It's so difficult when your expectations are not only shattered, but someone rips at you like that.
    Glad you've had a wonderful writing week to soothe the spirit.
    Sending hugs & cupcakes!

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    1. Thank you, Jemi! It was definitely shattering. Cupcakes always help, though! :)

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  4. I am so glad that you discovered the truth about this woman before you began working for her, and I'm also glad that you escaped from the dark side. :)

    Hugs, cashews, and chocolate!

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    1. Mmmm, 3 of my favorite things. :) (Escaped the dark side -- hah! Yes!)

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  5. I think blogspot ate my comment. >.<

    *hugs* this is exactly what these interviews are for. Not only for them to consider you, but for you to consider whether they are the right fit for what you are looking for. Thank goodness you got the real impression of what it would be like and were able to identify she wasn't the right fit for you before you took the job.

    So glad you were able to take this experience and have a renewed roadmap for your career. Onward!
    (with much love :D )

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    1. Thank you, thank you, dear. Your support has been unflagging. Yes, I was definitely rescued from something horrible! <3

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  6. Ugh, blogger ate my comment too. Grr...

    As I read through this post, my heart rate sped up, my skin began tingling with heat, and my eyes glazed over. I don't care who you are. No one has any right to ever treat another person like you were treated. If you don't agree with someone or you feel as though it's just not going to work out, then you tell them - politely. I will never understand why some people feel the need to be mean. You handled yourself with grace. <3 And I will second what pj mentioned - thank goodness you discovered this woman's true self before it was too late. Here's to forging ahead ...

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    1. Thanks for your support, SA! Yes, that weird skin thing happened to me while this was going on. And yes to forging ahead!

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  7. Sounds like the Lord had His hand on your shoulder the entire time... and guided you back on course. Here's to busy fingertips and spilling-out-of-your-head ideas.

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    1. I absolutely believe this is true! Thank you for your support.

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  8. Just...WHOA! Let me tell you woman, THERE ISN'T A DAMN THING WRONG WITH THIS BLOG! How can personal blogs be wrong? It's YOURS to make what you want. Not to mention the extra bonus we writers get from your mentoring and contests you host. Sure, it's part business too with your editing services, but it's who you are in your blogs that attracts writers to WANT you to edit for them. Geesh!

    Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I'm so happy you've found a renewed commitment to writing. Taking this strange experience and churning the negativity into creative energy is the best (and sometimes hardest) thing to do. Bravo! And good luck with your edits!

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    1. Wow, thank you for that glorious rant! :) And thank you for your support. You're right -- it's not easy turning negative to positive. At least not in a vacuum. But the support and love of others goes a long, long way, and I'm so very grateful.

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  9. Whoa! You escaped a treacherous snare. Congratulations on the maturity it takes to recognize that it's not you, it's HER! And cheers for your resilience. We have to have that. And faith.

    Now, a question: can we discuss what considerations go into the decision to change tenses? I've done some tense changing myself, but more as an exercise than anything else. It's interesting, but I'm not sure how to settle on one. I'm not sure I'm sending out the right one. I'd love to learn more.

    Have a rejuvenating weekend!

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    1. Thank you so much, Chris!

      You know, that's a hard one. I actually consulted with Josh and Danielle prior to embarking on this change. Danielle strongly feels that there is a lot of bias among editors against first person present. Who knew, right? I think it can be highly effective, but who knows? It could just be a fad. I think you need to tell your story in whatever person and tense feels right, and then, later, get advise when needed. Never easy answers in this business!

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  10. You know, somewhere I read how many CEOs/company leaders were really and truly sociopaths. It was a shockingly high percentage and obviously this woman is one of them!

    As for your blog, I see professional jealousy going on. You're a success, all by your little lonesome, without big money to back you, and you have people who love and adore you and real friends who help you out when needed, all because they love you. On top of that, you're young and pretty and talented, so of course she's jealous!

    I'm so glad this propelled you back into writing, where you belong (sit, stay, write!) And now you have the makings of an excellent new villain, The Slimy CEO Sociopath. One of the great things about being a writer is that we can get our "revenge" by making bad guys out of the bad people we come across in life! Bwa-ha-ha!!!!!

    Congratulations on NOT getting the job! :)

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    1. DJ, you are always such a beautiful fount of support and encouragement -- thank you so much!

      I'm not old, but I'm certainly not "young an pretty", either! :) I agree that something definitely set this women off against me immediately -- it was like she decided from the moment the video went live that she was going to take me down.

      Yes, "sociopath" isn't far from the truth. And she would definitely make a great bad guy! :)

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  11. Wow! Glad you dodged that bullet! So glad it confirmed your commitment to witting.

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    1. Thank you, Maria -- believe me, so am !

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  12. Gosh that sucks. I almost wish we could know her name so other people could avoid her in the future, you know? I like your agreement not to badmouth people, but sometimes we want to not work for butt-holes. If I ever get a job with a self-help CEO I'll definitely ask you about the name...

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    1. If that ever happens, feel free to email me. :) *hugs*

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear about this, I know how much you were looking forward to this job! But I'm glad at least it renewed your commitment to writing (I'm suddenly humming Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life").

    As for her comments on your blog - ignore them as the jealous ramblings they were. We all appreciate everything you do for us writers. I know I'm not the only one who owes at least part of her success to you.

    Please accept these virtual hugs and virtual chocolates as consolation. Best of luck in whatever comes next for you!

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    1. Thank you so much -- your support and affirmation mean so very much. And so does the virtual chocolate. :)

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  14. I'm glad to hear of your recommitment to your stories. I'm just sorry you had to endure such unkindness. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, dear Michael! It was horrible, but I am thankful that it's forced me back on track. Hugs back!

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  15. What a horrible experience! But it does seem like you salvaged all the positive aspects - including the reality that you don't have to work for this woman.

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    1. Yes -- I really do feel "rescued" from the whole situation!

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  16. One day you'll write about this woman. She'll be an antagonist everyone despises. You'll be respectful and not use her real name, but everyone "close" to her will recognize her duplicitous nature. She'll be exposed, as she should be. You didn't deserve this but neither does anyone else.

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    1. Why, you have the wonderfully nefarious mind of a fiction writer! :))))

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  17. Holy smokes!!! I think I may have worked or someone like that in my past life....made me want to change careers...which I did and now...I'M A WRITER!!!

    This is a terrific blog and I'm glad to be a part of this community. Hugs and chocolate flowing your way:)

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    1. Thank you, Gee Wiz! (Wow, that sounds a little funny -- lol!) I'm glad you were able to extricate yourself from similar yuck. Onward, yes?

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  18. Oh. I am so very sorry you had such a horrible experience. And now we know why she seems so nice on line or as a guest of blogs. Someone else represents her.

    But really, I'm so happy you have decided to keep writing. I would miss being a lurker here on your wonderful blog.

    You mean a lot to many faceless posters here.

    Much good luck and tons of success. I have no doubt you WILL be published.

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    1. Thank you so much for your support, Alice. And for lurking. :) Sometimes I forget the quiet ones who are reading, and who are just as much a part of this community as the chatty ones. Thank you for being here. And thank you for believing in me.

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  19. So sorry you had to go through that -- and I'm sure DJ's right and that jealousy was what compelled her to behave so atrociously (not to mention unprofessionally!).

    But I'm so glad it turned out for the best anyway. And we all appreciate you and all the wisdom and encouragement that you share with us very much. :)

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    1. Thank you, L.C. I really do feel appreciated here. :)

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  20. How absolutely horrible!

    I'm glad you won't be her voice. And she won't stop you from using yours.

    Have a restful weekend!!

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    1. Thank you, Dana! And I love the way you put that.

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  21. Close call. Consider yourself lucky/blessed.
    And as Nora Ephron said: It's all material.
    Truffles to you.
    Maggie May

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    1. Thank you, Maggie May -- yes, I DO consider myself lucky/blessed!

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  22. Holy Dooley! (Aussie slang). Authoress, you certainly dodged a bullet there. Sounds like this woman has some big problems in her personality and her ethics, not to mention her professionalism.
    You, however, exude professionalism - that's part of why we all love you and what you say and do. We're there beside you sailing that journey in the good ship, Author.
    Your blog is one of the most professional, popular, helpful and unselfish, unself-centred blogs I know. So sail on through this mere blip on your course - that's all she is.
    best wishes
    Sheryl
    PS I bet she looks like a blip too. :)

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    1. LOVE that Aussie slang!! Thank you so much for your encouragement and affirmation. Truly.

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  23. It was unfortunate that you had to go through that with someone that you thought was totally a different person. However, you found out what she was really before you had the position, that’s a positive.

    Your blog is the first one I ever looked at and is the one that keeps me going. Glad to have you back full time and writing again.

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    1. Thank you so much, R.A. And it blesses me to know that my blog keeps you going. Because that's what this is all about! :)

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  24. Arrgh! I'm furious on your behalf that you had to deal with someone so toxic. Thank goodness you didn't end up working for her, and that the experience catapulted you back to writing. *hugs*

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne! And you're right -- she was absolutely toxic. It took me several days to de-tox from the experience! *hugs back*

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  25. Long time reader but have never commented before.

    I read this post this morning, and it struck a cord of familiarity to an experience one of my CP's had with a woman. Woman offered "Free" advice that tore my CP and her work apart, then the woman turned around and told my CP if she didn't take the advice she would steal my CP's work. I was MORTIFIED that anyone could treat another person like this under the guise of help.

    Doubly mortified after reading your post today, because it means this is not an isolated incident for this person. After double checking some things, my CP and I are 99.9% positive you encountered the same person she did. If it is the same person, she has a wide reach, and often one that encompasses many unseasoned writers. There is enough out there to discourage writers from doing what they love, but mean, little people with big reaches are the killers of so many dreams. Had my CP not had others to lift her up, and affirm that what this person did was WRONG on so many levels, she would have never written again.

    Anyone who's used blogs to find advice, has, more than likely come across MSFV. It's truly a great resource.

    As for the job, it's a hard way to figure out you weren't right for the company when everyone else in the company was such a positive experience for you. Better you didn't get tangled up in the company, or dump any of your valuable time into it.

    Happy writing.

    PS: sorry for the anon post, but you said she's read your blog. I don't want to be anywhere on her radar, my future career in mind and all that.

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    1. Hey, Anon --

      Your CP's experience sounds ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. :( I am certain, however, that this is not the same person. The woman I'm referring to doesn't have anything to do with the publishing industry (aside from the fact that she has several non-fiction books published). She does not offer any services to writers.

      Thank you for your kind words and support. And for coming out of the woodwork in order to comment. :)

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  26. How did she dare?
    Everybody loves your blog. I'm thinking jealous much.
    And I'm thinking that, like you, the worst critiques are the ones that propelled me forward. So kudos to you!

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    1. Thank you, Sussu! Definitely we need to allow ourselves to be propelled forward, and not backward. :)

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  27. I'm so tempted to say I can't believe anyone can be so cruel -- except I know they can be. Everything happens for a reason -- and you're so lucky you found out now what a nightmare it would be working for her. And she's way off the mark. Your blog is excellent. Keep up the good work.

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  28. The truth:

    I thanked Ms. Founder for her self-help program. Obviously, I was trying to kiss her *** by pretending to have read her work when I hadn't. Anyway, something felt even more wrong (getting caught in *** kiss) because she asked me which of her books I had read. The answer is none but I had memorized some titles before this interview. But, I forgot them! I tried talking way out of this mess and somehow the topic switched to my blog and Ms. Founder had the audacity to not kiss my ***. While I have no idea what emotional abuse really is, but being caught brown nosing has to be it.

    Anyway, I'm not going to bash anyone's character. Instead I'm going to spread gossip but keep her name out of it on this blog, but not in real life. I met a woman, not a friend mind you. not even someone I know well enough to call an acquaintance. I told her my story about Ms. Founder. And this woman said she had a friend who had been plagiarized . Yes, this is hearsay. But these are the stories that surfaced after I started complaining about Ms. Founder. All this might have been prevent if I had pretended to read Ms. founders work but that would mean taking responsibility for my part in this. I much rather get my emotion needs met from my blog readers.

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