A bit long, analogy at end.
This coming weekend, Labor Day, we always have a revival of sorts. People come from all over and it is such a wonderful experience that I always get a blessing out of it. Because Satan knows how much it blesses me, he does anything and everything in his power to ruin my week (and more) beforehand to prevent me from going. Happens every year. Generally, I recognize it for what it is, push through and make it to the services. This year is proving far more difficult.
Not many know, and those who do have a hard time believing it, but I have social anxiety. Seems crazy that someone as open, chatty, goofy and loud to have such an anxiety, but it’s true. Most of the time actually pressing past the anxiety and going to the social gathering pays off and I enjoy myself, but up until the ‘enjoying myself’ kicks in – I am sick, nauseated, get migraines, hives and my heart starts racing. Wasn’t until I was a Christian that I recognized it for what it was – Satan trying to keep me down.
I used to write blog posts assuming that no one was going to see it unless I point them to it or they find it by accident. That’s an incorrect assumption now because it auto-posts to my page and because of the number of people who follow me on *Clean* Funny Pics. That was my mistake and because of it, that post from the other day upset a lot of people. The people who got bent out of shape about it then went on to prove that everything I’d said in my post was true, but I digress…
I think people are wrong to chastise and condemn me for making a private situation public when I did no such thing. I was sharing my thoughts and feelings on a situation that *I* was going through. It’s how I heal. There are whole blog posts out there on the net about me and how bad I suck and they use my name specifically. First and last! It’s not generic in the least. Now THAT is something to get upset about. Though it upsets me when such things first pop up, I’m over it like a day later because I know it’s not true. At that point, it becomes and honor to have affected someone’s life that much! *nudge nudge*
The saying “You doth protest too much” is in play here – big time. Gets even more so every day. I learned this the hard way back when I was in college. I dated a guy (we’ll call Tony) that fed me bull for over 2 years. It wasn’t until a friend of my dad’s heard I was dating the guy, that I found out the things I found out. Daddy handled the situation quite nicely. He told me that his friend from church, [Steve], had told him some things that proved [Tony] wasn’t what or who he said he was. I asked Daddy what information he had. Dad’s response? He handed me [Steve’s] business card and said “If you want to know. Here’s the information.” See. Smart.
Daddy knew that not only would the information not be well received, I would most likely hate the messenger. He left it up to me to find out or not. Wasn’t going to force it on me. It took me a little time, but after marinating on the things that just. Didn’t. Make. Sense… The things I wasn’t ever able to work out in my mind or things [Tony] gave as explanations to some pretty incredible situations that were just… unbelievable… I needed to know the truth and eventually called him.
It was a phone conversation that changed my life. I started out with an attitude. Defensive. Because I figured here was some other person trying to ruin [Tony’s] name or ruin my happiness. Not long into the conversation, my defensiveness became sadness and tears. It made. So. Much. Sense. At first, I didn’t ask him for proof, but after a few phone calls on the topic, I eventually did. His reply was, basically, that I had to take him at his word because he had no proof. I pretty much did because some guy I’d never met before -with a wife and four kids- had no reason to lie to me, but just to gain peace of mind I went to the local library to see what information was there.
The next 6 months or more of my life were spent researching in libraries and courthouses within a 100 mile radius of the area (internet was in its humble beginnings back then). I went through loads and loads of old newspapers on microfiche and eventually found proof that [Tony] was a liar and [Steve] was telling the truth. From there I went to the courthouses and found every public record I could find. With every bit of new information I found, I sunk lower. I felt stupid, naive, dumb, idiotic, heartbroken.
During that same time, I was still in touch with [Tony]. I’d not told him about [Steve] who, as it turned out, shared a home with him when they were kids. Each time I found something that proved him a liar, I’d ask him about it or bring it up somehow, and every time – without fail – he had a quick answer. A nice neat explanation. He often offered proof of what he was saying to back his story up too. A lot of times, he not only insisted it was truth and offered proof, he often rallied people to his side to back him up. The problem there was that they had only the “proof” he showed them. They’d done no checking on their own. Not much anyway. And when I made it known that I knew he was a phony… When I made it known I had proof… I lost every single one of those friends. (Some of whom are actually in prison. He’s not, but they are…) As horrible as it all was, that experience made me grow up rather quickly and taught me a lot.
I’d love to go into the details of the stuff he was feeding me, but I’d rather not make myself look anymore foolish for being that naive. That and because of the fact that there are certain things I’m bound by law not to say. (Yeah, I left the part of the story out where I was brought in by the FBI for questioning… See. Crazy.) What I will say though, is this…
That experience, as hard as it was, went a long way in teaching me a valuable life lesson. There’s an old saying that goes “If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and acts like a duck, it’s probably a duck” – but I’ve learned that’s not always the case. It could be a goose, a swan or some other waterfowl. I’ve also learned that when you ask an actual duck if it’s a duck, it will quack “yes” and swim on. If it starts squawking, flapping its wings, swimming to the other ducks with proof that it too is a duck – it’s quite likely that it’s a wolf in duck clothing.
And the best thing to do at that point is to leave the pond, find a new pond with other ducks, because if you try to pluck the feathers off the wolf-exposing him to the other ducks, you’ll do nothing but cause the other ducks to flock to the wolf making themselves sitting ducks. Sitting ducks who will then turn their bills on you, throw you the flock out while happily plucking and giving their own feathers to protect the wolf. And that… That puts them in a position to become lame ducks.
This I know because I speak from experience. #previouslyalameduck #lameducknomore