When I came home from vacation I felt so happy and free and excited. I had grand plans for keeping new resolutions, and the best part was that I had the energy to start putting them into action! I was so positive and felt full of life.
In seconds, I let that be taken away from me by just one person.
I don't know why I let things like that happen, but it's definitely true that I'm too sensitive.
A man came into my work wanting something that I couldn't do for him. I tried to tell him as nicely as possible not only that I couldn't do that for him but also the reasons why (I thought that it might soften the blow if he understood the why). Of course, I was missing a large piece of the puzzle that would've made me far more optimistic about his situation if I'd known it, and it all worked out in the end. In the meantime, he proceeded to abuse me and intimidate me by his words and his body language, encouraging other people in the office on his side of the desk to do the same. I was the only employee in the room, vastly outnumbered in my station. I asked him to please leave because he could not talk to me like that, but he would not leave, he kept asking to see the manager. The manager had already told me she did not want to see him. Of course, she did in the end, but he just had to wait his turn until she made it all better.
My day was ruined. The entire rest of my day I kept remembering his facial expression as he looked at me with infuriated accusation, calling me names and telling me all the reasons why I was an unworthy human. I hated the things that he said to me, and I hated wondering if they were true. I hated that I couldn't stop shaking and I was mad at myself because I am sure he recognized that I was badly rattled (he got what he wanted). I hate that when I come home from an afternoon like that, all I can do is shut down and sit in my apartment, and cancel my grand plans of progress and positive accomplishment (not that I canceled any plans with another person, just my own for myself). In this case, I let myself be the casualty because I couldn't shake those words. Those words broke my spirit, forget about sticks and stones and stupid bones!
It is hard for me to gain any comfort for this situation. I have never been one to deal well with injustice, and this situation seems like a great example of injustice to me. Part of my problem in getting over the experience is that I cannot accept the fact that he felt like he could treat me that way, and in actuality he can because he got what he wanted in the end.
The other part of my problem is that my feelings are pointless. What he said was a long string of cheap shots aimed at motivating me to do what he wanted and to feel bad for not doing what he wanted in the first place. IT DOESN'T MATTER what he thinks, but it still hurt a whole lot. So what do I get out of this?
Hopefully I will gain a thicker skin over time. And even though I can't rejoice that I was persecuted for the sake of Christ, maybe I can turn the negativity and seeming meaninglessness of this experience into a positive and meaningful lesson by taking it as practice to stand my ground and rejoice if ever persecuted for the sake of Christ. Maybe a few daily abuses will be just the practice that I need in order to be ready to lay it all on the line for what I believe and what is right, to stand for justice no matter how many liars tell me that I am standing for a lie.
And in any case, now I can identify more with Jesus and the unjust abuses He received. Of course, He didn't let His feelings get hurt or His purpose and plans become derailed, so hopefully I can learn to identify with that someday, too. Also, He was perfect and I'm far from that, so there is always a learning experience for me tucked inside the conflicts, even when someone else is totally out of line. Jesus, please walk with me in the workplace and make me better than I was yesterday, more equipped to dole out grace to all the unjust and recognize myself in their accusing faces.
This is all part of a process of becoming accustomed to a new environment. With the same company but at a different location with different systems and procedures, I am the new girl again with a lot to learn. The culture of "customers" is completely different as well, so I am finding there is a much higher proportion of people ready to jump me on a regular basis. I'm hoping I don't become so jaded that I am always in "fight" mode.
Thanks for letting me vent until the rock left the pit of my stomach, Blogspot. You have helped me become more McFearless! I had to "write through" the experience before I could back again for another day of beatings. :)