Monday, October 4, 2010

Forgive and Forget

As many of you know, I have been in some sort of a funk for the past few months and have had a really difficult time even posting to my beloved blog. I HATE when I get like this and don't understand because I am a really upbeat positive person most of the time...I really really do try to be optimistic and thankful for all that I have.

With that being said, I am least I hope I am! I have had some serious conversations with myself and have done some serious reflection on these past 5 1/2 months. It has been a difficult time, fraught with many changes and betrayals that have really thrown me for a loop. But hey...that's life...right?!?

Brad changed jobs after a very lucrative 34 year career with a company that he had loved for the majority of those years. He started when he was 21 years old and he worked alongside the founder of the company whom he grew to love, respect and adore. He rose through the ranks and was the #1 salesman for most of those 34 years accumulating award after award, year after year. He helped build the company to what it is today and his talents, skills and passion for the work they do was admittedly unmeasured.

But it got ugly. Brad was frustrated and had been given conflicting information. He wrote a letter to the person he was told he was to work under, because his phone calls to this person went ignored for months. Admittedly, the letter could have been written better; he was frustrated and said so in said letter, but, on April 28, 2010, it generated a phone call from the CEO, a man he has known for years and who he thought was his dear friend.

The CEO left a threatening message on Brad's company voicemail and when he "thought" he had hung up the phone, he proceeded to go off on a tirade where he ridiculed, trashed and made fun of US, calling Brad names and demeaning his character and even bringing me into his gossipy rant, belittling me (we have a recording of the phone call)...are you kidding?? He talked about my husband's income with people in his office (not really sure who...does it really matter?) like cheap "water-cooler" gossip and to be honest, I was FURIOUS. So I called him. Brad tried to stop me, but I am the type of person who confronts someone head-on...I got him on the phone, calmly told him what we had heard, he stammered, sort of apologized and then proceeded to YELL at me, reprimanding me for "getting involved" (Let's just remember that HE involved me when he gossiped about me to his office staff!) Like I said, we have the phone message recorded...he can say what he wants, the recording says it all...

I have never posted about this, in fact, we haven't really told many people but so many of his colleagues have been asking where he is and what happened, so thus, this post. Brad and I were destroyed that day! The betrayal from this man, as well as his son, the President and his son-in-law, the C.O.O. was overwhelming and to this day, I have NEVER received an apology, and know that I never will...although he later told Brad that he wished he could give me a "big hug" because he felt so bad...for the record, my door is always open!

Brad resigned! He realized that he was "shopping at an empty store!" It was a painful decision at the time, but after hearing what was said on that horrible voicemail debacle, we decided that we would NOT be associated with a company who treats their most loyal, top-producer the way they did that fateful day. They have used Brad's good name for years and the relationship that he had with the founder to their advantage...and that was O.K. at the time An award was named after him just 2 years ago in honor of his amazing career successes! This was unprecedented as no one living has ever had an award named after them. Hmmm...

So we have moved on. Brad is now with a company who respects his talents and abilities and who gives me the respect that I deserve as his wife. He is happy and prosperous and our future is brighter than we could have ever imagined. Those dark, painful months after hearing that disgusting message were bleak and miserable, but great lessons were learned and the value of those lessons is unmeasurable.

Life is so interesting. Just when you think things are the way they are supposed to be they can change on a dime. I learned that faith is SO easy when everything is going as planned. It really is only effective when you are going over the edge of the cliff and just before hitting the ground, the Lord helps you make a parachute to save you from the inevitable.

I learned that faith and fear are absolute opposites and CANNOT occupy the same space. If you have fear, then you really don't have faith!

I learned that "Forgive and Forget" have to go hand-in-hand. It is my opinion that if you can't forget, you really haven't forgiven...Let me explain because I have struggled with this for my entire life: I know that our Oh-So-Human minds cannot just forget when we have been wronged, and I don't think that is what the Lord is talking about. And maybe we are even supposed to remember the actual "wrong" so that we can learn from it. What I do think is that the "Forget" part comes in when it is resurrected in our hearts and minds. Meaning, we are to put the actual betrayal out of our mind and NOT bring it up or talk about it. For example, Brad would often say, "so what do you think about ______?" and I would proceed to share my feelings only to have us both end up so worked up with all of the hurt and anger rushing right back in and we would have terrible feelings about this person who we have worked so hard to forgive! The magnitude of the incident would open up and the healing scab would be ripped off, only to leave a deeper scar. It became impossible to fully forgive.

Now, after 5 1/2 months, we are both able to really and truly forgive and forget! It is marvelous and it has been a true blessing in our lives. I have come to the realization that I will never receive the apology that I feel I deserve and that's O.K. I actually have love for this man. I loved him before and I love him now. He is one of God's beloved sons and I know that he has a family who loves and adores him...I can love him too.

I feel badly that things ended the way they did. Were we perfect? Of course not, but we did all that we could to rectify the situation and the result was not really the outcome that could have benefited all parties concerned...but they will go on without Brad...we will go on without them. I admit that it still is a bit painful to know that we will not be associated with so many wonderful people whom we have fostered sweet relationships with and that Brad has been "forgotten" since no one in upper management will acknowledge to the work force that he is gone...but now you know why. And that's really alright because he is still here and he is doing so well. He is a hard-working, resourceful and very talented man who has strength and integrity that is now being acknowledged and he is being rewarded for his efforts. 

Forgive this person who "wronged" us? Absolutely! We will forget the intensity of the pain of betrayal. We love him, forgive him and we wish him the very best in all that he does. I'm only sad that 34 years of a business and maybe more importantly, a personal friendship have been dissolved so unnecessarily.

Now we are healing and now we are becoming whole again. It's a beautiful thing and I only hope and pray that this lesson has been learned and that we can apply the principle of forgiveness in every aspect of our lives. The Lord has blessed us more than I can even put in words...He knows us, He loves us, He hurts for us and He wants us to succeed and most importantly, He wants us to be Happy...I am so thankful to Him for his incredible mercy and compassion for all of us! What more can I say?


Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Mary, so sorry for all the pain you and your husband have suffered. I was fired from my job that I had held for 17 years and was crushed. God opened another door for me that was even more than I could have ever imagined. I am in a much better place now, but it was hard to realize that at the time. A year later the director who fired me was also fired for destroying the pre-school that I had worked at. Needless to say, I was thrilled. Praying for you and your husband that his new job will be the perfect change for him and I know he will be appreciated there for his hard work. God knows what is best in our lives, even though it may be painful in the process. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here on out. Love & blessings from NC!

addicted2shius said...

That kind of betrayal really hurts to the core and unfortunately my husband and I have been there. And for me, I truly don't care what people say of me cuz I know I'm not always a nice person but that's only when someone hurts my family. But my husband is truly one of the most godly people I know. It was immature of that man to act in that manner. And it's horrible you found out the ugliness in the worst way possible and rather than fess up to his wrongdoings, he attacked you. Most likely out of embarrassment. I commend you both for your ability to move on and past it. I struggle with that not for my own issues but for issues with people who have hurt my family. I don't like to see my family in pain. It hurts me more than someone who has offended me. But I remember a talk about forgiveness. And that people don't always need to ask to be forgiven in order for you to forgive them. You're an inspiration and I'm glad you've rejoined the blogosphere.

Lynn said...

OH wow Mary. I truly appreciate this post! I have been struggling for the past three years with forgiving someone who was the closest and dearest friend (or so I thought) for many many years. I appreciate your thoughts that read "a personal friendship have been dissolved so unnecessarily". I too feel like I have forgiven, but sometimes I wondered if I have because we are no longer friends. The "trust" is all gone. Completely. I will be civil towards her, but I am sadden because the friendship was destroyed. Just like that. All in one fell swoop. (She had written some nasty things about me and some lies to another person in an e-mail and accidentally e-mailed it to me......I guess because I was the one on her mind.) So I thank you for your thoughts about forgiveness..that it doesn't always mean that a friendship is rekindled.

I completely understand a little of what you and Brad went through. My heart aches for the gut wrenching pain you've both have gone through the past few months. I applaud and commend you for getting to this point of forgiveness already in such a short amount of time. You truly are an inspiration!

Praying for you said...

Mary, if you had really "forgiven and forgotten" you would not have felt the need to write your post in this way. Your heart would have told you to move on, and move UPWARD - not rehash the event and thus remain angry and bitter.

People disappoint us, that is an unfortunate fact of life. And forgiveness may come a little easier than the forgetting part. I hope you will be able to let go of it now, make peace in your heart, and find joy in all of the good things in your life. Breathe in and out. Let it go. You are blessed.

BARBIE said...

Mary, I am so sorry for what you had to endure, but am thankful God has brought you to a better place because of it. Thankful too that you both have been able to truly forgive and move on. Praying your husband will continue to prosper in his current position!