The climax of attack on my family started two weeks before Holy week of 1998. Holy week is the prelude to Easter Sunday. It started in a very methodical calculating way. This was the very height of this devious hate crime, and the revelations that surfaced would answer many of my intriguing questions. The next seven days would prove to be the most challenging time of my entire life, ultimately testing my endurance level and my sanity. The impact will last several months, as I try to unravel the deceit and betrayal of seemingly decent respectable people of my community.
One of the ladies from a religious retreat, I had gone on the previous weekend, suggested I stop going to the meetings for a few weeks, because I was under a lot of stress. I explained to her the horrible problems I was experiencing with Pastor White. This person pleaded with me to take a break from the meetings. She warned me to be careful of Pastor White. I agreed and was not going to go to this last meeting, but Ben suggested I go to the meeting, since he was taking the kids to the boys group that evening. I guess Ben thought it would be better to go than be home alone. I told Ben I was not going to the meeting. Ben was insistent, so I changed my mind and went to the meeting. This was the biggest mistake I ever made. I should have listened to my own instincts. This was the last meeting before my husbands big Easter Vigil induction mass and was the worst experience of my entire life.
After a brief mass all the members gathered for refreshments. It was Friday night. Easter Sunday was coming soon. There were approximately fourteen people in the basement. Most of the members were standing around a table eating and drinking. Some were sitting, chatting among themselves. This was our fellowship night and we all enjoyed talking and gathering around to share food and soda. After a little while, Pastor White arrived. He loved congregating with the prayer group members. I wandered over to a table, near the door that had an assortment of religious literature on it when, Pastor White, approached me and stood next to me. We were the only ones at the table. He started talking to me about the meeting. Our backs were facing the people eating and the light in our area was very low. No one behind us could actually see what was happening, since we were at another part of the room and our backs were facing them. I proceeded to pick up the pamphlets of interest, when suddenly, the pastor pressed his left arm next to my right arm, bracing himself against me. We were locked together. With the swiftness of lightening, he raised his other hand and caressed my breast in a very alluring way.
I was shocked. This was no simple brush of an elbow. We stood together with our arms pressed. In a split second, with his other hand, he caressed my breast slowly from the top, moving his hand along the contour, until he reached the bottom. There was no mistake, as to what happened. This time he left no room for me to give him the benefit of the doubt. I must have lost my breath for a few seconds, because everything went black. I felt an icy cold feeling in my back, creep up my spine and reach my heart. I could not speak. All I could think about was my mothers warning, as a teenager, about the dangers of certain types of men. My mind focused on my mothers words and I somehow felt what was happening was my fault. How could he do this? How could anyone do this, let alone a pastor from a respected church? It was sacrilegious.
Pastor White then looked at me. I could see he was nervous, yet he was trying to keep his composure. He started talking to me casually, as if nothing happened. He started to say something to me about how I was fortunate enough to know how to balance my family and my church obligations, although I did not exactly hear much of what he said, because my mind was blank. I felt as though he had just raped me. I felt, as if this man of God had just violated my very soul. I was sure he just reached beyond my breast and put his icy cold hand through my flesh, ripping my soul from my body, tearing it away from its warm home. I was struck with confusion. Here was a pastor, whom I trusted, as if he were my own father and he just molested me. It was as if the very essence of my heart had been ripped out of my being and the only thing left was an empty shell. I felt betrayed and degraded. I felt violated, like one feels when their home is robbed or their car is stolen, with the acknowledgment that someone had the audacity to enter their home or car; however, this man entered my very soul and sexually molested me, so the violation I felt was one of great magnitude. All the respect and trust I had for him instantly vanished. I felt, as if in that five-second act of self-centered fulfillment, my entire life was just shaken up, as though the earth was crumbling, with the distinct possibility of closure nearing. I needed to know why he did this, but I was speechless. I felt outside myself, as if someone else was directing my motions. I was in complete shock. I couldnt think. My body was moving toward the door, but I had no idea who was controlling it.
As I drove home, I cried silently to myself. I was extremely disillusioned. The confusion, I felt, was of great depth and I could not reason why this happened. I trusted this Pastor and he just molested me. This incident was way beyond my realm of comprehension. I could not begin to understand the implications it presented.
When I got home, I went straight to bed and just lay there crying. Ben was not home from his boys meeting yet. I felt a loss that one feels when there is a death in the family, one of extreme emotional pain, with the critical question hanging over my head like the bleakness of an inevitable death. Why? I did not tell my husband, at first, because I needed to investigate why this Pastor did this to me. Plus I did not think Ben could handle such terrible news just before his induction into the church. I didnt want to spoil things for Ben. I was not convinced this was purely an act of sexual gratification.
I was scheduled to help out with a mass on Friday. I decided to go, even though Pastor White sexually molested me, because I needed more clues as to why he did this. It took every ounce of courage to go to this mass, but something was drawing me to the church. An intuitive thought was beckoning me to the church, in order to find answers. I subconsciously knew if I pursued this problem I would find the answers. I was not in the best frame of mind, but I thought it was very important to pursue this matter.
The children had bought Pastor White some chocolates for Easter. I decided to bring the box of chocolates to the rectory, with a casual note regarding the possibility of Pastor White coming to our house for Easter. He had discussed this possibility with Ben. I wanted to leave the chocolates for him, so Pastor White would think I was going along with his sexual advance. I decided I could catch more bees with honey than vinegar. It literally took days of deep contemplation to come to this decision. I was sure this was the only way to get answers.
I then went into the church and sat down. I was emotionally drained and very confused, but I felt an urgent tenacious push to continue with this farce. Before the mass started I was sitting with some of the women from the prayer group, in church, chatting with them. Dick came over to sit next to us. When I looked up at the altar there was Pastor White walking from one end of the altar to the other, pretending to miss steps and faking near falls, because he could not take his eyes off me. He was playing out the part of a lovesick teenager. One of the members sitting next to me was laughing hysterically and I realized Pastor Whites motive was to make a fool of me. It was sickening and I could not imagine what could possess Pastor White to be so cruel. The prayer member who was laughing at me was Dick. The respectable honorable citizen of our community. Dick is heavily involved in church activities. He is the organ player for the church choir, active with several committees of the church and an auxiliary policeman. This man was laughing at me. This was all so sick. They were trying to humiliate me. I felt so lost and alone. I could not comprehend the vicious nature of their actions. It was way beyond my realm of comprehension.
At first I thought the pastors sexual molestation was done as a sexual act, but I somehow knew there was more to it. An intuitive notion was guiding my thoughts. Now I have come to the conclusion this was sexual harassment, in order to embarrass, degrade and humiliate me into leaving the church. Pastor Whites motives were to force my family out of the church. In fact, they did not want my husband to be initiated into the church or they did not want me to be there. How can they take this away from Ben, especially when my children were beaming with pride over this initiation and Ben had worked so hard to get to this point in his life? What could have possessed this pastor to be so cruel? I think possessed is the only word that can describe a pastor who is guilty of a sexual crime, which his soul will be damaged for. I called the pastor the next morning and I left a message on his machine that said, I will pray for you.
The weekend was here and I stayed in bed hoping it would all just quietly disappear. I told Ben I was sick. Unfortunately, when I awoke in the morning, that same feeling of incredible disbelief would awaken me to the stark reality of my life. The next day continued their rein of terror against me. I reluctantly went to work. I thought if I didnt go to work I would never go back. We needed this income. Ben was only working part-time, since he was caring for our children. I wanted Ben to protect them from all of this.
We all went to lunch with our boss, because our sales figures, for homes sold, exceeded our projections. At lunch I was seated strategically next to people who were talking during the entire lunch about the O.J. Simpson case. It was big news at the time. A sudden thought occurred to me. I remember Pastor White saying to me at one of the prayer meetings something odd. I didnt realize what it meant, at the time. He said, "with all the stress you are having with the prayer group, please do not drag my name through the mud. Do not involve me in any of this." He continued, "If you drag my name into this, it will kill me." That same piercing look shot from his dark eyes, like daggers slicing my senses. I felt a terror overwhelm my body. I could not comprehend what he meant, at the time. I had no intentions of dragging his name through the mud to begin with.
However, this now made sense to me. He was referring to events yet to happen. Namely, the sexual molestation at the prayer group meeting. During our luncheon Lynn started to tell me a story about her best friend. She insisted I listen to it. She said, This friend of mine is in a sad situation. Her husband drove her crazy and she is now in a mental institution. She has four children at home. I told her to leave this S.O.B., but she doesnt have a job. I feel so sorry for her. Can you imagine your own husband trying to drive you crazy? What a loser he is. I would have knocked the hell out of him. How could she let this happen? Her poor children, they will never be the same. Lynn was very tough. I just sat there listening, trying very hard to ignore her cutting words.
I was now totally convinced she was trying to inflict fear into me. I was not about to become paranoid and suspect Ben of trying to drive me crazy or of wanting to kill me. The question foremost on my mind was why was this all happening to me? It didnt make any sense. This is so sick. In fact, telling anyone this sorted intention of malice would surely convince them that I am insane. But, of course, this is their clear intention all along. To make me and everyone around me, think I am insane. Then I could add to all this insanity, the fact that the pastor sexually assaulted me, right in the middle of other prayer group members. They would really have a right to throw a net over my head and drive me to the nearest mental institution.
The problem here was that the other members of the prayer group were in on this whole charade and they would all swear Pastor White did nothing wrong. I am sure they are just dying for me to bring Pastor White up on charges, so they can falsely accuse me of being the one who pursued him. Who would believe me over a pastor of a church? This would surely cause havoc in my family and ruin my reputation. It would definitely trigger Ben to start drinking. Imagine a Lolita who seduces pastors? This could even make the local newspapers. I could see the headlines now, Lolita seduces Pastor in order to steal his soul. It is so bizarre. I cannot even begin to imagine how they think they can get away with this, although they know, at this time, I have no recourse. How can I tell anyone whats going on? Who would believe any of it? Especially Ben. He would not buy one word of it. I was alone in this nightmare and I was determined to get to the source of it. I will have to be very strong to endure anything they pass my way, because they will destroy my reputation if I retaliate.
The afternoon went by quickly and I drove home without incident. I sat in my dining room chair contemplating all the events in the week. Ben was out with the children. I felt an overwhelming pang of guilt. I wanted to spend time with my family. All I had the strength for, when I got home from work, was to try to rest. Ben left a note saying he took the kids to the library and would be home in an hour. All of the incidents in the past week could not possibly be coincidences, yet it was too incredible to be believable. Could you even imagine something like this happening to you? Could you imagine waking up one morning to the stark shocking reality that everyone in your life has been scheming to cause pain for you and your family? God only knows how long this has been going on. Pastor White cleverly lured me into the prayer group, only to try to inflict embarrassment and grief into my life. To unsettle me to a point of total disbelief. They want to ruin my reputation. The teller machine incident was a way to discredit me. I am convinced they plotted that whole incident with the money coming out the machine in the bank. This was a high price sting. Had I been tempted to take the money, I would have been put in jail. All these manipulative schemes are to wreck my reputation. But, why? Someone was going to a great deal of time and trouble to slander me. Even I had trouble believing all of this.
Unfortunately, Ben would not be able to understand any of it. I wanted answers and I wanted them now. Unfortunately, I was going to have to wait until more of these horrible events unfolded. I sat there, closed my eyes, contemplating all the events that happened at the office and at the prayer meeting. It was incredible. Someone was going to a great deal of trouble and expense to harass me, but who?
One day my life was seemingly normal, with the average stress and complaints. The next day, however, I find myself in a world of incredible mind games, harassment and intimidations. I find myself in the darkest of times and in the most bizarre circumstances anyone could ever imagine. I find myself in a world that exists within the real world. A world that is secret from the real world, with clever manipulations, causing destruction in its path. A place filled with violence, sexual intimidation, harassment and the powerful force of hate. The paradox is that this place exists, yet does not exist. It is not posted on any maps, yet it dwells in my community. It is a dark dank existence filled with the blackness of hell. There is an evil instigator, who has somehow managed to involve seemingly decent people, in his wrath of destruction. The main perpetrator is responsible for manipulating the many puppets popping in and out of my life, with the clear intention of causing fear. The thought of the enormous hate swelling in this person sends shivers down my spine. I cannot comprehend such ruthless behavior. My co-workers, friends, people from my church, are all out to cause me great pain and suffering. Some of the other mothers in the neighborhood I have known for over three years are now showing me that they are a part of some evil hate crime.
The question still remains. Why? Why on Gods earth would anyone want to hurt me? I am a very loving, caring individual who always extended myself to anyone in need. I am charitable and God loving. Even if I had been guilty of the worst crime imaginable, the actions of these people would not be justified. I cannot comprehend the manner they are going about to seek revenge on me. I am convinced there is much more to this than I can see at this moment. I am sure of one thing, that someone has slandered me in the most vicious manner. This accounts for the severe punishment I am facing.
I went into my bedroom to check my answering machine. There was a message on my machine that sounded like the clanking sound of a hammer. It was the distinct sound of metal crashing against metal and there were outdoor background sounds accompanying this clanking noise. The background noises sounded like traffic. This was very strange. It frightened me, because I knew it was another clue, but I did not know how it tied into all this. They were trying so hard to scare the living day lights out of me and I was starting to submit to their command. There was another message from one of the prayer group members. She wanted information about a meeting. I heard the distinct sound of music playing in the background of her message. It was the theme song from the Titanic movie.
During a recent prayer meeting she made a point to ask Pastor White if he would go to see the Titanic movie with her. I thought this was odd for a pastor to be going to a movie that had a nude scene in it. I was convinced both messages were put there to inflict fear in me. I was also receiving hang-up calls, on an average of three each evening. I suddenly came to the chilling notion that they were trying to drive me mad. But why? There was a shock wave of terror running throughout my body, bringing me to an incredible state of awareness. I felt as though I lost complete control over my life and I could feel the ceiling caving in around me, crushing me into the ground until I could no longer move. The air was now getting thin and I was reaching a point of suffocation. What did they want from me? Why were they doing this to me? I never harmed anyone in my life and I could not imagine what could have possibly been said to my co-workers, to the people at the prayer group, or to Pastor White, that could make them become so viciously hostile. No matter what was said, there is no justification in trying to drive me crazy. Furthermore, there is nothing I could have possibly done to deserve such malicious mind games to be played on me.
How could this be happening, it was surreal? I could not come to any intelligent logical conclusion for this to suddenly be happening to me. I knew in my heart that this was not just going to quietly disappear.
The next day was Tuesday of Holy week. Another day filled with terror. I went to work in a very confused distant frame of mind. I just wanted the day to end. I kept thinking about all that had transpired. I was angry. I decided to confront Pastor White. I called him at the rectory and told him what he did was wrong. I said, "I trusted you, as if you were a father to me. My family trusted you. How could you molest me the way you did? How could you do that to me?" For the first time, Pastor White was quiet and he let me do all the talking. I was suspicious of his silence. I repeated myself, "I trusted you. My family trusted you." He finally replied in an arrogant tone, "You should trust in God." I answered him with an angry tone, "I do trust in God, but I trusted you as a pastor."
I ended the conversation by begging Pastor White to look deeper into this matter, because someone was slandering me and that he was smart enough to get to the truth. I hung up disillusioned by our conversation, but I vowed to Pastor White that I would dig deep until I got to the origin of this crime. This was my biggest mistake. Ever since I said that to him, I have been simultaneously hit by everyone involved, in order to cause confusion in me, so I would not be able to uncover the real reason behind this whole vendetta.
As dismal as the picture appeared, I knew if I did not persevere and find the truth, I would not survive this ordeal. My workday seemed unusually long. When it was over, I drove home. When I got into my apartment, a sigh of relief filled me. I was glad the day was over. I felt safe. I got into my pajamas and went to my bed. Ben was out playing ball with the kids. I had more time to think. I wasnt sure if this was good or bad. I was focusing all my attention on this vendetta, when I usually spend my spare time with my children. Ben was happy to have the extra time with his boys, since he came back home. I decided I did need the time alone. I needed to somehow detach myself from its grip, although at this point, that seemed to be an impossible task. My faith was diminishing into a grain of sand. That Christmas Spirit I felt was no longer present. My inner peace was shattered. Trying to keep my deep faith was like trying to hold onto a snowflake falling from the sky. It lands in your hand and then suddenly disappears. God was eluding me. I could no longer plead with God for help, because he seemed to be a million miles away, without any means of reaching him.
Mercy. Yes mercy is what I needed to pray for, but I was in a place where there was no room left for God. My mind was filled to capacity, swirling in a world of deceitful betrayal, with no room for good thoughts of prayer. There was no room for hope. Hopelessness set in like the gloominess of a suddenly shocking untimely death, yet I desperately wanted to live, emotionally live. I felt as if my destiny was now in the hands of some hateful force, which was pulling me into the depths of hell. I felt as if the rug was pulled from underneath me and I was falling into a pit filled with evil devils, waiting to devour me, as I dropped into their path. These devils were relishing in the notion that I would one day fall far enough for them to grab me into an abyss of endless torture. This vision was hell, yet I was living my own private hell on earth.
I had lost twelve pounds in the last two weeks and I felt a weakness overwhelming me. I was starting to feel very ill. Then my thoughts centered around my children. They needed me so much. Their love sustains me and helps me continue to live. But this wasnt living, this was just a life of functioning, surviving, existing. I was sure God was punishing me for something I did, which was eluding me. My children gave me the strength to hang on, just hang on, as I struggled from one day to another. I was starting to think I would never have another happy moment again. I thought I would never enjoy my children, my husband, my life. I was sure my life was over, as I previously knew it to be. Despair overwhelmed me, as I desperately fought to rid myself of this debilitating emotion. What happened to forgiveness, I wondered.
Even if someone had said I was a mass murderer, arent pastors obligated to be forgiving. They are spiritually trained to represent the very essence of the church, which is the spirit of God. Pastors must be nonjudgmental. Their role is to represent Christ. They should be compassionate, understanding and forgiving of human faults. What was the matter with Pastor White? I could not understand him behaving like this. He is a man of God and should be representing the church and Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, we should be generous to people who are in need, whether it is spiritual or material need. Pastors are suppose to mirror the life of Christ and to uphold His virtues; to hold the Ten Commandments as sacred and right, but above all to obey them. One commandment, which has been broken by the pastor and everyone else involved is, We shall love our neighbor as ourselves. When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment of all here is what he said, You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments. Matthew 22 36-40 NAB. Jesus said this was one of the most important of all commandments and I can see why. If we all loved and respected our neighbors, our fellow citizens, there would be no wars, no conflicts, no murders, no fighting, no judgments, no fears to walk the streets at night, no vendettas, no harassments. This would be the ideal world.
Of course, we do not live in an ideal world. Nature is perfect. Gods creation of earth is perfect. The synchronization of the planets to align perfectly each day is perfect. The sun rising and setting each day, without fail, is perfect. But, people are not perfect. No one is, but we still have a moral obligation to be civil, to be somewhat compassionate to others. Nonetheless, what is happening to me is not debatable. This is a vicious terrorist attack on me, which has no justification attached to it. There is no reason on Gods earth that can justify this kind of behavior. I still felt as if I was being punished for something I might have done in the past. But,what? What could I have possibly done to deserve this immense suffering? The words of our Lord rang in my ears, Forgive them for they know not what they do. I vowed to pray for them although this was a very difficult task, since I felt such resentment at this time.
For them to pick Holy week to heighten their harassment against me was deplorable behavior. Holy week reminds us of the path Jesus followed to His death and then ultimately to His glorious resurrection, on Easter Sunday. It is a sacred week for Christians, filled with prayer and church services. Their hypocritical behavior is inexcusable and will be the downfall of their existence. I was sure they would be haunted by their own consciousness for many years to come. The next day was Wednesday. I was beginning to think this week had no end to it. As I drove to my office, I noticed a gray car speeding past me, as I was making a turn down a residential street. He actually cut me off. I proceeded down the block with caution until I caught sight of the gray car, parked on the right side of the road. As I approached this car, at a slow speed, the gray car jumped out in front of me, then stopped dead only a few feet away from me. I instinctively looked in the rear view mirror and saw another car close behind me, but there was no time to think. I hit my brake hard and stopped short, because I would have hit the gray car had I not stopped instantly. My car stood motionless. I expected the car behind me to hit me, so I braced myself by holding onto the steering wheel. I looked again in my rear view mirror. The car behind me miraculously stopped without crashing into me. It was a miracle the car behind me did not hit me. As my car stood motionless in front of this gray car, I turned to the driver, glaring at him with anger in my eyes. I then drove off. I was frightened. This was deliberate. He cut me off then parked his car and waited for me to come by. He then jumped his car out to cause me to stop short. He was trying to cause me to have an accident, although I could never prove this.
All these horrible incidents are without any concrete evidence. They are deviously executed, in order to cause harm to me, yet protect the perpetrator. All I have is circumstantial evidence. One person against what seemed like an army, out to devour my soul. I was alarmed at the extent they were going to, in order to frighten and intimidate me. Now they have resorted to trying to cause me to have an accident. There was no doubt that this whole incident with the gray car was a setup. Why would the car make a turn then speed past me, park his car, then jump out in front of my car? It was very clear to me. This was deliberate. They were trying to scare me. This was the devious way they gave messages to me. They tried to inflict fear and anxiety in me, in order to get me to conform to their wishes. Since I was on my way to work, I think they are trying to give me a clear message to resign. The accelerated harassment at the office and now this.
I was exhausted. I felt drained. How much more did I have to endure, I wondered? They were playing games with my life, trying to manipulate and frighten me into doing what they wanted me to do. They were trying to control me with fear. Now the ultimate intimidation of trying to cause me to have an accident. What kind of sick people are these and how far will they go before they feel a sense of satisfaction? What could the driving force be that keeps them on a steady course of terror? I could not, in a million years, comprehend the vicious nature behind this vendetta. I can only thank God that I could never be on their end of this spectrum, because if I were to pursue them as viciously as they pursue me, my life would clearly be over. Not only would the hate eat inside my very soul, to a point of never feeling any peace and love, but I would never outsmart them. I am sure it would all backfire in my face. How could I fight, what seemed like an army on a rampage, alone?
When I arrived at the office, I tried to engross myself in my work, trying to clear my mind, in order to concentrate on my job. After a couple of hours, I decided to go outside to have a cigarette, as I often did. As I stood outside, I noticed some men working at the construction sight. They were constructing a new building, a few feet away from the parking lot of my building. One of those assisted living homes. As I stood watching and listening, I heard a familiar sound. The clanking sound of the hammers striking metal was a familiar sound to me. As I listened more intently, I realized this was the same sound I heard on my answering machine. The sound of a hammer banging against metal. It was the same exact sound. This explained the clue on my answering machine, although classifying this a clue somehow had the allure of a great mystery, which I did not want to participate in.
Someone was trying to tie my work in with the bizarre events of the past few weeks. They wanted me to know that the people in my office were very much a part of this nightmare. This realization confirmed all my earlier speculations.
I was stunned, because I had worked in this office for two years, never suspecting anything was wrong. Now I see a different aspect of the people in my office whom I like and trusted. I could not believe that Hillary was part of this. She is a boisterous loud mouth with a keen sense of humor. She is also extremely generous and I like her. Her long brown wavy hair and big brown eyes are beautiful. She did, however, have her moments of outbursts. One time I forgot to send a letter out to a big client. Manuel complained to Hillary. They stood side by side, in support of one another, as she said these cutting words. "I am going to come over there and knock you into consciousness." After this remark was made, I immediately went and complained to my boss Hannah. Hannah told me that Hillary should not have threatened me that way. That was all that she said about it. Ever since this incident, Hillary has been trying to protect herself by being nice to me. I have silently forgiven her for this outburst. My boss Hannah is the studious type. She is your typical single woman. She works hard when shes working and plays hard when shes not. She is a graduate of Stony Brook College. She is serious about her work, yet displays a gentle personality. She could be snobbish at times and I always got the impression she thought she was above everyone else around her. Her antics in recent months have made her look as if she possesses two personalities. Ginny was always kind to me, although she also had her moments of outbursts. Daniel just had a baby and was exhibiting a natural instinct to motherhood. Her newborn daughter looks exactly like her; however, she also had her moments of cruel behavior directed at me, teaming up with Manuel to give me a hard time. Maggie reminds me of my mother. Loving and concerned, yet a bit temperamental. Her Russian accent is sometimes hard to understand. Carla is the worst of all of them. She is the one who sprays the perfume around the office. The one who is always throwing innuendos into the air, in order to stun me. She is cunning and manipulative. And then there is Lynn. Well we already know about Lynn. She is manipulative and always scheming to get me in trouble, even though she pretends to me by friend.
With their little flaws and perfect character traits, combined into one unique being, I decided long ago I really like these people. I cannot understand what motivates them to become so hostile toward me. I refuse to cross enemy line and hate them. I was not about to be sucked into their side of the fence, filling my heart with hate, resentment and bitterness. If I became resentful to them, then my life would be filled with resentment, which would be carried over to my family. One thing was certain whoever was doing this was trying to inflict great fear into me. I was becoming very emotionally drained. It was too much to absorb all at one time.
I was still praying, but the deep prayers and meditations would hopefully come with time, as I tried hard to regain my inner peace. I was determined to hold on until Saturday, in order to support my husband with his initiation. Ben had worked so hard, in the past year, to come to this point in his life, where he feels the love of God all around him. How dare they try to take this away from my husband, especially when the people from the church were the ones who taught him for a year. This was their way of protecting the church. How could anything terrible be happening to me, when Ben was so involved in his preparation for a renewal with the church? This was so hypocritical I could not bear thinking about it. I had to keep myself together, for Bens sake, for my childrens sake, for my own sake, in order to get through this week. In order for Bens initiation to take place as scheduled. Ben knew something was wrong. He kept asking me, what was going on. However, he had no idea what was transpiring around us. My children have helped me to be strong. Their love for me is the only thing that keeps me from losing my mind. They are the driving force in my life, which gives me strength and endurance. When I look into their eyes, I know the love I see is the image of the love that God has for all of us. I need to focus more on them and not on my problems.
I was holding on, however, by a thin thread. I felt as though I was suspended in midair above the New York City skyline, holding onto a rope and knowing if I let go I would be dead. I felt like I was going to fall into the icy cold clutches of the East River and perish forever. I could feel the earth shaking, as I tried to hold onto one more moment with my children, one more warm embrace, envisioning all the downtown sky scrapers falling in my direction, ultimately smashing me into the pavement. I tried to hold on, as I remembered the warm bear hug Josh gave me in the park, the day I asked Ben to come back home. His warm embrace was loving, reassuring. This thought gave me a sense of security. His love, Kevins love and Bens love is what sustains me. My family needed me. I also desperately needed Gods love. I had to hold on for my childrens sake, they would not be able to accept something happening to me, and I know they could not live apart from me. Our love is too strong. The love I have for my children was helping me be strong enough to endure the pain and suffering. Whenever I thought about my children, a renewed strength entered my mind. I knew I had to somehow be positive and keep thinking about my children. These people, whoever they are, have defied every moral ounce of decency by picking Holy week to accelerate their vendetta, with the increased harassment they have set in my path. And I would venture to guess they will stop at nothing, in order to drive my family out of our church and out of our community. One aspect of this nightmare was crystal clear. Someone was going to a great deal of trouble and expense to inflict fear into me. Some evil being was lurking in the shadows of a bright sunny day, instigating good people into his plan of horror. This chain gang is growing, like weeds in a garden of flowers, destroying the beauty of Gods creation. They are playing God trying to determine my future, as they scheme to inflict suffering into my life. As the weeds of destruction overcome the flowers, my life is overshadowed by their vicious deeds. The weed is the creation of evil, which destroys life. My destiny should not be determined by them, but by my actions and by Gods will. They have no right to create my destiny. They are cowards lurking where good people cannot see them. Waiting for the opportunity to see me fold or emotionally die. I refuse to fold, therefore, they inflict more emotional pain, which becomes intensified. One thing is certain, without a shadow of a doubt, whoever is behind this charade of terror is filled with an enormous amount of hate, which gives me a feeling of extreme uncertainty about my future. At this point, I did not know how to come to grips with this living nightmare. I felt terror invade my entire body, like a bolt of lightening was sending shock waves into my being. My obsession with finding answers was heightening my anxiety. I knew I had to somehow detach from this nightmare, but I found that impossible to do, at this time. I had to keep thinking that some good would eventually surface from all the suffering. At this point, hopelessness overwhelmed me and I was convinced I would never experience another peaceful moment. The violent storm was erupting, as if my world was coming to an end. The torrential downpour was overwhelming me, as I desperately tried to seek shelter from the powerful storm. The gushing rain and winds were blinding me. The cold dark reality of this scheme of betrayal was setting in, like a hurricane joining forces with the ocean. I started to pray to God for an anchor to help me weather the violent waves surrounding me. I knew if I could just focus on my children the love of God would re-enter my life and save me from the turbulence of the torrential down pour. My thoughts, however, were focused on the reality of the storm, which was overpowering my mind. Tomorrow is Holy Thursday. A sacred day for Christians throughout the world. A day to remember Jesus and his disciples last supper. Also, in the evening, we remember the terrible agony Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. He went there to pray, knowing his death was already planned for the next day, which is Good Friday; the holiest day of the year. Jesus knew his betrayer, Judas, was coming soon. He would have a number of Religious Authorities with him to have Jesus brought to Pilate to be arrested. He asked his disciples to watch over him when he prayed. Matthew, 26:38-42 NAB. Then Jesus said to them, My soul is sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me. He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: yet, not as I will, but as you will. When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you many not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. The most significant line in the whole Bible, one in which has tremendous impact on me, was when Jesus said, My soul is sorrowful, even to death. It shows the human side of Jesus. He tells us that he was filled with agony and sorrow. He must have felt so much emotional pain. What suffering and trials he went through on this fateful night. The sadness must have been tremendous for Jesus, knowing he faced an inevitable death the following day. He told his disciples to, Watch and pray, that you may not undergo the test. I think Jesus was telling them to pray that they are not tempted to conform to the way of the world, but to stay close to God during trials of great magnitude, such as this one for the disciples. Jesus told them that it was written that I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed Jesus knew that the shepherd would fall and the flock would wander, but He also knew that they would only wander for a short time, due to intense fear. The disciples were frightened when Jesus was finally arrested and taken into custody. I feel as if I am going through this testing of the soul. My faith is almost dormant, at this point. I am also in a trial of great magnitude and I abandoned God, just like the disciples did, because fear had overcome them. I refuse to conform to the way of the world and completely wander from Gods love. I wondered whether that glorious Christmas spirit would ever return. I refuse to cross enemy line. I will not conform to their tactics of terror. I will not fight my enemies, because they would love a good fight. They would relish in their power over me. I knew more despair and suffering lurked in my path, which made it all the more painful. Knowing my fate only further accelerated the anxiety I felt. In the darkest corner of my mind I could feel an intuitive thought beckoning me to persevere, in order to find the answers that would eventually surface, hopefully bringing me to the end of the storm. The end of the storm, where the rainbow of freedom from this insidious hate crime will emerge. That rainbow was only a fleeting thought, since I was without hope. I always envisioned hope as a power coming from God. I did not have a connection to this power. I could not imagine a solution to this problem. I was in a dark depressing place, which had no mercy. I could not fight this hurricane. I could only try to survive it; weathering it, until the lifeboat of hope re-entered my life. I needed shelter from the storm. I knew the only shelter I could pray for was Gods love. I knew that my tomorrow brought the same fate as my yesterdays, but deep down inside, I also knew if I did not whether the storm, I would not pass the test of the soul. The light that guides me through this journey was very dim. For now, however, I had to face the bleak despair of more hate and bitterness. I suspected the rest of Holy week was going to be the most vicious part of this hate crime. I could only hope that I would be strong enough to endure. Jesus agonized over his fate of death. An inevitable death, which would take place the next day. His agony was great. His soul was sorrowful. There was an intense, almost panic feeling inside that was begging me to pray.