Friday, November 4, 2011

A Very Long Drive

When we arrived back home, we were busy with all these meetings.  I stayed home and cooked for our team meetings.  I have in the past managed to cook and also attend at least some of the meetings, but this year I chose not to sit in any of them.  I didn't sit in any of the spring meetings, either.  I just haven't been able to sit in a room of these people meeting again... not since that awful day when they verbally attacked my husband and I when we were wounded.  I just haven't been able to be in a meeting with them.

This year, we had half our meetings here and half of them in a nearby country.  We left for a 19 hr drive early one morning.  My husband had asked me to come along just for a rest and a chance to spend some time with him.  We left early one morning - me in a vehicle with two of the men who were in that awful "debriefing" meetings a year and a half ago.  I have trouble being in a room with them.  Our field leader is not so bad - he came back and apologized for not stopping all that had happened. He was also the only one person from our mission headquarters who phoned me during that awful four days.  He was overseas, but did phone in and at least gave me a little comfort and information as to what was happening "over there" and who was working on it.

Our project director had done none of that.  He had basically picked up the phone and told me, "Well, your husband is gone missing.  I'll let you know if I hear anything more. Bye."  That was the extent of emotional support I got from him.  Later, we got scolded for not doing things the way he wanted - he didn't want me to fly to meet my husband and told me that I wasn't being a good mother for leaving my kids then.  He phoned and wanted to talk to my husband at all hours of the day and night the first days together.  His wife scolded my husband for "messing up her plans" - as if we WANTED this to happen.  Then came the meeting where they yelled at us and told us we were not good soldiers, because "if you were in the army, you wouldn't even be allowed to see your family until you had answered ALL the questions your commanding officer had for you."  I am not in the army.  And if I HAD been in the army, I would have had the emotional support of other military wives and others in my husband's battalion because at least the army does not shoot its own wounded!  But the final straw came with our director's wife looked at me hunched over and sobbing in my chair and threw the final arrow, "see, the devil wanted to destroy the team by what he did over there and he couldn't, but now he is using you to do what he could not do there!"  All because we had said that in a future crisis, it would be good to let a family have 24hours without phone calls to heal and rest together!

Needless to say, it is hard for me to be near this man or his wife - neither of whom have apologized.  Interestingly, I got to sit in the back of the vehicle watching the director working on his laptop writing a power point on how to be a good leader.  It was ironic, and I wished I could simply shake him and ask him to read what he had written.  As the trip went on and on, I grew more and more agitated.  See, I am not a "sit back and take it" type of a person.  I prefer to deal with conflict and wrongs.  I can do it head-on, or more subtlety.  I can do it within different context, but I much prefer to just do it - deal with it and move on.  however, this man will not/can not deal with conflict.  So I have to live in a team with him.....

I sat there growing more and more agitated and irritated.  The biggest thing I have a problem with is hypocrisy.  I hate lies and pretense.  I care less what you are as long as you are what you are and do not attempt to be perfect when you aren't.  Watching what he intended to teach when I knew how he had lived was difficult.  I wanted to get out and run, to get away, to burn off steam.  But I was trapped in the back seat.  Eventually, I moved to drive instead which helped.  I thought as I drove and decided I had only two options on how to think.  Either this man is a out and out hypocrite or he is a man with a large blind spot.  I thought those two options over for awhile while I dodged potholes.  I finally came to the conclusion that despite his glaring faults and gaping blind spots, he is still a man who loves God and, I think, attempts to do right.  I also think that he may suffer from something similar to Asperger's and social situations will never be his strong point.  I told myself what I have told myself many times in my attempts to cope with him,  "You can't ask a one legged man to run a race."  Don't expect from him what is outside his capabilities.  Yes, I still believe he did wrong that needs accounting for... his actions were wrong.... but his disabilities are not "wrong".  They are a weakness of his - a blind spot, if you will, or a missing leg.  I drove and repeated that to myself, and next time I was in the back, shut my eyes and pretended to sleep so I would not have to see a man writing words that I wish he would live by.

But it opened wounds, and I arrived at our meetings again hurting and raw.  Being there among so many others in our mission was difficult.  Where were they when we hurt?  They knew about it, but were silent.  We heard nothing.  That also left me hurting.  In fact, as I began to process some of this over the last weeks, that key became important to look at and face.

But God was just beginning His appointments.  I think He chose to open up some of that hurt in order to prepare me for His appointments.

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