Here are pictures of the first actual copy of my book. This is only a proof. I am to read through it and look for errors in formatting and whatnot. I've already found one typo on the back cover. Just wanted to share.
If you are looking for a book to read by a fellow member of 2old2play, check out my book. It will be available through Amazon and there is an ebook format.
This is something I've been thinking about a lot. Forgiveness really isn't easy. It's one of those things you have to devote some time to and can't just do it once and walk away.
I've spoken on here about my job and indicated some of what happened. I'll just say it was a major betrayal of my trust and belief in an organization I'd dedicated myself to and it was a violation of a key principal of my life. Despite my years in law enforcement, I still felt that truth would win out if good people just kept fighting for it. This situation showed just how naive I was and, when it ended after several years of fighting, I was shaken.
Please understand, the following is not intended to be preaching or prosletyzing. To understand why this subject is so important to me, you have to begin to see my beliefs in action.
What has followed is years of struggling to reconcile to my new normal. I'm a Christian and a core principal of my faith is forgiveness. Christianity is based on the knowledge that all need to be forgiven for our sins that is found in belief and faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. As an extension of God's forgiveness of us, we are to forgive others. There is no wiggle room on that. We are to forgive. We are to forget. The Bible states that we will be judged by the same measure with which we judge others.
I take this very seriously but it goes against my nature. I was hurt on a very deep, fundamental level. It cut me deep and altered the course of my career...period. I trusted people that betrayed me. I presented multiple items of undsiputed proof of my innocence and their wrong-doing...and it was ignored. I was bitter. I was ticked and that is the problem.
What has followed is nearly 4 years of a war within myself. On one side is Christ within me...speaking to me through the Holy Spirit...guiding me to forgiveness. I knew in my heart that this is what I should do. That holding onto the pain was not hurting them at all. I have heard a wise man say that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. It doesn' t make sense. I was hurting myself but, even worse, my unhappiness and bitterness was hurting those that loved me. My wife and children lived on eggshells due to my shortened fuse. I had to forgive and move on. I had to let it go but there was a problem. I DIDN'T WANT TO!!!!
That other side of me would rise up and say they didn't deserve to be forgiven. I had a right to be angry. They needed to pay for what they did to me. I would think I had forgiven them but then I'd think about what happened...see a news report on my agency...or just see a vehicle that looked like the company car I had...and I would get furious. I'd rant and fume over it and just be filled with this impotent rage that did nothing productive. I took a perverse comfort in thoughts of revenge that I knew was only hurting me but I didn't want to stop.
That's how I've lived for close to four years. One side of me longing to forgive and move on because I knew the damage I was doing while another part violently opposed the idea. I've been talking to my wife recently and she has told me just how much my little internal War of the Roses has been hurting my family. I honestly didn't realize it. I thought it was just me that was being pulled in different directions. I was so wrapped up in me that I didn't see them.
This brings me to today. I know I do not have it in me to walk away from this. I have to lean on Jesus Christ to get me through. With this revelation, I've had to take serious looks at myself and take the process of forgiveness into a day by day (or moment by moment) approach. I have to pray several times a day for help forgiving. I'm getting better. I'm not there yet but I can feel these internal scars starting to heal.
See. As betrayed as I felt, the betrayal Jesus suffered was much deeper. The slander and character attacks I endured were nothing compared to what He suffered. As offended as I was by the sheer wrongness of my situation, Christ was wronged much more deeply and yet He still forgived and continues to forgive. Seeing things in that light is helping me to see things differently and I can start to appreciate the good that has come from all this.
For instance, I am more involved in my family. I'm more connected and get to spend more time with them. My faith is much more authentic. I can see how much of a hypocrite I was prior to losing my job. Not anymore. Words just can't adequately explain how much I've grown in wisdom and understanding and how I've been allowed to mentor and help others that are around me.
More significantly, it was during this time that I achieved a lifelong goal. I wrote a book. An actual book that is being published. Even as I write that, it doesn't seem like a real thing. I've always dreamed to being an author and that dream will become reality in just a couple more months.
Since you asked, it's a crime novel with a Christian message that follows two detectives in a small town as they attempt to solve the homicide of a teenage girl. It's not a whodunit but a study of whether these men can solve the crime when those in control of the local politics don't want them to. I channeled a lot of what I was feeling into the book and can honestly say I've very proud of it.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope I haven't rambled too much. I know many don't agree with my beliefs. I hope you weren't offended too terribly and can forgive me my indulgences. Thank you for your time. I'll share more on my book in the future but that was not the purpose of this entry.
Well. It's time to continue. I'm not gonna waste time dwelling on all the ins and outs of my ordeal. All I will say is it was wrong. It sucked and I'm getting over it. Today, I want to talk about the effects of all this mess.
I think I need to explain things before I go on. I'm a cop. Anyone who works in a job that involves high stress and a threat of physical danger knows that the relationships you form far exceed what you would find in any other career. That being said, after more than a decade in the world of law enforcement, it wasn't just a job or a career. It was a way of life. Everything I did and all I was revolved around my role as a police officer. My friends were mainly other cops. We worked together. Played together. Even the ones that I liked the least were still part of that "brotherhood". When I lost my job to the short-sighted arrogance of others, I was suddenly and unexpectedly ripped from that world.
The shock put me into a tailspin. I no longer knew who I was. SInce my entire identity was wrapped up in my position as a cop, I didn't know who I was supposed to be. My friends, by and large, cut me off. I don't blame them. Cops are suspicious by nature. When I came under fire, they naturally assumed I was guilty while also being afraid the same thing may happen to them. The result was separation. To be honest, I wanted to be left alone. Whenever I talked to one of them, it just reminded me that I was no longer "in the club". Isolation was what I wanted but not what I needed.
In the days and weeks immediately after it happened, I was filled with shame and embarassment. I spent all of my time hiding inside my house while doing my best to avoid all human contact. For example, in the beginning, as I hid at my house, people didn't know what was happening. I have very close family members that have access to our house and, since I drove a work car, they knew that my car should not be there when I was not. During those first weeks, I was sitting at home when I heard the garage door start to rise and I knew that they'd see the car missing and wonder why I was at home. Not being able to face anyone, I shut off the TV and ran to the bathroom to hide from whoever it was. I sat in that pitch black room in complete silence as I waited for them to leave. In these moments, I just thought I was avoiding an awkward conversation. In truth, I was slipping into a state of depression.
I didn't see that until a good friend from 2old2play pointed it out to me. See, I always thought depression was a word weak people used to explain why they couldn't deal with life. It was never something I would have associated with myself. I always thought I was too strong to be that weak. I was very, very wrong.
That's enough for now. This is a story. A long, long story and you can't just condense it down to the end or you lose the meaning. I'll continue later.
Thanks for reading.
I've tried to update my blog to continue my story but am having trouble moving forward. I am a little gunshy since the last time I blogged I was attacked pretty fiercely by my former employer plus this stuff is hard to talk about. I want to be careful in how and what I say as I don't want to sound whiny or angry.
I'll get around to telling more but I just want to approach it the right way. I know none of you care but writing about this stuff is therapeutic.
Not that anyone cares but I have begun my return to 2old2play. I was a member here since 2005 and was a daily viewer and contributor. I was even privileged to be included on the sitewide staff and was allowed to be a writer. Things were going great until my world imploded.
Have you ever have something occurr unexpectedly in your life that you never saw coming? Something so traumatic that it turned everything upside down while stealing your focus and enjoyment from everything around you? That's what happened to me.
Not to go into a lot of detail but I was trucking along having a great life. Wonderful family. Devoted wife. Great kids. Dream job. I couldn't have asked for more when I was suddenly suspended from my job. I spent 12 years as a cop with not so much as a verbal reprimand. In fact, I had two letters of recommendation placed in my personnel file two weeks before the suspension.
What did I do that was so tragic that it was threatening to derail my career? Was I taking bribes? Breaking the law? Sleeping with the boss's wife? Nothing so insignificant. I committed the grave offense of having a blog on 2old2play where I shared newspaper articles about cases I worked. The idea that I shared information with the public that was already available to the public without offering any new insights was apparently an unforgiveable offense. Despite there being no policy in place and the administration being unable to agree on what I exactly did wrong, I was fired. I won't go any further but, after two years of fighting the decision and moving from one rubber stamp decision to another, I officially lost my job.
This entire series of events crushed me. Being a cop is more than a job. It's a way of life. Being a cop was the center of my identity. If you asked me to describe myself in a single word, I wouldn't have said husband or father. I would have said cop. I couldn't imagine being anything else. To have that so suddenly taken from me left me adrift.
(WARNING. THIS IS GOING TO TAKE A RELIGIOUS TURN. IF YOU FIND THAT OFFENSIVE, I ADVISE YOU TO STOP READING NOW.)
I am a Christian but wasn't a good one. I was a hypocrite. I may have gone to church every Sunday, and believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for my sins, but I wasn't living it. I cussed all the time, viewed porn, said and thought things that had no place in my life. I was a heathen and wasn't bothered by it. I needed to change but didn't realize it. That's when God stepped in.
I spent days...then weeks...months...and years in a daze. I was depressed. All my cop friends, except for a handful, turned their backs on me. I don't blame them. Cops are suspicious by nature. When I got in trouble, they assumed I deserved it and stopped interracting with me. In their position, I may have done the same thing but the isolation killed me. I questioned everything I had ever heard about the goodness of God and His love for his children. I was angry and expressed it to Him daily. The Good Guys are supposed to win so what was this crap?
This crap was God getting me back in line. His love doesn't spoil us but is designed to perfect us and I needed this to get my life back into allignment with Him. Knowing who I am, I would never have made any significant changes had He not taken such drastic steps.
It doesn't matter where I work, how much money I have in the bank, or what kind of car I drive. What mattered is letting my wife know I love and appreciate her, investing time into my children so they know how to live as true Christians in a dark world, and focusing upon serving God's kingdom.
How did I go about doing all that? I'll get into that in my next post cause this has gone on long enough.
Thanks for reading.