“Hope for the best; envision, then plan for the worst.”
I found that advice a long time ago in a self-help book for women who need to carefully, secretly plan an exit from an abusive relationship. The author said to imagine the worst that could happen, plan for it, then move forward in courage, hoping none of those plans would be necessary to put in motion.
I learned a lot from that book and emerged from the relationship safe and sound, graduating with honors from The School Of Hard Knocks. I have never forgotten the principle or the journey.
“Most attorneys will deliberately leave out one little fact that, if told to the client up front, could make the difference between settling the matter at mediation and going to court. This is done to increase their fee because going to court obviously costs the client more in legal fees.”
Humble, honest attorneys do exist! One was kind enough to share that trick of the trade with me after I suffered at the hands of charlatans. While living in an apartment complex owned and managed by some very unscrupulous people, I found myself having to take legal action on no less than four separate occasions, each time going up against a wealthy owner, his staff of henchmen who managed his properties, and his high-powered attorneys.
Over time, what emerged in me was a gift for analyzing a legal situation and creating a strategy to present it in the best light possible, while still telling the truth. I found I could often anticipate my opponents’ moves in advance. The outcome was one I anticipated time and time again, using the game plan I would sometimes have to force my attorney to follow.
During those years I found a backbone, a voice, a fighting spirit, and I used it. Childhood experiences had taught me to be a victim, to think that everything bad that happened to me was my fault somehow. I grew up thinking I deserved what I got. Love and fairness were for other people. I existed to be dumped on.
It’s funny how you can accept the crap life dishes out and not think twice. Then you have kids – and you want better for them. Becoming a mom made me realize I had to model what I wanted my child to eventually accept from life herself. I loved my daughter and did not want her to feel the pain I had felt.
That decision dealt a death blow to the victim mentality I’d been saddled with for so long. During the years we lived in that apartment complex, I developed a reputation for fighting for the rights of others in addition to my own. If you were up to no good, you learned to lay low when I was around.
My child knew that mom had her back. I taught her to “Dr. Phil” her way out of anything instead of using her fists. She made me proud on more than one occasion.
By the time I found myself working for the company where I experienced the severe workplace bullying I talked about in my letter to Jahar, I was no longer someone who was easy to push around. By then it could truly be said of me that I didn’t start trouble, but I sure would finish it.
The battles I fought against that employer nearly destroyed me. They definitely changed me. Now I see just what they were intended to do: prepare me for this crusade to help Jahar if I can.
“My name is Lynn. I have been a citizen of the United States since the year of my birth in 1958. I have been a born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as the way to salvation since the year of my spiritual re-birth in 1974.”
I started the cover letter with that information for a specific reason. Knowing what kind of people I may be dealing with if I sent those letters, I wanted them to know up front what they could expect if they decided to take me on:
1. I am not a 19 year old kid you can easily intimidate.
2. My citizenship from birth does not make me subject to possible deportation.
3. I am not a Muslim. (Sad that I even have to bring that up but we all know why I mention it.)
And a fact that was not implied in the first paragraph of my cover letter but has been explained in the beginning of this post is:
4. This is not my first rodeo.
I was a holdout against conspiracy theories for a very long time (not my country!) until the very behavior of the FBI and law enforcement actually made me take another look. I finally, sadly, concluded there had to be a significant reason for all of their heavy-handedness.
I tracked all six packets and knew when each one was delivered. The White House packet took a week longer than the others for some reason.
When I received a phone call from a female named Lisa, who said she was with some suicide prevention group, I was surprised when she said she was calling about a letter I had sent to The White House. I would have expected one of the three pastors to generate a phone call like that – if it was legit, that is.
What I noticed right away when I listened to the voice mail she left, was that Lisa did not talk like a suicide prevention counselor. She talked like an investigator. I’ve had experience with both.
Her message said she wanted to know if I would be willing to talk with them about some of the things that I’d mentioned in the letter I wrote to The White House, including:
1) My stance on the Boston bombing
“I do not support or defend, on any level, the bombing of the Boston Marathon or the violence that followed. I refuse to ever become like those whose actions I claim to hate by imitating their actions.”
I think that “stance” is pretty clear so I have no idea why she wanted to question that. Besides, what would that have to do with suicide prevention?
The next two points she said I had made in the letter were:
2) Jahar’s (something unintelligible) accusation
3) Jahar’s death penalty trial
I have read and re-read the letter and see nothing in it that she could be referring to with those two statements. And again, they have nothing to do with preventing suicide.
Not once did this caller refer to the part of the letter that a bonafide mental health counselor would:
“It’s no surprise that I eventually developed clinical depression. I have faced down the desire to commit suicide more than once. I have finally and fully decided that for me, suicide will never be an answer. I am a very strong person inside, one of the strongest I know, if I may say that without sounding conceited. God has built a core of pure steel into me…”
Those are obviously the words of someone who is strong and mentally sound, not someone who is in need of suicide prevention. I guess it is possible there is someone so stupid in the mailroom of The White House that they misinterpreted what they read. But the things that caller said just sounded too much like what an investigator would ask, not a mental health/suicide prevention counselor.
I am glad when I called back at the number the caller left, which was different than the number I saw she called me from, that the extension I was transferred to just rang and rang and never went to voice mail. I have never called again and never will.
I got some legal advice and planned accordingly in the event I am ever approached in person with “questions.” I know what to do and what not to do. I have the phone number of an attorney at the ready in my phone. I will have no problem telling them I don’t want to talk, asking for their business card, and walking away after stating my attorney will be in touch.
This leaves me back at what I said in the beginning of this post:
“Hope for the best; envision, then plan for the worst.”
It was good advice back then. It is good advice now. So that is what I am doing. This blog is my very public documentation of what happened, what I wrote, what was said etc. I move forward, hoping none of my plans will be necessary to implement.
I will never stop praying for Jahar, caring about him, doing what I can to fight for him. I hope others will follow my example. I tend to think they will.