It was last Thursday that the surprise came that the check I'd cashed and then spent at Western Union, sending money to someone I didn't know, was bogus. That was only a week after getting the surprise $4000 check in the mail to start my new business as a "Mystery Shopper". I feel so foolish now thinking about how I went to Safeway and watched very carefully as the clerk looked at my ID to check my signature but not my photo. I couldn't wait to report back to headquarters that she didn't look at my photo!!! I also was so excited that I was getting $400 just to do something as easy as all that. I couldn't wait to complete my "assignment" so I could get another one!
It's really hard for me to admit this to all of you. Just how stupid I was. And even harder over the past several days to remember all the signs I didn't want to see that should have warned me to do a bit of investigation or to at least wait for the check to clear!
Luckily, right after going to the bank and negotiating with the manager so I could pay this off at $500 a month over the next 6 months, I came home to my neighbor telling me how beautiful I am. He was working on the enclosed balcony and after I told him why the police were at our home last night, he told me how stunned he was after reading my last post. I'm beautiful because I have a great attitude and my kids are special and must get that from somewhere.
That's when the real tears started. I'd woken up in the middle of the night and cried but not as much as when he told me what he told me. And then something happened even better: someone was at the door - I had scheduled to do an EFT trade with the only other therapist in town who does EFT and instead of a trade, she gave me two hours of her time with no payback!
EFT works really well when you're in the state that I was in. She helped me release a lot of tears and shame by reminding me how many really intelligent people got duped by Madoff. People I respect. And she reminded me that this scammer didn't get the things that really mean something to me in this life. He couldn't take away my kids or the help I've given to moms. And what helped me take away the shame the most was when she told me that I got led down this fantasy job thing because of all I've been through this year. I was so wanting to believe that my luck finally came through. (I know, I'm alive and that's lucky, but you know what I mean.) She's brilliant with EFT, is so incredibly compassionate and easy to talk to, and her name is Suzanne Lerner. Her website is: http://makeyourlifeshine.com
When I saw Baily, she told me that what happened to me was a "Kapparah for my health". I couldn't remember what Kapparah was until I remembered the plural form, "Kaparot" and remembered the chicken ritual. From http://www.chabadbythesea.com/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/989585/jewish/Kaparot.htm: "It is customary to perform the kaparot (symbolic "atonement") rite in preparation for Yom Kippur.
The rite consists of taking a chicken and waving it over one's head three times while reciting the appropriate text. The fowl is then slaughtered in accordance with halachic procedure and its monetary worth given to the poor, or, as is more popular today, the chicken itself is donated to a charitable cause.
We ask of G‑d that if we were destined to be the recipients of harsh decrees in the new year, may they be transferred to this chicken in the merit of this mitzvah of charity.
In most Jewish communities, kaparot is an organized event at a designated location. Live chickens are made available for purchase, ritual slaughterers are present, and the slaughtered birds are donated to a charitable organization..."
I did feel better thinking about this as a Kaparah. Hopefully something died with this foolish episode and something good instead will come of it.
Already I've been forced to take a look at how gung ho I was to have a different job than I have now. I wanted a magic solution to my difficulties at my job. When my magic solution was a scam, I felt I'd rather die than have to go back to facing the challenges I'm facing right now. Amazing to me that it hits me that hard. My eternal optimism during chemo kept me from the challenges in my work. I just couldn't go there. But ever since chemo's been over, I've hit a wave of difficult clients and situations. Is it the economy? Is it my outlook?
So I decided to do what I love doing and forget about the monetary payout. I don't want a recurrence. I want my work to be enjoyable and stress-free. Remember my money honey? He was not in agreement with me taking the "Mystery Shopper" job. I didn't listen to him and so he left me while I was involved with what I thought was a real money honey! Hopefully he's back now that I'm writing again.
I am writing articles and tweeking articles I've already written. One of the papers I've sent an article to is going to publish it. I haven't heard from the other newspapers, but I just keep writing and emailing. And I've got two articles I'm planning to add to my website.
Maybe next week I'll have some photos, I'm still painting the room and there are a couple construction things to finish. The reconstruction of that balcony and my own psyche are continuing.
P.S. Just found out the scam was in the paper today: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_13753816?IADID=Search-www.santacruzsentinel.com-www.santacruzsentinel.com