I got a job interview. One I’ve been hoping for. One that I’ve been working towards for months now. One that could result in a great job opportunity. As you can imagine, I’m very excited about it.
Almost as soon as I got the phone call, however, the panic set in. This particular interview will be done by a committee of four or five people. Most of those on the committee already know about my background. But at least one does not. Immediately, I began to fret about how I would handle the “background” question should it come up during the interview. What would I say? How will I phrase it? How do I be honest without making them think I’m a monster, or that I’m minimizing, not taking responsibility?
And it’s one thing to tell people face-to-face, one at a time. I’ve had to do that many times. And most of the time, it worked out well. People who know you can be quite forgiving and even understanding. But to have to talk about this shameful part of my past to a group of people, one whose job it is to judge me as a candidate for a job, well I’m honestly not sure how to handle it.
My “fight or flight” instinct kicked in unexpectedly, and I found myself wanting to turn down the
Everyone experiences traumatic, life-altering events. The sudden loss of a loved one, the unexpected layoff from work, the unthinkable announcement that your life-partner has found someone else and is leaving you. These are powerful events that tend to pull us out of the spin of our normal daily existence, causing use to reel, to flounder, to panic, almost as though we were drowning. These are shattering events that plunge us into deep depression, cause us to question the purpose of life, bring on uncontrollable crying spells, and evoke panic attacks. These tend to be the lowest points of human existence.
Fortunately, for most people, these events are rare, occurring only a few times in life, with an opportunity to recover between them. Recovery time is critical, because people need a sense of stability in their lives, a basic belief that tomorrow will be quite similar to today, the certainty that things will get better. People who teeter on a perpetual precipice of disaster struggle to hold on to reality, find little reason to hope, and worse of all, give up on caring.
Sometimes, as a registered sex offender, I feel like I’m teetering on the precipice of disaster way too often. The most significant event happened a couple years ago, when on the eve of completing my 10-year registration period the state invoked a retroactive law to change my status to “predator” and put me on the registry for life. This was one of those events I wasn’t sure I’d recover from. Perhaps I haven’t completely. If I allow myself to think about, I will feel the wave of depression start to roll over me.