Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ever Feel Like You Are In Your Own Blackest Night?

In answer to that question, I have.  I feel I need to give a bit of background before I dive into the tale.  Comicbooks have always been something of a treasure for me.  As an only child the adventures of the characters inside the pages of comics provided me with an outlet.  I have a vivid imagination and the books provided inspiration for my own hopes of one day making a difference in the world.  I lived where they was no comic shop.  The places I went to around town rarely had comics.  I was left to the occasional find at a yard sale or the yearly trip to the big flea market in Hillsville, Virginia.  Each book I had was like having gold coins or diamonds to me.

Years later I would be able to buy comics regularly.  By the time I had answered a call to the ministry I was collecting big time.  Some of my peers fished, many golfed, and I had my comics and the fun searching for cheap books in all types of selling places.  As I neared the end of my Masters Degree I would have the opportunity to join a friend in reviewing comics for a site he was starting.  After my Mom died and I was still unemployed, writing about comics became a way to deal with my grief and unknown to me at the time, stave off the depression that was in me.  It would be the need for this friend to look more professional with his site that would open the door to my own "Blackest Night."

I guess being around like-minded Christians I forgot that there are others who are not like me.  They are less tolerant of differences in people and tend to play power games and use political tactics in their service and call.  After resigning one church and being voted in 100% at a new one, unseen enemies began to plot my end.  Without boring you or dealing out personal beliefs that others may find hard to believe, I ended up sensing something was wrong.  

It all started with a planned time to be with the children during the regular setup, and as I was in talks a new meeting was being held.  Meanwhile as I came home I stopped at the comics shop I had a hold box with and overheard a strange conversation of a lady that was clearly out of her element asking for the very issues of Witchblade where I had reviewed and others where I was quoted.  Spider-sense tingling right then.  The Dean of my School called and caught me the day before and told me of an "ambush" he felt I was walking into.  It didn't set well with him and he wanted me to know.  As I tumbled around God was watching my back as He would through my entire time there.  
Mainly Top Cow was used to say I would harm children.  At least that was how it felt.  I learned later that one of the people involved placed copies of sites not affiliated with my reviews at all.  I declined to see them, I figured it would upset me too much.  That bit of deception cost that person their cause, but the damage was done and I would face a few "inquisitions" as a way of holding my job.  The worst part was that I was made to feel as if I could harm a child.  That hurt me so deeply I cannot even begin to explain that pain.  I would have constant reminders as the same person would sit in on my work and just stare.  The people involve used every opportunity to tear me down behind my back.  Even when they left, I was still attacked and weakened.

Due to my depression that I was not even aware of I did not do my best.  I guess when you are alone and surrounded sometimes you begin acting out like those that attack you.  I did at times and I am not proud of that even though I understand it was fueled by the depression.  Had it not been for God swatting people when I was unaware of it and the training my teachers at Divinity School had given me I would not have survive my time there.  I heard God the clearest I have ever heard Him when He said, "Go, you done all I asked, now leave before you die."

I was in a very bad place mentally by the end of my time there.  Very dark days.  God had sent me some people online that very much saved me.  They were there when the "Church Family" was not.  As time passed and the wounds began to heal, I was able to face the depression and heal.  God sent me a new opportunity.  Less pay, but greater rewards.  Get this, the pastor, he had me do a Super Sunday.  I can be whole and share all of me without fear that every step I take will lead to an attack.

So I am hesitant to talk about Top Cow or any of the books that might be of a more supernatural nature.  I still hurt from the fact that I was made to feel the way I was, and that no one ever seemed to get that I was made to feel that way.  I see the kids I work with now and I cherish the fact that I seem to be someone they can trust and know I am there if they need me.  As I said, the feelings are so hard to express.