I’ve been in a rather anxious mood this past week. In fact, that’s a pretty decisive understatement. I’ve been so anxious that not only has my sleep suffered and been filled with scary dreams, but I’ve started chewing the sides of my fingers again, a very bad habit I haven’t engaged in for years.
It all started about two weeks ago, when I received a message on my phone from “Special Agent So-And-So”, requesting an interview with me. Of course, not really knowing what was going on, I freaked out. I then found out that a friend of mine—who is more of a casual social acquaintance that no longer lives in Atlanta—used me as a reference for trying to get her security clearance reinstated.
If she’d simply asked me before submitting my info, I wouldn’t have had a stressful knot in my stomach for the past two weeks. I would have simply said no. I’d rather not interact with law enforcement, investigative agencies, or anyone who has the power to send me to jail or make my life difficult. I’ve gone through my life with a pretty strict no-involvement policy when it comes to authority figures, which served me well in high school, and also living in some less-than-wonderful urban neighbourhoods.
However, when the agent called me, all my attempts to say no were thwarted. I first suggested to her that she find someone else, that I have reasons for not wanting to talk to an investigator, and besides, I don’t know how helpful I’d be. She submitted other references, but the agent kept calling. He said that he couldn’t find anyone who knew this girl well for an extended period of time in ATL. He told me that he didn’t work for the FBI, wasn’t a law enforcement official, and had no interest in investigating me.
Yet, I can’t help but feel like talking to this guy is the last thing in the world I want to do. It doesn’t reassure me that he tells me he’s a background investigator, not an FBI agent. I’m sure those of you who’ve known me well for some time recall the presence of an investigator in my life, and that the results turned my world upside down. The drama that was caused ranks on my list of life’s most painful experiences. I’m clearly not the person who is going to be interested in speaking to an investigator.
I also don’t understand why he won’t take no for an answer, and why we can’t just speak over the phone. I’ve already told him I don’t have that much to offer, and that I don’t see the point, and that I’m hesitant to be interviewed. Yet, he keeps calling, and every day I get a phone call is another day I spend needing to take a Xanax.
I’m also very angry at this acquaintance for putting me in this situation. If she knew me at all, if we really had the type of friendship that meant I’d be a good person to vouch for her, she’d know the stress and anxiety this is causing me, and never would have passed along my information without asking my permission first.
The interview is tomorrow, and I can’t sleep, eating makes my stomach do flip-flops, and I’ve been chewing on the sides of my fingers until they bleed. This has ruined the past week or two of my life, and at this point, I just want it to be over with. I understand this investigator isn’t interested in me, and he’s not the one who tried to destroy my life because someone was paying him to do so. But, emotionally, the anxiety that situation caused me comes back every time my phone rings, or I think about this interview. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to sit there for 20 minutes and not want to throw up.