Earlier this week I logged into our online banking account, as I often do, to check the balances and see what had cleared. There were two pending charges from a mortgage-related company totaling over $800. I immediately emailed D to ask if he knew what they were; we did have our house reappraised for insurance purposes a while back and generally D takes care of that type of thing. He didn’t know either and did a search based on the little information we had. He called the bank and they couldn’t do anything until the charge cleared (which seemed ridiculous, isn’t the whole point to prevent the fraudulent charge if you know about before you get your money taken?). D called the company that posted the charges and got the voicemail of the “account manager”. Ummmm, we don’t have an account with you people, how can we have an account manager? He also emailed the customer service address from the website. We got a response via email the next morning indicating they also had the charges flagged as possibly being fraudulent because they were initiated from out of the country. Neither charge made it through the pending phase to clear, I presume because the mortgage company refused it on their end. Seriously, if you got your hands on a valid debit card number, wouldn’t you use it to buy bling, or expensive shoes, or airline tickets to Fiji?
Anyway, the bank told us it was MY debit card number that was used. Yes, I buy stuff online all the time, from reputable companies that have secure sites, but I live by my debit card, so the number has got to be all over the internet by now, I’ve just never had it stolen before. We canceled both our debit cards, which turned out to be a royal hassle, even checks weren’t accepted by companies I do business with all the time. Hopefully we’ll have the new cards by Monday.
My point in telling you all this, and I know it sounds cliché, is I feel so violated. And ashamed. I feel ashamed because I was violated. Hmmm, does this sound familiar? The eloquent Avonlea Spring wrote a post recently titled Shame where she asks about an antidote. I wish I knew how to counteract this instinctual behavior, but alas, I believe the way my brain works was literally changed by what I endured. I wrote about this in March, wherein I referenced this article, as well as a piece from the April 2006 Discover magazine by Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel. I’m not saying there is no hope for change, just that the way in which change happens might not be the way we think it does.
The presence of my husband in my life, along with my friends, has literally been my salvation. Yet, despite the very good life and the support system I have, it doesn’t take much to send me into a depression or panic spiral that takes several days to unwind from. An unexpected phone call from my mother, a trip to the vet and the aforementioned bank hassles were enough to write off much of this past week.
Meeting D enabled me to open Pandora’s box and deal with the misfortunes and sorrow that were released. The first time I was in control of the raising of the lid; now it seems like it happens on its own. Every time the box gets opened, even a tiny bit, more sadness and hurt comes out, like there is a never-ending supply. Like Pandora, I’d like to believe I keep shutting the box in time to keep the one thing it contained that I wanted to keep: hope.
Pandora by John William Waterhouse, 1896