I have been eagerly anticipating reading this book because Brenda Christy exemplifies a well-educated, personable woman who, even perhaps with a touch of innocence, joined a southern coastal municipal police department in 1987 and began a career that would plant her directly in the midst of the Good Ole’ Boy network. She did something I could never imagine myself doing--being a police officer.
I had a distinct feeling that she would be encountering all kinds of discrimination, working in a profession that has always been demanding and male-dominated. At best, it’s not an easy job, and officers are subject to seeing the uglier side of life every work day. Lives are on the line during every work shift, and it wasn’t long before Hurricane Hugo would reach landfall and wreak havoc in her town, presenting challenges for which no one was prepared.
That major storm was just the beginning of the tsunami that would eventually end her career in law enforcement. With several years of fine police work behind her, her undoing would be in the form of reporting a sexual harassment complaint on behalf of a fellow female officer because her disinclination to take the issue any further. The complainant had reported the problem to her immediate supervisor, who chose to ignore it. She complained to other co-workers and then to Brenda, who found it impossible to hear her friend’s story and not react. After all, there were protections in place for this sort of action, right?
What Brenda discovered was a friend who was reluctant to rock the boat and left Brenda in a precarious career position, while she was actually receiving promotions for sweeping the matter under the police blotter.
Brenda is honest, direct, and I can see where she is a person who would fight for what she believes is right and just. Where someone else might say, “It’s not my problem,” Brenda would want to see justice served.
Labeled as a “whistle-blower,” a dedicated Brenda finds her law enforcement career crumbling. Even co-workers whom she considered to be friends were reluctant to risk slipping a few rungs on the career ladder by openly defending or supporting her.
Some people go through life doing everything they can to stay under the radar. Closing their eyes to injustices, remaining behind a desk so they don’t have to interact with people, avoiding conflict at any cost--but not Brenda Christy. So what did her honesty earn her? A mark in bold, red letters of being called “a thorn in my side” by her not-so-happy police chief and an eventual finalization of her police career with this particular agency.
Her story is sprinkled with Scripture verses that helped her through this struggle, a psychological battle which must have seemed endless. She was blessed with praying friends, supportive family and faith that would also sustain her throughout the ordeal.
She discusses thoughts about her soul. She bares it, as she tells us about lifestyle decisions that she made as a result of drawing closer to God. Superlative Soul or Nefarious Soul echoes striving to be excellent while evil lurks, ready to take you down.
I believe that often it is through difficult times that God is preparing us for something better--something amazingly special that He has planned for our benefit if we will only listen. We might not be able to see it at the time, but down the road we can look back…and it is as clear as Caribbean water.
Superlative Soul or Nefarious Soul will take you on a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions. Hang on tight, and don’t let go.
An account of one female police veteran’s fight against workplace discrimination and retaliation; after losing her rank, a portion of her salary and exhausting all of her administrative remedies, she filed a lawsuit against her employer, which resulted in a five-year litigation process. Throughout the duration of the agonizing legal process, she continued her career as a police officer and witnessed people, at all levels, sacrificing their souls as a survival tactic, as a masquerade, for some type of achievement or simply as a means to blame others.
One moral to this story is that the truth is not always your friend when you freely trade the value of your soul for nonsensical gain. In the latter part of her career, she went through a series of difficult and painful adversities that helped change her and her beliefs. As her faith grew in the midst of her hardships, she had a number of ah-ha moments, one of which was identifying your soul as a gift from God that should be valued and guarded, not sacrificed. Trusting God in every circumstance is essential as the end of her law enforcement career, and the outcome of her lawsuit far exceeded her greatest expectations.
In the Author’s Own Words
“In the time I spent crying infinite tears, I learned each day has 1,440 minutes. I could choose to spend this time nursing a grudge and plotting retribution, or I could choose to forgive, creating healing within my soul. I then remembered someone once said, ‘Forgiveness is not a feeling; it’s a decision.’ Today, as I continue my spiritual journey, I pray for my former co-workers and all who were involved in my lawsuit, and now more than ever, I will humbly extend the olive branch to each of them, should we meet again.”
About the Author
|Brenda M. Christy|
BRENDA M. CHRISTY was born and raised in the small town of Fairmont, West Virginia, which is also the hometown of 1984 gymnastics Olympic gold medalist, Mary Lou Retton. Brenda began her policing career in 1987 with the Myrtle Beach Police Department and held the rank of Police Investigator from 1999 until 2007. She retired from the Myrtle Beach Police Department in 2012, and lives near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Learn more about Brenda Christy and Superlative Soul or Nefarious Soul, including links to purchase, at: http://www.athorninmyside.com.
See you soon!
Mary Anne Benedetto
Author of Eyelash, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Never Say Perfect, From Italy with Love & Limoncello and Write Your Pet's Life Story in 7 Easy Steps!