M was immediately talking to the client and her companion when they got out of their car. She pushed up against them and thrust literature into the companion’s hand. He dropped it on the ground and said, “Keep away from my wife. We don’t want to talk to you.” Of course M didn’t give up. She continued talking to the client and her husband all the way to the clinic door. He kept repeating, “I said No. It isn’t a hard word to understand. It only has two letters…N and O. I can capitalize them for you. NO!” Later he told a few escorts he regretted raising his voice and tried never to talk loudly, but he was just so frustrated by M’s actions and the fact she would not listen to him. We told him we understood his frustration.
Well, that is the thing, isn’t it? When one says “NO” then the proper thing to do is stop. Boundary.
When a person will not stop, and is relentless (and in this particular case, cruel), it is a natural reaction to engage. Of course, we as escorts expect this relentlessness and WE still find ourselves wishing we’d kept our mouths shut. A client or supporter, who is dealing with the whole pregnancy/abortion crisis is now stuck with a stinging hornet buzzing about. It is a testament to the humanity of those going into the clinic that no antis are punched in the face.
It is sad. Most of us are civil people (or we’d not be escorting, then would we?), however, buttons pushed repeatedly can spur us to take an action we regret. I HATE it when I open my mouth to engage, and usually regret it later, although even the security guards do not think it’s a problem. I explain to them that my purpose is to help the client get into the clinic with as calm an experience as possible. If there is shouting back and forth between the antis and myself, the antis will be more vocal to the next client going in. I want to de-escalate. But, I am only human. Just like the man who wished he had not engaged Ꮇ.
Not responding to comments the antis make is the hardest part of escorting for me. I try not to engage because it only makes it more chaotic, but as you say, we are only human. The most we can do is support clients and companions when they say what we cannot.