There have been many times I have commented about only being able to escort at the clinic three days a week maximum. This seems to be my personal limit to deal with anti-abortion protesters before I react with anger towards their words and actions. That’s when my snarky comments pop out just in range of the antis hearing. There seems to be only so much I can absorb of the hate directed towards clients, companions and escorts; lies told in order to coerce; physical blocking and aggression; praying; and the signs.

When I read about new legislation to erode the right to access abortion or recognizing personhood at conception, or the conversations about birth control, my first reaction is despair followed quickly by anger. I try never to read these articles early in the morning before escorting. If I do, it is guaranteed I will arrive at the clinic already disgusted with anti-abortion protesters. The insertion of extreme religious viewpoints into private medical decisions agitates me.

Unfortunately, with this election year there is more opportunity to read about these things. Most politicians from all of the parties seem to have jumped on the anti-abortion issues as a way to win their elections. They are focusing on the issues considered to be appealing to the so-called undecided voters. The antis are not undecided. They know for sure they will only vote for extreme positions on sexuality and abortion. Abstinence-only sex education, banning birth control, opposition to gay rights and banning all abortions are platforms they can support.

We hear all of these ideas on the sidewalk. The clients and companions do too. We all try not to engage or respond to the things we hear. It adds to the chaos on the street and does not benefit the client in any way if we point out the truth or argue with individual antis. Clients are at the clinic for an abortion. They are not at the clinic to be caught in the middle of a political discussion.

Besides, there is no discussing the issues. The antis present their views as facts and our views as mistaken opinions. Specious examples of choice are presented to us. “Why if everything is a choice, I can choose to take heroin. Would that be right?” Or, “We can just murder 70-year olds when they have Alzheimer’s. Would that be right?” Or, “Do you support infanticide? What prevents me from killing a one-year old or two-year old if that is my choice?” These arguments have been given to me several times by a regular protester in response to my answer as to why I am escorting. “I believe in an individual’s choice to have an abortion,” is translated to “everyone can do anything.”  A does not equal B.

It is so hard for me to not engage. It is so hard not to get angry. It is so hard not to scream the truth at the antis. When an escort does have a flare-up of anger, other escorts try to de-escalate and give the escort time to dissipate their anger. In my case, the anger does not entirely go away until I spend a few days away from the clinic. It can be placed on simmer, but I carry it with me on the sidewalk. It is ready to boil over at any time.

Someone asked recently what I do when I get angry. I focus the negative energy in doing things positve. I take time away from the sidewalk for self-care. Knowing when I have reached my limit to act calmly is helpful.

What coping mechanism do you use when you are angry at antis?

10 thoughts on “Anger

  1. I love your blog. I’ve thought about becoming an escort in my area, but I am really not sure that I could practice non-engagement. I’ve been fighting in this debate for 10 years now. There is no common ground with these terrorists. We aren’t even talking about the same subject. While we’re very interested in making sure health care and solutions to unwanted pregnancies are strengthened, they are playing White Crusader for God and yapping about the morality of it all. Apples and oranges. So, yeah. I admire you greatly for your work, for being willing to go out there and protect folks from that insanity and be able to do with without losing your cool. You are a remarkable writer and human being.

    • Ibicella,

      We are glad you like our blog. Non-engagement is very difficult and I am not perfect at the technique. Sometimes the “crusaders” get to me and I have responded before I can stop myself. Your kind words are appreciated as well.

      Thank you,

  2. When I get angry, I stop. I consider that the person making me angry is just doing their best. We don’t know or think or believe the same things, because we have different pasts, different lives. If I had their life, I would be doing all the same things they’re doing. They are not my enemy. Right now, at this angry moment, ANGER is my enemy.

    Anger ruins joy, steals the goodness of my mind, forces my mouth to say terrible things. Overcoming anger brings peace of mind, leads to a mind without regrets. If I overcome anger, I will be delightful, and loved by everyone.

    That usually helps.

  3. My coping mechanism: Deep breaths. Walk Away. Pull out my cell phone between clients and tweet the insanity. Feel better when I get support and encouragement from my tweeps.

  4. Punching bag to the extreme until I am worn out. I did Tae Kwon Do for years as a teen and still keep it up, for anger management purposes.

    This outta give you a kick – Democrats are now trying to ‘regulate’ men’s sex lives to prove how preposterous it is to regulate women’s sex lives by regulating vasectomies (GA), making it illegal to ejaculate anywhere but inside a women, (OK), cardiac stress tests, certificates from partners to certify impotence before getting Viagra along with mandatory appt with a sex therapist to discuss the alternatives (OH) and mandating a digital rectal examination and cardiac stress testing before obtaining Viagra (PA),

    Many of these have no chance of being signed in to law but it highlights the utter preposterousness of legislating a women’s medical decision. I snicker every time I think about a man needed to counseled and getting a digital rectal exam just to obtain Viagra, even my husband laughed and said ‘That outta teach them.’ Thinking about these things helps me maintaining my cool and find the humor in the situation.

    • Oubli,

      The physical workout sounds like a good way to handle anger management!

      The new proposed regulations for men’s health have given me several giggles, but as you said, it points out how preposterous and extreme the regulations are becoming.


    • LB,

      As long as I don’t call her that out loud on the sidewalk! NIN blasting is a good idea, or any heavy metal works for me.


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