Saturday started out like any day at the clinlc.
One of the seminarians follows me down the sidewalk, telling me over and over that there is blood on my hands. “You can’t see it, you don’t believe it, but there is blood on your hands.”
I resist the urge to even look at my hands, and just keep walking. No big deal.
A companion threatens to hit Mary, but doesn’t.
Then, I’m up by the clinic, and Ron, one of the protesters who’s been coming forever, approaches me. If you saw the video of the protesters who were taunting Anne, the clinic director ~ one of them was Ron.
“Hey,” he says. He holds out his smart phone, as if he thinks I’m going to look at it.
“Is this your mother?”
The question seems so out-of-place, it doesn’t quite register. Of course, I don’t answer.
“It sounds like she was a good woman,” he says. “This is her obit, right?”
And he begins to read to me from my mother’s obituary.
I am surprised. Surprised that he’s doing this ~ reading the words that I wrote almost two years ago when my Mama died ~ reading them aloud to me on the sidewalk. Surprised at my own visceral reaction.
I’ve worked with kids who informed me, with great seriousness, “But I HAD to hit him. You don’t understand! He was ‘talking ’bout my Mama.’ I HAD TO hit him.”
I get that now.
Nooooo, of course I didn’t hit Ron, or shove him away, or do anything. But for a second, I had a vivid memory of kids saying that, and I mentally apologized to them for being so obtuse at the time. Apparently, someone “talking ’bout my Mama,” does elicit a strong reaction.
Then I had to laugh. Good grief. Really, Ron? You’re gonna talk about my Mama?
I wanted to imitate Arnold in “Different Strokes” – do you remember this:
I wanted to say, in just that tone, “What you talking ’bout, Ron? Don’t be talking ’bout my Mama!!” I didn’t, I didn’t say a word, but the thought made me laugh.
Ron blindsided me, of course. It won’t bother me again. Now that I’ve expanded my concept of the protesters to “people who would read to me from my mother’s obituary,” I won’t be surprised again.
Ron shared it with some other protesters while he was at it, handing them his phone to read, nodding in my direction to point me out. I think they’ve just learned that you can google someone and find out a lot about them, and are really excited about this new skill. Quick to share their opinions too.
According to them, my mother is ashamed of me. She’s looking down from heaven, she can see me, and she’s afraid for me. She doesn’t want me to do this. She’s upset that we’ll be separated for eternity, cause I’ll be going to the other place. My mother wants me to know that there’s still time for me to change, to turn away from this evil.
They insist that my mother didn’t raise me to do this. “What happened to you?” Ron demands, “Did you get violated when you were young? Is that what happened to make you turn out like this?”
When I walk away, he follows me down the sidewalk, reading the obituary to me.
None of that nonsense bothers me.
My mother taught me to be a feminist. My mother believed in trusting women to do the right thing for themselves and their families. My mother believed in empowering women to take care of themselves and follow their own conscience.
My mother taught me not to be intimidated by bullies. She taught me to stand up for people who are being bullied.
I know she’s proud of me.
But I was a bit surprised that they would stoop to this ~ for what purpose? How does this help “save babies?” Oh, wait, I forgot. It’s not about the babies. It’s about controlling women, on the sidewalk and off…
Reblogged this on News From The Aerie and commented:
This is one of my favorite pieces from everysaturdaymorning.net
Yeah, I think she know what she wrote about it, buddy. What a creepy freak Ron is.
I honestly wouldn’t trust one single pro-liar with even BABYSITTING my children
And all you are (no offense) is just an escort. Imagine what they would do if they could get their hands on the personal information of the clients.
You’re right, the first time it hits you it’s so offensive and almost beyond belief. And then you take a moment to think about who you’re dealing with and it make sense and becomes the norm. How sad for them.
Keep up the hard work!
If you ever do engage them, you should ask what happened to THEM that made them the way THEY are. Must have been something really hidden and traumatic to make them want to bully others to this degree. There’s a strong cognitive dissonance there that honestly keeps them from recognizing that they look and sound like remarkably unmedicated schizophrenic sociopaths. But yeah, I totally see why you don’t, and won’t. Ultimately it doesn’t matter why — they’re just plain wrong.
Yeah, I don’t know… I guess you’re right – bullies are made, not born, right? I think ultimately they do it because they enjoy it. And I think they’re convinced they’re doing the right thing. So right that it justifies every mean thing they want to do. But I think some of it stems from their religious beliefs – not that all religion promotes this kind of thing, but rigid rule-bound religions, fundamentalists, it really does.
You know, some of it is that if you’re busy telling someone else what they’re doing wrong, you don’t have to look at your own life. That can be a trap for anyone. But you’re right, I don’t see any point in trying to have a conversation with them on the sidewalk about anything.
Thanks for the support!!
Wow, that is just ghoulish. They really will say or do anything if they think it might hurt you. It almost sounds like they might get some sort of enjoyment out of being in such an environment where they feel they can treat others in a manner that would be considered beyond the pale in any other social situation. (Not that it’s acceptable in ANY situation, of course, but that they have the approval of their fellow protestors in this case as they hurl abuse as opposed to, say, a lone nut screaming at shoppers at the grocery store) I just can’t imagine the thought process that goes into looking up a stranger’s mother’s obituary and trying to use it to hurt you.
Good for your mom – sounds like she was an amazing woman, and good for you for being there for others despite being subjected to this garbage.
It is a bit ghoulish, isn’t it? But I think you’re right on target with your insight about protesting on the sidewalk being a chance for them to do some “socially sanctioned bullying.” as we call it. Yep.
My mom was pretty awesome – thanks! 🙂 And thanks for the kind words…
Dang autocorrect. I meant to call them assholes
This made me cry for half an hour and my mother is still alive. I can not even imagine the warped thought that makes anyone think they will receive some sort of eternal reward for kicking a person in their most vulnerable place. I try to keep a sense of humor about these morons but I can not do it this week. What evil people! I am going to email my wonderful mother who would support me having an abortion even if she personally would not choose it unless her life or health were at risk. All 5 feet of her would walk through that mess and protect me. My elderly grandmother would support my choice without question. I was always taught by both of these women that it was perfectly fine to be a parent or not, to marry or not but to always be educated and be able to take care of yourself. Oh yeah, and my father taught me the same thing. Of course my husband fully supports a woman’s reproductive choices. I am so sorry for the pain these assailed caused you. I don’t have the whole religion thing figured out but I have figured out it is not bullies on the sidewalk. My sympathy is with you for the loss of your wonderful mother so it is in her honor that refrain from telling these cowards to go blow a goat. OK I just messed that one up. How about in your mother’s honor I make them find their own goat. And again, I am so sorry for the pain they tried to or actually did cause you. Evil, evil people is what they are
Thank you so much for the support – but I’m sorry their asshole-ery caused YOU distress. Or would that be asshole-ness? Asshole-ism? Whatever we call it, they are not worth being distressed over, I promise you.
We’re lucky to know that we have parents that support us, aren’t we? It would have been harder to tolerate Ron’s crap if that weren’t the case.
Thanks again for the support!!
I am just speechless. Ron was not only cruel…but so incredibly void of any kind of compassion or rational thinking. I just hope that this kind of bizarre behavior will cause some of the more rational protestors to re-think what they are doing, and whether they really want to be associated with people who use a mother’s obituaries to taunt.
That would be amazingly cool, BP, if they actually rethought their own choices because of Ron. Not holding my breath though. Thanks for the support!
wow. They stoop to amazingly low levels. I’m not sure why that surprises me, but I’m sorry if it hurt you. Any lever is acceptable these days? HOW is this “christian morality”? Do they not see the dichotomy of their actions vs the words they preach? Obviously, not. You are one of the strongest women I know–I would have punched him.
Hey, Kirsty, I don’t think “christian morality” is a factor here, for real. And no, I don’t think they see the dichotomy. I appreciate the support though!
This is so chilling. I am so sorry that you had to experience this, but I appreciate that you shared the experience with all of us.
The protesters seem to be particularly focused on mothers. Although I’ve only been escorting for a short time, I had never heard D’s voice change from the soft, lilting tone she usually uses while trying to lure clients out from behind the property line…until the day before Mother’s Day. One protester called out something about the escorts, and Donna snapped, “It’s because they don’t respect MOTHERS!” And the word “mothers” was just spat out of her mouth in this angry, visceral tone – so unlike her that it surprised me.
Part of me thinks that they are so bewildered (infuriated? confused?) by what we do that they are grasping at anything that can explain our willingness to escort – hating our mothers, being abused as children, etc., and using escorting as a way to sever the “mother-child” bond with clients. Who knows. fml221 – you win the self-control of the month award!!
Thanks for the self-control award!! 🙂
I think that’s an interesting observation about the protesters and mothers. You’re certainly right about Donna, I’ve heard her do that flip from nice to nasty more than once. I like the theory that they’re searching for a way to explain us that fits their paradigm, you know. I’ll have to think on that some more!
Thanks again for the support!
He obviously googled you hoping to find something bad… some mentions of you in a police blotter for example. The fact that the worst he could find was an obituary praising your mother probably really stuck in his craw at first lol. He was probably like “darn, this is all I could find…well…umm….maybe I’ll go read it to her” ha….although it did surprise you as it would anyone, in the end its like….does he really think hearing words of praise about your mother will make you stop escorting….yeah that dosen’t make sense.
Oh, good point, Linda! Your thoughts made me laugh -yeah, I can picture that!! And you’re so right. Hearing my mom praised – even from them – is certainly not going to drive me away.
Thanks for the support!