The Cranky Escort

It was an ordinary Saturday.  Pouring down rain, so there weren’t a whole lot of protesters or a whole lot of escorts either.  Clients came, we walked them in, and we all went home.

I stayed up in the front most of the morning.  I took some pictures.  Did some videos too.  I get annoyed when the protesters stand in the drop-off zone, particularly with their umbrellas up.   Here they are:

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But you’ve seen that before.  Old news.  Taking a picture of them is pointless.  If you’ve been reading the blog for long, you recognize them.

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 There aren’t really as many of them as it looks like.   But that’s what you would see if you were being dropped off.

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it is the drop-off zone.  And no, they’re not blocking it, they’re just making it look hard to get through

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I kind of like the little cradle on the ground though.   (Ok, not really.)

I am annoyed by the preacher guy, who’s so loud and obnoxious.  When I start doing my video, he drops it down a notch or two, but when I quit videoing, he ratchets it back up again.

And you’ve seen him before, or some preacher on the sidewalk similar enough.  Ho hum.

Nurse Betty is annoying.  She turns away when I start to video her, puts her umbrella up between us, but then changes her mind.  Instead, she starts talking about my mama.  Thanks, Nurse Betty.

Of course you can barely hear her.  Drowned out by the preacher guy.  My favorite part is at the very beginning, when she decides not to hide behind her umbrella, but turns and starts fussing at me.  But I also like the part where her friend decides to take my picture.

Whatever.  It’s pointless.  She didn’t know my mama.  She doesn’t know anything about what she thought or how she raised me.  And I’ve already heard all this crap from them.  It was shocking the first time.  Now, it just irritates me.

I leave the clinic annoyed.  On the verge of angry.  It’s like a bad frigging version of Groundhog Day.  Over and over, the same stuff.

And I’m sick of it.

I don’t like the way I feel when I leave the clinic, and it lingers for too long.  Am I burnt out?  Where have I misplaced my zen?

This week, I saw this quote:

“You hold in your hand an invitation: to remember the transforming power of forgiveness and loving kindness. To remember that no matter where you are and what you face, within your heart peace is possible.”
~~ Jack Kornfield

And this one:

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
 C.G. Jung

And even this:

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I feel ridiculous.  Why am I letting them get to me this way?  They’re not effective.  In fact, they’re relatively insignificant, in the greater scheme of things.  So why do I let them bother me?

Oh, wait, I know why!  They’re symbols.   In my mind, they represent the people who have enough power to really do some harm.   The people in  the legislature in Texas.  And Wisconsin.  And North Dakota.  The people who are going to actually restrict women’s ability to access health care, the people who want women barefoot and pregnant.

I feel threatened by them, in a really primal way, in defense of all the women I know and care about it.  But Donna and Nurse Betty, Camera Joe and Mary, are not really stopping anyone from getting an abortion.  They’re an annoyance.

So how do I shift my feelings?  How do I do this without letting it override my own internal balance?  That has always been the question for me, and is part of what keeps me on the sidewalk, trying to figure it out.

I’ve got more to say, but not right now.  Stay tuned for the next episode of The Cranky Escort.

10 thoughts on “The Cranky Escort

  1. I can recommend that you take a walk on a labyrinth (there’s four or five labyrinths here in Louisville- http://labyrinthlocator.com/ ) Good with debriefing, de-stressing, mindfulness, or at least staying in the present in a safe space for a while. Some folks think labyrinths are religious- they aren’t…. just spiritual for some folks, while for other folks, something enjoyable or relaxing/exhausting like yoga. I do that myself, sometimes especially with being a mental health therapist, with hearing things that are unthinkable- sometimes I have to walk a labyrinth to ‘wash’ the negative, the anger, the frustration off. Journaling helps as well, in which is very much evident here on the blog. 🙂

    • Thanks, Wolfers, for reading and for commenting! I’m a big fan of mindfulness, and have actually done some labyrinth walking meditation before, but I hadn’t thought about it lately. I know of a couple here in Louisville, but didn’t realize there were five of them! That’s pretty cool. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Getting confronted with that much bad energy and nastiness is wearying on a caring soul. You’d have to be either a sociopath or The Buddha not to be affected sometimes. That’s Okay. It’s okay to feel cranky about all this.

    But I understand why you are tired of feeling cranky too.

    Emotions are like muscles. The more you practice strengthening them, the stronger and more powerful they will become. Like a bodybuilder who is at home and at rest, he is still strong.

    Which is what’s going on with your anger right now. It’s getting stronger bit by bit because it’s getting a workout. But even if it’s justified, it’s like holding onto a hot coal with the intent at throwing it at someone: You are the one who will get the worst of the burn.

    It’s something I’m working on too. The reason I can’t escort is because I am WAY too invested in what other people think and I get pumped up and angry. Especially about this topic. As a woman who has had an abortion, every time someone opens their mouth to say something untruthful and mean, I get my defenses up. I’m tired of that. I’m tired of being burned by myself.

    I don’t want to feel that way anymore. I want to feel disassociation. So that’s what I’m working on. I’m not able to do it in the thick of things yet. I need to take time at other points…like when I first wake up in the morning…and feeling otherwise very relaxed to start meditating on disassociation from the thoughts of others and figure out what that would look like.

    It takes a lot of dedication and daily practice…just like bodybuilding…to do emotional building. But it’s every inch worth the effort.

    Rest, rejuvenate, and move into being who you want to be. And as always, thank you for your caring, kindness, and hard work. You make the world of difference, even if it feels old hat to you.

    • Thanks, Longtail,for your thoughtful response. You’re right of course. Getting emotional distance requires practice at mindfulness, and yeah, I need to keep building those skills and work on letting go of the anger. It is pointless. But understandable. 🙂

      Thank you so much for the support!!

  3. Thank you for taking these videos. I read all of your blog entries, but there is something about the reality of actually seeing and hearing the craziness and ridiculousness of what the escorts and clients experience that is very powerful.

  4. “…non-judgmental…radical acceptance…”
    There in lies your quandary. Can you really accept bullying, oppression, and unveiled misogyny in the name of religions – one to which you subscribe?

    • Yeah, it’s not about “accepting” in the sense of approving or believing it’s ok. Radical acceptance is more about recognizing it as it is. My response to it – my anger – is really an effort to change it, but not an effective one. It’s just not helpful.

      But you are right about the religious part of it, for me. I quit being Catholic about a year a half ago, for the very reason you name here. So yeah. Couldn’t support that anymore. Some people work to try to change it from the inside, and that’s great, but not my path at this point.

      Thank you for raising this point, Kescort – I really appreciate it.

    • Yeah, I’ve thought about that lately, Concerned Citizen – not so much being a lobbyist, but looking at other ways to support reproductive justice – and have actually already started doing some different things.

      But there is also the challenge for me to reconcile my desire to be non-judgmental and to practice radical acceptance on the sidewalk. That’s the other piece of it, and I don’t know where I’m going with that just yet.

      Thank you for the comment!! It’s a reasonable suggestion.

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