This post is a potpourri of the things that have happened since my last post about not liking the way I feel at the clinic. A lot has happened.
First, we got this comment, which you can see here in full. Cheryl writes about what led her to the clinic and what that experience was like. I’ve shared it in some other venues, but if you haven’t already seen it, it’s well worth reading in full. It says, in part:
…What I really remember, though, is the clinic escorts that greeted me, one in particular…”
“…And he stands out in my mind simply because I never for a moment thought there could be a short, white haired man, above the age of 50 who believed in my right to choose. Who would want to be up at a stupid early hour, in the cold, fending off protestors. Yet, there he was, a man that reminded me of an old college professor I had, talking to me as he walked me to the door and explained that the doors weren’t open yet, but that they would be soon and that he just didn’t understand how the protestors could behave the way they do…”
“… that escort was so kind and calming. I thought I could do the whole thing alone, but I’m not sure I could have made it through that gauntlet of protestors had he not been there to shield me and quietly lead me to the door. He was perfect and I hope he is still there helping.”
That really gave us all a boost ~ thank you, Cheryl for the powerful reminder of why we’re therel!!
Then I started working on my part as a presenter at this online conference coming up on Saturday, July 20. It’s a panel of reproductive rights activists ~ from Minnesota, Kentucky, Virginia and Ireland ~ including another escort from here. We’ll be debunking the whole post abortion trauma syndrome myth. We’ll refute the protesters’ claim that, “They always regret it. Women never get over abortion,” with the actual facts of the matter, including some thoughts on how we can help impact the outcome.
The panel will be presented as part of this free, online conference, FtBConscience. Learn more about it at http://www.ftbcon.org The conference is all weekend ~ our little part is at 2:00 CST (3:00 EST). There will be a chat room and time for questions, and we’d be delighted for you all to join us.
Then there’s this ~ Talking to Men Who Are Clinic Escorts, on the RH Reality Check blog ~ featuring two of our very own finest escorts. It made me proud to know that Dan and Ken are my friends.
Plus ~ as if that weren’t enough going on ~ there was a letter to the editor in our local paper talking about how the people outside the clinic have bad attitudes and look angry and how awful that is. I thought the letter was about the protesters, and was agreeing with him, but apparently the letter writer was a protester and apparently was talking about us too!
I had to laugh.
Sometimes, the protesters will accuse us of being angry, but then if we smile, they talk about how awful we are, laughing while babies are being murdered. So the letter kind of cracked me up. I even wondered if my Cranky Escort post had inspired him.
But here’s the thing. I may feel angry with the protesters, but I don’t talk to them, and I don’t generally look angry, because that wouldn’t be helpful for the clients. I typically come across as very calm. On the other hand:
This one amused me too ~ Ron, talking about us escorts being “blood-suckers” and how they “don’t have to let youall have them,” that they “rescue them.” I guess he’s talking about the fetuses, but I’m pretty sure he’s wrong, they do have to let people go into the clinic. I have a lot of video from last week ~ I’ll share more another time ~ but last week it was easy to see how ridiculous it is.
And it still doesn’t matter, whatever he says, it’s just Ron talking his same lines.
More importantly, I remembered that really, it’s ok if I feel angry. I don’t like it when I feel so angry that it’s hard to let it go, but you know, it’s just natural to feel angry when we watch people saying and doing mean things ~ to me, or to others.
I try to remember that:
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
So part of what made me feel better was taking some action. The conference coming up is exciting, we did a letter in response to the editorial in the paper ~thanks to Maggie and her writing skills, persistence, and patience. Trying to do a group letter with escorts is totally like herding cats.
And I’ve got some other stuff going on too, but I’ve also got things in better perspective. I’m remembering not to fight what I’m feeling, but to let the feelings come and go like waves in the ocean. It is truly an opportunity to practice finding my zen.
And one last thing ~ I saved this for last because it may be the most important part of this post.
Did a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” lie or mislead you about the services it offered, or give you inaccurate information about your options? Did you go to a CPC and feel that something was just not quite right?
As you may have experienced, CPCs have been known to try to shame, confuse, frighten, and coerce women — who are already facing a difficult decision — not to have an abortion. CPCs hand out anti-abortion material and refuse to tell women about their options. They may force women to watch upsetting videos or slide shows. They even provide false “facts” about the safety, availability, and consequences of abortion and birth control.
By sharing your story, you can play an important role in ensuring that women receive honest, unbiased medical care when they need it the most. We understand how difficult it may be for you to tell your story, but your voice makes a difference. We will contact you for permission before sharing it with press and Members of Congress.
Here’s the link for where to share your story, and here too:
This is one more way we can make a real difference.
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Yay! I’m so glad you’re feeling better. I know you’re going to rock all your projects here too. 🙂
Thanks, Longtail! Hope you’re right.
What you do matters. It matters to the clients who are getting abortions, it matters to the women who will get abortions in the future and it should matter to everyone who thinks that women should have access to reproductive healthcare.
Also, thanks for the video of the dude ranting about “bloodsuckers.” Time to turn off “Vampire Diaries” and put away the Twilight series.
Thanks, Ky Born, for the kind words ~ I know there’s truth in that ~ escorting is one of the most satisfying things I do! Glad you enjoyed the video ~ it really cracked me up too. “Bloodsuckers.” Sheesh… 🙂
I’m so glad you are feeling better! The conference on reproductive justice should relight your fire for sure!
Thanks, Concern Citizen ~ it rarely takes me long to get it back together, but you’re so right, the conference is really exciting!
would you consider reposting your letter of response that went to the paper, here, for those of us too far away to get your local paper?
seriously–sometimes I get angry when I read here…so appalled, too, that women must face this horrid gauntlet to get the medical services which they desire. Why is not our business. In this “modern” day and age of acceptance and love and caring…they (the protesters) don’t seem to be living very “christian” values.
I’d be delighted to share the letter we wrote after it’s published ~ and the letter that inspired it too!
It’s not unreasonable to feel angry about the way the protesters routinely act. And no, it doesn’t seem very “christian” to me either. And really, I vacillate between thinking they mean well, and thinking that they really do only care about the opportunity to do some socially-sanctioned bullying. But I guess their motivation isn’t my concern ~ I can see the behavior.
Thanks for commenting!