A story from the sidewalk

Walking with the patient and another escort.

Anti comes up behind
us, per usual, and starts talking to thepatient, who stops. She

mentions tothe 

anti that she’s been to one of the baby showers someof the

antis
have. Anti jumps on it and starts babbling. I let her go on until it becomes clear that she won’t stop. I speak up and try to say, “just so you know–” and the anti tells me to “be quiet– we are having a conversation! I’m allowed to talk to her!” I keep trying to finish my one sentence, informing the patient that she has the right to say no thank you, over the anti’s yells. I’m frustrated at not being able to get a word in, and the anti sees my frustration and starts laying into me: “Look! She’s so angry that you’re talking to me because she wants to force you to do what SHE wants. She’s fuming! She’s about to break!”

I denied this, but realized the situation wasn’t going to get better, so I say, “okay, fine. I just want you to know that you are free to say no if you don’t want to continue the conversation. I’ll leave you guys [gesturing to the other escort] to it.” I smile at her, trying to show that I’m just trying to help, and walk away as the anti yells, “yes, DO leave us be! Stop trying to force this woman to kill her baby!”

I got back to my spot with another escort, almost in tears with frustration. I muttered quietly to the other escort “I hate this” as I rubbed my face and paced, trying to calm down. Another anti hears me and says, “Hate? You say you HATE? You need to have LOVE in your heart for Jesus Christ! No wonder you are a deathscort!”

Shortly after, the first anti returns and begins loudly talking to the other anti about me and my “temper,” — how I’m going to “explode,” how my temper is a result of my “conscience” showing me what’s right and wrong.

I refuse to let them break me, so I force a smile and look straight ahead, feeling their pointed words fly around me. 

I am angry because she called me out in front of a patient.

I am angry because she twisted the good I was doing into a bad thing.

I am angry because she makes me feel guilty for trying to be compassionate.

I am angry because of course I’m angry– and angry because she has spotted my anger and will use it against me.

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One thought on “A story from the sidewalk

  1. In Australia, protesting is legal but not as hardcore as it seems to be in the USA. I think what you do is amazing. I can’t even begin to imagine the hate and anger of the “anti’s” over there that you and the patients must face, and I just want you to know that what you do is so important. xoxoxo.

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