Nat Okey, Exhale Volunteer:
As a counselor on the talkline, I have heard callers share about pain so great, that I lack the tools to address the scope of their problems. It’s often impossible to make things better right then and there on the phone. Their hurt is so immense, it’s like a Goliath who is standing in their path, blocking any progress or even a view of the way forward.
Whether it’s a survivor in a violent and controlling relationship who cannot leave her abuser and must hide her pregnancy and abortion, or a mother of two who just could not bring another child into the world, as a counselor, as much as I’d like to, I cannot “fix” their situation. What I can do is give them some tools to help them clear their own path forward: validation of their emotions and their strength, referrals to resources, and an anonymous and safe place to tell their story without judgment or retribution.
For anyone who is facing a Goliath of hurt and who has called our talkline, or is thinking of calling, you have more tools than you may realize, even if you feel small and weak in the face of your pain and your circumstances.
I have always loved the story of David and Goliath. Little David was once small and weak and yet he faced the mighty Goliath, despite the fact that Goliath was bigger, stronger and equipped with better tools and weapons. Little David knew he was strong though, and a strong person – like all the callers I listen to on our talkline – can figure out the resources they need to help themselves.
David had his slingshot, so he picked up some rocks as they were all he had at that moment. What do you have laying around? A friend, a pet, a good movie, a park you can take a long walk in? What kind of resources do you have available?
What about a pen and paper? Imagine your hand as the slingshot, the pen and paper your rocks. Write out your feelings. Write what you need to express. Write to who you need to hear. Your first attempt may fail, no words may come, or they may miss the mark, but try again and you’ll get closer. Or you can try watching a movie with your dog snuggled close. It probably won’t remove your Goliath of hurt by the time the credits roll, but your second and third and fourth attempts will get you closer and closer to that day.
So pick up your slingshot and your rocks. You’re a strong person, or you wouldn’t be here looking for answers. You’re probably pretty creative too as abortion is an issue we can’t talk about freely in public right now, and you’ve found a resource that most people aren’t even aware of. Give us a call, read or send an ecard, refer a friend or partner. Think of us – the Exhale counselors – as rocks. We’re here for you to pick up. We’re ready to help you fell your Goliath and move you forward.
Pick up the phone and call Exhale: 1-866-4EXHALE.