It is my work. It is what I do best. I plant seeds in folks that have crisis situations such that their lives, or lives of their loved ones, can improve.
Tonight is no different. Tomorrow will be no different as well, however, tonight will be engrained upon me for a while.
Mother calls. Her 19 yo daughter is being abused by her boyfriend. Her daughter's friend, Tiffany, was shot 3 times by her own boyfriend and the boyfriend turned around and shot himself while her friends waited out in the car for her to return. Police had been called upon a situation with her daughter being beaten by her boyfriend and no arrest was made in spite of daughter covered in scratches and bruises.
Mother is scared to death, but is willing to march in the front of the capitol with the name of her daughter's battering boyfriend on the sign with the passion that she wants folks to know about how much she wants to save the life of her daughter. Ultimately, she wants to be able to do something proactive. Of course, we reiterate -- (1) keep the lines of communication open at all cost (2) encourage her to call us or the teen hotline and (3) don't make demands upon her wherein it would appear that you are no different from the abuser.
After discussing how to empower her daughter, we turn to discussions about coalitions and legistlation workings and how she can be a voice for changes in the domestic violence laws, as well as approaching the police department to discuss why no arrest was made (ie is it their policy to not to have to arrest someone in a domestic violence situation? and was it appropriate action in this case where her daughter was obviously hurt by him?).
She asked about my experience with domestic violence and I shared with her my journey, as well as listened to her journey. Remarkably similar in many ways.
She told me that I should be proud of how far I have come. I told her that I was; and, if I could only just plant one seed, I was proud to do so and my work is being done.
She told me, "God bless you. You have planted that seed in me and I appreciate your taking the time to talk to me." She asked for me to pray for her and she would definitely be having me in her prayers.
And, so I now pray that "Mary" can save her daughter, and in the event that she cannot, she can save the lives for others by being a voice for Tiffany and her own daughter.
Another seed has been planted tonight, and there will be seeds to plant in the nights to come. Thank goodness for the voices here at the hotline and those out in the world who have faced their fears so that others may live without fear.