The priceless gift: a Christmas reflection.
As the boxes arrive from my online orders and I wrap them to put under the tree, I have been thinking what it is like for us to feel misunderstood, parcelled up and told we have to fit a certain shape.
This is what one woman wrote after talking with one of our Beyond Support workers on the phone over the past few months:
“When I’ve tried to access other support services, I’ve been either turned away, judged or shoved in a box by people who just don’t understand. They expect me to behave in a certain way, feel a certain way. They categorise me based on what they already know, rather than trying to understand how I may not react the same way as someone in a violent domestic relationship, or someone with an addiction. It’s like you’re a jigsaw puzzle piece that just doesn’t fit and every time they try to force you into a space that doesn’t fit it just bends and disfigures you, making you feel even more alienated than before.
Beyond Support don’t try to categorise you, or judge or turn you away. They don’t treat you like a misfitting jigsaw piece or anything other than you for that matter. For me, they just give me back that small moment of being treated like a normal human being again. I’m not pushed away or categorised, they don’t examine you like something new and fascinating, they just…listen. Listening may not seem like much, but when you’ve been ignored, talked over and silenced as much as I have, it means a lot.
There needs to be more services like Beyond Support to help anyone who finds themselves in a similar position. To be listened to and understood is so fundamental to feeling like a person, and for people whose very sense of being is so often destroyed, this seemingly simple gesture is priceless”. Quoted with permission.
This Christmas, as you gather with loved ones – many or few – we hope that you enjoy the simple, priceless gesture of being known, loved and listened to.
Happy Christmas and a hope-filled 2018 from all at Beyond The Streets.
Everyday Beyond Support offers a listening ear to women as they transition out of the sex industry. It costs us just over £50 for our specialist staff to take a call from a women. Fund our next call by making a gift towards Beyond Support today, or help secure our service by giving regularly.
Words by Miriam, who works for Beyond the Streets as the Clinical Lead for Beyond Support – our call back service for women involved in prostitution. She is passionate about people’s tough lives being transformed.