Welcome to our monthly Advocate profile, offering you a chance to get to know some of the folks who hold space and offer unconditional support on our national toll-free Talkline. This month we introduce Chantal, who joined the Portland Talkline team in the Spring of 2013!
How/when/why did you first get involved with Backline?
I have practiced movement and performance since I was a little girl. The freedom I knew as me, in my body, dancing, carried me through those times when being alive can feel like a trap. Love of Movement made me want to study dance and somatic psychology.
Love for my son, Gage, and for our births brought me to studying more about pregnancy. I developed an interest in reproductive psychiatry, trauma, physical, emotional, cultural trauma around birth, you name it. Our bodies are important, let’s take care of them. Our bodies are unique, let’s trust others to listen to the needs of their bodies; they will be better positioned to nurture this trust within their children and partners. Backline lets me engage in a conversation about our bodies, our choices, how we feel, and what we are experiencing.
What has surprised you most in your work on the Talkline?
How hard it is not to say reproductive justice when I mean restorative justice and vice-versa. Also pleasantly surprised to be hangin with Llamas [at the recent Talkline Advocate retreat]. Thanks for that!
What’s your favorite thing about being on the Talkline?
I love the effort – I love being in the conversation that feels like you and your caller are dusting away cobwebs. The emotions are still right there, thoughts seem more clear and it’s all a little more tolerable.
What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
At the moment I long to spend days at the beach, in the ocean. Work, reading, and gardening are pretty chill too.
If Backline’s mission were achieved and all people had the support and resources they needed for pregnancy, parenting, abortion and adoption experiences, where would you volunteer your time?
Things change and things stay the same. It would be fun to ask a lot of questions and see what comes up. Sometimes we just don’t slow up and reflect for a damn second. Having someone who can really listen, well it can’t be bad for your health. I’m pretty sure it’s a human need. I’d like to be involved in that process all my life in some way. I am interested in policy at all levels, public, 501c3, or for-profit in arenas of service provision of mental health, justice, and women’s health care.