It’s time to meet another one of the amazing volunteers who hold space and offer unconditional support on our national toll-free Talkline. This month we introduce Lil, who joined Backline as part of the inaugural Bloomington Talkline Advocate team in the Fall!
How/when/why did you first get involved with Backline?
I tried to get involved back in 2010 when a former supervisor sent me the training information. I was disappointed because I couldn’t get to Portland for the training. I had worked at an abortion clinic for one and a half years and missed talking to women about their feelings and experiences. I referred patients to Backline and always thought it was an amazing organization. I was so pleased that in the fall of 2013, the opportunity presented itself to be a part of Backline here in the Midwest. It was a long time coming! And the trip to Bloomington from Indianapolis was much more doable than Indianapolis to Portland!
What has surprised you most in your work on the Talkline?
How much callers have in common! I know there are differences in their experiences and particulars about their situation, but the feelings, concerns, misconceptions, and desire to feel heard and listened to are all very similar. I really love sharing facts about how many people have had abortions with callers because most have no idea how many people have been in that situation. I believe it gives some folks comfort to know they aren’t the only ones.
What’s your favorite thing about being on the Talkline?
I feel honored to hear people’s stories. It is sometimes such an intimate space to be in with callers and I feel glad they have the trust to share with me. It is humbling. I believe the trust is there because Backline strives to make a safe environment for everyone. I love being a part of something that provides acceptance and support for callers.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your Backline colleagues.
This summer, I ran a 5K- the Run for Your Lives Zombie Run- look it up, it was a blast! I am not a runner, but this just takes the ability to swiftly run from zombies every ½ mile or so and scale some intense obstacles. I did not win though; I was infected by the end. What a great time!
What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
I am writing this after having been through a rough winter so there are very specific things I am looking forward to doing. I very much enjoy going on a long walk with my dog in a park nearby where I live. I also love sitting outside at a restaurant with loved ones, a cold drink, and a huge pile of vegetarian nachos on a sunny afternoon. On some days, we stroll down to the frozen yogurt place and have dessert. Perfection!
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?
I’m a Social Worker and work with people all day long so I think I’d be doing something with animals. I’m a big fan of dogs and would love to spend more time with them.
Thanks for being such a Radvocate, Lil!