I glanced at the caller ID. Oh, them again. I was in the middle of writing a book review, and I wanted to get it done an hour ago.
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Another organization asking for money, this one had called just a few days ago. I had ignored that call. But my husband’s reasoning took over. I don’t know why you just don’t deal with those calls when they come. You know they’re going to call back. If he’d said it once, he’d said a million . . . Well okay, not a million. But you get the idea.
I gave a curt, “Hello.”
The usual speal. “Rah, rah, sis-boom, bah!”
Blah, blah, blah . . .
I wanted to cut to the chase.
“I see you’re a writer,” he said. “What do you write about?”
Smart move. Ask about me. I warmed. A little.
“I write about protecting children from sexual abuse. I try to get parents and adults to build a bridge of communication about this issue with kids.”
Little did I know, I had just built a bridge. He began to share how sexual abuse affected his life and his family. He talked. I listened. I sprinkled in words to reflect that I was listening. He talked some more. I listened some more. He talked.
I’m sure the call was far longer than he intended. And I no longer cared about my writing.
“Ya know, I almost didn’t pick up the phone,” I said. “I’m so glad I did.”
“Yeah, I’m glad too.”
When we speak about sexual abuse, we drag it out into the light. We open doors for survivors to speak. Tell a friend over lunch that you’re really concerned about the epidemic of childhood sexual abuse and tell them about the Rise and Shine Movement. And be prepared to listen. And listen some more.