I'm not an optimist by nature, but by God, I force myself to be one. There's enough negativity in and around abortion care; no one needs me to be a grumpy, jaded provider. I dance at work and joke with clients and hype up my co-workers and proclaim my love for the clinic from the rooftops. And sometimes, it's the most exhausting part of the work I do.
I wear a "Trust Women" button like the one worn by Dr. Tiller. I believe it with all my heart and it's the reason I go to work every day, ignoring the protesters, ignoring my lower back pain and sciatica after 12+ hour days. I've sacrificed relationships and friends and sleep and food and health and leisure time and luxuries and vacations for this job. I do it because I trust and love every woman who enters my clinic, and I value the work I do. And I know that the clients appreciate all of us providers. But they don't always trust us.
Women constantly ask us if our clinic is clean, if real doctors perform the abortion, if they'll be infertile, if they'll get breast cancer. They call afterward and accuse us of "leaving something inside of me," they blame their stubbed toe on something we did, they call us money-hungry whores because we can't secure enough funding for them. And it hurts so much and it makes me so angry to constantly be the enemy, no matter what. Providers aren't perfect, but we're good and selfless people and we deserve trust and respect.
I'm sorry I can't be your regularly scheduled, sunny Desembarazarme, but I'm human and I struggle, and I trust you to be here for me.