Time to Give Back – Volunteer at the Portland Crisis Line

This spring I completed a 50-hour training program at the  Portland Crisis Line (PWCL) and I’ve been volunteering on the crisis line each week.  This organization takes over 22,000 calls a year.  Until I entered this world, I never realized that violence and abuse is so pervasive.  It affects all genders although women are still the majority.

This is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life and at first I would go home shaken and cry.  And it is one of my proudest moments to have the courage to face my own fears and past and help others through theirs.  These people are some of the most courageous people I have ever met.

I am increasing my knowledge of trauma and abuse to a new level.  Also after eight-years of doing the work I do, I have realized that so many women and men have experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse but thought they were over it or that it didn’t effect their lives.  But it has affected their lives like a low grade infection that goes undetected but can have tough consequences physically and emotionally.

I understand because I have been there.  During one of my trainings by Dr. Christopher Wilson, an expert in the area of “The Dynamics of Abusers” he believed that the struggle with narcissism is a root cause driving abusers.  The light went off for me and it explained my experience with an abuser.  He had to put others down to make himself feel worthy.  He had a disconnect with what he believed about himself compared to others.  Dr. Wilson talked about how manipulative and clever they are and smart women get manipulated by them.  They start out building you up, telling you you’re incredible and then slowly they begin the manipulation.

For years I beat myself up thinking I was stupid in not recognizing who he was, but my new understanding liberated me as I realized it really wasn’t my fault!

The experiencing of volunteering has surprised me in that it is also helped me to heal my past.

I’m also excited to bringing out soon a Memoire Series that shares my story and gives insights and tools for others to not only thrive from stress, burnout, and trauma, but to Thrive!

With joy and appreciation,

Joan