It’s reading week! And I could really use it.
Last night was my first on call shift for my volunteer job. I volunteer as a support worker with the sexual assault response team, which means that I meet survivors of sexual assault at the hospital, police station, or just over the phone to provide support. It’s been a really meaningful experience, although I couldn’t have anticipated the amount of anxiety I experienced last night.
I spent last October - December training for this position, during which we learned a lot about the theory behind crisis intervention and practiced through role plays. I picked the pager and binder up from one of my co-volunteers yesterday afternoon though, and from then until this morning when I traded it off, I anxiously checked the pager every 20 minutes to see if I had somehow failed to hear a page. This is of course silly - the pager’s obnoxiously loud and impossible to miss.
I didn’t get paged, which I hope means that everyone had a safe night. All night, though, I felt so terrified that I ended up curling up on the couch and watching all of season one of Community. It wasn’t the idea of being called to the hospital and having to remember my training that was so scary, it was the feeling that I could be asked to respond to an emergency, but without knowing whether or not it would happen, and without knowing if I would respond in the right way.
One of my co-volunteers once said if I can just sit there and tell them that I’m sorry and that it wasn’t their fault, I feel like I’ve done most of my job. I’ve been taking a lot of comfort in this, because while I imagine that I won’t respond perfectly, it really isn’t about whether or not I say the right things. It’s about giving agency back to someone after it’s been taken away and any little bit of support goes a long way.
One good thing that came out of my night was some painting! I’ve gotten started on You’ve Got a Roof, and I’ve still got a long way to go but I’m pretty intrigued by it so far.
I had intended to make the base a warm off-white colour, and I somehow managed to make a really bright mango orange. I’ve decided to try working with it though - it’ll be a more interesting colour palette for sure!
The leaf print is putting up more of a fight on the canvas than I would’ve anticipated - I was hoping the base layer of paint would smooth out the rough texture of the canvas a little more. I think I’ll make several different layers of leaves in different tones of green though. The canopy will hopefully end up looking like an umbrella! And then I’ll work on making rain drops, I’m thinking of long slanted ones. Here’s what it looks like so far: