It’s time to meet another one of the amazing volunteer Radvocates who hold space and offer unconditional support on our national toll-free Talkline. This month we introduce K.C., who joined Backline in 2013 as part of the inaugural Bloomington Talkline Advocate team!
How/when/why did you first get involved with Backline?
I started training in September of 2013 with the first round of Hoosiers. A friend in Alabama stumbled across the callout for advocates in Bloomington. Knowing I’d just moved there, she sent it to me. I think I called Shelly during my first week in Indiana. Backline seemed like a great way to connect with other RJ-oriented people and to learn more about providing tangible support to folks across the spectrum of pregnancy, which I’d been itching to do for some time.
What has surprised you most in your work on the Talkline?
I’ve been surprised by how deeply this work influences the ways I interact with people in my personal life. Non-judgmental, non-directive peer counseling skills are applicable in all of my relationships!
What’s your favorite thing about being on the Talkline?
It’s a huge responsibility and privilege to hold space for someone on the other end of the line. Of course we train extensively and work hard to develop ourselves as advocates, but if at the end of a shift all we’ve done is listened well to callers… darn it, that really means something. There isn’t enough of that happening in our world.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your Backline colleagues.
Oh gosh, I feel like I’ve been an open book with the Hoosier Raddies! One thing I’ve been fantasizing about lately that sort of surprises me is: buying land and building a small house here in central Alabama. I’m pretty terrified of home ownership, but I’m thinking on it and weighing my options for the long-term possibility of sticking around this region. Big kid decisions! I should probably lock in a job first…
What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
I am happiest when I’m on a road trip involving quality time with a loved one, tent camping or sleeping in the car, making coffee outside in the early morning, visiting state and national parks, and enjoying unique places all over the country, but especially in the deep south and southwestern US.
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 super interested in end-of-life care and support, so I’d probably find a way to work on those issues. I’m intrigued by death midwifery and home funeral guidance, so I might pursue something like that. I’m also interested in folk cultures of the south and southern Appalachia, so maybe something related to folk arts – engaging people in the area with traditional foods, medicine, dances, and music.
Thanks for being so rad, K.C.!