I have been listening to Ear Hustle SQ for a few weeks now getting caught up on seasons one and two so that I am ready for the beginning of season three. I feel like it is part of my reentry education. Last week I was deeply impacted by the story of Sara and LA about sex trafficking. The episode was “Dirty Water[i]” and the implication is that children caught up in the life have no choice never being given clean water. You should listen to the work of restoration that Sara does for victims of trafficking. Really listen to the words used that validate the victim, the hope that comes from telling the truth, “I was a child, it was not my choice”, and the message of forgiveness. I was touched at her ability to confront LA in a respectful way and challenge his way of thinking. This work of restoration seems too rare.
As a result of this conversation my hope for peer support specialists in reentry has been solidified. I have spent a few minutes on the site of IamSJK[ii] and her bio reveals a strong desire to use her experiences to be a change agent. “Helping people pull through their trauma is healing.” What if our experiences of healing challenged us to bring healing to others? Sara references a favorite book of mine written by Viktor Frankl called “Man’s Search for Meaning” Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist who survived his imprisonment in the Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII. Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way[iii].”
I am imagining a community where every person who desires to bring life change is supported in their efforts, turning pain into purpose; giving the reentrant the keys to a new life of their own imagining. If you are reading this and you’d like to become a peer support specialist we could use your advocacy to make it happen.