1994- Twenty-six years back, I was a medical intern in a doctor’s office in Fremont. Long hours, the day was finally over, and I was all set to leave and go home. The phone rings, a fumbled female voice, on the other side, requests an emergency appointment and urges to be seen immediately.
I put my bag down, wear my white coat, and patiently wait for the patient to show up. 6:15 pm, a young lady shows up, alone, with her head covered in the office.
Paperwork is done, and I take over her case.
I can never forget her shaky voice, hesitation to take off the veil from her head, and the resistance to open up to me. Her stuttery and haltering speech made me wonder what was stopping her from talking to me. She was panicky, anxious, and seemed terror-stricken.
I tried to put her at ease, comforted her, and requested her to let me examine her.
She finally eased a bit. Her left part of the face was black and blue with swollen red-eye and bruises on the forehead. I asked her very gently what happened? Unwillingly and in a very timid tone, she said, I fell down the stairs in my house. I paused, looked at her, and debated in my mind, no way, this injury was from a fall. She was obviously hit real hard on her face, rather punched very bad. I knew it right away; she was abused and wanted to report to the appropriate agency; however, she made a humble request not to do so. I treated her to my best ability and asked her to come back for a follow-up in 2 days.
I will confess that I waited for her the entire day, hoping she would keep her appointment. She did not show up. The front office tried calling her but was unable to do so; her phone was disconnected.
I was not happy, and this episode left me with a distraught and uneasy feeling.
Her dismayed expressions, faltering speech, and the demure indisposition disturbed me. I felt she had a storm brewing up in her soul, chaos in her mind, and fire ignited with roasted flames. Even though she had a peaceful smile, her eyes were full of pain.
She needed HELP.
I was not a happy person as I constantly visualized her face in front of me. I had a million questions racing through my mind. I just wanted to find out how she was doing and if all was okay with her. Why did she refuse to report? What was stopping her? Was she under some extreme pressure?
For days, months, and years, this thought haunted me and got glued in my brain.
I decided, one day, no matter what, I will help women subject to any form of abuse in their lives. Deep down, I knew that I had the gift to heal and empower.
I tried to take the domestic violence training course for three years, but luck was not by my side; something or the other kept coming in the way.
Here I am now, twenty-six years later, a Domestic Violence Advocate, trained to offer my services to the survivors.
What did I finally learn?
Whatever the deep passion is, whatever ignites you, whatever churns your muscles, do not let it slip from your hands, embrace it, and stay in close touch with your zeal.
We all have a healing touch, the capacity to serve, lend a hand, and open doors for someone somewhere suffering on this planet.