Last Friday, I had my first car wreck. I was slammed on my passenger’s side while I was proceeding through the intersection; my car ended up in a ditch. It was totaled. On the one hand, I am incredibly blessed by the experience; I escaped with minimal soreness and abrasions. God is incredibly kind.
On the other hand, the experience is one of the first semi-traumatic experiences I’ve had. For the next few days, I’ve felt angry, ashamed, and tearful. I’m actually pretty embarrassed to record this incident (it was both my fault and the fault of the driver that hit me). But I’ve picked up a tidbit that may help me as I continue in my internship.
In the aftermath of the accident, sometimes I just wanted silence; I didn’t want to speak or be spoken to. I just wanted to be quiet. The refugees with whom I have the pleasure of interacting have been through more traumatic experiences than the one I just underwent; perhaps they also just want silence instead of conversation.
When my clients fail to grab on to my attempts at conversation (for reasons other than a language barrier), I should let the attempt to speak go. Instead, I think I should remain silent. If they want to speak, I will speak. If they want to just drive, I’ll just drive.