Bus Bathrooms and Freedom HN Blog
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Bus Bathrooms and Freedom

Bus Bathrooms and Freedom

 
By:  Mission Team July 25, 2021

Just a quick PSA: Do NOT read this blog if you have major claustrophobia. If you happen to read this anyway, please know you were warned.

I never thought I would ever get stuck in a bus bathroom — much less learn anything from it. Yet here we are. I’ve been abandoned in a bus bathroom, and I’m here to share what happened and what I learned — other than the obvious don’t-get-stuck-in-a-bathroom bit.

It was my first time traveling on a bus with a bathroom on it. It seemed simple enough: do your business, wash up, leave. What could possibly go wrong?

I hopped in the bus bathroom on a long stretch between Illinois and Kansas during our first tour of the year. It was about 11:30am, and I had left my phone plugged in in the main area of the bus. After relieving myself and sanitizing, I go to leave the bathroom. I turn the handle, and the door won’t budge.

In that moment, I had no clue what to do. The bus was really loud. How could I raise my voice enough to be heard over the bus and through the walls of the bathroom? Did anyone even notice I was missing? Why would they? I had only been gone for a few minutes by then. I decided to wait it out. Surely someone would notice sooner or later.

I stood in the bathroom only a little nervous that I would be forgotten forever but also pretty happy to have the alone time. I found a button on the ceiling that said, “Emergency Only. To Signal Driver.” I tried pressing the button a few times, and nothing happened. I thought, “Meh. Whatever. Someone will eventually find me.” Noon rolled around, and I prayed the Angelus as is customary.

A little while later, the bus began to slow down. I got excited that they noticed and were going to get me out. Then the bus stopped and was left stalling as I felt the weight of the bus shift as EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. got off the bus — except for me....

We had stopped at a gas station for a quick break. Apparently, there was an exchange of the whole “I thought she was with you” bit that’s in every movie when someone goes missing. Once they realized I was missing, they all came running back to the bus looking for me. Upon discovering I was stuck in the bathroom, they had to find the door handle - which had apparently fallen out while someone else had used the bathroom - and let me out.

Will I ever let my team live this down? No. Should I? I’ll pray about it, but probably not. Do I hate that it happened? NOT EVEN A LITTLE. I found the experience hilarious, and it has helped me start healing in ways I never expected.

What it taught me:

First and foremost, it brought to mind the fact that I have to fight for myself. I probably could have been out of that bathroom in ten minutes if I had screamed and yelled for someone to get me out. It helped me realize that when someone tries to speak over me or someone else, I am allowed to speak up and call them out for interrupting.

Second, I grew in self-awareness. I discovered how much I actually am an introvert and that it’s okay to need a little alone time to recalibrate, so to speak. All my life, I’ve been told I’m an extrovert through and through, and that being an introvert would be a bad thing. In that time of forced isolation, I realized that there was a time I needed that day to bring my mind back to its full functioning capacity.

Third and finally, my community cares about me. For a long time, I have struggled with the idea that no one cares about me to the extent that my existence has felt meaningless at times. Having a community that cares enough to notice I was missing at all was powerful in realizing that I matter and I’m amazing!

Although getting stuck in a bus bathroom wasn’t exactly ideal, it turns out it was exactly what I needed. Even reflecting on it long enough to write a blog post about it has brought about more realizations about things that have happened since then, and this incident was like six months ago. The fact that I’m still learning from it is wild and speaks to the power of God to take bad situations and make them work out for the good.

Photo Credits
https://unsplash.com/photos/UcUROHSJfRA
https://unsplash.com/photos/N2JUQtT5i40
https://unsplash.com/photos/XE_KmFBsDpE
https://unsplash.com/photos/BTG1pMOVx68



About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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