I was aware of her traumatic childhood. I was also aware of how it had impacted her life. Her father was extremely abusive to her mother and to the family. In fact, she bore a small scar near her eye from a brick that her father had flung at her when she was little. Her experiences caused her to be abrasive in her interactions at times. She could be distrusting of people and it took a while to gain her trust.

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I rehearsed a handful of responses as I walked toward their car. Although I didn’t know them, I was certain that they were going to ask me for money. Lately I had been approached by a number of transients asking for help. Rather than constantly giving money, I made a practice of keeping snacks in my car to give to give to those who were hungry. But honestly, I found this to be tiresome, and was no longer doing it with a joyful heart.

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