Friday the 13th
I had a friend of mine contact me a few days ago, concerned that I was giving into the darkness of my past. Totally understandable. As a survivor of trafficking and sex crimes it is an easy rabbit hole to go down. But the more that I speak about what I have come through and how I have grown from it the better I feel. The more confident I feel and I am more and more driven to keep others from staying in or becoming trapped in that kind of life.
So now is as good a time as any to "get it out there"
At 18 I moved out of my parents’ home, in extreme defiance and with complete lack of knowledge of the really world.
I had no money, no job, and no place to go...
I floundered for almost a year, hopping around living arrangements, jobs, and friends; none of which were good for me. (hind sight is always 20/20) If you would have asked me then I would have told you “life’s great” that “I have it all together” and that “life’s short so live it up” Eventually though it all catches up with you though. I was kicked out of where I was living, my parents wouldn’t allow me to move back home and ended up in jail because of a “friend”
Fast forward-à Still with the same friends and same bad choices I ended up in a bar, under-age drunk and under the influence of a master manipulator… But that I wouldn’t find out for years. For 7 years, I lived a secretive life, hidden from family and friends. They all could see that something wasn’t right and even though I had changed it wasn’t for the better. Behind closed doors my X was trading me to strangers through online websites and pornographic photographers and keeping a bank roll of the income from “club” he convinced me to work at. I was verbally an emotionally being twiddled down to shell of a person. No personal thought, or goals. I believed I couldn’t survive without him, because I had nothing and was nothing.
I had allowed self-doubt, and a lack of self-esteem to dictate the course of my life, UNTIL…
I had my daughter. Even then it was a struggle to stand up and say no or push back, but it was a start. Watching that beautiful little creature so innocent and sweet. A life before her that I vowed would never be like the life I lived.
But, it doesn’t happen overnight. It took me years, another child, abuse and 2600 miles to get me to leave that life and to free myself and children. A trip home, away from the pull and manipulation and the quiet question of my sweet girl from the back seat “Momma what’s courage?”