Confusing Emotions After Assault Pt 2
Finally. It’s not a newborn photo but it’s close to what I wanted: a clear image of me to connect with my inner child, as if it were my child, to treasure and to hold onto when I can’t love myself. My aunt sent this to me a few days ago and I bawled.
Today my spouse dropped my son off at his Grandma’s and I have our space to myself. Wildfire smoke blankets the trees and roadside. Tiny, toxic particles seep indoors. This year has been one shocking setback after the other, and the past week has had the most stressful days in 2020. I’m asthmatic and can have intense claustrophobia at times. I imagined quarantine would drive me bonkers but I can’t even open a window and breathe fresh air!
Before the smoke blew in, my family and I enjoyed a gorgeous day, hiking. I felt happy. And, as I write this, I'm okay again. What can I say, I'm used to the rollercoaster! The air purifier that came in the mail has been a lifesaver and the quietness helps me gather my thoughts. I’ve summoned the strength and now I need to revisit this subject.
A moment of calm last week
People Asking Questions
A fellow writer contacted me on Facebook inquiring about the sex industry. Someone she knew was considering it. I loved that I was able to give her my personal experience that I would have had to keep a secret 5 years ago. How liberating.
One conviction I will always support is that it should be safe and legal, no stigma attached. Would I want it for my own daughter? Absolutely not. But it’s the fear of discovery that endangers these women, forcing them to withdraw from society, government resources, and their loved ones. What you choose to do with your own body should not be a matter of right and wrong, legal or illegal, but a matter of mental health. I’m relieved that the police in our communities have diverted their focus instead onto those exploiting women. Escorts are much less likely to get arrested these days. In fact I had a policeman tell me, “Just do your taxes.”
If you need to hear it straight up, I stand for sex worker’s rights. No, it’s not my concern should you disagree. However, I am no longer involved and have no desire to return to the life I chose for ten painful, exhausting years. I’m aware that there are women who choose it and have no reservations. They’ve paid for school tuitions and live empowered, comfortable lives they would not be able to live otherwise. To each their own. But this is my story, and how I feel. Sorry if that’s confusing.
Empowered Female, Homewrecker, Prostitution
That’s it. This is why it was so addicting. There were moments I did feel empowered. Clients boosted my self-esteem - the good ones. They gifted me, worshipped me, offered vacations. Of course, there are workers who don't have a choice and at times, I didn't either. This isn't meant to be insensitive.
The flexibility that came along with it as well suited me. I didn't have any education, I suffered from insomnia and panic attacks and social awkwardness; I never learned a schedule and I was an inconsistent employee, as stated by my restaurant boss, while he spanked my backside.
Every single one of us did it for the money. I could work at any hour. I'm not saying this to lure anyone in but to explain my mindset. But if an adult has decided on it and questioned me, I feel it would be my moral duty to inform them on how to be safe. Two points being; don't work for agencies and stay off the street! Keeping it online is even better. I understand that for most of us once our mind is set, there’s no turning back.
My therapist explained it as reclaiming your power. Some trauma victims go in the opposite direction. They abandon their looks, refuse to date - essentially hide inside their shell. I became obsessed with perfection. I just wanted to be beautiful. If I’m beautiful, people will like me, I'll make money, life will get easier. And it was true, for a while.
The sacredness of intimacy between two people who cared for each other dropped to the bottom of my list, where my hopes lay scattered, lost. Bye-bye, love and connection, building a real future with someone special. Marrying the man of my dreams. What I once valued as a young girl held no meaning. The trauma took over the forefront and I created new memories with various people, so many that I'd barely remember the traumatic ones because they were just as meaningless. At least that's how my brain processed it. The new memories ended up being traumatic! Who cared? I was already ruined.
Controlling sex elated me. I could say yes to this, no to that, and oftentimes, they listened. I projected a hard exterior and hoped to God they wouldn't catch on to my bluff.
What I hated most were the lies - lying about my job, where I was, what I was doing. I hated the dishonesty of my clients, even if I wasn't the one technically cheating. One glimpse at a ring on their left hand turned my heart to stone. I hated their excuses, their phone calls to their partners, standing naked with me in the room. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew one day I might become a wife and mother, and it would bother me.
The jaded me worried that Karma would get me, that I couldn't possibly secure a genuine relationship in the future, that all men were the same and I’d never change. I did, though! I've been 100% transparent with my spouse from the very beginning and he accepts me, the good along with the bad.
I wasn't who I truly am and I see that now. As much as I am a sexual being, I am one who knows my worth and would never submit my body to just anyone. I'm glad I don't carry that burden on my conscience, of participating in another woman's pain and destroying her marriage. I have no need to lie in order to protect myself. I've found a healthy outlet to process my flashbacks of sexual trauma. Selling my body never truly eliminated or lessened that pain. Just like drugs, it was a temporary distraction.
What's a little known fact is that working girls not only face danger from prospective customers, but family members and love interests tend to react violently upon learning their profession. Psychopaths view 'hookers' as easy prey. Many are raped, some die. The saddest part is that it's usually not their first trauma. I heard their stories!
Please have compassion next time you hear about one, or see them in an ad, or standing on a corner. Remember that they were once children.
Look at them and say, "They're people."
They're not a piece of meat or some intentional homewrecker; they could be your friend, your sister, your mother, your daughter. And you'd never know because they might not tell.