From 9 to 20

From the age of 9 until 20 I was trapped.  Today, I am free.

I recently looked back at something I’d written a short three years ago.  At that time I was sitting in a Starbucks and had begun to journal out the complexities of my longing heart…

Dare I do it? Dare I write?  Not that I think I’d have any chance to publish it or that anyone would read it, but then again, what if?  I’ve set out in my life to take chances, but really, what chance is this? Maybe it’ll be good for me.  Maybe I’ll just start to write again.  It’s been years since I’ve really enjoyed it like I once did.  It’s a get-a-way of sorts, even if I’m directly addressing issues I’d rather ignore.  It would just be me searching for meaning I already need to be searching for.   But what about?  About me?  Who would care?  About my life?  Who would care?  About my experiences? Are they really that interesting or that important?   Who knows?  Maybe I’ll just start writing and see what happens.  Nothing says this has to be read by millions or even anyone at all.  Hmmm, what a thought.  Should I?  Maybe I should.  Maybe I will.  I think I will.  I think I’m supposed to…”

Even now, as I sit and write, I’m unsure.  I’m more interested in taking the leap that begins the journey than knowing where the journey ends.  I fit pieces together as the pieces come.  I’m sure professional authors would cringe at the strategy, but a professional is certainly not something I claim to be.  What I am is a broken individual, healed by the grace of God and passionate about fighting the prevalence of sexual abuse. I am a survivor of despair and doubt. I am a survivor of humiliation and lies, of violence and rape.  I am a survivor of slavery and human trafficking.  Most of all, I think, I’ve survived myself. 

I’m willing to take the risk if you are– to become uncomfortable.  I’m willing to share with you my story of being sexually trafficked right here in America, if you’re willing to listen.  What I do not want however, if for this to be a story of despair– because it’s not.  It’s  a story of hope.  There is a thrasher-filled road of healing ahead of me yes, but I am in the process of freedom.

May this blog serve as education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

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20 Comments

  1. I was abused from younger than 4 until 18. It didn’t become awful in my mind until I was years beyond it and was able to look at it honestly. My

    Reply
    • My parents introduced the abusers into my life, but it was only two men, I was never pimped out. I didn’t believe parents could do this, I didn’t believe my parents could have known or somehow been complicit. But in a recent hospital stay I heard someone share how her mother tied her to a bed and pimped her out from the age of about 5. Parents can do these awful evil things to their children. Even tho I had been abused I found it so hard to believe her. So keep writing and keep telling your story. It is the truth for many people and the rest of us need to wake up to it.

      Reply
  2. If you wrote a book I would read it. You’ve got a great platform to help other people and it will help you in your journey of healing. Don’t worry if you are doing it right or not. I’ve written a bible study and didn’t know the ending myself. It took a while because it mirrored my own healing journey but in the end it helped me make sense of myself. And you’ve already written the ending: It’s your redemption and salvation. It’s what you went through and your journey of healing that everyone wants to know about. That kind of stuff is so inspirational. We all go through stuff in our lives and when we read about it to the extreme that you went through, it gives us courage to fight our own battles.

    There is no one right way to write. Everyone has their own writing stye. You may benefit from some organizational techniques that keep things on track but all in all, great writing comes from the raw emotions of the heart. Your already a great writer. Just get it all out and God will do something fantastic with your life. I look forward to hearing more about your life and how you give others the courage to fight for theirs. God Bless!

    Reply
  3. Steph

     /  October 25, 2011

    I would dearly love to connect with you. I have to put in my email address to leave a comment, but not sure if you can see that? I will put it into the subscribe bar also so then you should have it! I love when God brings a gift out of left field….It’s been 10 years since I have even tried sharing any part of my story with anyone! I have found such a deep healing in the Lord, but lately I have felt like He is asking me to speak and put an end to the silence…. I would consider it such an honor to get to know you and share our journeys.

    Reply
  4. Steph

     /  October 24, 2011

    Hi there! I am in awe of your blog. I suspect you are way younger than me. I just turned 40. I too was trafficked by my own dad as a child. But when I went through healing in my late 20’s and early 30’s there was NO. ONE. who would even begin to believe my story. Not counselors. Not pastors. No community. Just crazy me and God and His relentless grace and mercy. I recently saw a documentary on this subject and watched a theater full of 500 people not only believe, but react with compassion to this issue and the survivors. Wow. I am so relieved that this issue is coming to light. That people like you are safe sharing their stories. And that you are believed. It adds a measure of healing to my heart. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Oh Steph, I am so, so, so sorry for what you went through. I am beyond words with gratefulness to you for sharing a glimpse of your story with me. I’ve met other survivors, but never personally one who was trafficked also by their father… I think there’s a unique pain there. I’m sorry that you understand that. I’ve been in the “no one believes me” state. It’s sickening, isn’t it? You start to believe other people that you’re going crazy after a while. You’re treated like the criminal, not the victim. It’s awful. I also understand what it’s like to see hope in a room full of people waiting to hear a talk on trafficking or to watch a documentary. I secretly tear up every time. Stay strong my friend and thank you again. I’d love to connect with you further, privately, if you’d like.

      Reply
  5. cmm

     /  October 24, 2011

    I have just received information about your blog from a friend on FB. Your story is tragic, enlightening & uplifting! My heart breaks for you because of your experiences; however, I’m sure you do not want sympathy. I will pray for you regularly! I am also interested in getting involved! Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • THANK YOU cmm because you’re right, I don’t want sympathy, I’d rather have action. 🙂 Your words are supportive and encouraging but especially the part about being interested in getting involved! Thanks for that – praying for you as well and you figure out the when/how/where of that involvement… 🙂

      Reply
  6. GG

     /  October 22, 2011

    I am so sorry that these things happened.. You are brave in sharing your story Please know that these things happened to you but they do not define you as a person. I hope most people come to realize that bad things can happen to anyone, especially children. God bless..

    Reply
  7. Steve

     /  October 21, 2011

    Your story is helping a friend of mine. Thank you for writing.

    Reply
  8. The other day co-workers started talking about a customer we know and I overheared how this customer sold her daughter decades ago to docked fishermen and sailors. It was horrible to hear, and, sadly, I was not surprised. I know these things are done to children everywhere. What I kept thinking was: If everyone knew what that mother was doing to her daughter, why didn’t anyone do anything about it?

    Reply
  9. Holly

     /  September 29, 2011

    “Who would care?” – I care! I am so glad this blog was forwarded to me and I hope that you will continue to pour yourself out here…even if its messy. I work with child survivors in a residential setting designed specifically for them (for safety reasons I’ll keep it anonymous ) and your story matters. It matters for multiple reasons! I hope that as you write I can gather some of your wisdom and apply it to girls in desperate need of healing. May you continue to be healed and sanctified in this process!

    Reply
    • Wow, Holly, thank you so so much for your sweet encouragement. Even more though – THANK YOU for the work that you’re doing with those survivors! (And thank you for calling them survivors instead of victims) :). Please pass along my encouragement to them as well… they are never “stuck”… not matter their situation, no matter how impossible it feels or desperate their heart aches – there is always hope to be found. The hope almost never comes in our way or our timing but it IS there. Please encourage them to never stop fighting because they have more worth and value than they could ever imagine, but that this worth doesn’t come from what we do or don’t do. Our worth is inherent and it’s a universal, undeniable right.

      Reply
    • Nik

       /  October 4, 2011

      I so do agree with Holly for I care very much as well. Unfortunately, and unlike Holly, I haven’t found my particular “place” in all this to be most effective in this war on Human Trafficking, and the aftermath thereof. At present I’m talking with the Pastors of my area and hoping and praying that something will be revealed. Please join with me in that prayer.

      Reply
      • Nik – thank you for being a MAN wanting to stand up for justice! I’m praying for you as you find your role in this cause. THANK YOU!

      • Holly

         /  October 4, 2011

        @Nik – I was living in a different state thinking (and hoping!) that I would end up in India working with survivors there. Suddenly, I was called to a different state…I didn’t necessarily want to go. I showed up and to my surprise was connected (through the grapevine) to the place I work now. His timing is PERFECT! 🙂 I will be praying for God’s direction in your life.

  10. I was sexually abused in my home from the age of 8 until I was 21. I have had to see in the dark all my life, so I am not afraid to be here for you, reading your truths. It is important to write and write and talk and talk and feel and feel~that is the path to healing and exposing evil.

    I am glad you are with us today, and with a voice.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your encouragement and thank you for sharing your own story with me! It is truly a journey to bring darkness to light isn’t it?

      Reply
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