Saturday Night Fever

You want to know a dirty little secret?  This is something that I’ve told very little people… something that sounds bizarre, shameful and maybe even confusing.  It’s confusing to me even when it comes out of my mouth.

Sometimes I miss “the life”…

I don’t miss the lies, the pain, the rejection and humiliation but there are parts of me that do miss the adrenaline rush.  I miss the feeling problem solving in a crisis.  I miss reading the actions of dangerous people and the the feeling of accomplishment when I was able to talk my way out of the bad situation.  This is horrible, but I miss feeling like I had a one-up on the world.  There were all those “squares” out there that had no bloody clue as to what real life was like.  They’d stress out about having too much homework or because their boss didn’t give them enough shifts at work.  I knew that I was capable of handling so much more than the normal stress.  I prided myself on being strong.  I dealt with the feeling of being an outsider by saying instead that at least I wasn’t naive.

There is a type of Saturday Night Fever to this life.  I’d choose to embrace the adrenaline instead of dreading the fear. As a way of coping I’d say that this life was my choice, that it was exciting and a rush because that was so much easier than admitting to myself that I was a victim.  We’ve all been on the inside and on the outside of a joke… it always feels better to be “in the know,” even if the secret is horrible.

What’s interesting though is the very things that wound a trafficking victim also work to develop the skills in a survivor.  You see, from having to endure extraordinarily tough situations when I was younger I now have the ability to handle multi-task and manage stress.  I had to read people well back then in order to survive.  Now I read people in order to work as a better part of a team.

If you’re looking for practical ways to help survivors then HIRE them.  Let us turn our survival skills into something productive for more than just living.  Because survivors often have criminal records from their period of abuse it becomes very difficult to find work.  Once healthy, survivors of domestic trafficking do great in sales, customer, social services positions as well as many others.  If your an employer, consider contacting your local rehabilitative programs to see if they have a participant in mind who would fit your open position.

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

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