Sea of Stuck

I hate the feeling of being stuck.  It’s one of the strongest lies I’ve ever believed and the most damaging to my spirit of hope.  Stuck means to not have the ability to leave.  It means to be unable to move forward; to be burdened with; to be struck by a stronger force.  Have you ever physically been held back? Maybe it was an innocent older sibling holding you down while you were tickled.  Maybe it was as awful as a sexual attack.  What I’m talking about though is less physical, and more situational.  I HATE feeling stuck.

People often ask me, “What is the one piece of advice you’d give to a girl trying to get out of the life?” My answer?

“Never allow yourself to feel stuck.  You’re not stuck.  There is a always hope.  Even if you can’t see it, there is always hope.”

Once you succumb to being stuck, to loosing hope, it’s all over.  The will to live is gone; the will to fight for change dissipates.  It’s lonely, depressing and fatal.

What you have to realize (what I had to realize) is that you still have choices… even in the Sea of Stuck… they just may not be appealing choices.  We’ve heard stories of mountain climbers that got caught in rock fall or avalanch and had a limb pinned down.  They probably try and try to free their arm.  They try brute force, makeshift pry-bars and maybe even help from friends, but eventually they realize what appears to be a Sea of Stuck.  Their arm’s just not moving.  But even with the felling of stuck, there is still choice: give up and die, or cut off the arm and make an attempt to live.

When I got out of my trafficking situation, this is what I felt like.  Either, I could give up and kill myself or be killed by my trafficker (or a crazy john) OR I could cut off my metaphoric arm and make an attempt at living.  I choose to let go of the arm because of this hate I have for the feeling stuck.  I choose to cut off everything I ever knew and jump out into the unknown because of a chance at life.

Stuck isn’t a true state of being, it’s only a true state of emotion.  It’s a valid emotion, but one I had to move past.  I had to start looking for resources, for answers.  It was necessary for survival.  Even to this day though, one of my biggest triggers for disappear is when I have a feeling that drags me down into this great stuck sea.  It freaks me out.

I’m like a claustrophobic person who feels the walls of situation closing in on them.  I remember countless nights as a child digging through my strength of reason and creativity for a way out.  Maybe I could climb out the window, escape to the big city and… do what?? for money…. maybe I could just shoplift a few essential items to get by for a while… no… that would only work for so long… maybe I could just hop on a train like the book I’m reading and “live off the land”… no, not realistic.  Maybe he would just die and it would all be over… maybe someone would come rescue me… maybe, maybe, maybe… what if, what if, what if….

On day though, one of the meanderings of my mind actually held water and I went for it.  I walked out of the Sea of Stuck and walked inland farther than I ever had before.  Today I’m still walking forward and life seems to be fairing just fine– packed with new obstacles and a continual hatred for “stuckness”, but fairing just fine.  Thank God.  Don’t fall for the Sea of Stuck.  It’s nothing but an inhumanely strong lie.

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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