The Pain of Healing

The healing process is no simple or sweet.  To heal from trauma one grieves the moments of happiness they lost.  Healing forces you to rip off protective scabs and pick away at the true cause of infection.  It’s a bitter process.  Below is a journal entry from a night of my healing when I felt particularly bitter.   I don’t share it because I want pity for my pain.  I share it because I want people to understand that it’s work, damn hard work to get through and heal from brokenness.  I want others to understand that it’s ok to be authentic in this struggle because there IS hope ahead.

“I don’t know what to do.  I have to get out of here- I have to get out of this pain- I have to run.  Feeling hurts just too damn bad- just too damn bad.  How do I do this, how to I get out safely?  How?  How is it ok to feel these feelings?  The pain is so deep it’s as if it will kill me itself.  The knife of despair twists tight against my gut, making every breath a battle.  Why do people choose to feel this?  Why- no – HOW is it supposedly healthy?  How can this much pain be healthy?

I’ve got to run, I’ve got to run, to leave, but there’s no where to go. Stuck. My 5 letter cuss word. STUCK. I feel stuck. Everything I need  to comfort me is just out of reach or off limits. I’m not going to go speed in my car, there’s nothing quiet to hit, I shouldnt drink, I won’t let myself cut, it’s stupid to think that empty sex would fill any void, my prayers feel feeble and I can’t type or write fast enough for the emotion to be expressed at the magnitude it needs to be. There’s no drug, legal or illegal that I’d chose and so I sit. Sit in the pain and try to write as damn fast as I possible can until the moment subsides. Still- the only phrase I can think of to express is low on the intelligence spectrum… F–k it. F–k it all. That’s all I’ve got tonight… Just a fuck basket full of angry and a longing heart waiting for God to comfort me.”

So much of what I was taught growing up was to stuff emotions, to not feel.  I couldn’t feel if I wanted to survive, I just couldn’t.  The emotion would have killed me back then.  So it was good at that time, for me to go numb.  It was necessary.  It’s now far less necessary and I understand that to truly be healthy I must emote… this just happens to be an incredibly painful process for a “newbie” such as me.

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.

(Post originally written 8/16/12)

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Woe is No One

“Woe is me.” the phrase does no one any good, ever.  I’d be lying though if I said that I’d never had one of those moments…  Or many of those moments.

Life seems to go wrong in just one too many areas.  You think you’re winning, only to find out the loss is an inning away.  You find a miracle to pay for one repair and then the car starts to make funny noises.  A death is remembered, another realized, the bank balance is red and health is fading.  That’s life. You want to throw in the towel and say, “I give.  I’m done.  You win.”  But again, that’s life.  I have to be too stubborn to give up, even when I want to.

One particular evening has been coming to memory a lot lately… An evening where I just wanted to give up.  I had been sent to see a new guy that night.  From his demeanor I could  quickly guess that he was kinky and loved the rough sort of sex.  Without going into unnecessary detail, I’ll say that I found myself in a bathtub and in fear of my life that night.  Managing to get away from this demon with only terror and a few cuts and bruises, I felt as though I’d won.

Reality then set in as I snuck my way back home, only partially clothed.  As I went, I tried to figure out what to tell my father (my pimp). No sex = no money and since I ran out on the crazy guy, I was returning with no money.  Fostering a strong spirit denial, by the time I entered through our garage I had myself convinced that he would understand I was in danger and would not be as angry.  I was wrong and was punished greatly that night.

It wasn’t the physical pain of a beating or fear of the John that impacted me the most from that night.  It was this doomed feeling that I couldn’t win.  No matter what, I was stuck loosing and so why even try?  I felt that feeling today and hated it just as much now as I did then.

Please God, help me find an area of “winning” that I can hang on to. Allow hope to scream its pride loudly in my life.

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.

(Post originally written 8/14/12)

Madre

I ran into a bit of trouble today.  As I began to process it, all I could think of was how much I wanted a mom .

I hate myself so much for that… go ahead, scold me for that hate if you like, but it’s the truth of how I feel.  I’m an adult, who in a moment of need, is desperately longing for a kind mother to hold me.  Someone who will, in a trite way, tell me that everything’s going to be alright… like those moms on TV always do.  I hate this because it makes me feel childish instead of independent, weak instead of strong.

Thinking back over my life I can’t help but wonder how different things would have been if I’d had a mother I could talk to, one I didn’t have to take care of all the time.  I wonder what it would have been like to sit down for an awkward birds and the bees talk at the right age.  I wonder how her hair would have smelt tucking me into bed.  What would it have been like to argue with a mother and yet know, deep down, that she loved me.

I can’t even tell you how deep the pain stings to not be able to pick up a phone and have someone who’s known me from childhood answer.  I don’t miss… the mother I grew up with… I guess because I never really had her.  She was a woman who helped facilitate my abuse, not protect me.  So when I left my trafficking situation, I left her as well.

Many girls who end up in trafficking situations have dysfunction, abuse, neglect or absence in their family.  Whether they’re trapped by a boyfriend, a stranger, or a parent, brokenness in the relationship between child and mother or child and father is a common unifier.  Someone asked me recently, “What’s the best way prevent trafficking?”  The list of solutions are difficult but really rather straight-forward: adopt, foster, mentor, strengthen families, disciple.  In short, love unconditionally.

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.

(Post originally written 8/8/12)

Art Stop – “Acquainted”

One of my favorite poets has long since been American author, Robert Frost.  I was flipping through a collection of his work recently and ran across this set of prose that I don’t ever remember reading before.  It’s entitled “Acquainted With the Night” is stirs with words of recognition of what some call a “lady of the night.”  It’s such a somber, and yet not condemning, poem about a seemingly lonely person walking along town in the depth of evening.  Frost’s words remind me so much of the numbness I felt after finishing with a John and having to return back home alone.

“Acquainted With the Night” by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.

I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.

I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.

I have passed by the watchman on his beat

And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet

When far away an interrupted cry

Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;

And further still at an unearthly height,

One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.

I have been one acquainted with the night.

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.

(Post originally written 8/10/12)

Not One Of Those Days

This is one of those days where the trauma just feels heavy… When I want to curl up in bed all day, as to somehow not be touched again by the cruel fingers of the world.

I usually feel pretty normal.  I don’t live what most would call a typical life, but my day to day is far shriek away from the world of prostitution that used to encompass my every breath.  I don’t wake up every morning in fear of my life.  I no longer walk through 24 hour streams of chronic flashes back to abuse and shame.  I don’t anymore feel as though my scarlet letter is a neon flashing light to the world.

Today is not one of those days.  Today I feel I wear my scarlet letter so strongly that it is actually a neuse, hanging me high for all the world to see.  I don’t know why today, and yesterday, and the day before… I don’t know why these were those sort of days.  Maybe it was because of that anniversary, or the disappointment, or maybe this text message. Who knows?  I just woke up and felt as though the whole world saw my story, heard what I’ve done and snarled at me in response.

I miss the days that make me feel normal.  I miss the days when I forget every slam of my head into a wall, every choked back tear at a disgusting word, every touch of the thousand men.  I like the days when I forget and play like an ostrich with my head shoved deep in the cleansing sand.  Today is not one of those days.  Pity.

Maybe tomorrow will be that day again.  That’s where my brain has to stay- focused– on the bigger picture, and yet taking it one day at a time.  (Now there’s an impossible task when you’re mind is flooding with despair.)  I know it must be done; hope must be chosen.

You know, I suppose it’s a good sign… that these days are bothering me so much.  In the plainest of terms, today I feel like a good-for-nothing-whore.  What’s good is that I’m bothered by this.  I’m bothered because I suppose I don’t believe it’s true.  The first 20 years of my life this is all I was told that I was… useless.  For some 7,300 days I believed I was useless.  But today is not one of those days.

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.

(Post originally written 8/5/12)

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