At 9 years old, I found myself suddenly abandoned. I had been abruptly placed in a new living situation filled with violence, verbal abuse, and spiritual abuse. It was during this time that an older girl threatened me until I submitted to a sexually humiliating act. These traumas did make a lasting mark on me. However, what affected my mind, thus my life, the most was the abandonment.
Years later, at 14, a friend’s mom filled my weekends with porn & Jack Daniels. At 16, I was violently attacked, several times, by an ex-boyfriend. A kick to the head, a gun in my face, I fought naked against rape.
Later, I used alcohol & drugs to escape the emotional pain. I engaged in dismal sexual encounters. I clung to uninterested boyfriends; I was desperate for approval. I swallowed a bottle of pills to end my life. I constantly made emotionally based choices, devoid of logic.
My parents, and I, were unaware that the past traumas had, physiologically, affected me…That my behaviors where symptoms of an emotional disorder. They were not equipped to handle, this low-grade mental illness. At my mom’s highest point of frustration, she punched me in the face and told me to leave home.
So, at 17, I walked the town, applying for jobs to support myself. Men pulled their cars alongside, hoping for a prostitute. I was taken aback and turned them away, but the idea took seed. On a handful of occasions, I deemed it a viable option. I discovered that my body was an instant and very lucrative resource.
Soon after, I began to work as an exotic dancer. At first, it was exhilarating. I quickly became dependent on the money and adoration. Over time, however, the excitement wore off. I despised the customer’s lewd comments, gestures, and pawing hands. Yet, if they rejected me, I felt ugly.
Over the years, I made many significant efforts towards a different career. I earned a 4-year degree, acquired various job trainings, and ran a flourishing business. Still, I continually failed to move on and stayed in the strip club for 18 years total.
One night, I cried to God for help. Several months later, as I drove to the club, He answered. I was listening to a sermon on CD. Through it, I felt God asking me to quit dancing, immediately. Hands trembling, I turned the car around. I had no idea how He planned to help me.
God led me in each step: housing, income, church, and supportive friends. Even so, in the hard times, I fought an overwhelming temptation to return. Christ helped me through. He is the only reason I never went back again.