After spending years in the adult industry as a porn star and dancer, I had grown hopeless and numb to the world, but to my surprise I found happiness, hope, and a way out.
Looking back at my childhood, I had loving parents who always provided for all my needs, they genuinely loved me and cared for me. Around age 10 I found out what suicide was, a boy at my school had hung himself in his own garage. For some reason, I was fascinated by this and started desiring to kill myself too. Through middle school and into high school I felt a crazy anxiety inside like there was always something wrong. I was an “A” student, a star athlete, and recognized artist in my school, yet I felt all alone and like I was never good enough.
By the end of 8th grade I was cutting myself, 9th grade throwing up in the bathroom trying to make myself thinner, 10th grade I had been raped by a school mate and had my first suicide attempt. I found myself checking in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the next 2 years. I spent over 100 days in locked inpatient units my junior year, I was put on and off different psychiatric medications almost monthly, and started electric shock treatment, which I had 11 times. As a result of the shock treatment I lost my short-term memory for a year and half.
Wrong crowds, bad decisions, court dates, and treatment centers later, I attempted suicide again. I woke up 4 days later in a hospital, they told me they found me crawling on the streets of Santa Barbara half naked with the skin torn off both my knees. By 18, I wasn’t able to graduate high school and I was given the option of getting more electric shock treatment, collecting social security, and living in a group home with mentally ill adults. In my mind I had to get away from the treatment and yet I was as hopeless as ever about finding a solution to my pain. Why did I have to live? Why didn’t my suicide attempts work? Why did other people get to die? Why am I here?
A strange opportunity arose for me to enter the adult film business in Los Angeles. I wasn’t sure what to think, at this point nothing really mattered, I was so numb. I needed money and this money would give me my freedom. I loved sex and I always wanted to model, I thought maybe doing porn wouldn’t be so bad after all. I went to L.A., and entered the adult film business, I made a lot of money, went to Hollywood parties, met famous people, had all the material things I ever wanted. I was in over 120 films, on many movie box covers, nominated for an AVN award, and I got paid to travel to New York, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Miami. I worked for the best of the best and the worst of the worst. When work started slowing down in L.A. I moved back to Boston where I worked in strip clubs for about 3 years, and I began sleeping with people for money inside and outside the clubs. Working at the strip clubs I could make over $3,000 a day, by the time I was 21, I estimated I had made around $300,000.
I still wanted to die even after having everything I thought I wanted. I drank alcohol daily from the time I woke up till the time I fell asleep and took my special mix of prescription pills. I drove drunk every day for about 3 years, but somehow never got in an accident or even got pulled over. Visits to hospital ER rooms were the norm for me, and at this point even my psychiatrist seemed sick of me. I was planning to be dead by 21 and I figured if I couldn’t die I might as well make a ton of money and party as hard as I could.
I started dating a millionaire who fell in love with me and wanted to marry me, I would be set for life if I said “Yes” but something inside me said “No”. It was around this time I got my first glimmer of hope from a movie called “The Secret”. It allowed me to do something I hadn’t done in a long time, it allowed me to dream. Little by little I gained hope, a force outside me seemed to help me, I knew these changes weren’t coming from myself alone.
Things were changing, I started following my heart and listening to my conscious instead of ignoring it. I knew I had to leave dancing at the clubs and get sober if I wanted to go further down this spiritual path I was starting on, and after some failed attempts I did. Broke and sober at 22, I was constantly searching for deeper and deeper expressions of truth through a spiritual walk with God.
Transitioning out of the business was hard but I ended up sleeping on the couch of a sober Christian woman, and she helped me through one of the most difficult seasons of my life. Again and again God seemed to show himself to me and was always coming through for me at the last minute with things like a place to stay, money to live on, and protection from dangerous men in my life. I started going to churches and seeking out other people who had had experiences like me.
I came across Treasures after being out of the adult business for 7 years. It has been such an answer to prayer to get connected and meet other people who are really living life on the other side of sex work.
It has been a long road of recovery, but I could have never imagined how good my life would be today. I have been married for almost 4 years to a man who is beyond anything I could have ever imagine or asked for. I have a wonderful son who just turned one. I have a career and financial stability. Most importantly my soul is at peace, I am no longer imprisoned by mental illness, addiction, or sex work. God turned my life around, there really is a way out of this industry.