Wednesday, 20 January 2010

This Addict's Journey

I am 30 years old, an addict and an alcoholic, in recovery. My story differs little in many respects from those of countless others I have heard in the rooms of the 12 Step Programme I work. I count myself lucky to be here, and in a fit state to write. Recovery has in many ways changed my life beyond recognition.

However, the one thing I still struggle with is my experience of prostitution: of being a battered partner, a fuck doll, treated as less than human. I suffer with PTSD and get triggered, flashbacks and frequent intrusive thoughts.

It makes me sick when the media and sex industry talk about choices and freedom: these words have no place in my experience or the experiences of the other women I came across when I was 'working' and since, in recovery. The language of choice is meaningless in a context of violence, addiction, and mental health problems.

I am writing this blog to give some voice to the reality of prostitution. When I was in the middle of it, I had to say that I liked it, that it was fun, because that's what the johns want to hear. Or say nothing, to avoid a beating. The real me was effectively mute. I write for that part of me who cried herself to sleep every night that I had come to this, for the me that vomited before and sometimes after, full of fear and shame. And I write for the women still out there, who may never get the chance to be heard.

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