There are people out there who would love me to shut the fuck up, to roll over and die, metaphorically or literally. The men who used me. The people who leave shitty comments on my blog telling me I'm mistaken about what happened to me. I'm not. And what they'd like to happen to me. Such narrow imaginations! And bad spelling.
I'm writing to wave a cheery finger to them and say that I'm still here, still hanging on in there. But it's tough. Life moves on, things change and I have more positives in my life than I could ever have imagined back then but I'm still dealing with the aftermath of being sold, being broken. I've been out 7 years, clean and sober 7 years, and it's still there. I feel like I'm leading a double life - outwardly respectable, unremarkable, inside still feeling like I should be crawling on my knees, sucking cocks, that in fact a part of me is still back there, trapped there, doing just that. Still dealing with the body pains, the splitting, the flashbacks, the inability to trust, the loneliness of not knowing how to communicate what it has meant to be me, a prostituted woman, still means to be me:
locked in a room
taken places to have sex with stranger after stranger
put on a bed and a queue of men taking it in turns
always the threat of violence, worse violence
no place safe
day after day after day
That doesn't just melt away. I'd love to say I'm all fine and dandy but that wouldn't be true. One of the reasons that I continue to actively campaign for a better understanding of prostitution and pornography is that I know from first hand experience that this shit is tough - tough to go through, tough to get out of, and then tough to try and live with if you survive.
The gut wrenching realisation that no one's going to save me remains. Then, I needed help to get out. Now I need patience and understanding to sort this tangled head of mine out. I'm not easy to help, that much I do know! Trust issues, years of being hurt and PTSD symptoms can make me seem deliberately difficult - and cold. I don't do crying in front of people - people getting off on my pain kind of put me off that - so if I get hurt I withdraw. Any trust vanishes and I'm back at my mantra of 'let nothing out and nothing in' or 'I'm not really here, it's just a body, so it doesn't really touch me'. My old survival techniques keep me safe and keep me lonely.
I might be physically out of it but I can't deal with this shit on my own. Which is unfortunate as my PTSD affects my ability to talk - so I am kind of alone with this. Which is why I'm writing instead. And you know what? Just knowing that by surviving, by writing, by campaigning I am a thorn in the side of the men who used me, and people like them, is a great drive to survive. All that's needed for the triumph of evil is for the good person to do nothing. I'm still here, not shutting the fuck up.