Written by Veronica
Every day is a recovery day for me. I can’t seem to shake off what happened to me, even though I have my therapist to talk to. I love my friends and family, but somehow I feel as if they are not the people I need to be around right now. I probably feel this way because they don’t know what I’ve been through, and even if they did, they wouldn’t understand. What would they even think if they knew what happened to me?
Despite everything, I feel like I’m a very strong person and I know I’m capable of just about anything. But what is stopping me? That question gnaws at me; I stay up at night thinking about it. It’s just so frustrating. I know that insecurity is part of the answer. I believe in myself, but I feel like I need more people believing in me. I have a great support system around me with the organization who helped transition me out of my life in sex trafficking, but I just feel like I need my personal and social lives to be like this, too, in order for me to take giant strides in my recovery process. My mother ignores me and doesn’t want anything to do with me. But I’m not sure that even has anything to do with me; I think her decision to not want anything to do with me speaks for her own personal struggles. It’d still help to have my mother around; instead, it just hurts worse than I can explain.
Everyday I try my best to be productive and I pray. I want to be healthy and happy and not have to worry about people who don’t worry about me. I know that all the terrible things that have happened to me in the past happened for a reason. I never had it easy and had to work very hard for everything I’ve ever had. But my determination doesn’t change the fact that I wish I had been shown a little more love and affection throughout my life. Then maybe what happened to me wouldn’t have happened. I know I shouldn’t have that “what if” mentality, but sometimes it’s hard not to let my mind stray in that direction.
I just have always felt not good enough. I was kidnapped and forced to sell my body. I struggle with the fact that I know no one understands what that’s like unless it’s happened to them personally. I know my body is sacred, it’s an art form, it’s supposed to be untouchable…but my body was abused…I was abused, my soul was abused and tortured. That is the worst feeling, I can’t even begin to describe. My mind naturally thinks of these things daily, even as I try to forget.
I am a young, beautiful woman and I just want to be educated and help educate against sex trafficking. No one ever deserves what happened to me to happen to them. I’m not a pet, I’m not an animal and I am certainly no one’s sex slave. But that’s what my pimps and the johns made me be. I knew that’s not who I was deep down, but that’s what they made me seem like. They stole my identity, just like stealing someone’s passport and replacing it with someone else’s, except much worse, because in stealing my identity, it’s as if they stole my soul. Now I am going through a lot of hard work every second of every day to get it back.
Even though I know everything happens for a reason, and nothing happens to us and everything happens for us, I still sometimes don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. I look at pictures of myself when I was 4 years old and I just cry because I didn’t know anything about the world. I was innocent. And I definitely didn’t know anything about what was going to happen to me. But a couple short years later, my cousin began sexually abusing me every night when my family was asleep for the next 10 years. Why me? I still think of those 10 years. It didn’t stop too long ago, just a few years ago. Sometimes it feels like it was ages ago and sometimes it feels like it was yesterday because it affected me up until this very moment in my life.
I look at certain family members knowing their son sexually abused me and I think, How could they have let him do that? Then I realize that I didn’t tell them. But how could I? Why would they believe me? He acted normal during the day, teasing me as his younger cousin. But after the sun went down everyday, it was as if he was a villain in the dead of night, in the shadows of my room, trying to take anything from me he could get. Why did I have to go through this?
I want to just completely start a new life, which is what I’m trying so hard to do, and forget everyone and be there for people who are only there for me. I’m a very caring person, sometimes I think that’s part of what got me into this mess because I care too much sometimes to the point where I can be naïve. I try so hard everyday to do little and big things for myself so I can move pass my naivety and become more mature and ready for the world. I don’t expect life to ever be easy, but with the right mind and right people around me, I am positive that I can make something better in this world for myself and others.
I don’t think I’m depressed, but sometimes I feel so lost. How do I know what the right path is for me? How does anyone every know? I know that there’s probably no answer for that, but everything has always just been so uncertain in my life, that for once, just once, I wish I could find a little certainty. My support group offers certainty, but I wish I could feel full of certainty. If I keep working on my recovery, I think I’ll find that certainty someday. I can’t depend on everyone else, I have to learn for myself. I’m trying, but it’s hard. But I’ll keep going and never stop trying. Everyday, I pray for peace, happiness and love. I think that’s all anyone needs. For now, I’ll take small steps, with my next goal being to start school in the fall. Maybe that can be my first seed of certainity.
(Posted by Melissa Grace Hoon, Veronica’s case worker)