Archive for the ‘sex trafficking’ Category

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjPqsDU0j2I

I spent a few weeks wondering how to continue this blog, mostly because I have nothing really to complain about. No pressing issues either really, that I find I must write about lest I explode.

But then one night I caught up with friend back in Canada, who said to me that there is no word really, for the change that’s happened. Not a victim, not a survivor, but something more. I remembered also the moto (?) of my blog: Learning to thrive… I think I’ve gotten to that place where I can honestly say I am.

So… I’ll continue this blog from there. An update:

I’m almost done the ulpan program (learning hebrew) on the kibbutz after 5 months. I decided to stay here in Israel and apply for citizenship. I’m looking into doing a year of volunteer work (instead of the army, which I’m not obliged to do, since I’m 25). I’ve also returned to singing, and have as a long-ish term goal to study voice in university.

I’m in love. A fact I’ve deliberately kept out of my blog the last few months so I won’t jinx it. He’ll be coming here too.

I also discovered Israel has a winter season. I had scoffed at the Israeli idea of winter. But I’m currently huddled in fleece pjs and sweater. I’m still cold.

I’ve also discovered capability that I didn’t have previously – Its not a big deal to work and learn six days a week. I have no money, and that’s also not a big deal. I’m in a new place, with a new culture and new language and the threat of war.

And I find myself extremely happy.

 

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Every night since I was a child, I would cover myself in piles of blankets. I would sleep with my blankets cocooned around my body, pulled up to my ears. Didn’t matter what the weather was, I needed to have at least five blankets over me.

I never really fell out of the habit of needed to keep myself warm at night. My grandfather joked about it a few weeks ago when I said how cold I was at night, even with my sweater and socks and pj pants. I smiled at his joke, but the safety I find in being buried under a pile of blankets goes deeper then a physical need for warmth.

It’s not something I ever really thought consciously about, even during summers when I’d have to cocoon myself at night to the point where a/c didn’t do enough, but I had to sleep with a fan and without clothes and was still hot.

I get it now that I really have no privacy, living with 40 some other people in co-ed dorm-like buildings. Especially since last night I had the best sleep yet in Israel because I had a real blanket, plus sweater and socks and pjs. It was a relief to wake up in the middle of the night because I was too hot. And I wrapped the blanket around myself even tighter.

I was thinking about that last night, the womb-like cocoon of blankets. It’s something I’ve only ever done when sleeping on my own. Cause once someone else is there, the sense of safety has already fled. Imagination can’t be worse then the reality lying beside me. Or something like that.

Bottom line: blankets equal happiness and love and (mental) safety and (mental) security.

I hate uncertainty. I need clarity in all things. With that in mind, I hate even more when I allow the filters through which I was taught (brainwashed) to see the world to influence me. I know where those lenses came from. I know why I think this way. So why can’t I stop it?

While I feel free here in Israel in a way I never have before, there are times when I pause in terror of conflict or potential conflict. This includes times when I’m asked where I want to eat, whether I want to do something or not, what do I think of (blank)…

Then there are the bigger things. I’ve finally loosened up to the point where I can not only interact with others, but I’m actually having fun. And then I feel like shit for having fun. Like its so exhilarating, it must be wrong. I half expect some sort of punishment to fall on me.

Fun has come in the form of dancing mostly. This week drinking also, since I’ve realized if I’m not set out to destroy myself, it’s okay. And drinking doesn’t mean drunk. Drunks freak me out. But so do clubs.

Anyways. I avoided clubs and dancing for the longest time. My experience of going out to dance included seeing how many guys I could lure at the urging of my ex. This was when I was recently exited, and had turned down stripping jobs (as if that would have eased me out of the lifestyle. NOT). He knew all this. That’s why he got a sadistic kick out it (just like he did when I broke down crying cause I didn’t want to work anymore in any aspect of the trade). Not to mention being molested in clubs by drunks. Which my ex thought was funny.

So. Dancing. I went dancing before I left for Israel. It was a transformational experience. It had nothing to do with seduction, pretense, performance. Just feeling the music. Was amazing.

I don’t think I’d be able to go out now if I hadn’t that night. The only thing I care about is the music. No one else matters, nothing else exists, it doesn’t matter what I look like.

This is intensity. Reaching the moment where I am so overcome by the beat that I lose my Self in the moment. I dance smiling like an idiot cause it’s the greatest high.

Unfortunately, I later come back to myself. And with returning self-awareness there condemnation and doubt, even though I know there is no reason for it.

But I think to myself of the way I have gone out of my way to avoid people who party or drink in any way. Avoiding, but not judging. So why do I judge myself? What am I judging myself for? What is harmful about enjoyment?

I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, doing things I would not have been able to do months ago, even. Its amazing. And terrifying.

It’s a learning curve that feels more a twisted maze.

Free choice. Something that I really didn’t have for most of my life. Whether it was from doctors, being overly medicated, being pushed into choices due to disability, to being dictated to by a multitude of abusers. One would argue I never had to make any real decisions of my own.

I say ‘sure‘ in response to most things. My ‘sure‘ is not an agreement, but neither is it a disagreement. It is a neutral yet polite and positive response to something I have not yet made my mind up about. And it may very well take me a long time to make my mind up, because I like knowing my choice comes directly from me. I dislike any hint of being pushed in a direction I am uncertain I want to go in.

However, sometimes it borders on ridiculous. I answer ‘sure‘ as if I still am somewhat expecting a violent reaction from others. Which, to be honest, I am. There is a tension still there when a decision to be made is directed to me.

And yes, it is a lot easier to just let someone else make a choice, and go along with it. Which is what I typically do. And which is what I can’t really do here in Israel, where people really know their own minds and voice it.

I’ve even been told that being here is good for me cause it’ll force me to learn to make choices for myself. Which I completely agree with. But it is a statement that also makes me feel very much like a child.

Meanwhile, it is my choice to be indecisive about a lot of things. I choose to take time to make my mind up about things.

I was thinking about this cause it’s been really hard and draining, the last several weeks. I had a moderate freakout which lead to a shared cigarette and buying makeup and earrings for the lobe piercings I retired long ago. Which really isn’t a big deal on the surface, but in my mind it was the first step back into oblivion.

However, smoking made me realize why I stopped in the first place (it’s really yuck. I had to decontaminate myself afterwards). And wearing makeup does not make me look like a whore. Nor do multiple earrings.

Which made me look at why I kept thinking like that, and realizing I’m still internalizing J’s abuse long after his exit from my life. I just figured he was right: I was a whore, therefore I looked like one. So I tried to eradicate any lingering ‘signs’ (weight, clothes, hair, appearance, everything). Which is ridiculous. And brings me back to choice. Perspective too, since anyone who is human could be a ‘whore’, and what does that word mean anyways? Cause it’s really not applicable to me, despite what I lived through (circling back to choice).

Anyways.

So I essentially said fuck you in my head, and hoped he got the message, wherever he is. And went late to class this morning just to put on some makeup.

I did my nails too.

🙂

I nearly decided to leave the country. My visa technically expires today, so I was fully ready to get on a plane and leave and admit defeat.

It’s hard, being here. Having passively sat on the sidelines for years, and having my life run on the whims of violent men, I don’t think I really appreciated what a big deal it is that I actually got on a plane by myself and went halfway around the world amidst a culture vastly different from mine. Familiar to me, since I’ve been here, in Israel, before. But not like this, living in the country.

The main thing was that I had to make a choice. Stay, and truly give it a shot, which is why I’m here to begin with – to transform and to accelerate the restoration process I’ve been going through. Or leave, because this is too big a step for me to take at this time.

It was the fact that the choice was all my own that made it so terrifying. Exhilarating too. But mostly terrifying.

Cause it means learning to deal with day to day life. Something I don’t really know how to do.

I had a couple of truly shitty days. Everything from the fleeting thought of being unqualified for anything but prostitution, to misinterpreting innocent words to mean things my exes would say, to being unable to be around anyone. All of which makes me feel like nothing has really changed, and I start over-thinking things, and once again I fear I will be what I was — zombified on drugs, in a psych ward, on the streets (I worked indoors, so of course, the street would be a ‘demotion’, a sign of how much further I had fallen)

I prayed about it. Asked for direction. Which I honestly had hoped would lead me back to the airport.

But God is bigger then whatever problem I am facing (which happens to be myself).

So here I (still) am. And here it seems I will stay.

Funny. As soon as I actually made the choice in accordance with God’s wishes, all the yucky feelings went away.

 

My vision of the city I grew up in comes to be in flashes of Technicolor.

Doctors offices, roving doors of emergency rooms, psychiatric wards, rooms made to look comfortable while having my mind probed. Medication. Violence.

This city:

It’s the scent of desperation coating my skin. Hopeless that smells like Chanel *5. The scent of death in its sweet seduction. The scent of choking on the very air you breathe, gasping out without sound.

This city:

It’s the feel of silky stockings, riding up to my thighs. Sexy in heels, and covering up red gashes of misdirected anger. A multitude of sin wrapped in a pretty package yet still rotting.

This city:

It’s the blurred location, blurred vision of bedrooms, blurred vision of faces. Meaningless. Endless.

This city:

It’s the feeling of violation. Of violent penetration. Of silent pain.

This city:

It’s the reflection of a person I don’t recognize. A familiar face masked in death. A body waiting to expire and eyes who’s light has extinguished.

This city:

It’s the relentless drug of sex and money. Of devaluation, objectification, and money purchasing worth and consent.

This city:

It’s the loss of any sense of Self, of no longer being an autonomous entity. Body and mind a product belonging to those posing as loved ones.

This city:

It’s forced orgasms, forced screams, posing and pretending, terror and anxiety.

This city:

It’s the unbelievable question ‘Is this making love?’ while being raped. And as the customer is always -always- right, it’s my flirtatious answer and another blow to my soul.

This city:

It’s being indebted to my pimp after running out on a client turned violent.

This city:

It’s the inability to hold onto tainted money. And the lasting incredulity of minimum wage. The knowledge what I can make in an hour. And knowing I never could.

This city:

It’s filth. The inability to feel clean. The feeling of scalding water and abrasive surfaces and sobbing in the shower.

This city:

It’s degrading names, and derogatory terms, and shame. Of isolation. A conviction of corrupting anyone near me.

This city:

It’s finding false redemption in hatred masquerading as love. It’s waking up on the floor of a hotel room mostly dead. It’s anger at not being allowed to die.

This city:

It’s survival. It’s forgiveness. It’s redemption. It’s healing. It’s mine.

Prostitute: A sexually exploited woman who need love, support, and acceptance. Every look of condescension, every sneer, every leer, every dismissive actions confirms her worthlessness. She is a daughter, mother, sister. Absolutely precious.

Pimp: Subhuman. Damaged in such a way that he cannot see the innate value of humanity. Charming, manipulative, controlling, abusive. They destroy lives and are celebrated and revered for it.

John: A name used to normalize sexual inequality and mass rape of women. Just as I was nothing but living porn to them, they remained nameless and faceless to me. The difference is that they got to walk away. I carry the scars.

Service Provider: Normalizing the Sex Industry by giving it a professional veneer. Pro sex work lobbyists can argue that it’s a career like any other. Um… yes, there are jobs that are humiliating, stressful, degrading. But if you’re not getting raped night after night, I’d say you have a better job.

Review: Turning women into a product, raving or critiquing every aspect of her person and performance.

No little girl thinks to herself that she will grow up to become a rentable body and garbage receptacle. There is no such thing as a happy hooker. Only those that have cultivated effective denial as a survival tactic. Distress reveals itself in unspoken ways. Self-harm of various types, through mutilation, body modification, food intake, drinking, drugs, dissociation, isolation…

I’ll have to pick this topic up again. For today, that’s all I can write.