Hi TS fam! Hoping this okay to post. I really needed to get my thoughts out today:
For the past week or so I have been thinking about my past, specifically about the sex trade. Ive had dreams about it, weird thoughts of glorifying it and missing it (those thots I challenged immediately and tossed aside bcuz I would never go back to that after 7.5 years since exiting), experiencing guilt and shame surrounding it all, as well as current issues with body image which stemmed from that part of my life. For many, many years, I really struggled with relationships while “working”. The majority of my relationships were fake… fake love, fake companionships, fake friendships, or even fake relationships with partners who profited off of what I did… everything was very superifical. I truly thought that I was incapable of being a wife someday and that I was incapable of forming meaningful relationships. I realized when I exited that this is untrue. I have beautiful, loving, valuable relationships with those I choose with intention, such as with my family, husband & son, and the beautiful friendships I have made on TS.
I began feeling really awful about myself over the past week or so. I have been putting myself down and feeling very “broken” and feeling as if my past was a waste (in a sense). I needed to look at the positive and what skills Ive obtained in my life today, bcuz of my past.
One of the positive “Transferable Skills” I took from the life as a sex trade worker (now former), is being able to assess people quickly and rather accurately. For many years I had to make split second decisions that would impact wether I lived. Over and over. I had to assess quickly based on facial expressions, movements and mannerisms if I needed a quick exit from this hotel room, or car, or whatever place they brought me to, because if I didn’t trust my gut I may have gotten really hurt or potentially killed. I remember times I ignored that intuition and ended up drugged, violently assaulted, held hostage, robbed, and dehumanized in ways words cannot explain. I don’t ignore my gut instinct anymore for any reason and for any situation.
People show you who they are and typically it doesn’t take long. I was usually gone by that time anyway, but those that I do have in my life today are so worth the effort, the intention, the work that it takes to have genuine relationships with genuine people.
I am absolutely an intentional person today thanks to recovery. I use the skills I have developed from my past and I don’t stick around people that make me feel uncomfortable or used.
People don’t have to be selling access to your body to be using you and exploitive. I have found I’m super quick to pick up those traits in others and also put those relationships down quickly.
I am also quick to see when people look down on me for my past choices and those who can’t see my capacity, those who view me as inherently damaged and unworthy. Like the people in my past, (the “rescuers”) that intended to swoop in and save me because it makes them feel good. I was unwilling to stay to try to prove my worth. I just moved along. I was not anyone’s feel good project, I didnt need to be rescued or restored, and I am not damaged goods today either.
Relationships matter to me, but more importantly the people I have meaningful relationships with matter. They take the time to learn about me, my family, my hopes, and dreams, and I do the same.
I’ve had enough of pretending to enjoy being around people who aren’t my vibe. My time is far too valuable to be spending time with people who don’t bring me any joy.
Im coming to a point in my recovery where Im needing to set boundaries, where Im needing to start showing people how to treat me. Im tired of “acting” and “putting on a show” (like I did in the trade), to please people, even at the expense of myself. I feel a huge onset of growth happening and Im not sure exactly what it is. But recovery has given me this opportunity to address it. To see what character defects and survival skills are still present in my life today, and then to go about changing them. I am no longer in a state of “survival”. I am thriving today