I am an "Intentional" person 💗

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 :sparkles:


You are not broken. You were spiritually injured. I wish you could see yourself with my eyes and recognize your strength.

For the longest time I felt my childhood and all the abusive foster homes and children shelters defined me. I thought I was broken too. Today I no longer live in that trauma bodily nor emotionally but I am aware that it formed me into me. Just like I don’t regret the past of my addiction I do not regret my childhood. All together all my life experiences created the me I am today. I generally like her most days.

You are a beautiful soul. I’m glad you are here.


You are doing beautiful work in your recovery. Its a blessing to witness it unfold


That was beautifully put. Thank you for sharing your strong soul with us. :heart:


I love you and I love watching and cheering you on from the sideline as you learn who Dana is at her core. You are a wonderful human, and I absolutely love how you have turned those thoughts into positive ones. I also have some character traits that have kept me alive and I am damn grateful for them today.


In my experience the further we get away from who we were. The louder the guilt and shame we feel about it gets.

Guilt and shame feeds addiction.
We frequently hear that resentments are the number one offender that leads to relapse.
I think that guilt and shame are right up there.
If we don’t rid ourselves of the guilt and shame we are vulnerable.

As we grow away from who we were, our addict thinking throws out some guilt and shame in an attempt to keep us vulnerable.

I cannot count the times that I would try and get sober only to give up because I felt like a piece of shit.

In recovery, I have huge ups and downs. As I step into my new life, its been filled with thoughts that I don’t deserve this. It creates anxiety. The anxiety makes me paranoid. It takes me back in time and I re-live trauma I thought I had moved past years ago.

Keep moving forward!


Awe lady, I have heard horror stories of what some foster homes have done to children :frowning: I’m so sorry u went thru that as a child. I think ur right tho. Bcuz if I hadn’t gone thru what I had… would I truly have the qualities today, that I love about myself? I honestly dont think I would. So u are right, that is another positve of a bad situation. I’m so glad that u were able to I guess work thru that trauma a bit. Our pasts dont define any of us :heartpulse:


Awe thank you so much :heart: hugs!!!

Thank u so very much :slight_smile: sometimes I can write half decently lol I’m always very long winded tho haha but I really needed to put my thoughts down yesterday. There is very, very few places that I can talk about that part of my life. I don’t even usually talk about it with my hubby bcuz his views are very much, “its in the past”. But our pasts can have an impact on our present moments (good or bad) and futures. And I think we do all have “Transferable Skills”. Things that we have developed in our pasts that can actuallg be useful today :slight_smile:


I love you too beautiful lady! Thank you for such nice words! You have been thru hell and back also and have worked SO hard to be where u are today. I think my mindset is just needing to change. Viewing things differently. Bcuz instead of feeling awful about my past, there are things that I have learned which have been beneficial for me today. There really has been some positives out of a bad situation :slight_smile: hppe u have a wonderful day my friend :heart:



I like reading your posts, and admire your commitment and resilience.

There is a Japanese tradition called Kintsugi. When delicate pieces of fine ceramic/porcelain art break, in the kintsugi tradition they are not mended with invisible adhesive, but with powdered gold, so we can see and appreciate the piece with all its beautiful history.

I believe we humans could benefit from this perspective; sometimes we might be a little broken, but we put ourselves back together, and there is no need to pretend nothing happened and we are free of blemishes.

I included a link, should you be interested in reading more.

Kintsugi, a Centuries-Old Japanese Method of Repairing Pottery with Gold.



This is such a beautiful message of strength and hope for everyone. I see your pride and grace and determination in every line. Your recovery is an inspiration to me and makes me want to keep working on positive self-image and clarity in relationships.

Thank you for sharing your work and keep it up!


I’m really grateful that u posted this! Bcuz my biggest question lately has been WHY? Why all of a sudden are these thoughts popping up? I have been removed from that lifestyle for years and yet Ive been dreaming about it and even worse (which really scared me), was the glorifying and missing it piece that I spoke about. That disturbed me honestly! But I try to view it like addiction. Bcuz the trade was sort of an addiction for me also. It was incredibly difficult to leave it. But im glad u wrote what u did bcuz it sort of answers that question of why is this happening? I think addiction is sneaky and it does try various ways to make us feel bad so that we relapse. And shame and guilt are brutal and I do agree with u that it is as bad as resentments, when it comes to relapse. I’m learning to work thru it by showing myself kindness and compassion and gentleness. The more I talk about it, the more I sort of process it I guess. But I absolutely will keep moving forward like u said and not get caught up in that negativity of my past. Thank u again for sharing ur wisdom with me :slight_smile: hope u have a wonderful day!


Omg … this made me tear up 🥲 That piece is beautiful and it is such a powerful message and a beautiful way to display how we can still be beautiful and whole while having gone thru so much! I really wish I had a piece like this at home as a reminder. Ur words really helped me to feel good about myself. I am definitly going to remember Kintsugi and read up on it. Thank u so very much :slight_smile:


Awe thank u!!! Ur posts have also inspired me!!! I love that we can help one another on our journey of self discovery. I really feel determined today to set boundaries up for myself and to discover who I really am in all roles/aspects of my life. Sometimes I feel very “wishy washy” when it comes to people and relationships. Like I feel like I have always been so used to people pleasing or I have found that at times I’ve lost myself bcuz I’m so concerned with others. I’m not wanting to go to the opposite of not caring about people but at the same time I need to find that balance in relationships where I also respect myself and not lose myself in the process :slight_smile:

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Yes! My grandmother left me a set of Denby when she passed and I unfortunately broke one of the plates last year. Instead of throwing it away I created this and have it hung on my wall.


Love this so much! What a beautiful piece. Instead of throwing it away, u fixed it, and it’s even more beautiful than ever :heart_eyes:


Go giiirl. Proud of you :clap: :purple_heart:

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Thank you so much!!!

Yes girl!!! Thrive! And live life with full intention. Stay strong in your boundaries and cultivate the good in your life. Thank you for sharing your story :heart: :pray: :blush:

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