My childhood was very unstable. I lived in a very dysfunctional home with a lot of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. As a child I was often unheard and observed things that a child should never experience. I felt afraid and unwanted.
I found myself in a trafficking situation at 16 when I was seduced by a man who was 25 years older than me. He painted the perfect picture of a life with him when we first met. After I was with him for a year, he began to abuse me verbally, physically, and emotionally. He forced me to sell myself to other men and would beat me if I refused. He would rape me and drug me and at the same time, try to convince me that he loved me and was helping me by taking care of me. I felt very scared. I felt so disgusted, unloved, worthless, and trapped. I had no choice but to do as I was told. During this time, I had many hospital visits because of trauma to my body. The only way I could cope and survive was to disassociate myself by escaping in my mind to a happy and safe place, often by using drugs and alcohol.
One day I had to watch another girl being forced to do what I was doing. She was younger than me, and the fear in her eyes haunted me. This is when I realized I wanted something different for my life. I finally felt free the day my abuser and I were both arrested. From this point, I was able to find a new life. Then I was introduced to the women from Priceless. They have been a Godsend to me.
Today my life is like a fairytale compared to my past. It is more realistic now. It has its ups and downs, struggles and hard work, but I am building trust with people. I have learned how to set boundaries. I will not settle for anything that is harmful to me. I know that I am worthy enough to feel good in my heart and not feel shame or guilt.
In the future, I hope to be able to help women who have had similar struggles. I want to be able to help them realize they are worthy of love and that they can put aside their past and be rid of fear. I want to help others to live their life to the fullest, just as I am doing today.