Speak to That Pain

It is the middle of the night, and I am listening to Northern Soul, and trying to ignore trauma.

I could say I feel low, depressed, restless, unable to sleep – but that is just the surface.

No, trauma is a rat gnawing at my will to go forward.

Trauma is the laying in bed and sleeping, only to wake physically wrecked.

Trauma is running on a hamster wheel on and on and on.

I thought maybe writing may help.

May help my body to know satisfying rest.

May make the rat saying I just a failed experiment, what is the point of my work, my wanting to have a future, my reaching for some friends or community.

I thought if I wrote, with Northern Soul hitting my heart, I would speak to this pain and not run away.

So, this post is an experiment, a flow of consciousness.

A reaching into what trauma means to me as an exited woman.

I write to that pain, to get you readers to know why you must keep fighting to free the prostituted.

Know a small part of our pain, and that may armed you for the long fight for abolition.

I write to my trauma, for I want my readers to know why there can be no half-measures about our freedom.

Harm reduction is not good enough – for that is just to patch up the prostituted then send them back to torture.

Reform is only worth if it, if the long-term goal is full abolition of the sex trade.

Each and every moment, the prostituted class are being murdered, being raped on an industrial scale, being torture in all known methods – so it is too late for half-measure.

I speak from a place of multiple rapes, gang-rapes, mental/physical/sexual torture, and knowing it is to be made nothing.

That is the place of trauma that I have to hold each and every day.

I have learned to close all visual memory – the sights I have known and lived through, I have no interest in replaying as pictures again.

But I may see nothing – but every cell in my body carries the sickness and hate that put into by punters.

I had no ownership of my body.

How can I own the holes in my body as fists, penises, objects rammed each and every one?

How can I own my own voice when it stuffed with penises till it lost all hope?

How do I own my own sexuality when so hate, so much pain and so much death was associated with forced orgasms?

Trauma for the prostituted is full of gaps and silences.

The gaps of stolen memory, lost time, lack of hold of what happened.

How can I remember how many punters raped me – when numbers only become a blur?

I know I counted to 300, but that was a very small number of what destroyed me. I know I can never how many men raped me, only that rape was so normal that I could know it was rape.

How can I record the locations I was tortured in?

Only know many rooms become the same, that being fucked against walls and in subways was not strange, that I still do not like posh hotel rooms.

I have learnt to accept that I will many holes in my memory – I can grieve that lost, feel fury at the hate and violence that made my mind erase so much of my life.

These holes are a major spur for me to be an abolitionist. For I no more of the prostituted to have to live with having to block out their realities.

This post is relatively short, but I hope it a rallying cry.

Remember to place the voices of the prostituted to the front – and hear their trauma, don’t run from it.

 

 

Wish I Did Not Know

Surviving prostitution is horrible.

I know we are strong, we have empathy, we can be the bravest people I know – but to all my fellow exited friends and colleagues, we live with knowing what we would rather not know.

We know and understand male sexual violence.

We know and understand what it is to be made sub-human.

We know and understand what torture is and how the human being somehow survives torture beyond knowledge.

We are carriers of deep knowledge – heck, we are a resource.

But I and most of my survivors friends would love to turn back time, and to be ignorant.

You live five minutes with even a small part of our knowledge, and tell me you would not turn back time.

I would imagine I never went down the path I did – I imagine the normal upper-middle class background I was born into.

I imagine a world where I had a mother who loved me, or at least put my safety and welfare as a major purpose.

Not the world of knowing I was nothing to my mum – knowing she saw me as an inconvenient, as born evil, as a blockade to her progress.

I imagine a world where my stepdad never meet my mother, a world where he was not even a thought in our family.

Not the world where his wants and needs were more important than my safety.

Not the world where he could randomly abuse me when his whim took him – and always my mother told me how I provoke him.

I had pushed him too far.

I would eat down my hate, my sense of no justice, my fury that wanted burn down my home.

I would imagine a world where I had no knowledge of prostitution, no idea that sex could be nothing, no connection of pain with that sex.

Not the world that I knew from too young.

The world of my six-year-old who run away from school into King’s Cross and Soho, surrounded by noises of women and girl’s desperation, by noises of men wanting to buy me – the child is cheap and ignorant.

The child can be molded into being a sub-human, and it will be no big deal.

The world of my seven-year-old – where she is stood still in Soho, acting tough, acting beyond her age.

She is street-wise, but knows nothing.

She is walking prey.

The world of my nine-year-old – who begun to make death her best friend, and knew suicide was some answer.

I don’t want to know how much my childhood was stolen even before I was 14 and enter the sex trade.

Now, I see the age 14, and see how bloody young that is – but then I thought I was all grown, that I could be hurt or know pain more than I did then.

I like so many survivors of prostitution, was used to abuse but still a child who naive of what torture was and how bad it could get.

Thank god, we were naive for how would still be alive if we had known what we were entering.

For we were entering hell, but like all hells on earth, it was hidden in plain sight.

I cannot write to prostitution without stating that all that I speak to is just common practice in all aspects of prostitution.

I must state that the vast majority of violence done to the prostituted is done in legal, semi-legal setting.

There is no such thing as underground prostitution, for all prostitution is easy for punters to find and consume.

Prostitution is never about sex and relationship – it always about money, power and male entitlement.

So it never hidden to men – those who do not see the violence and hate that is prostitution, have made a conscious decision to turn away

I will see my prostitution, knowing I connect to all the prostituted class. Now I can rise up and find I was never alone, only completely isolated.

So I speak to my prostituted self – speak words of comfort, words of revolution, words letting her know at last she is someone who can be respected.

Speaking to my prostituted self – I hope is part of building a world where all prostitution has vanished.

A world where all the prostituted class can stand tall.

But to build a future, we must grieve and know our pasts.

I will speak to the heart of my prostituted self – to my silent screaming, to that place where body memories come from,

I try by writing over and over and over, to ease my prostituted self – but without full justice, and a sense that the prostituted are respected – her pain seems endless.

I write to my reality of indoors prostitution, a world with no Julia Roberts, no Richard Geres – just desperation, pain and wanting to forget.

I write to each room with a bed where I was raped, tortured and put myself on the ceiling.

I write to not knowing pain – but seeing blood, seeing bruises, and being unable to walk or eat.

I write to not knowing the men – not looking at their faces, not hearing when they spoke, not breathing in their clothes or alcohol breathe.

I write to being in the of being gang-raped – with that sense of having skin, of my guts being pulled out, of hounds of men panting all over me – but finding not only was I still alive, but being gang-raped was quite common.

No wonder I don’t want to know my own truths.

But to understand and to end prostitution, we must know what is done to the prostituted, and name it as torture, as a human rights emergency.

We must allow all those exited folks strong enough to speak to that reality to be published, to be leaders at all speaking events about abolition, and to listen to your exited friends without asking them to censor their truths.

Abolition is a revolution – so don’t dilute it by censoring the truths of survivors of the sex trade.

 

Fractured Memory

I have many gaps in my memory.

This hurts and wounds me in many ways – I feel I am missing too much of my life. I have lost the years between 6 to 27.

It is not fully lost, just in so many fragments I cannot find how to fit them together.

I am a neglected jigsaw with pieces gone.

I want to cry, but I have forgotten how.

I want to scream – but that voice is lost in a past that is shattered.

I want to know my truths – but only touch small edges.

I understand with logic, why my memory is so damaged.

I understand the mind can only take in so much reality of torture, then it cannot hold any more.

I understand that most of prostitution is repeated violence – repeated ways of raping, repeated ways of mentally/physically/sexually torturing, repeated ways of breaking down the prostitute.

I understand that repetition cannot be remembered fully – only remembered until it is discovered that all the prostituted are not to blame, and the violence done to them was pre-planned.

I understand that to survive the hell that is prostitution, it is vital to close it down or to replace the violence with inventions of empowerment and having a good time.

All this and more, I understand with a clear logical mind – but it does nothing to end the grief of lost memory.

In this post, I will try an explore memory – maybe speaking to moments/hours/weeks/years.

May I say that I was prostituted between 14 to 27, and previously sexually and mentally abused at home from aged 6.

Those years are just moments to me – for my fractured memory has made the good times disappear as well as the abuse and violence.

I remember standout moments – but with the years of prostitution I cannot see my age, cannot see the exact location, and usually cannot fully the men abusing me.

I remember through pain throughout my body, I remember through sudden terror, I remember and try not to doubt myself.

I remember as I choking without cause, I remember as I try to sleep but feel bodies raping me again, I remember when I try to love my partner and my mind wants violence.

I know memory is trapped inside my body, it trying with desperation to connect to the mind.

My instinct is to disconnect from my body as much as possible – I fall into music, reading, eating, TV and so forth to be away from my body.

Heck, now I have Twitter and Facebook, I can run away even more.

But my body pushing memory into me, even as I choose to run away.

The more I run, the worse the pain and grief gets – so I know I must turn round and confront a past that refuses to be silent.

It is a past made up of rooms.

Rooms in hotels, rooms in flats, rooms above clubs, rooms behind pubs.

Rooms where all I remember seemed the same, though it was different times and many locations.

Rooms where all I saw was the bed, maybe a place for money, maybe see a way to a bathroom.

I cannot remember how many rooms, only know I was a robot just seeing any bed – I knew what I was, and could not imagine a world where I was not a whore.

It was a past made up of punters.

A past where I did not know sex could be done with care, done with love, done without pain.

A past where men enter every part of my body – wearing down all memory that I had ever been human.

A past where consent meant nothing – as I was brought and sold, where could my no have any meaning.

A past where one could keep me as his sexual slave for weeks, a past where gang-rape was normal, a past where torture was rehearsed on my body.

For torture is always rehearsed on the prostituted – we are just living porn to punters.

So it is impossible to fully remember the past.

But I remember enough to know I did nothing to be in the line of such hate and violence.

I remember enough to know all punters will torture the prostituted – even if just mentally or by refusing to see the prostituted as fully human.

I remember enough to know violence is the norm of all aspects of the sex trade.

I remember to know I am only alive by luck.

I remember to be an abolitionist.

Not a New Year Person

I do not like the tradition of New Year.

Too much pressure to change, but not real long-term change, just say the resolutions and forget all them by January the 5th.

Too much pressure to be drunk, to fake happiness, or be a boring party pooper.

I am happy going to an Italian restaurant for posh lunch, then watching Jools Holland with fizzy white wine, oh maybe not knowing it is 2015, coz too gripped in a film or asleep.

I do not make resolutions, for they just blowing soap bubbles in the air – rather I stand by all my desires year-round for abolition and ideas to make it solid.

I want if you do make resolutions round abolition or the human rights of the prostituted class – that it not just some drunken wish, or a nine-day wonder.

I want to promises you know you will break, certainly do not say these to those of us who have exited the sex trade, until you have solid practical evidence that you back your freedom.

I look back over many years of writing this blog, and speaking out as an exited woman – and see a road full of broken promises, of betrayal and of silencing.

The most important is the breaking of the promise by the Left and by feminism, to place the multiple voices of the exited in a leadership role in the abolition movement.

There has been a dismissal of the largest survivor movement – that is Sex Trafficking Survivors United – that has over 1oo members and is international.

There are many strong campaigners in this group, mainly women who are experts in knowing the conditions and motives of the sex trade profiteers and consumers.

Many are great writers, many are skilled at public speaking.

We come from many backgrounds – middle-class white women, indigenous women, from poverty.

We have known most aspects of the sex trade – being filmed for porn, brothels, street prostitution, being boyfriend material, escorting, stripping, being locked away etc etc.

Most of the member of STSU were moved around many aspects of the sex trade – forcing them to lose hope, lose their voices, lose any connections with those who care about them.

We have been regularly tortured – sexual torturing, physical beatings, mental torture and the torture of losing of what it is to be fully human.

But STSU is constantly silenced, or having our words stolen and used to bring other some creed without the respect of saying it a survivor’s work.

I can understand why it is important to silence STSU – for our truths will tear down the lies and illusions that keeps the sex trade – what is cutting me to the heart, is how many so-called allies are a big part of this silencing.

This is a betrayal – and it makes it very hard for the exited to fully trust our allies.

We expect most anti-trafficking groups to betray us, we may know the majority of Leftist men are not interested in the human rights of the prostituted – all of those folks want to keep the status quo of the sex trade, with a wee pieces of tinkering at the edges.

Anti-trafficking groups.creates myths and lies to keep this status quo.

They claim that it is easy to divide trafficking from chosen prostitution – this makes no difference to the male violence that is the norm in all forms of prostitution.

Punters don’t care about the prostituted back-story, all he care about is his entitlement and getting his money worth.

Most anti-trafficking groups keep the focus on under-aged prostituted, and ignore the adults who are prostituted.

They ignore that most of the adults may of enter the sex trade when they are under-aged, that most by aged 18 have experienced multiply rapes, have known mental, physical and mental torture, have lived with death-threats.

No, they ignore that trauma and see the adult prostitute as somehow empowered and it must her free choice.

How bloody convenient to disconnect the child from the women – and say it now ok coz now she is so sub-human she is now unrapeable.

Trafficking is now only recognised if it is international, and involves extreme violence against the prostituted.

This excludes looking into conditions in most brothels or escorting, excludes seeing internal trafficking especially using loverboy tactics, excludes looking at buying brides especially by men in the Western countries.

It excludes the vast majority of ways that the prostituted are recruited or tricked into the sex trade.

To the cynical, it may appear that too many sex trafficking groups are pushing for adult prostitution to be pushed indoors – and all the male violence made invisible to the public gaze.

What really put a hole in my heart is how many feminists push away or even steal the words and ideas of those of us who have exited the sex trade.

Of course, it is fine to used our works if you ask and are willing to acknowledge why it was written and who wrote it.

We need the language of abolition to spread far and wide – but to silenced of the exited is a betrayal.

Let me state me clearly – many exited women are deeply hurt and want to hide away because this dismissal or desire to control how we speak out.

Just because many exited women may be hiding, does not means they have stop fighting for human rights and dignity for all the prostituted – just we may not want our voices to be public in case it is destroyed.

I thought 2014 would be the start of respect for exited women in feminism – I was wrong.

I did not want to know that some feminists need to keep the prostituted in a box, which only opened with their control and briefly.

The prostituted are not human enough to be women enough to have an authentic voice in feminism – just have their multiples voices translated till it fit stereotypes that can be made feminist.

It is rare that exited women are allowed to speak at feminists meetings, and often it is controlled by having just one survivor of the sex trade on a panel with experts to stop it being too emotive.

I want to speak on a panel of just exited women, with the chair being an exited woman too.

That would part of a revolution I would proud to belong to.

So if you truly an abolitionist – make 2015 the year we begin to make exited women have a loud and clear voice/s.

Another Christmas, Another Year Gone

I have taught myself to love Christmas – it has been a long journey but the older I get the more I understand Christmas.

Christmas means nothing to my prostituted soul.

Christmas was stolen from my abused childhood.

Now, I hold Christmas to my heart, holding not any religion, holding no desire for commercial goods – but holding out for deeper meaning of what love can be.

Love was a concept I was taught to mistrust.

Love was always a silk glove with a dagger in it.

I wanted and needed love as much as any other human being – so I learnt to block out that longing by freezing out all signs and symbols of human love.

Christmas was love, so I taught myself to hate everything that touch my heart associated with that season.

I hardened my heart, I acted the cynic, I pretended it was just another rotten day – whilst all time an inner crying was reaching for joy and peace.

But how can Christmas matter to an abused child? How can the prostituted know that season?

Tell me would care enough to reach into their hearts – in doing so then maybe truly understand the meaning of Christmas.

For Christmas is not about competing for the most showy present, or who can eat the most.

No, Christmas is a reminder that humans can reach out and care for others.

A reminder that we can know joy in small and big events, and knew joy helps build us up in feeling empathy and knowing we do not need to hardened our hearts just to survive.

A reminder that peace is the long-term achievement that all humans should strive.

Not just the ending of political and international wars – but the deeper peace of reaching out to those we think we do not understand or want as our neighbours with love and empathy.

Christmas is never one day or even 12 – the spirit of Christmas is striving of all that is good in humans for all time, it is nothing to do with religion, it about each human soul finding it is connected to all other humans.

I have no belief in god, religion or any supernatural ways of thinking.

I do not have belief in organised religions, in goddesses, in paganism, in witches, in fundamentalism, etc etc – no I believe in the inner strength and a kind of spirituality in all humans.

I believe we are more capable of love than we know, I believe the human heart is built to connect with all other human hearts.

We closed down our own ability to be good and built a better future, for we are afraid.

Instead, humans find it easier to be cut off from love and built a world that is cold and full of pain.

Each and every moment – humans are destroying hope, destroying our link to understanding others, destroying all that give meaning to being alive.

It is human that destroy the spirit of Christmas – and always we blame everything but our own actions.

So I believe it an act of revolution to stand up for the meaning of Christmas.

A spirit that will rise up all those abused children and all the prostituted living inside terror.

Let me look back to my abused self, and see my desire for that Christmas spirit never truly disappear. I will give a few small examples of my resistance to my abusers murdering the spirit of Christmas.

I was taught there was no Father Christmas in the harsher way possible.

I learnt as I thought Father Christmas was reaching into my cunt and feeling me up.

I open my eyes seeing it was my stepdad – and his French kissing suffocated me as he left the stocking at the end of the bed.

I wanted to believe in Father Christmas so much, I wanted there to be magic, I wanted one night without being a sex object.

As an adult, I hold on to laying out stockings for all – adult or child – that moment of joy is a gift I refuse to rob from me.

At aged 17, I reached the end of hope, of wanting Christmas to be part of me.

That Christmas, I dreamt and attempted suicide – but somehow life refuse to let me go.

I remember that hell as I cut myself, took pills, and attempted to walk into the sea.

I remember my mother laughing at for being too stupid to even able to kill myself.

I remember all the time my stepdad eyeing me up and down.

I remember his hands in me as I try to eat Christmas meal.

I remember running from that home into punter’s flats or into sex clubs.

I remember being gang-raped over some winter period.

I remember a New Year of rape and abortion.

Happy Christmas and New Year was meaningless for my 17 years self.

But even – there was an inner voice saying you deserve so much more than this shit – something, some spirit forcing me to stay alive.

I wanted to live coz there must be more to live than pain, fear and hate – something that may called love.

My memories of prostitution at Christmas are confused, and full of grief and trying escape the pain.

All I know, that when I was escorting, being girlfriend material – the Christmas period was busy and often well paid.

This was because the punters were greedy and wanting do more sadist sex – they would pay more for that entitlement.

To be brought round the Christmas period, is to be enslaved – it is expected that many punters will own the prostitute for long periods and make her his living porn-doll.

I hated Christmas as a prostitute – even though I got many gifts or trips, and could spend money like water.

I associated Christmas with pain in every cell of my body, it was a time where I touch death too often.

Christmas was a time of torture, a time to forget about hope – a time that would not end.

Only even my prostituted soul held on to Christmas – a reminder of having innocence, a reminder that not all human want or cause pain and hate.

I held on to Christmas as I listen each year to carols, often it was surreal, but it give me some sense of peace.

I held on to Christmas by playing Phil Spector, jazz Christmas classics and Wham – songs reaching to hidden space that wanted joy.

And I held on to Christmas, as I saw children with looks of wonder at Christmas lights – holding to that part of me that just wanted a simple routine life.

So I have written this post, to say however cruel human choose to be – they will never truly destroy the spirit of Christmas.

They may make it hide for a while – but in the long run the courage and determination of those who are oppressed will force joy, peace and innocence back into the world.

Merry Xmas everyone.

 

Invisible Torture

Recently there has been yet more fuss about state-run torture.

This is the visible torture that it is ok to be disgusted by, and to protest about.

This is the visible torture that we can hang our political and moral status on – whether the state is Britain, America, Egypt, Iran or Pakistan.

It is ok to be furious that there is tortured by any State on any person, especially if that torture is done to a civilian male.

But every day in every country, under all political systems – the prostituted are being tortured.

The prostituted have been tortured from the beginning of the invention of the sex trade to the moment you are reading this post.

The mass torturing of the prostituted is the largest form of invisible violence that most societies make the decision to ignore.

The torture of the prostituted is inside every cell of their bodies, the torture is carried from each generation to the prostituted to the next in a the form of deep trauma.

For to be tortured as a prostitute is to lose all sense off a self.

The torture is mental, physical, sexual and spiritual – to be tortured as a prostitute is have no rights, no voice, no space even for silent screaming.

For even if the prostituted can speak out, speak that this is torture – who is listening? Who stop time enough to care?

Where is Amnesty International? Where are Leftist men? Where are the liberal feminists?

All too busy holding up the status quo of the sex trade, keeping it going so they can have the choice to consume or profit from the torture that has become conveniently invisible.

Well, this Xmas, as a gift to all the prostituted – I want all my readers to speak out about the ordinary torture of the prostituted class.

I want you to speak about prostitution as a human rights crisis – say in a clear and reasoned voice/s of how normal torture is all the prostituted.

Speak to the male entitlement that make that torturing invisible – that entitlement that makes all the prostituted into sub-human sexual goods that any may can and will torture.

Speak to all human rights organisations and demand they hold up the rights of all of the prostituted, and hold all sex trade consumers and profiteers to account for the destruction of those basic human rights.

As a gift to all the prostituted, learn to expose the torture as it is and refuse to be part of making it invisible.

Do this, by giving those who have exited the sex trade and have the strength to speak to that torture leadership.

Give us freedom to speak out in our own words, own ways of remembering, own ways of holding our truths.

Have the spirit of humanity not to speak over those of us who have exited – learn to be silent as our pain, grief and fractured memories are able to surface.

It is our time – time for the prostituted to speak with multiple voices, speak from multiples histories and cultures, speak from the street to high-class escorting.

We speak to the torture of the street, torture of the brothel, torture of being made into girlfriend material, torture of exploited teenager thinking her pimp loves her, torture off every woman/man/child trafficked to brothel/sex club, torture of escorting, torture of stripping turning into prostitution – and so many other ways the sex trade profiteers and punters have invented to torture all the prostituted.

For it is very simple why there is so much torturing of the prostituted – it is ingrained in every aspect of the sex trade, that all consumers and profiteers have the entitlement to degrade, torture and humiliate the prostituted at any time, in any place.

There is no freedom from torture for any prostitute – it is no matter if the prostitute is on the street or working indoors.

For many of the prostituted, it can more dangerous to be alone in a room with a punter than on the street, for it private.

There will never be freedom from torture, whilst we only the male entitlement to buy and sell the prostituted.

The greatest gift you can give the prostituted is to fight that entitlement.