Dedicated to Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson, who help to give a language for so many exited folks.
I write to my teenaged Self.
A Self that buried under layers of denial.
A Self that has been so well taught not to feel, it has become just a mind without a body.
A Self that had already painted on the Happy Hooker smile and could fake orgasms.
A Self that could not know a time without pain – so had lost fear, lost sense of self-respect, lost her inner warrior.
I want this post to be for her, to her, from her and about her.
I do not write to change my past, that is impossible.
I do not write to forgive that past – forgiveness cannot change the cruelty placed into my mind and body.
I do not write in order to heal – that will happen in more ways, and much more private ways, than this blog.
No, I write in a forensic manner to give some understanding of what it was and is to be prostituted, especially my teenage Self was never free until she exited aged 27.
I write to my teenage Self, not a narrow age thing – no I was struck as a teenage until I shed the skin of being prostituted.
In many ways, my teenage Self was struck as a child when she was first raped by my stepdad – round about 7 or 8.
So for over 20 years, I could not grow, I had no understanding of real change – I was just frozen waiting for the next rape, not beating up, waiting for whatever form of torture men could imagine.
For over 20 years, my only dreams were of death.
I surrounded myself with Edgar Allan Poe, ghost stories, dark fairy tales, vampires, and punk.
I dreamt I was buried alive, cut myself in a zombie-like state, I would not swim in case I drown myself.
All this time, I felt nothing – I was walking in a waking nightmare.
But some thing reach me.
I was reached by Soul music, reached by jazz, reached by classical Russian ballet music, reached so much by Bach and Mozart.
I was reached by film noir, reached by Hollywood musicals, reached by European films.
I was reached by Turner, reached by Toulouse-Lautrec, reached by Rembrandt.
I was reached by Batman, reached by the Avengers, reached by Dr. Who.
These came in me and still friends forever – but all the arts in the world could not stop punters buying and destroying me.
Books, football, films, and TV could not save me.
No I was a teenager who had enter the wrong road, and had idea where the route home was.
Like so many prostituted women and girls, I lost that route coz I had no idea what home meant.
No concept of my own safety, no concept of being loved just for existing, no concept of stability – no I was just tossed to the gale.
A strong and constant memory of my teenage Self is walking, walking and down roads with no idea why or where I was going.
Just walking until exhausted or lost, just walking to close all memory, just walking to hide injuries or emotional agony.
I became the walking dead.
I walked to not see my family, I walked to forget what punters did to me, I walked to never feel that I was still alive.
If I did not walk, I hide in cinemas or libraries – hoping beyond hope culture would rescue me.
I read the Bible, Das Kapital, Mein Kampt, Dickens, Shakespeare and on and on – forgetting most, but some knowledge landing in me.
I watch films from USA, UK, France and Germany – just sitting other lives would me some clue how to be human.
I wanted and needed culture, both high and low inside me – to remind me that I mattered.
I could allow punters to steal all of me.
So, this post is a huge thanks to culture off all kinds for giving a life worth fighting for.
Music is everything to me.
I cannot imagine a world without music, especially the raw expression of so much of popular music.
I could not live without all forms of Black American music – jazz, soul, gospel, funk, blues etc.
I could not live without Baroque music, Mozart, Russian ballet music, Brittain etc.
I could not live without country – be it Cajun, bluegrass, Texan swing, Hunky Tonk etc.
Paintings carry me through live.
I stand and relax to French Impressionists, to Turner, to Rembrandt, etc.
I allow the stunned emotions in with Paula Rego, Goya and Bacon.
I find deep pleasure in illustrations.
I view sports as my joy and reason to wake every morning.
I have grown into cricket loving that it is slow and difficult to love.
Rugby bring out my love of the fierce safe loyalty.
But football is my lifelong passion, it is a world that is private but spoken in public.
Football is me more than I would say to the public.
I want to thank culture for reminding that punters cannot take everything.
Yes punters pollute my skin, damage my soul, attack all that should be sacred to me – but there is always a closed part of mine.
A part that reads novels, a part who is a film addict, a part that is a train-spotter of popular American music from 1920’s – 1970’s, the part that follows Arsenal.
No matter how many punters fuck me back to Hell, none reach me – or stole my cultural soul.
So, I never really took the wrong path – just had barriers placed in my way forward.