On my way home yesterday I had a body memory… it’s like a flashback for your body…. An article I read stated, “Body memories are somatic memories expressing themselves through physiological changes in the body. During these flashbacks, your body feels what you felt during an abusive episode.” (Article found here). I don’t get them too terribly much, but when I do they are really bad. It took a lot to get to a state where I could make it home safely and then I was still reeling from it…. I’m still not completely okay. It was like I was being trafficked again… I could feel them…. It was bad.
My best friend listened and helped me through, but it was still hard, as evidenced by me writing this post at the wee hours of the morning before the sun. I just wish I didn’t have flashbacks like that, apparently it’s also most common with CPTSD, ☹️.
I’m going to try to sleep now… wish me luck! Thank you for reading.
Don’t let the hard days win! Always look for the light! Don’t forget to Shine! Never let them win!
My therapist told me that I need to not be so compassionate towards others and acknowledge my pain that I’ve been through a lot. I was telling her that even being raped once is too much, that trauma is trauma, that numbers don’t matter. It all hurts. Which is true, it all hurts. She told me yes it does, but I need to acknowledge that I’ve been hurt, a lot, that being raped over 10,000 times is more traumatic than being raped once.
I’ve been on both sides of this equation. When I was ten, I was raped by a “friend”, a girl. I was told by a parent that “it wasn’t real rape”, that has stuck with me, I think it’s why I need so much validation and yet, I never seem to get it, even now. That was very hard on me as a child, to hear. I struggled with it only being one time, thinking I didn’t have a right to hurt, that others had it worse. Did that I mean I didn’t have a right to hurt? NO! Did that mean because it was “just once” that it didn’t traumatize me?? NO! Just because I was told it “wasn’t real rape”, did that make it true? NO! And yes, as a teenager about 14 to 15 I looked up the laws on rape, because if I ever say anything happened to me, I can assure you it is by the legal definition of the word. I spent hours and hours looking up laws trying to prove to myself that it WASN’T rape, but I never found that it wasn’t, it was. Being raped “even just once” is painful and traumatic, and you have a right to heal! Even if it’s “only once”, rape is rape and it hurts! You have a right to healing and to feel however you feel!
That being said, after my trafficking experience, I wish I could say I was raped once, instead of over 10,000 times (and that 10,000 number, was JUST my trafficker, not the people he sold me to). (Also if you’re wondering how I came up with that number, my trafficker did whatever he wanted usually 3 times a day over the course of 10 years). Anyway, being raped that many times, it’s a lot to wrap one’s head around. It’s a lot to process. It’s a big number, it’s a lot! And it hurts like hell!! My trafficker literally told me women aren’t allowed to say no, that he wanted to “break my spirit”. Being raped so many times, I hope it’s something you never know. I was living from one rape to the next. I would pray to whoever would listen, just not today, please not today, or not again, just once today please!, I was never heard. I was raped in my sleep, I know because sometimes I’d wake up in the middle of being raped and go back to sleep because it was better to be unaware or my trafficker would tell me how I was raped in my sleep or show the porn video he posted of me on a site. I was his “sex slave” and he never let me forget it. He used those videos to get buyers. Anyway, I’m getting off topic here. My point is, now I wish I could say the only time I was raped was when I was ten. Being trafficked is an entirely different experience than domestic violence or even rape, because when we normally talk about rape we don’t talk about people being sold, even though when you are sold you are raped, also when your trafficked it is CONSTANT nonstop abuse, it’s not oh he beat me once a week, it’s constant, trafficking, it’s a different experience. Being sold for something is a whole level of trauma in itself, because it shows you that you are completely worthless, you’re only worth what you are being sold for, in my case mainly drugs.
I guess my point is, I’ve been through hell and I’m traumatized by it, but that doesn’t mean that those who’ve been raped once don’t have a right to heal and grow. Trauma effects everyone differently. We all have a right to heal, no matter what we’ve been through.
I really REALLY appreciate comments, they help me know someone is listening. Thank you.
Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to Shine! Never let them win! Always look for the light!
So, I tried a support group tonight because my therapist thinks I need more support, which I would agree with. It’s not a human trafficking survivor support group it’s a DV survivor support group. I figured I’d try it and see. It was only my first one, but I felt out of place already.
Technically, you could call what I went through Domestic Violence as well, but it was trafficking through and through, it’s different than domestic violence, the experience itself is different, it’s constant and unrelenting. It was only my first session so I’ll try again next week, maybe I’ll connect more then? I wish there was a group of trafficking survivors who truly understood in my area, yes I’ve looked. I talked a bit to one lady but she never got back to me. All my survivor friends are in other places, except one, and I don’t want to burden her too much.
I just wish I didn’t feel so out of place in the group. The experience of being trafficked is one entirely it’s own. It’s similar in some ways but drastically different in others…. I just want someone to truly understand. I know everyone’s experience is different, but I just feel alone.
Thank you for reading, Always look for the light! Don’t forget to shine! Never let them win!
I know it’s been a minute since I wrote, there’s been a lot going on. I no longer have a therapist (the organization she was with has a huge waitlist so those the know they need to refer out they told to find a new therapist. My therapist thought she could make it so we would have until the end of this month, but she was wrong so now I have no therapist.) I’m on a waitlist with another organization, but it’s six weeks out. I’m going to try to try a few places tomorrow and see how that goes.
I did get a psychiatrist though. He’s upping my medication for depression (the medication he’s having me take also helps with anxiety and CPTSD symptoms). He was nice which was good, he said “oh my god” a lot though. Kinda like that meme that says “I don’t think the therapist is supposed to say wow that much in the first session.” I’m waiting for a PA (prior authorization) to go through on the new dosage though.
This week without a therapist has been rough. I did have a wonderful time at a concert though, it was AWESOME, although finding the car was a bit of an issue. The weekend was good, but tiring. Other than the weekend it’s been hard though. My therapist (now my not therapist) thinks writing might help, so here I am, writing.
My depression has been bad lately. The flashbacks are not good, they’ve been horrible to put it lightly. I think I had a repressed memory come up and I couldn’t even share it with my therapist because it was our last session and dealing with major trauma was not okay in our last session apparently. I still need to process it and I want to talk to someone about it but everyone I know is going through major stuff right now. I’d really like it if someone told me I matter, that I’m worth more than drugs (that’s what I was sold for, and I hate them), that I’m loved. This depressive episode has been a minute and I wish it’d go away.
On the bright side I read a book my best friend said would trigger me and I should never read and I did okay with it because I read it despite her telling me not to (yes she did this because she knows I’m hard headed and don’t want to not be-able to read a book due to my trauma and she was trying to show me how strong I am).
I guess that’s a little update, there’s more, but that’s all for now.
Never let them win! Don’t forget to shine! Always look for the light!
I read a book recently called Dear Child by Romy Hausmann it tells the story of a girl that is abducted. I read it and I was proud of myself that I didn’t get terribly triggered by it, though I understand the girl and her experiences way to much. A lot of it hit home. If you like thriller type books, I’d recommend it.
“A crime of abduction is considered to be when a person has been taken away from his or her original location by persuading him or her, by some act of fraud or with a forceful way that may include violence.”- This quote was from hg.org.
When I was trafficked I was abducted, more than once, taken across state lines. I didn’t call it that at the time, I didn’t call it anything. My therapist asked me what I called it then? I didn’t, I tried not to think about it, I didn’t process it. I just did the next thing that would keep me and those I loved safe. It was moment to moment what keeps everyone safe and alive.
Since I didn’t process it at the time, my brain has been an interesting place the last few nights. I keep having the word abducted go through my head, saying it slowly or spelling it…. I might try to write a poem later maybe that will help me process it better.
I’ve been through a lot, I’ve survived a lot. I’m never going to let what happened define me, but I will do my best to use it to help others.
Thank you for reading,
Never let them win! Don’t forget to shine! Always look for the light!
I bought myself a cake to celebrate today! (My therapists idea, but I’d already thought about it). Today I’m celebrating two years free from my trafficker! After ten years of being trafficked, I’m two years free today! I’ve come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. My therapist is proud of me, she said a lot of trafficking survivors don’t deal with the things I have after they get out with sobriety, but I’ve stayed sober, I’m holding down a job, I have a few friends. So, today I’m celebrating all of that. I’m celebrating my freedom.
However, as I celebrate my freedom, I think of all those that are still trafficked. I think of all those people that still are not free in a country that prides itself on freedom. LESS than 1% of human trafficking victims are ever rescued. LESS than 1% of human trafficking victims are free. They are the reason I stay sober, and continue to heal. They are the reason I speak out against trafficking and tell my story. That is me fighting for them. I’m a survivor of human trafficking and I’ve seen hell face to face, but I’ll never let my past define me. Today I celebrate my freedom, and I think of all those still not free.
I hope you are all doing okay, and thank you for coming on this journey with me. So, Friday was stressful to say the least. I met with my therapist and we talked about some things. We discussed how I didn’t realize I was abducted. My therapist asked what did you call it then? I didn’t call it anything up to that point…. Going with someone because they told me to and I was scared not to because of what they said they’d do? It honestly didn’t process up until this point. I feel like this adds to everything else and that’s hard to process too.
I haven’t been in a good headspace the past few days, I really just want to go to my best friends and play a game or something just hang out but I’m told apparently I do that to much (by others not my best friend). So, I’m here not doing that, stuck with my thoughts and all these memories.
I don’t have therapy this upcoming week due to scheduling conflicts. My therapist said it’d be good to see how I do for a week without therapy. I sent her an email this morning that said so far not good, not doing good and it’s only Sunday.
I’m going to go see if anyone here wants to play a game of something or other we shall see, but I think they might all be preoccupied. The good news is I have a second interview and I started my second course at Elevate Academy! It’s interesting and I’m able to go the zoom meeting for it this Monday so that will be good! I’m really enjoying these classes and learning a lot! Maybe I’ll see if I can find a good book to read. Thank you for reading.
Don’t forget to Shine! Never let them win! Always look for the light!