Monday, September 16, 2013

You Are Beautiful, and You Are Strong.

 This past week and a half has been crazy, busy and chaotic!!  I started my externship last Tuesday, and I’m really enjoying it!  I’m working in a skilled nursing facility and it’s proving to be a great environment.  The patients are wonderful, as is the staff, and it’s a small and intimate facility, which is beyond what I was expecting.  It’s been a bit of a tough adjustment being away from the kids all day, but knowing they’re safe and happy with one of my closet friends and her beautiful babies, whom mine adore, makes it easier, and allows me to relax.  It’s been a bit difficult keeping up at home and managing to find a flow that works for all of us.  We’ve been conditioned to my night school schedule for 8 months, so it’s no real surprise that this has been a tough transition. 

  This last week was also a rough one emotionally and mentally.  Last Saturday, I went through a training program, the first half of it, and it left me feeling both empowered, and powerless.  I felt so much truth and insight through the curriculum, which presents middle school kids which the truth about the realities of sex trafficking.  And at the same time, I felt powerless, because despite my wants, I KNOW that I cannot walk out of their classroom and be assured that not a one of them will fall victim to the horrors of being trafficked.  I know that the mother inside of me will want to hug each and every one of them and promise them they’re safe.  I think it’ll take a long time, and a lot of inward training to understand within, that I can’t save them all, that I can’t keep them all safe.  BUT, I will be assured that they’ll know the truth, and they’ll have the knowledge I didn’t at their age, at least not through the classroom….instead I learned it on the streets. 

  A few days after the training, I actually got the opportunity to interview with an awesome chick from a major magazine, for the SECOND time!  She’s been so great about being sensitive, and at the same time, knowing exactly which questions to ask.  It’s the interviews such as this last one, that sort of remind me and take me back to 9 summers ago.  I could write and write until my fingers cramp and bleed (not really, I’m not THAT ambitious!) and I could not EVER get as emotional through this blog, as I do when I’m on the phone doing these article interviews.  I have no idea why, maybe because in the state of writing the blog, I’m in a safe place mentally, I can pick and choose what I want to share with all of you, and I don’t have anyone prompting me for more information.  On the phone however…?  Totally different state of mind.  I’m nervous, open and raw.   And when questions are asked that I would never THINK about being relevant??  Those catch me, kind of like a hook in the gut, and I’m taken back to a place I haven’t been in very long time.  This last interview, I reminded of something I once said to the FBI agent who was handling my case against Angelo, alongside the police, and the US attorney and a few other very important people.  When I was reminded of what I had said during my time spent in holding with the FBI and police, I was honestly so amazed that I could ever have been so cold.  I was quoted saying “Every girl wants to be a bottom bitch.”  I know this probably seems irrelevant, and possibly insignificant, but it truly is the most relevant and honestly, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to repeat and elaborate in my entire life.   For those who aren’t aware of the term “bottom bitch” here you go, straight from :

“A bottom girl, a bottom woman or bottom bitch, sits atop the hierarchy of prostitutes working for a particular pimp. A bottom girl is usually the prostitute who has been with the pimp the longest and consistently makes the most money. Being the bottom girl gives the prostitute status and power over the other women working for her pimp. However, the bottom girl also bears many responsibilities. In U.S. v. Pipkins, the Eleventh Circuit described the bottom girl’s duties as "working the track in her pimp’s stead, running interference for and collecting money from the pimp's other prostitutes, and looking after the pimp's affairs if the pimp was out of town, incarcerated, or otherwise unavailable". Similarly, the PIP Training Manual explains the bottom girl’s obligations may include handling finances and training and recruiting other prostitutes. Bottom girls may also instruct and advise new pimps on the ways of the prostitution business. The Pimp Game, a published instructional guide for pimps, compares the bottom girl to a coach in the NBA, i.e. a former player who "knows the ins and outs of the game", and explains that, like the NBA coach, she is "the least paid on the team, but the one who works the hardest". She also has the most interaction with her pimp's prostitutes, giving them "pep talks" and keeping them in the game.”

  Why would any girl want to be a bottom bitch, one might ask??  Well, I’m here to help you understand the mentality I believe to be behind it, and to further elaborate on what I said 9 years ago, and what I meant by it then.  You see, my theory is that when a girl has been victimized by a pimp, made to feel love, affection, fear, and a multitude of massively complex feelings, there’s a trauma bond formed between pimp and girl, of course this bond is strictly on the girl’s end, not on the pimps.  Through this victimization, and the trauma bond that ensues, these girls are left absolutely powerless.  They have ABSOLUTELY NO power with their pimps, because every aspect of their lives is controlled by the pimp.  They have no control with the johns, because they’re forced to take money in return for sex, sex that they have no desire to have.  And sometimes, more often and common than anyone would EVER like to imagine, these same girls are RAPED by johns, and I don’t mean that they don’t get paid, I mean in the most literal sense of the word, they are forcefully raped.  And do you know what happens afterward?? They’re left to clean themselves up and get right back to the track to turn more johns, likely EXTRA johns, just to make up the revenue lost by the one who attacked them.  And yes, I know this happens because I’ve had it happen to me.  Lastly…they feel powerless against law enforcement because they know in their hearts that they’re criminals, and they’re going to go to jail for prostitution, regardless of their age.  It’s a very new concept that girls are considered victims before criminalization occurs.  Think of ALL the time spent, all the girls who lost their lives to the prison system, because according to the law, they were criminals.  AND all of this is of course assuming that they’re alive to suffer through all this unimaginable horror.

  So….where do girls find power??  They find it by being valued by their pimp, as a trustworthy “partner” and taking power over the other girls “beneath” them.  Which leads me back to what I once said.  “Every girl just wants to be a bottom bitch.”  What did I mean when I said that??  How did I feel, did I truly feel that way??  I don’t know, but when that was repeated to me, my stomach dropped, my throat got tight, and I had a strong urge to cry and apologize to someone!  What I think I meant, which is impossible for me to truly recall, is difficult to say.  I have such a hard time believing that I could have ever been capable to of truly believing that.  I feel soooo strong and empowered in my life today.  I feel worthy, I feel love, I feel strength.  And I KNOW that I could never have imagined feeling how I feel today, 9 years ago.  So, what did I mean?? I meant that every girl desires power, desires control over something, anything.  I must’ve felt soooo powerless and alone in the world, and it breaks my heart to the core, so much that I want to go back and hug myself, and tell myself that life is beautiful, and life is good.  I think I believed that every girl believes that she wants to be a bottom bitch, she wants to control someone else, because she has NO control whatsoever in her own life.  My heart breaks and I cry even as I type these words because I sit here and I picture my daughter looking so alone and desperate for control and power, that she believes these words.  And I want to die for her.  I want to die for any little sweet angel girl who believes that she has to control another, have power over another, in order to have power in her life.  There are sooooo many words I would say, that I can’t even imagine condensing them down to fit into this post or the next five posts. 

  If I could look my past self in the face, and have ONE conversation to bring hope and self-love to myself, I would cry and tell me that “You are never to blame for what has happened to you, but you HAVE to understand that you ARE a victim, and you should NEVER  be ashamed of who you are.  No one can take away your light, your sunshine, not even the people you love more than anything in this whole world.  If anyone EVER tells you that what you’ve been through is your fault, you look them right in the eye and call them a liar.  And you walk away, because someone so lacking in compassion and love isn’t worth a moment of your time, and breath of your precious air.  And you are strong, and you are beautiful, and you are amazing.  You will become someone who changes the GOD DAMN world!”

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