By the grace of God I survived an entire childhood of being trafficked within a large, ritualistic sex trade of the most violent kind, smack in the middle of middle class America, with every type of person you can imagine included in the list of perpetrators.
You absolutely must know that I am a survivor who is still in the midst of healing from extreme trauma. And I am writing broken. I do not claim to have all of the answers, and some of what pours forth from my heart here is the ugly, messy brokenness of a heart still in need of healing. You’re not going to agree with everything I have to say here, so I ask grace. I could have waited to write until I was more “fixed.” But that’s not what God asked me to do. I am telling my story – writing it broken – for His glory. My hope is to be an honest voice that will inspire an understanding of what is truly needed to deliver people from this hideous trade.
I write this blog anonymously, knowing that anonymity is a joke in the world I live in. However, I do that for the express purpose of making my intentions clear: I have no desire whatsoever for either recognition or retribution. My goals in writing this blog are simple:
- To bring glory to God for the healing He has done in my life so far;
- To connect on a heart level with other survivors and to bring validation and healing to them and to myself by sharing through authentic writing;
- To educate and encourage those who want to help trafficking survivors by hopefully providing helpful insight.
for those who know:
For those of you who know intimately the pain of which I speak here – if you are fighting for your own freedom – then be encouraged. We aren’t rescued out of hell only to live in a recurring nightmare. True, lasting healing really does happen. This dark path out of pain is long and treacherous, but worth it. Totally worth it. There are treasures of darkness, found only by those who have truly known darkness. I’ve found so many, and I’m still finding them. Some days are intolerably dark, but the light does dawn, and when it does, the treasures reveal themselves in such beauty.
I also want you to know that my heart is as broken for your pain as it is for mine. Please hear this: It’s easy to read something and want to compare our pain to others, but this is a dangerous game that can keep us stuck. Because our stories are all unique I would like to insist that we agree to honor one another with hearts of compassion and understanding. This is a safe space.
I also want to acknowledge that our healing journeys will be as unique as the individual traumas we experienced. I’m not here to offer a formula for healing. I am here to link arms with you and fight our battles together.
I hope that you will feel free to share whatever pieces of your story here that you would like. I want to hear about your pain – and your healing. I want to honor you – and your story.
And I want to know the real you. If it’s easier for you to do that privately, then please do email me. I would love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org.
for those who help:
If you have been called in this fight to the actual work of walking with survivors in pursuit of restoration, then I want you to know that the calling you carry is so significant.
My heart and prayer right now is that we could move beyond mere awareness and really begin to pray into establishing restorative community and avenues for true restoration and healing for those coming out of this nightmare. It takes true, real-life community to heal from this trauma.
I am praying to see a day when the Church can really welcome such brokenness with open arms. It is easy to speak, easy to blog, easy to fundraise and easy to busy ourselves with hero-minded activism. It is so much harder and less glamorous to stop and just listen and love one single, broken individual.
Stopping for the one and mucking around with them in their darkness, pain, shame and mess is so much harder, so much less glamorous…..so much more like Christ.
I want to encourage everyone who reads my words to use their voices to raise awareness….yes…..but more so to do the harder task of stopping for the one ugly, broken mess in your path and resolving to stay – resolving to love, for the long haul. This is the far more difficult task in fighting human trafficking.
And if those who follow Christ don’t do this, who will?
When you pray, would you pray into this with me? And if you want to know more about how to do this, then please contact me!
If you are someone who has been called to extend a hand of rescue – or even just a hand in friendship to a survivor of sex trafficking, then please look for the posts categorized as “For Those Who Help.” I am not an expert – I am simply a survivor who has endured way too much pain from well-meaning people who did not have the strength of heart to stay with me in my mess on my road to healing.