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Cover 05/22/2013

The Survivors Project

Excerpts from ebook that gives sexual-abuse survivors a chance to tell their stories

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He was treated differently. He was older but seemed to be treated like he was younger than me and I believe he had some type of mental illness that was never treated. He had friends that would stay the night and they would come to my bedroom and try and sleep with me or touch me and when I told my brother he would take their side. He didn’t protect me like a brother should. He got into drugs, and then I got into drugs. I was in rehab by the time I was 15. I always said that as soon as I was 17, I was moving out, and that’s exactly what happened. When I was 16, I started dating a guy that was seven years older than me, and moved in with a girlfriend when I turned 17. I remember my dad crying and asking me not to leave him. He was alone. Just like my sisters, who moved as soon as they could, it was my turn.

The guy I was dating was a DJ in the rave scene and also sold drugs. Which meant traveling, staying in all kinds of places, all kinds of people on drugs like ecstasy, ketamine, meth, benzodiazepines, coke, heroin and marijuana. By the time I was 18, I was addicted to intravenously using coke and heroin. When my boyfriend started using heroin more than selling it was when there became trouble. I worked at a gas station ripping off customers acting like I was ringing them up, but keeping the money instead. I supported us. It took me seven years to find a way out, which was with a married man who was an addict, too, but had money and we traveled and did drugs until we got arrested for staying at a beach house we broke into. After I had a couple weeks to think in jail, I met a girl who I stayed with for five years. Still getting high. I waitressed mostly, but I would also steal anything to pawn and purses. I swore that I would rather steal than trick, but I would get sick, so sick, and did end up fucking drug dealers to get well. I saw no way out. I didn’t trust my family, even though they grew and tried to help me –  including my mother and sister kidnapping me at 22, taking me to multiple rehabs. They wouldn’t take me because I was now an adult. I told them that I was on methadone, which is seen as rehabilitation, but is really just a substitute.

After I couldn’t take the life I was living with my girlfriend, another girl came along just like me, but with a much more criminal mind, and we went to Florida. I started stripping to support our habit. I felt valueless, empty, only this time I would get paid to do things I had done before. (Nobody wants to grow up and be a stripper. It’s done out of necessity.) I remember a man stole my money from dancing one night, and he told me he’d pay me $300 to go to his hotel. Not having any money and knowing I’d be sick the next day (I always had to be inebriated to dance), I went, stupidly. This is where he fucked me and would slap me to keep my eyes open.

I discovered my money in his pants, because he was trying to act like his wallet was missing and my rubber-band of money was sticking out. We were arguing, and somehow the cops got called, and I still to this day have no idea why I don’t have a prostitution charge, but I thank God that I don’t. Thank God they came because he very well could’ve raped me, or worse, because that was the kind of man he was, and I got the feeling he would have. He was from another country and could’ve easily gotten rid of me and been back in his country before I was even found.

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