Prostitution and Memory

One of the worst about surviving prostitution is having a fractured memory.

It is not losing hours, a few days or a few months –  I for one, have lost my teens and twenties.

Writing that is so hard, the part of me that was then is crying. But without the clearness of memory, I cannot have something solid to cry about.

Only tears of frustration, tears of reaching into pain and grief so huge it has lost its shape.

That is memory and prostitution.

I know inside the logical part of my brain, that memory is destroyed when the torture is repetitive, and appears to have no end.

To survive prostitution, it is important to not know the endless penis in vagina rapes – they become nothing.

Knowing that penis in vagina is, and always was rape, for the vast majority of my prostitution years sent me into shock when I exited.

I could only remember it as rape, well as being tortured, when it was so bad it jarred the repetition.

I remember my vagina being raped as more one penis attacked it, as objects were forced into it and when the penis left me bleeding for days.

But ordinary rape was nothing, nothing I would know.

It was all I was, so why would I remember it.

But penis in vagina was not my norm, my norm was any and as much sexual torture as my body could take.

Here memory protects me, and gives me a degree of sanity.

Memory shows some of the worst, show me the repetition, shows me how pre-planned it all was, shows me it was not my fault as I had no real exit, shows me blocking out help to keep me alive.

Memory shows enough until I believe, and feel clear that I was living inside hell. Seeing that, I do not need to know all, just know it was real.

But I will never have solid memory, only memory of the worst and some of the everyday evil. 

For prostitution has an evil inside it, an evil which is at root.

This is that it give men permission to repeat over and over and over sexual torture on women and girls named whores – and it made into nothing.

I know that my sexual torturing goes back to the first caveman who found he could exchange goods and treat women as dirt – and no-one cared.

Prostitution is only survivable if you narrow your world down to one john after another, one place after another, one profiteer after another, one injury after another.

It is so easier to survive if the mind forgets.

For who want to remember being turned into dirt, being formed into a fuck-doll.

A fuck-doll with open mouth, open legs and openings for torture – but no mind worth saving.

Blank that out, and stay alive.

The worse part of PTSD is how slowly parts of memory come back – sending extreme shock to the mind and body.

The only way I know to handle is to confront each memory, remember until I can accept it was a part of me.

I choose to campaign for I can never make my prostituted self did not have those tortures – but I will fight to the death to end that the sex trade thinks it has the right to act as if it was nothing.

Just because we exited prostituted women forget the majority of our hell – does not mean we do not know the evil we had to live through.

3 responses to “Prostitution and Memory

  1. As usual the two comment sections quickly devolved into posts from men about how men suffer violence from women. Men defining what is and is not violence when done to women, and men telling women men don’t abuse women, just “some” men. The few women then stop posting. Once again, women are silenced. Ergo: there is no abuse toward women.


  2. Wow, this is extremely powerful. Thank you Rebecca for posting this. I can relate to a small degree. Although I have not gone through the horrors that you have, and my story is much more subtle than yours, I think other women may be able to relate, so I will post it here. I wasn’t a prostitute by profession, I was a prostitute impromptu nonetheless. I let many, many boys and men screw me when I had no business screwing at all. I was so young and it wasn’t for the right reasons, desire, being horny. It was due to insecurity, wanting to be liked, loved, accepted, validated. Trying to fill the emptiness inside me. I needed boys and men to complete me. This shouldn’t be surprising. Most girls born into patriarchy have this ailment to varying degrees. Like being born dependent on heroin from an addicted mother, girls born into patriarchy are born dependent on the male gender, due to the collective mother’s loss of self, loss of identity, loss of power. I look back now and I feel like I lost my teenage years and most of my young adulthood in a fog of desperately trying to get attention from boys and men, trying to gain empowerment from them because I couldn’t find it anywhere in me.

    I knew inherently, that I was flawed however it wasn’t until I was in my late 30’s when I began my journey into myself and into women’s studies and feminism that I realized where the flaw really lied. I always blamed myself. I truly believed that there was something wrong with me. The truth be told, it wasn’t me, it was “she”. I wasn’t, am not and will never be a man, the chosen gender in patriarchy, therefore I am nothing and the only way I could be anything, was through my association with men. It really wasn’t my fault. It just was.

    Now, as a 47 year old women who looks back at her younger self and the sexual situations she got herself into time and time again, I feel ashamed and really pissed off that I was not there to protect me. Where was I? Well that is a good question. My identity was in my boyfriends and then eventually it was in my son, my clothes, my makeup, my looks, my career, I was in everything external, but nothing internal. I was missing in action. From birth, there was no one there to tell me that I EXISTED. That it’s a good thing to be female. That I am powerful and strong and valid BECAUSE I AM A WOMAN. Instead everything and everyone told me the opposite. Not in so many words. It’s subtle, it’s invisible, it hangs heavy in the air, like a poisonous gas, if you don’t know its there you just go about your business breathing in and breathing out impervious to the danger you are in as it slowly but surely degrades you. Now that I am armed with more knowledge (my trusty gas mask)and more “me” I realize that one of the most important and cathartic things that I need to do is to forgive myself.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s