My Sick Soul

I am sad – I thought it was anger – but it is deep sadness.

A sadness that chokes me, a sadness that send sickness into my stomach, a sadness that slows me down, a sadness where I think I may be losing my mind.

I will try to and through this intense grief.

Grief begins and can often end in frustration – that can be over minor stuff like Arsenal losing the league, minimum bad stuff like an elderly cat dying.

Most grief is difficult, but easy for others to frame – we all have known dead parents or friends, many have grief over bad break-ups.

We have language, comfortable silences, ways of not turning away from ordinary grief.

But grief from many years of torture, of being made a sex object – grief of seeing and knowing you were trapped inside the sex trade. There is no language for that, and no comfort in the silence.

No, the overwhelming grief is knowing inside every cell of your body and mind, often can come through as basic physical sickness.

So exited women puked out their past, choked on their past, have pains as ghosts in every parts of their bodies used as porn-toys, get headaches as memories drowned them – all this but so few words of grief.

We are grieving – but no tears come. We are grieving – but pride that meant we survived endless years of torture, means we lost the routes of how to be vulnerable.

We cannot risk grief – not when for most of our lives any weak spot was used to exploit us, and we so scared we will be throughly destroyed.

How do exited prostituted women truly grieve – in a world that is waiting to send back into being sub-human.

For if we really open up to our grief, it would release a rage that would drown us, and more it would be a grief with a memory of what it be made into trash.

Our grief is a clear memory of what it is to be the prostituted – not the veneer others wants, not the victim to survivor easy story to please others – our grief is that even having left far behind that life, so much of its poison is still killing us.

Our grief is the underlying factor is all our trauma – our grief know the reality of our pasts, knows it informs our present, and knows our fight for an end to the sex trade is underpinned every day by that grief.

Grief is a huge push to so no to the sex trade – or in our hearts and minds we can never forget being so lost, that we almost had nothing left that others named as being human.

Grief is remembering what it is lose yourself so much – that even you raped and sexually tortured in the most brutal ways, ways many outside the sex trade cannot imagine – even as that happens, you feel nothing.

Grief is remembering looking at severe internal or external injuries, and just seeing them alien. How can there be injuries without fear or pain, just a deadness?

Grief is remembering how prostitution put you on auto-drive, when others see and know it is scenario of intense danger – like going and laying naked on a bed when a room full of punters.

Grief is remembering seeing and knowing the look of hate in punters’ and profiteers’ eyes – seeing it and knowing to go dead inside, there is nothing a prostitute can do once she knows that look.

That is a tiny tip of the grief that exited prostituted women carry.

There so much more, so much more.

Grief is knowing what is to have a body where every centimetre was used to be living porn. A body used in ways that even in our own nightmares we cannot believe punter could think of, let allow do it, and we didn’t die.

Grief is knowing sometimes we were in places that could have done something to end our hell and did nothing. In hospital, getting patched up or having yet another abolition – no questions or just constant judgement. When police raided clubs or brothels, but ignore our endless rapes and tortures. Friends and families that choose to ignore we were falling apart.

Grief is knowing we hated the punters and profiteers, but we had no power so sunk that hate as far away from our consciousness as we could.

That is the grief of exited prostituted women.

It is not easy or neat – it is wild, scared, raging, refusing to speak. Our grief is a lost feral child wanting love but will bite you in the arm if you offer it.

But the thing with feral children, especially feral teenagers – is they are full of rage and hate – but inside the depths of their being they are lost and utterly terrified. They need some guidance to find their own inner strength.

That would sum up our grief – it is outwardly fierce, but that a cover for utter terror.

Our grief needs some language – please help us to find it.

2 responses to “My Sick Soul

  1. Dear Rebecca,
    I heard you speak at Feminism in London a couple of years ago and it was one of the most inspiring and moving things I have heard. I have just been having an argument with my housemate about prostitution and I tried to find the copy I had of your speech from that event, which is one of the best arguments for criminalisation of johns that I have heard. I’m just wondering if you have a link to it anywhere? I really understand if your blog is not meant to be a place where people can ask for things like this. Good luck with all your struggles and thank you for reaching out to other women and telling the truth. Catherine


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