Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic with the title of this post, but the song did cause me to sob uncontrollably while driving to work the other day. To know me is to know that I am not a crier. In fact, I pride myself on not showing emotion during times that would break anyone else down. But The Weeknd, he got me. The lyrics tell my life story in under four minutes.
The song is about a stripper who has suffered from some form of abuse and can’t give up dancing for a living because her past and the hurt keep calling out to her. Not only is the song deep but it’s catchy with a little bit of a Michael Jackson influence to it. Why did it cause me to breakdown? I’ve never been a stripper, prostitute per se or porn star but I’ve done things in that realm that I’m not proud of for money. Hence the title of this website. I did these things in my secret life while being a model daughter, student and citizen.
I’ve experienced more trauma than most people can imagine: molestation, rape, physical and emotional abuse and domestic violence. If I hadn’t personally lived through these things I would think I was making it up. There’s no way that someone could experience the things I have experienced and not be strung out on something. On the contrary, after decades of trauma I have actually gone on to lead a “normal” life, whatever that means. I graduated college with the highest of honors, I have a law degree, a successful husband who loves me, I’ve never even had a speeding ticket, I’m a homeowner and I’m a former beauty queen for one of the two major pageant systems (I won’t say the title because I’m not ready for people to know who I am).
But I’ve lived a hidden life at times. The hurt little girl let men use her for money. No, I didn’t have a drug addiction or hungry little mouths at home to feed. I simply bought into a lie. I told myself that men had used me without out my consent for years and now I was going to be in control, if they wanted to use me they had to pay. And of course there was the “I need to pay for tuition” lie that every twenty-something that does something strange for a little change tells herself. Truth be told, I wanted to get back at all the adults in my life who let me down, who didn’t protect me. I wanted to show them the damage. Instead, I was never found out and I’ve lived with the secret ever since. My secret life of dating men for money. I was never on a stripper pole or street corner and never belonged to an escort service but I was in mutually beneficial “relationships” with people that I never would have been with had it not been for the money. The secret tears me up inside.
I decided to start this blog because as I listened to “In the Night” I always stop crying when he says “she’ll never walk away.” Because I did, I was able to walk away. By the grace of God I was able to turn away. If you’re currently in the sex industry or engaging in things that you know are killing your spirit, I beg of you please protect that little girl or boy that’s still grieving inside you. Make a plan, pray, reach out to someone but please make a serious attempt to get out before it’s too late.
My life is so much better now but it has been a journey and it’s still a journey. I liken it to the Israelites leaving Egypt, I’ve got a long way to go. I encourage you to take the journey with me as I continue to contribute to this blog. Get to know about my past, how I got into and out of “the life” and how I’ve hid my secret all these years while being in the public eye. Maybe you’ll eventually learn my identity. Please reach out if you want some encouragement, advice or just someone to talk to.