Emotional Triggers

Post #23 – Living in the Aftermath of Sex Trafficking – Battling with Triggers

every 30 seconds please never forget this   I had already become an object because I could not act. Shane did not allow me. My “boyfriend” Rebel sold me to that brutal leader and his gang of ruthless sex traffickers one night during the winter of 1969 on a desolate street in New York City, one month after my eighteenth birthday.

It was like those days when you heard a thunderstorm in the distance – and then there was the waiting silence. Suspended in time, I waited for the evil to return.

This was how it was: a storm gathered, yet the sky was clear, no sun, no warmth, and no love.

A stolen childhood.

I spent the better part of three years locked up in a freezing, cockroach-infested apartment along side another weeping, bleeding, terrified young teen, Dani, cowering with her in corners. The putrid odor of perverted tricks and savage pimps’ fluids choked the air we breathed. Our captors deprived us of food for days. We had no choice but to drink brown tap water or die.

We lived with the realization that, at any moment, our sadistic captors were going to walk through that door.

Then the terror began again – the sadistic rapes and ruthless beatings

After several failed suicide attempts, I begged them continually to kill me. My pleadings amused them.

tear filled eye When I was fifty-eight, I became suicidal due to years of trauma and barrages of nightmares. I had no wish to speak to anyone face to face so I reached out to the internet seeking help. No matter what time of the day it was, there was no one that I could talk with, so I sent out emails or filled out forms.

The only website that responded to me sent me an email asking me for a donation, hardly the way to open up a victim’s heart to want to have any further communication. Unable to find a site that offered a live contact twenty-four hours a day only led me to more hopelessness.

People have mentioned that my faith should have been enough. They lack an understanding. Then, a friend suggested that I “vomit” all the horrors that lived inside of me on to paper. I did.

loaded gun  However, penning my story evoked odd feelings and sensations I did not understand nor could control.  I began doing things that were out of character for me. I joined adult websites and taunted strange men, hating every minute, but unable to stop. It frightened me and filled me with shame. I didn’t understand that when I wrote about my rape and time with Shane and his gang, my catharsis became a loaded gun. Each horrid detail pulled hidden triggers which caused me to react.

Once again suicidal, my friend suggested I find a therapist. I resisted at first, but he kept exhorting me. I finally gave in and hired a therapist to come to my home (I’m confined to bed), but her exorbitant fees ended my therapy within two weeks.

I was about to give up when I found Dr. M. Also a victim of childhood sexual abuse, he decided to counsel offenders, as well. It seemed odd to me but I knew if I didn’t make an appointment, I would have impulsively emptied the Valium that I keep in a bookcase next to my bed down my throat. And that terrified me. I believed I would go to Hell if I killed myself.

Anyhow, after a few Skype sessions, Dr. M. directed me to a Nigerian female therapist in my area. His suggestion freaked me out because Jamaican and Nigerian accents are similar and my sex traffickers were Jamaican. Of course, I rejected his suggestion.

shadow in the mirror  The truth was regardless of whom he suggested, I simply was not ready. I sensed he surmised that anyway because he ended our sessions.

Like an addictive drug, an irresistible magnet kept drawing me online into a world of sexual images and activities. It disgusted me and left me feeling confused and ashamed.

Strangely, the day I broke my hip turned into a blessing. First, it abruptly halted my extracurricular activities. Second, it helped me reassess my life and finish my book. Also, I had a deep desire to understand why I couldn’t control those urges.

My therapist had mentioned that I suffered from not only PTSD and Stockholm syndrome, but also from conditions known as Reactive Responses and Learned Behaviors.

Methadone cured the heroin addiction forced upon me by those monster pimps. I desperately needed to find a cure for my triggers.

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