I never know where to begin with my story. My life started rough, my teenage years were difficult, and my early adulthood was painful. I’m a sex trafficking and a brain injury survivor.
My story begins with a mother who didn’t want me and was addicted to heroin. My bio family gave me to friends because they couldn’t handle raising a child. My early years were fraught with chaos and confusion. At 16 I left home because I was gay and my religious household couldn’t accept me. I walked out of my parents home and walked into being a sex trafficking victim. Over the next 8 years I sustained multiple, serious beatings, head injuries, rapes, and being pimped out on the streets of Chicago. The horrors I’ve seen can’t really be described. Death, violence, and destruction was normal at that time.,
I’ve seen more things than I care to admit. I became addicted to drugs and was homeless sleeping under bridges and in parks. I remember sleeping outside in the dead of cold, Chicago winters.
I remember being raped and beaten and no one rescued me. I remember being almost killed a couple of times.
Over the years, there was one person, a counselor, who showed me kindness. She tried so hard to help me and one day I took her help. I went to shelter and haven’t looked back since. I went to college in my late twenties and now hold a graduate degree and professional credentials.
Because of the severe beatings I sustained, I now live with after affects of constant head injuries, but I’m here. I’m alive and the story isn’t over yet.
I’m here to tell you that no matter what you’ve experienced, even the most harsh of realities, there is hope. There is life after trauma. Your story is far from over. I’m proof of that. It is not easy, but it is oh so possible to feel alive again.