The Confession.

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I have always been an open book when it came to my life and my past.  I’ve never been one to hang my head in shame or deny anything that I’ve lived through.  But, after being deceived into sex trafficking a second time I made a promise to myself to never speak about it openly.  I was trafficked for nearly half a year before I found the strength to find a way out.  Within that year I was sometimes caged like a wild animal; only I couldn’t find any fight left in me.  After I finally escaped that life I held it so deep inside that it seemed like at times I was just the girl watching that happen to someone else.  I was so detached from the reality of what I had lived through that I wanted to believe the lie that it wasn’t true.  Only, it is true and it was true; and it will always be true.

Only three years after living through things you only see in movies I married an Army boy with only one dimple on one cheek, a captivating smile, the strongest jaw line, and the funniest dance moves.  You see this boy found me online and he pursued me so heavily that I fell for himI fell so hard.  Harder than any romantic fairy tale I’ve ever read.  He is the most beautiful story to ever be written in the pages of my life.  He is the music that plays in the background when I feel alone.  He is the laughter that gets me through my darkest days.  He is my soul mate and my biggest fan.  I have been his wife for almost 11 years and that along with our two wild things makes the tormented past I lived through so worth living for.

God wasn’t done with my story because He had picked out this man for me.  Only I couldn’t possibly see that because I was objectified.  Completely and undoubtedly priced and treated like a belonging.  When I married my husband he looked at me in a way no person had ever looked at me before.  He saw me.  He saw me for who I am and not what I had been through.  My husband treats me like his most prized treasure and not like a possession.  He humanized me, he rebuilt me, and he made me believe that I had worth.  God used my husband to show me these things and because of that I told my husband ALL about my past except the part about being trafficked.

I have been married to my husband for almost 11 years and I didn’t tell my husband my entire truth until 2017.  My heart was beating out of my chest and I felt the anxiety grasping tightly around my neck as I tried to get the words out.  “I have to tell you something, something I’ve never told you about”, I said.  He stopped what he was doing and looked at me as I cried and with a worrisome look on his face he asked, “What is it babe? What’s wrong?”  I hung my head so low and I began to tell him my entire story.  “I was sex trafficked babe.  People paid for me.  I am so sorry I never told you until this moment”, I said as I slightly lifted my head to catch a glimpse of his reaction.  I was so afraid to lift my head and face him.  I was so ashamed and so embarrassed.  I thought maybe he would be so disgusted he would stop loving me.

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When I looked up I watched tears streaming down his face and his face was flushed.  I sobbed as I watched the man who doesn’t cry shed tears for me.  I stood still and I prayed for strength to finish the conversation.  He slowly walked right up to me and gently lifted my face with his strong protective hands, “When I look at you I see a strong and beautiful woman.  I see my wife and the mother of our two boys.  I don’t see any of that!  I love you!”  I collapsed into his arms and I wept; we wept.  He held me and in that exact moment I experienced a marital freedom like I’ve never experienced before.  He could have said anything.  He could have had any reaction.  But, he lifted me so high and God wrapped us in His arms.  And that was the beginning of what has become part of my purpose.  The confession; the one I was so afraid to speak for so many years.

In that moment both my husband and I knew that it could no longer be kept a secret.  The silence had to be broken because the testimony is SO LOUD that it has to be heard.  I have been gifted a husband who believes in what I’m doing here.  He believes in what God is doing here.  He has given me his blessing in speaking loudly about so many different things and I have been given the blessing of calling him mine.

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I hope you’re at the edge of your seat because the upcoming blogs are about trafficking and are interviews with two of the most amazing people I know.  If you made it this far, thank you for being part of this movement.

Christiana Vega Photography: http://www.christianavega.com

 

Exploited.

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I pressed my entire body weight against the locked bathroom door as he banged on it and threatened to kill me if I didn’t open it.  I held my knees to my chest and sobbed in a complete state of chaotic confusion.  Why is this happening?  How did this happen?  What is going on?  I trembled and my mind started to go into a dark hole to avoid being present in the reality of what was happening.  I was exploited.

A couple invited me to a party and in my drug induced haze I went because I knew there would be free drugs there.  I had been up for two weeks and shortly after they handed me a drink it felt like a span of two minutes in between every single time I blinked.  Time began to move slowly and the world began to fade around me.  The room started to spin and I grasped on to the white washed walls hearing faint echoes of people telling me to go lay down in the homeowners bed.  I declined, I may have been a lost soul but I had morals.  The homeowner happened to be an extremely good looking and muscular guy.  The women flocked to him the entire night as he kept making eye contact with me.  I remember saying to my friend how good looking he was when we walked through the door.  I had made it my mission to befriend him and know more about him; I had no idea that they had already priced and sold me.

My mind kept collapsing and the world kept going dark as he helped me walk down the hallway.  He laid me down and said, “Don’t worry, you’re safe here”.  He closed the door behind him and returned to the party.  I had no idea why my entire world was spinning but I was too far gone to ponder it.  I closed my eyes and fell into a peaceful slumber.  Suddenly, I opened my eyes and he was on top of me.  I immediately began to fight as he pinned me down and threatened me if I didn’t stop fighting.  I was about 85 pounds and at 4’11 there was not much fight I had against a 6’3 bodybuilder.  I closed my eyes and prayed; in that moment I pushed as hard as I could and he toppled off of me.

I ran into the bathroom and locked the door, he was right behind me.  And there I was in almost a fetal position against the door wondering why.  He began to yell at me, “I PAID THEM FOR YOU ALREADY!  I GAVE THEM THEIR SHARE!  THEY SAID YOU KNEW!  LET ME IN OR I WILL KILL YOU!”  Within seconds he started to weep and say he didn’t know that I didn’t know.  He wept and begged me not to call the cops when all of a sudden he was Hyde again.  He fought this internal demon over and over again when I made the decision that I had to play into his remorse.  When he wept again I spoke softly and told him I forgave him.  I made him promise not to hurt me if I opened the door; and he did.  I didn’t believe him but I couldn’t stay in that bathroom forever.

I opened the door and he held me as if we were long time lovers that had just gotten in our first fight.  We sobbed together and I had to pretend to like him. I stayed in his arms and acted as if he was my safe place.  He handed me $500 and a spare key to his apartment.  He told me to call a taxi and to leave the key under his mat when I left and thanked me for my time.  He thanked me for time that I didn’t consent to give him.  He thanked me for robbing me of my dignity.  He thanked me for murdering my spirit.  He thanked me for breaking the already broken girl.  That was the beginning of the most shameful part of my life.  It wasn’t the first time someone had stolen my dignity; but that didn’t matter.

Why do I share this? Because what good is a testimony in shame?  How can one lead people to God and to glorify Him if you can’t share what He has brought you through?  There is a woman out there that you know or maybe the one reading this who lives a life of brokenness and guilt.  Regardless of the decisions you made to get you there; it was NOT your fault.  You did NOT deserve that.  You ARE worthy.  You ARE beautiful.  I will not be silenced because there is life after worldly death.  There is hope.

To my sweet husband.  I know this isn’t easy but I so rejoice in the fact that you so want women to be respected and loved.  You are my biggest blessing.  Thank you for loving me through my brokenness.