From His Eyes – The Confession

From the very beginning of this journey I knew I wanted my husband’s perspective.  Not just because he’s my husband; because I value him.  I value his words, his opinion, and his outlook on life.  He is so wise and a man of few words.  I wanted his side of who he sees in his wife and why he is so supportive of this journey.  The photographs in this blog post and the previous ones are not posed.  I literally took him on a walk, I let him lead, me, and then I stopped him and spoke words of affirmation into his life.  I asked for forgiveness for many of the mistakes I’ve made in our marriage and then I spoke words that glow with life when the world seems to be overcast by a shadow.  I am so honored to share what he has to say.

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How did you feel when I told you for the first time that I was trafficked?
Hurt.  Not me being hurt, but being hurt for you.

What hurt you about it?
That I just don’t understand why people do things like that to other people.  They take advantage of people in a weak moment of their life.  And they did it to someone who is now my wife so it hurt me more that something like that happened to you.

Why do you think it’s important for men to be involved in this fight against trafficking?
Because even though anyone could be the perpetrator the majority of people doing these things are men so men need to be part of the CHANGE.  To stand next to their women or any woman; they need to stand FOR women.  They need to stand with women so that they don’t stand for trafficking.

What do you see when you look at me today?
Well, I see pain but I see strength from that pain.  I see things that you’re still dealing with but I see so much strength in that.  You’re going out and sharing your story for people who think there’s no future.  You’re using your pain as strength to show people that may be at their lowest point that they can keep going because there is so much more out there for them.

How do you feel about me when I publicly share my story?
It’s a really hard thing to swallow and hear but at the same it needs to be said and heard.  We can’t help someone by keeping our mouths shut and being ashamed.  It does nothing for anyone searching for help.  We have to swallow our pride and let your voice be heard so that you help others voices be heard.  You may be able to help someone that is going through, has been through, or unfortunately will go through similar things you went through.

What do you wish I would see when I looked in the mirror?
How beautiful and strong you are.  And that when you look in the mirror you don’t doubt  yourself.  You’ve been through so much you have the ability and tools to get through anything.

Anything else you’d like to say to me or anyone reading this?
Keep your head up.  There’s good things to come.  Whenever you get inured you have that injury but to heal from that takes time.  The scars will always be there, so you know that it happened, but you will grow through it and get stronger.  Take time to let yourself heal.

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Something I’ve learned along the way from being married to this man is that there is no secret too big or no shame too strong.  I have always been met with an embrace when times get tough.  We have climbed the biggest mountains together and the prospect of divorce was strong for a long time.  The beautiful thing about marriage is that it’s an every day promise, an every day fight, and every day victory.  He is my sweet sweet symphony.   This is not a made for instagram love story; this is the real deal.  This is us.

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