Some of you have been with me for a while… way back in the day when I was still in psychoanalysis. Way back in the day when I didn’t leave my house, was making a lot of money, drinking too much, shopping too much, and still working my ass off in twice a week therapy.
This blog was actually an important part of my therapy work. With you guys paying attention (safely, anonymously, I-could-still-run-away!), I was able to START TALKING ABOUT MYSELF for the very first time. I was able to start to TELL MY STORY.
You were the first people to get some of my worst secrets. Since then, I have gotten better and better at presenting this more integrated sense of self in my day to day life.
As I removed so much stuff from my life in 2009-2011, I started to feel lonely. Removing the noise and clutter, I started to feel what was really missing – connection, community, contribution. I realized that I was compulsively adding things because I had been missing these key fulfilling things.
You might remember that in 2010 I started imaging that I wanted to help women who were stuck like I’d been stuck. Still working in the sex industry, aging out, out of ideas. (I worked from age 21-28).
If I hadn’t been ‘rescued,’ I’m not sure what would have happened to me. Or maybe I am.
So, determined to move forward with my new professional plan, I stopped working in my previous company, sold my stake in that business, retook the GRE exam, applied to graduate school, was accepted, moved to my grad school (had a baby!), and started studying my ass off on how to be helpful to this population. I made some important professional connections and also started volunteering as an assistant to women who were trying to leave sex work.
Well, it is four years later, and I finally got that job I dreamed about!
Starting next month, I will be working as a counselor, co-facilitating therapy groups for adolescent girls who have been rescued from human sex trafficking. I will also be co-facilitating a sexual abuse recovery group for adult women who are leaving the sex industry.
I know it will be hard, but this really feels like the work I was MEANT to do. It feels like my life and my experiences make sense to me now.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I am so grateful.