It's time for our In The Know: A Survivor's Perspective
This is an authentic excerpt from the diary of Jasmine Grace while she will still struggling with addiction and in the midst of sex trafficking. It is followed up by a reflection from her as a survivor. It is definitely worth the read!
The Diary of Jasmine Grace.
Surviving the life of sex trafficking & Overcoming drug addiction.
Jan 2, 2007.. I cannot believe that it's another year.. Another year has gone by & I've tried to get better on my own but...I haven't succeeded... That's why as I write this I am laying on white sheets that drape over, on a very smooshie but small twin size bed… in a Detox room in Somerville. I'm wearing a super fly pair of blue scrubs.. Baggy pants & a oversize shirt. They said I could keep it. Gee Thanks.
So yes, I admitted myself into Somerville Hospital. I got real tired of not getting anywhere doing the same insane BS day after day!! i can't believe that I got involved in what eventually became a serious habit. These things took over my life.
I am living @ home with my parents. Wich is soo much better 4 me. i used to get up everyday, do a jam or try 2 get one. (jam- is the street term for oxycontin pills) Sit home. Do nothing or maybe watch Tv. Run a few errands.. Sleep till 2pm. Cuz I was up so late from the night before. I mean i just lived terrible.. I was getting Bad. Nothing mattered 2 me anymore. I barely paid my bills. I only worked 2 survive. I lost all of my responsibilty, respect & self esteem. I was mixing coke & jams.. Sometimes doing the coke alone.. That was never me! Coke was never even my drug of choice! But i started to mix it. Cuz the jams would make me so tired i liked 2 get that rush of coke so i'd do alot, line after line.. Then slow down immeditaly w/ a jam.
I put myself in a few bad situations while i was out there getting high. I hung out w/ some really crazy people. i didn't care.. But now i want 2 change my life sooo much. like i can't believe that i was excited 2 come here. I was calling & calling Danvers Cab & health & there was nothing. Then i said 2 myself F___ it. Let me call Somerville cuz Katie went there. So i called & Bam. The lady said 2 be there by 5pm! i called my mom right away & felt so happy. i got high 2day. Cuz i knew it would be like the last time. F___ it. And i only did it cuz I worked & made some money. Otherwise I couldn't have. Plus i wanted to in some sick way.. I wanted 2 really have 2 suffer when i got here. I want to be so sick & so miserable for all the bs i have caused. I'm so mad @ myself. Very disapointed & I don't want 2 come back here again. I want 2 get it together & make sense out of life. I don't want 2 chase that drug. That addiction. I want 2 b free of it. Free of it!! I want to be clean & healthy. Clean & happy & sober!!
I pray that i make it. Please Chris be my angel on my shoulder. Please Renee make me, or help me remember how bad my life has become & nonnie Gracie. Please help me become the woman i should be. let me make my mom & dad proud. let me see our family through sober eyes. I want a good life. I want to be @ peace with myself. I just spoke at the last meeting of the night.. And i was sooo shaky inside.. But boy, did it feel good 2 speak. I'll write again.In the name of the lord, Jesus & the Divine.My Divine.May i get to a place of serenity & let me feel that there is hope 4 me.. Amen.
July 28, 2015
The dictionary defines the word addiction as: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble). To fully understand my story, realize that when I finally broke free from my trafficker, I was filled with shame and guilt. Because I had no means of coping with it, one thing lead to another, and before I knew it oxycontin and cocaine took over my life. As you can see from my diary entries, I never once set out to become a drug addict or a prostitute. I feel confident to say that NO ONE does.Something was done to me (the victim) by means of another person (my trafficker). For some people, it is an abusive childhood, domestic violence, acute or complex trauma and so on. What I want to stress to you is that the guilt and shame a woman feels is what will keep her silent and/or resistant to get help or change.Let me explain. When my trafficker met me, he used my vulnerabilities to exploit me. This made me feel weak and useless. I felt like I could not do or be anything without him. At the time, I wasn't aware of that fact. Therefore, I internalized the abuse and blamed myself, which made me feel guilt. I felt ashamed the very first time I exchanged my body with a stranger. The memory is still burned in my brain. I blamed myself for getting into the relationship with my trafficker and for staying so long. During the five years, I tried very hard to please him and to earn his love. Learning to trust again has taken great courage. My mind, body, and soul were damaged from my trafficking situation. I thought the only way to financially support myself (and my drug addiction) was to return to prostitution. I tried making minimum wage, but it wasn't paying my bills or supporting my drug addiction. I made myself feel better about what I was doing by considering myself a high-priced escort. As I look back, I see the truth in my own words. In all the diary entries that I reflect upon, I can clearly see how I was feeling at that specific time in my life -- how hopeless and depressed I really was. I wanted to suffer and be punished for all the havoc I caused in my life. But the reality is that I was a victim of sex trafficking. I just didn't know it. I was carrying guilt and shame that did not belong to me.Today, I am grateful for recovery, as I have finally been freed from it all: Prostitution, addiction, shame, guilt.Those things no longer control or define me.
For I am called by a new name. one that has been given to me by my Creator: Chosen. Redeemed. Forgiven. Beloved. Child of God.
©Copyright 2015. JasmineGrace. All rights reserved. Excerpt taken from JasmineGrace.org blog post.
Jasmine is a survivor leader who works with other survivors, raises awareness through speaking and writing, and works tirelessly to end human trafficking. To read her blog entries, follow this link: http://jasminegrace.org/