Babysitter

Babysit my attention

I don’t want to be left alone with my thoughts

I babysat young children when I was still a child myself

When I was a sex worker at age 20, I told my friends and family that I was a babysitter;

Both jobs require you to work late hours and pay cash

It was for less than a year, but the PTSD lasts a lifetime

I fell down a rabbit hole of sexual trauma

I was perfectly trained to be a professional rape victim from my real life experiences

There is no protection for sex workers

Clients violate any semblance of boundaries

I tried to shout ‘No!’ but only a soft ‘yes’ came out

Customer satisfaction was prioritized above protecting my body from harm

Every time I took an HIV test I was sure it would come back positive

Maybe if I had said ‘yes’ to the screening questions of ‘have you ever exchanged sex for money?’ some resources may have been offered from the public health worker- why was that the only question I said ‘no’ to?

The truth shall set you free

But I was trained by my family to rely on no one and nothing, to survive on sheer grit and ingenuity

Babysit my attention, inform and entertain me

Here and now, I sit in stillness and embrace the present in deep gratitude

Now

I used to run with the boys

I was determined to prove that I had the biggest balls, that I could withstand it all

Until I couldn’t stand how near death my own ego brought me

When men bought me

I thought I was clawing my way out of poverty

But no amount of money can undo the trauma I endured

All I can do is rewire my brain

Write my story to have a happy ending

Starting with a happy now

I outran the boys and became a rich man so that I didn’t have to marry a rich man

Now I am happily married to the man of my dreams

I don’t ruffle my feathers over the penis-size competition at work- the self-stroking of egos which is habitual amongst my male colleagues

Though I am attracted to women, I’ve never had a penis

I’m ok with that- at least I’ve never raped anyone, never left anyone stressed about what they couldn’t see- STIs and pregnancy

I am happy now, as happy as can be after one has endured the smattering of battering my childhood gave me

I continued the chain of abuse on myself into adulthood, not realizing my own role in the game, not seeing how I invited abusers into my life

I’m getting off this trauma-train; I jump off the caboose, let it ride away without me

Next to the tracks, nestled in the woods, I am happy now

Float

I tend to scheme for a way out of struggle, but maybe I’ll try a different approach and settle in for a lifetime of learning

Ever adapting, meeting, greeting, innovating

Constantly changing, growing

This life was perfectly imperfect when we arrived

And will remain so after we leave

Work was waiting for us before our birth, and will remain long after our body’s death

So we can relax and float down the river

We don’t have to fight against the current or feel like we are drowning

Floating is what happens when we stop struggling

Trapped Truth

He demands the truth from me

I want to tell him but I don’t think he wants to hear
That his fears are both false and true
What’s a battered girl to do
You prod and poke
I divert and joke
Gasping for air under the heaviness in my heart
You want to know my story, where to start?
You can learning everything there is to know
Without asking questions, simply observe
I’m trying to move on from the past
Why do you bring me back
How many times will you bring me back?
I know he knows in his heart
The truth of the depths of my womb
Truth trapped in my mouth like a tomb
I’m sorry
Please forgive me
I love you
Thank you

Labels

Labels

I was labeled cute

I was labeled sweet

I was labeled shy

My anxiety and depression went unrecognized, intentionally overlooked by those with the power to help me when I was a child. My social anxiety drove me to act as anyone but myself.

My parents had not accepted and confronted their own anxiety and depression, and they trained me to follow their approach to life: suppress your feelings, be only what others want you to be.

I was labeled smart.

I was labeled hard working.

I was responsible.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I took responsibility for everyone else’s feelings. I took care of other children when I was still a child myself.

I was labeled a slut and a tramp by teenage girls.

I was labeled a tease by teenage boys.

I didn’t know how to say no, I didn’t know how to not lose myself in the desires of others.

Sometimes I was glad for the non-verbal language of physical affection, although I was just as incompetent at saying ‘no’ physically as I was verbally.

I was labeled an escort, a call girl, though I was just trying to make ends meet, girl.

I was labeled a graduate, with latin honors.

Though I worked as a prostitute, survived unnumbered abusive relationships, including the abusive relationship with myself, now they call me doctor.

What my patients don’t know is how much I’m still learning everyday- learning how to take care of myself as I ask them to take care of themselves.

In my daily practice of being my best self, I practice un-labeling through non-judgement.

Labels limit our minds.

Labels snap a stagnant picture from the moving scene, robbing us of the limitless possibilities of the present.

Practicing Presence

I have good reason
To feel over-worked and under-paid
Burnt out, with a need to get laid
But good loving is hard to come by

I also have many reasons
To feel hopeful, joyful, grateful
Even satisfied

I’m not gonna lie
I’ve got a flame of desire between my thighs
That you light up with your eyes

Every time I see you, I re-realize
That life is only right here, right now
All we ever have is the present
For the divine gift of your presence, I thank you

Who could ever win the tug-of-war
Between past regrets and future worries?

It is hard to shake off the trauma that clings to me
I try to slip under it, but trauma’s tentacles are tenacious and latch onto me
But I know a secret trick
Without my ego, trauma has nothing to latch onto
I have acquired immunity
I shrink my ego enough to escape trauma’s grasp, float downstream and buoyantly resurface, safely out of reach

When I return from my latest circumnavigation of space-time
And redirect my awareness back to
where I am in this moment
what is happening in this moment
how I feel in this moment
I feel victorious!

Practicing presence is the only way
To be happy, healthy, and free

I wish such peace to thee