Being The Person I Needed When I Was Younger
It’s common for anyone who has experienced a difficult situation or a traumatic event to want to know someone else who has experienced something similar.
When I was 14 years old I remember having a burning desire in my heart to meet someone how had been through something similar as I had and was doing well because I did not think it was possible for me to ever be well or do anything with my life.
I was 14 years old and at that point I had already been through more trauma than most people experience in a lifetime. I had alcoholic and drug addicted parents, my father had a stroked was disabled, I had been trafficked for a couple years, I witnessed both of my parents try to commit suicide, I had my mother tell me that she hated me, never loved me and never wanted me and that is why she tried to herself, I witnessed things nobody should ever have to see, I was taken to foster care and began cutting myself, I was moved around to multiple group home facilities because nobody could deal with me and was just placed in another group home facility where I was being trafficked again and the list goes on. I was traumatized, abandoned, scared and hopeless. Nobody in my family had graduated high school so I thought I never would either. I truly believed my life wasn’t worth living and I wanted to end it. I was desperate to the pain to end.
I needed hope. I needed to know someone else had been through similar things as I had and was doing well. I needed to know that it was even possible for me to succeed in life. I felt like if I knew it was possible then that would help me to keep going, rise above my circumstances and beat the statistics.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet someone who had been through similar things as me and was doing well, but thankfully other people came into my life and helped me beat the statistics.
I have talked to survivors in other states and mentored them over the phone and there’s normally always different connections where they remind me of myself in different situations. I also mentored survivors in person and have friends who are survivors and there are always times they remind me of myself.
I recently met a teenager over video chat who is a survivor of sex trafficking and I haven’t been able to get that meeting out of my mind. Although our stories and situations are different, she reminded me so much of myself when I was younger. I felt like I knew exactly where she was coming from and why she is doing the things she is doing. In a way I felt like I was looking at and talking to my younger self.
I’m thankful for each opportunity where I get to be the person I needed when I was younger, whether it’s by mentoring survivors, spreading awareness, advocating for new laws or speaking out against those trying to legalize prostitution.
I will never stop being the person I needed when I was younger.