‘I am a child impacted by the sex trade! I am a child impacted by paid rape!’

NMN

This story was initially published on Nordic Model Now, on March 14 2020

Imagine being a trapped in a world where sex is money and your body is an item for someone else’s pleasure.

Now imagine being trapped in that world as a young mother with a tiny baby you would give anything for to see have a better life – only to have that baby removed from your care while you’re left unsupported to just “deal with it.”

That woman you’re imagining was my mum.

That tiny innocent baby was me…

I never really thought about how my life was impacted by the events above until recently and it left me feeling just as helpless and scared as that innocent baby who was taken away from the person who was her whole world.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful upbringing with adoptive parents who adored me and gave me the best life I could ask for. However I never had the one person I needed, the one person I had a connection with, my mum.

I struggled from a young age with separation anxiety, PTSD, abandonment, depression. As I got older, I turned to lashing out, rebelling and doing anything I could to get sent back to my mother, the one place I knew I belonged.

As I hit my older teenage years, I turned to boys, any boys. It didn’t matter how old or who they were, I just wanted their attention. I wanted to feel loved, so I could fill the void deep within my heart. But it never went away.

I was raped by a man who was supposed to be a father figure. He was supposed to keep me safe – but he didn’t. He turned my (birth) mum against me and I thought I’d lost her for good, because, “I was the problem,” because “I led him on.” Or so I was told – even by my own fiancé.

My desire to feel safe and secure led me to a toxic marriage at 18, two young boys, and eventually a divorce due to domestic violence.

In my late 20s, I finally turned back to my mum. I finally found the love I’d been missing. It filled the void. I learnt that it’s okay to need your mum when you’re sick, frustrated, or because you just need a hug.

Although I’m grateful I learnt these things, in my heart I’ll always feel that I learnt them 25 years too late.

I’ll never know how it feels to be a child safe in her mother’s arms and blankets when you wake from a nightmare. I’ll never know for myself how a mother’s kiss can heal a scraped knee and make it all better again. I’ll never know how it feels to be an innocent child learning about life and its unfairness under the protection and safeguard of her mother’s wings.

I’ll never have this because no one stopped way back when I was a baby and thought, “Maybe this woman needs support, maybe she needs help, maybe her baby is what will give her the drive to get out.”

Emotionally I will always feel ripped off. Spiritually too. I will always feel as though I was unfairly ripped away. And I have worn the physical scars on my arms for a good 10 years now. They will always be a reminder of the horrible pain I felt when I thought I’d lost my mum forever.

I strongly believe that if my mum had had support, love and guidance to exit the sex trade and start a new life with her baby, I would not have suffered to the same extent. I would have known a different life – one of unconditional support, safety and love from the one person I was connected to and needed from the moment I took my first breath.

I am a child impacted by the sex trade!

I am a child impacted by paid rape!

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