I have been a prostitute and I wish I had never started it. I thought about all my options, but it did not seem like I had very many. I lived always the life of party and tried to be the center of attention.
I was the person who introduced people to other people. I made jokes and goofed around. I sang out loud, laughed ridiculesly, and danced wildly. I was outwardly happy and I felt free to express myself. I was never self-conscious.
Now, I go out of my way not to draw attention to myself. I try to fit in, fade into the background. I do not want to have to explain myself. I do not want people to know who I am, to find out my secrets.
I keep to myself a lot. In my isolation, I am bombarded with negative images about sex work in the media, and that only makes me feel worse. I am embarrassed to be a sex worker.
It is not like I am depressed all the time. I can go some days at a time without getting down about any of this. But I have really been struggling with the stigma, and I have been feeling hopeless and uncertain about my future.
In my darkest moments I am desperately overwhelmed with feelings of despair, and fear that I have made myself unlovable.
Despite some accomplishments, I feel like a loser. After doing this work and hearing all the negative messages about sex workers and getting bad reactions from people when I tell them what I do.
I sometimes wonder if there is something wrong with me. Maybe everyone is right. I can never take back what I have done. I will always have a history as a prostitute.
I wish I could feel proud of who I am and what I do. I am tired of feeling embarrassed and ashamed. I wish other people could see me for everything that I am, and not focus so much on this one aspect of my identity.
There are so many things that make me who I am.
I do not feel strong enough to cope with society’s condemnation, but there is nothing I can do about it now. I wish I had known what I was getting myself into before I jumped into this line of work.
But most of all, I wish I had never become a prostitute in the first place.