You sometimes come across a personal account that is painful, poignant, humane, as well as full of power. This answer from Quora on the question “What was the most transformational moment of your life?” by a lady who lives in UK named Sarah Ouellette.
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When I was 8-10 I was raped repeatedly by my neighbor. I also grew up with my father making appearances in and out of my life periodically and so I had a lot of problems – specifically with sex, trust and depression.
Growing up I had a really difficult time making friends or getting along with adults. I had a high IQ as well which made me analyse every single moment I experienced, and so I was very quiet, introspective, and honestly I just had a lot of hate and anger, for pretty much all people, including myself.
This hate developed into really destructive behavior and I turned to drugs, alcohol and a lot of sex from a horribly young age. I was a pretty girl, and I was unique and intelligent, so older boys liked me. I began to use older boys to get things that I wanted, without realising I was damaging myself in the long run. In most instances these boys would have been using me, but with every one of them I managed to make them “love” me, probably to fill the void of having no major male presence in my life.
Fast forward a few years and I am literally controlled by my void. I desperately needed more from life, so I moved out of my small town and into a big city where I was incredibly lonely and needed to fill the void. I started prostituting myself to actually fill that void, not for the money. However, the money got me accustomed to a life that kept me occupied enough with shopping, dinners, traveling, the apartment, the four cats I adopted that lived like kings… for a while I had honestly convinced myself I was fulfilled.
I was still a good person, I have always been incredibly compassionate, and I gave a lot of the money I made away to good causes. I had finally made some decent friends, and even some of who knew what I was doing but regardless they supported me (although constantly worrying).
I ignored certain signs of misery though. I attempted suicide twice in the 3 years, I was bulimic, I was drinking on a tri-weekly basis (I actually had over come the worst of my drug abuse by the time I was prostituting), occasional sleep paralysis, constantly having panic attacks… I was just empty.
As far as real relationships and friendships went, I never let anyone too close. I lied to every single person in my life, I had so many people trying to reach out to me but I just reassured them I was fine over and over again.
Then I met E.o.
I was traveling through Europe and ended up in London for a few nights. My second day, a friend set me up with his tall, handsome, confident, successful and single friend. When I met him, I am ashamed to say I brushed him off as a good-looking dick head, used to getting what he wants. As usual with these types, I had an urge to use and abuse him, and so I flirted loads, and played all the right cards to get him to like me. We spent the night together, which turned into a few nights, which turned into me missing my flight elsewhere. He travelled for work and so he invited me to join him on his work trips, so I still got to see Europe, but with him.
I was actually growing as fond of a person as I could at that point, when he saw some things he wasn’t meant to see. It was all uncovered that I was a prostitute, and he kicked me out. I was out of money, and so my only option was to work my way back to Canada. I had already set myself up with 3 clients by the nighttime, when E.o asked me to come back and stay with him. He told me I could stay as long as I wanted under one condition, I didn’t work.
I think with anyone else, I would have told them to back off. But with him, the thought of a second chance for once actually interested me. Also, the danger of working in a city in London where I didn’t have the resources to look up these clients was frightening, and so I went to stay with him.
That night, he broke into me. For the first time ever I admitted to someone else, and myself, that I was 100% lost. All I had ever needed was someone I could trust to take care of me, and not leave me alone, and E.o promised to do all these things. He told me that the reason he asked me to come back that night was because even though he never wanted to see me again, he couldn’t be responsible for turning away someone that needed more help than imaginable. He pitied me, because he saw through my independent woman facade, and into my real sadness, loneliness and despair.
He wanted me to come live with him in Europe where he could look after me. He promised that we would change my life around together. For this first time ever I trusted someone. And so as crazy as it all sounds, I agreed. I went back to Canada only to sort out my apartment, things and animals.
That night literally changed my entire life around. His one decision restored my faith in humanity, and most importantly myself! I honestly don’t want to think about where I’d be right now if he didn’t take me in. I became a new person that night, and it wasn’t pretty. For months I cried; it was all I did. I had so much sadness inside and for the first time I was allowing myself to feel some of it. But he stuck by me, and constantly reassured me I wasn’t alone. I still have a long way to come to be a completely mentally healthy person, but I am so proud of the progress I have made.
Two years later we still live in London, hopelessly in love. I work full time and make an honest wage in an office, but I am looking to branch off and start my own venture soon! I am 99.9% not bulimic (I have slipped up twice in the two years), I don’t have panic attacks anymore, i haven’t had sleep paralysis since, suicide doesn’t cross my mind and I laugh constantly. I have loads of energy because I work out daily. I get up out of bed every day excited at what I can do next. I read tons of inspiring work by feminists, animal rights activists, and entrepreneurs, and I am ready to make the most out of my own potential (which is endless). I plan to do lots of work in the future in regards to prostitution awareness.
Featured Image Credits: Flickr/Liess Paine/Turn to you