“I never knew how much I didn’t know until I needed the information. I feel suffocated by how behind I am sometimes.”
As a child sex trafficking survivor, there are so many things I never learned. When I entered the world of advocacy and the fight to end child sex trafficking, I became painfully aware of all the things I had missed out on during my trafficking years. But I slowly learned to have grace with myself for those things. I was trying to survive, riding a bike was not high on my priority list. My family was raping me, they were not taking me to the local pumpkin patch. My time outside was spent playing cruel games, not playing in the snow. There were so many things I did not get to experience, and I’ve learned to have grace with myself about that.
But the more time I spend in this movement, and working toward healing, the more I find that I did learn that wasn’t true. The way I interact with others, the way I see the world, the way I see myself, I have to relearn all of it. Sometimes I feel like people do not understand how daunting that is. My entire life has to change in order for me to heal.
Over the next several weeks, I, along with other survivors, will be sharing our thoughts and the things that we have learned about life, ourselves, and our view of the world. There is a lot, and it can feel overwhelming sometimes, but my hope is that those who read these lessons I’ve relearned will understand a little more that rescue does not equal freedom, and sometimes healing can feel impossible, but we do it anyway.