My naïvety got the best of me
When I found myself
Beneath the sheets
With a man I knew nothing about.
I only knew his first name.
At this time, I was a wreck.
My head was full of poison,
So I’d empty my stomach
And run until I couldn’t.
I’d fill the emptiness with men.
Until I found myself in a hotel bed,
Miles from home, with a stranger.
And there was a knock on the door.
That was the moment my life changed.
Evil manifested itself in the form of 5 men
Who weighed me down and took from me.
Venom flew from their lips,
Word like “bitch” slapped me in the face
While my innocence was taken from me.
Again, and again,
I left that hotel room as a crushed coke can,
Bone dry, crumpled, tossed aside.
I made it to my vehicle,
Threw it in drive,
And cried. Oh, how I cried.
The heavens heard me that day.
I was not forsaken.
But I was a long way
Fast forward to today, 4 years later.
I am no longer enslaved by my eating disorders and I laugh in the face of danger.
I’ve already been to hell.
But I feel lucky
To have survived.
Many women in my position
May have been killed or trafficked
And I thank my lucky stars that
All those bastards wanted was an easy fuck.
So here I am. I believe that if you live to tell the tale, you must tell it.
And so I will speak against injustice, say what’s on my mind,
Love without abandon, and never give up.
I will let my trauma be a part of my story, but not define me. I’m no longer a victim.
I’m a survivor.
We are survivors. We are strong.
I will celebrate this life and let my joy be seen.
It’s one of the few things
Those men couldn’t steal from me.
photos by a. lentz photography