January 7, 2022
January 7, 2022
I want you to ask yourself: Do I feel guilty saying ‘No’ to something I don’t want to do? Do I have trouble making eye-contact during a conversation? Can I ask for help when I need it and expect not to have to give anything in return? When I travel, do I lock my hotel door?
These are just a few of the things that I needed to relearn once I was out of the life. In the life, choices were made for me and the freedom to speak about what I needed wasn’t an option. So, knowing that it was okay to say ‘No’ to something that I didn’t want to do, seemed like a foreign concept and a right that I never had.
For example, I work in a hospital and I would always get asked to stay pasted my assigned hours or come in on my day off. I always said ‘Yes,’ to the point where I was exhausted. I was saying ‘Yes’ because it had been ingrained in me that saying ‘No’ would get me hurt. Now, each day, I must remind myself that I am no longer in danger and must ask, “Is this something I really want to do?” This is something I still struggle with, but that more successful times I have, the easier it becomes.
While in the life, avoiding eye-contact was a must, but in the real world you are expected to make direct eye-contact when having conversations to show that you are engaged. This was something that I was not at all use to but needed to learn rather quickly. Think about it. Try having a conversation with a person not making eye-contact with you. It is rather awkward, isn’t it? It’s a very simple but important skill to have, and one that I needed to retrain my brain to know that making eye-contact was no longer a threat to my safety.
To this day asking for help is never easy. Fresh out of the life, when help was being offered and I was not expected to do anything in return, this was something that was extremely hard for me to grasp. I had believed that nothing was given without an expectation. But through the love and support of Reset180, I quickly learned that that simply wasn’t true.
And my final question: Do you lock your hotel door? Seems like a rather silly question, right? You want to keep people from coming into your room, but I never wanted to be stuck fumbling trying to get the door unlocked if I needed to escape quickly. I would rather someone walk in the door, than not be able to get out if need be.
These are the things that still go through my mind as I try to navigate everyday life. I see the world in a different way because of my experiences. It is frustrating at times and can be a bit discouraging, but knowing where I am today compared to where I was, I will continue to do everything I need to do to never be in that place again. Even four years later, I still have a lot of bad days, a lot of days I question my worth, but the good days, the days I feel strong and the days I feel like a true survivor, are starting to outweigh the others.
In my next blog, I will be talking about the aftermath of trafficking that you don’t seem to hear too much about, the symptoms I deal with day-to-day, and what my recovery progression has been like.
Thank you so much for reading! You are an amazing person, keep being you.
*Survivor name and photos may be changed for their protection.