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October 2019 Sister Spotlight

My Testimony

By Gentle Spirit

October 1, 2019

I am 35 years old and I was in "the life" since the age of 14.

I grew up with a mentally unstable and alcoholic mother. In my childhood years, I remember my mother neglected me, paying her attention to the men she would bring home. I always felt as if my mother loved the men more than me. I have a younger brother and she treated him very differently and always told me she wished I was a boy. It was clear to me from a very young age that my mother felt some resentment towards me for her own reasons. I felt very unloved and unwanted, so I started looking for love in all the wrong places.

I started hanging out with older guys, smoking weed and drinking a little. I did not like to drink much because it made me sick, but I loved the way weed made me feel. Weed made me forget about my problems. So I would skip school and not go home. I started fighting in school, and I was eventually taken from my mother and put in the juvenile system as a delinquent child.

I was placed in numerous foster homes as well as group homes. I ran away from them all. I was approached by a man at the age of 14 who told me that if I slept with him he would buy me the clothes and shoes that I wanted and give me money. He told me that I could use my looks and sex to get anything I wanted in the world, and I believed him. So from then on, that’s what I did.

He trafficked me to men from his gang because he was a drug dealer and a gangbanger. I was constantly fighting and skipping school and my mother did not want me in the house. So, I eventually ended up getting sent to a juvenile prison for girls.

Juvenile prison for 3 years of agony

I was incarcerated at that juvenile prison for 3 years. During those 3 years, numerous psychotropic medications were forced on me, and I would lash out in anger. My mother came only one time to see me. I had no parental support, and my only so-called friends were the other troubled girls there.

I felt very alone and distraught in that prison, so I started looking for love with the other girls incarcerated with me and found myself in “lesbian” relationships. I never did anything sexual with girls there, we just held the girlfriend title. That was the cool thing to do. Having a girlfriend got me in trouble because we would always get caught passing notes and passing notes was not allowed.

The juvenile prison was extremely strict (and it has been shut down due to abuses) and would put me in solitary confinement for the most minor infractions. Solitary confinement consisted of being in a cold room by myself with nothing but an orange jumpsuit and underwear. Bras and socks were not allowed. We slept on thin mattresses with two wool blankets. No sheets or pillows. And, we could only have a thin mattress and blankets from 10 pm to 6 am. So I remember curling up on the floor in front of the door hoping to catch some heat coming under the door.

The last time I went to solitary confinement was because a note got caught between me and my girlfriend. When I came out of confinement, I told my girlfriend I did not want to be with her anymore because I was tired of going to confinement. She got mad, and long story short, she was so upset at my rejection that she told the staff that every time I walked past her, I would slap her and pinch her on the butt. So, of course, I went to confinement. Her allegations were completely false and made up. I never touched her.

At the time of me being accused of this pinching and slapping, there were a lot of young girls doing things like hitting staff so they could be charged as an adult. They didn't want to be in the juvenile prison because the conditions in or out of confinement were horrible! So a few girls convinced me to plead no contest to the pinching and slapping with the thought that I would be charged as an adult and could get out of there.

I had been in the juvenile prison for three straight years of agony, so leaving under any circumstance sounded good to me. I was 16 years old and did not know what a sex offense would do to my life, and I had no advice or advocacy from any adult who really cared. So I plead no contest and was charged with 3rd-degree sexual assault of a child. I was sentenced in adult court and sentenced to probation. Of course, this outcome was completely opposite to what the other girls advised me.

Running, stripping and Backpage

I ended up coming home in February of 2002. The rules of a sex offender on probation were horrible and the restrictions I had were very troubling to me, so I started running. The things probation expected of me were unfair because I was innocent but yet I was treated like a predator! I was young and troubled and just wanted to leave that horrible place in hope of some peace of mind and normalcy.

I started running from my probation, and since I couldn’t get a regular job being on the run, I started dancing in a strip club when I was 18. I was running from my probation officer and stripping for about 9 years. During those years I would get caught or turn myself in and go to prison. I was in and out of prison for many years.

In 2012 I again went on the run from my probation officer and met someone who showed me Backpage, an online prostitution site where women and girls were sexually exploited and trafficked. She told me she was making good money and it was faster money than dancing. I decided to give Backpage a try. Needless to say, I obtained a lot of clientele right there in the city I was stripping in and was making a lot of money. The money was quicker than dancing, so I stuck with it.

I remember times in the beginning of Backpage that I would soak in hot tubs of water and cry and contemplate suicide because I felt so dirty. I hated myself and my self-esteem was so low. I was away from my children because at this time I had 5 children, but I felt I had no other way to make a living and survive. Even when I wasn’t on the run, I would try and look for regular jobs, but because of the sex offender label, no one would hire me. I was completely trapped in the life.

In 2017 I was of course on the run again. I was staying with a woman I knew, but it was uncomfortable for me there. I just wanted my own space, some peace, and my children. I was tired of being broke without even the bare necessities. So I knew of a female that was and still is a pimp. I knew that she made a lot of money, well, the girls she pimped out made a lot of money for her. So I reached out to her. We met up, she told me her expectations and we were on a plane to Miami the next day.

We had 4 phones that were just for Backpage calls. I was with maybe 10-12 johns a day. It was horrible! I made a lot of money but the pimp took it all. I was always tired because she made me work all day, everyday and wouldn’t let me eat. It was very physically, verbally and emotionally abusive, so things for me went from bad to worse. I eventually got tired of her abuse and turned myself in to get away from her.

My heart felt something different

I got out of prison in September 2018 to nothing once again. I got in a relationship with a guy who was willing to take me out of town to Chicago because I had prostituted there before and knew what to do. I always was in the life because I felt I had no other way to make the money that I needed to survive. I met the sisters from New Name in November of 2018 because New Name reached out to me via my online ad. I had gotten texts from people like New Name before, but I never responded. However this time, it was different. My heart felt something different, so I answered back.

Today I know that it was God in my heart convicting me, and He led women to me who are true women of God to help me out of my mess. Shortly after meeting the sisters, I found out I was pregnant with my 7th child. I was scared because I didn’t know what I was going to do financially to survive because I was extremely sick with hyperemesis. The prayers, support and unconditional love from my New Name sisters have brought me to where I am today. I still struggle financially but now I am stronger in the Lord, and I now know and understand that my prayers and faith in God, as well as prayers from New Name, have carried me through.

In 2018 I was completely delivered from lesbianism and prostitution. ALL GLORY TO GOD! He has opened my eyes and heart completely, and I am healing from everything and leaning on God. My sisters at New Name helped me in so many ways to strengthen my relationship with God, and I must say without New Name and their constant genuine Christian love and support, I don’t know where I would be. As I said, I still have my bad days but I am strong In Jesus' name and I will never look back!