What are the steps I should take to improve my life?
August 18, 2013 6:16 AM Subscribe
I have made a succession of poor decisions. What are the steps I should take to improve my life?
posted by anonymous to human relations (19 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
There was a point when I knew what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, when I was Ivy league bound and driven to create for myself a life very different from the one I’ve pieced together out of a recklessness that, in moments of clarity, scares me. In rapid succession, I’ve made some very poor decisions. But now, at 19, I don’t know where that once wildly smart and innocent girl went when I made the decision to start stripping, clean some guy’s kitchen floor naked for food, or fall in love with men who just want sex. I wish that were the worst of it.
My family doesn’t know and their veneer of support and concern is just that. They are not available to me and to go into why is irrelevant. They aren’t there for me.
I think one can self-harm in many ways, and I do so by continuously putting myself in dangerous and degrading situations. The more I do it, the more I want to believe that this life is what I deserve in order to make sense of why I’m constantly letting myself be used and rejected. It’s a vicious cycle.
It’s not because I am prude or insecure that the various lines of sex work I’ve done have not made me feel empowered or liberated, as is so often touted. I have not experienced any part of it to be victimless, but have experienced first hand how the commodification of female sexuality is an insiduous force in mainstream culture. Stripping and other forms of sex work do not exist in a vacuum. Much of it hurts girls and women, and many of those girls are forced into certain aspects of it in ways that a lot of people might not understand unless they have experienced it. I’ve experienced it. The things men have said to me and the things they’ve done to me when I was too scared to say no, make me feel sick.
More than ever, I have felt “outcast from life’s feast.” I recently revealed to a friend a bit of what I have been going through, or putting myself through, and he told me that his heart sank, that I deserve more, and it was such a new concept to me; I hadn’t previously articulated that to myself.
I still have an idea of what I want. I have notions of being surrounded by good, kind, and creative people. Of being with someone who cares about me. Today I cried, deep and heavy, because I know one day I will need to figure out a way to forgive myself for betraying my value and my worth. If I cannot be trusted to have my best interests in mind, who else will? I think about the naïve and innocent girl I used to be, and I want to steer her another way. If I had a daughter, I would move hell and heaven to keep her away from this world.
In addition to this, I’m heartbroken over the one person I want. But all that I was to him was a fling, a one night stand. I can barely get myself out of bed these days. It’s confusing because he was very charming and kind; my first interactions with him were like out of a movie. He was incredibly handsome with his wide smile and his confidence and his motorcyle. He was so good at being nice, considerate, and sweet. I really, really thought he was different. But, within days of having sex, he forgot about me and left the state. I called him once on the phone afterwards and he was cold and unfamiliar. What a cliché. I don’t understand why he doesn’t want me. I just feel like I’m not good enough for anyone, that I want anyway.
I’m tired. I’m stopping with the sex work and trying to scrape by. What resources are there for me to heal? What inspiration can I turn to so that I don’t keep going down this path? I don’t want to be here in ten years, when I'm almost 30, thinking that I threw everything I could have been away because I couldn’t get it together.