The Internal Oppressor

HMV

Last weekend, I experienced a sensation that only lasted about 60 seconds.  It was the feeling of complete psychological, emotional and physical freedom.  It was a beautiful feeling.  Everything around me looked different.  The scenery looked more vibrant.  I felt more alive, more energetic.  I felt that I could do almost anything.  After the feeling went away, I did not feel euphoric or otherwise grateful for having had the experience.  Instead, I felt confused.  Wasn’t I already free?  I thought I was already free.  How can I not be free?  I have spent so many years in recovery.  I have done so much hard work.  How is it possible that I am not free?
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A Culture of Trafficking

Comfort Women 2

I struggle on days like these sometimes.  Every survivor has their triggers, and mine is the military.  I don’t have a problem with the military men and women who have died for our country.  I think they are amazing.  I think their choices were selfless.  I have nothing but respect for them.  I struggle with the culture in the military, the behaviors they promote and the behaviors they ignore.

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The Invisible Woman

Invisible Woman

I’ve been celebrating lately.  There have been many reasons for celebrating.  I have graduated with a master’s degree and quit my job to begin work in the anti-trafficking field.  Everyone is letting me know how proud they are.  Everyone is congratulating me for the positive changes I am making in my life.  At the same time, it’s a difficult time for me.  Celebrating who I am and what I have accomplished goes directly against my instincts as a trafficking survivor.
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Slaves Come in Many Forms

Caged Brain 2

I have been a slave.  As a survivor of human trafficking, that doesn’t come as a surprise.  Human trafficking has been dubbed “modern-day slavery” by the media, governmental agencies and non-profit organizations.  Many organizations use symbols like chains and ropes to depict human trafficking.  I even use one on my blog.  These symbols can also be dangerous when educating the public about human trafficking.  It leads people to believe that slavery can only be defined by physical restraint.  This perception has caused people to ask why trafficking victims don’t run away when they are not restrained. Continue reading

Two Different Worlds

TwoDifferentWorlds

Recently, my twins and I went on a family vacation to Disney World.  There is nothing like a family vacation to remind me of the differing perspectives between children and adults.  My children are present in the moment.  They are optimistic.  They trust everyone.  They are full of unconditional love.  I am none of those things (although I try to be).  On several occasions, I felt as though we were living in two different worlds.

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