Denial: A Former Call Girl Shares Her Story

Denial: A Former Call Girl Shares Her Story
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Photo "Untitled" by Nicoletta Ciunci
Photo “Untitled” by Nicoletta Ciunci

When I worked as a call girl, I relied on, and needed, denial to function in life. That denial was essential in order to work. To have sex with men and women I didn’t want to have sex with, to have people see me naked, to have strangers touch my body, touch my skin anywhere they wanted with whatever body part of theirs they wanted to use, I had to be in denial. That is what allowed me to do it without breaking, without falling apart, without realising the hell in which I was living.

To build and stabilise my denial, I told myself that I was receiving compensation for the abuse I’d suffered as a child. The shut-down (dissociation) I’d learned to deal with childhood abuse was the tool that enabled me to cut off when I was working. I could do this and earn substantial amounts of money, and that was my compensation.

The truth is that after a very short while, dissociation wasn’t enough on its own. I had to use drugs as well. Heroin, crack, cocaine, marijuana, GHB, ecstasy, alcohol – anything. I would take any pill anyone gave me, sniff any line, inject any concoction. I didn’t care if it killed me. I had such a horrific pain in my soul and in my heart. It was essential for it to be numbed. Dying would have solved my pain problem. I wanted to die for much of my life, and numerous times, I tried.

My addiction to heroin and crack started a short while after I began working as a call girl. When I initially started, I did it for money and freedom. Not to buy drugs, but to have nice clothes, to go on wonderful holidays, to have more time to myself. I was lazy. I had a decent job, but I wanted to work fewer hours and earn more. I thought it was wonderful, what I was doing. I didn’t know at the time there’d be a price to pay – that 13 years later, I would still be paying the price for the abuse I allowed to happen to me. I might have used the money to put myself through college, telling myself what a great thing I was achieving, but by the time I got to university, I had to drop out due to my addiction and suicidal mental state.

Had I felt loved as a child, I would not have done such an unloving thing to myself as an adult. Had I known how to love myself, learned, as most children do, how to love themselves, and learned what love feels like, I would not have been able to do such an unloving thing to myself. But I didn’t learn those things as a child, nor did the other call girls I knew. That is how and why we did what we did, what enabled us to do it. We didn’t know how to be loving to ourselves. We didn’t learn that when we should have, because we weren’t shown it like most other women are when they are girls.

It is not that I believed I was a bad or unlovable person. I actually thought the world, and most of the people (men) in it, were bad. I believed I was doing the best I could for myself. Even when I ended up sticking needles in my arms, I felt I was doing a loving thing for myself, numbing my internal pain the best way I knew how. That’s how damaged I was.

My denial was so strong, so ingrained, that I was disconnected from my body. That is what allowed me to get right back to work the day after I was raped. I was living somewhere else, not in my body. My body was a mere vehicle from which to make money. I think that is why I have no memories of the faces of my clients, even my regular clients whom I might have seen every couple of weeks for a couple of years or more. They could walk past me in the street and I wouldn’t recognise them. All my memories are watching myself from outside my body. My spirit, my soul, my heart, was rarely at home there. Because when it was, they were the times I tried to take my life. So many times, I tried to kill myself. That’s what happened when I was present, when my denial was ruptured.

You can read more about the issues addressed in this essay in “In Her Own Words: Interview With a London Call Girl”, which is an unedited transcript of an interview with a London call girl in the late 1990s. All proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to the charity Beyond the Streets, who work to end sexual exploitation.

XLondonCallGirl

About Anon n/a

XLondonCallGirl blogs about her experiences living with the consequences of prostitution, childhood abuse, rape, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and recovering from drug addiction, about a reality where there is no Belle de Jour, only Belle de Hell.

XLondonCallGirl blogs about her experiences living with the consequences of prostitution, childhood abuse, rape, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and recovering from drug addiction, about a reality where there is no Belle de Jour, only Belle de Hell.

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