I normally don’t put my business out there myself, but I’m actually stumped on this one this time.
About 5 years ago, I was in my younger 20s, a situation that came up involving some big legal problems (I messed around with the wrong kind of people and got popped for a felony with no prior record). I ended up in jail, a felon, no job, no money, and family had turned their backs on me because I was such a promising young adult before this and no way out.
I can’t even begin to recall the countless hours I spent trying to come up with a plan, a plan to save my life going down the drain. As I sat and watched it spiral out of control right before my eyes my dreams of being a doctor were gone. I was facing 13 years. No one wants to hire or take a chance on a felon. Kids? Forget it. Who wants an old woman with no prospects in life? I was acutely aware of my doomed and impending expiration date.
Then, one day it came to me. I could do something that I had heard about on TV a couple times in my life before. High-end escorting. Of course, I had the looks. I was a former professional lingerie and bikini model. I had had mild success in that arena and had done a few commercials here and there.
Ok, so I knew nothing about being an escort. I didn’t know how it worked, and I didn’t even know if I could do what was required of an escort to do.
Bottom line, I did it. I hated every moment of it. It made me physically ill sometimes to where I would drink or get really high so that I could forget what I was really doing. It did, however, pay the $40,000 that my attorney required to get me probation and have the felony wiped off my record a couple years later. Oh yeah, it bought me a motorcycle, drugs, clothes, guns, furniture, the newest electronics, friends (or so I thought)… yeah it bought me a nice lifestyle.
Little problem however, you know how they say, “It’s lonely at the top.” Well, the ones who REALLY know what this means know the double meaning. Doesn’t always mean it’s lonely simply because others aren’t at the top with you, it’s lonely because you can’t let anyone close to you because you can’t trust them with your secrets and your life. I learned this the hard way.
Fast forward a couple years. I quit the business, got my felony removed and settled down and tried to stay legit. I signed up to go back to school and finish my education and start working a full-time job at a restaurant. I meet a guy who I fell in love with. I never bring up my past with being an escort because it traumatized me and hurt me and caused a lot of mental stress when I did it. And, for years afterward I had problems being able to be fully and truly intimate with a man because of it. I want it washed clean.
I am a different person now. I work very hard in a normal job and am on my way to a career in a medical field. The man whom I’m dating ended up finding out about my past and I came clean with him and told him why I did what I had to do. It’s a part of my past and it ended up hurting me in ways I could never imagine. This caused a HUGE problem, fractured the relationship because he started accusing me of STILL escorting.
Now, he goes through my phone, constantly tells me I have mental illness issues and makes fun of me because I have anxiety that I have to take medication for. He went and told my roommate and his entire family, as well as half of the people he partied with in town in the clubs and bars. He speaks to me rudely and demeans me that others around me often comment to me that they find it inappropriate that he speaks to me this way.
He says it is because he feels I lied to him when I didn’t tell him as soon as we met and started seeing each other. But, I have tried to explain to him that things like this have been thrown in my face in the past and I was going to tell him when I felt that I could trust him enough. Mind you we have only been together like (met + started dating) 4 months at this point!
I am so humiliated and feel depressed, and my self-esteem has gone down so much. He constantly threatens to tell everyone about my past and uses it against me if he doesn’t like something or is jealous. He goes through my phone when I’m not looking (I caught him twice). He goes through my email. He stole and went through my work tablet and threatens to contact my family. I am in constant fear.
I feel like what I did in the past was wrong, and I feel badly that he is hurt that I didn’t tell him immediately, but I say that one action doesn’t justify another. But, he says that everything he feels like doing is justified because of that incident. I have never cheated on him, so that is not the issue.
I don’t know what to do. The guys I know always just say, “Throw him to the curb,” because they don’t think what I did in the past is who I am today. And, I agree, but should I keep putting up with being punished forever for something that I can’t change in the past? – Seeking Blatant Wisdom
Dear Ms. Seeking Blatant Wisdom,
So, do you feel guilty for what you did in your past? Do you beat yourself up for it, and do you constantly rehash it in your own mind telling yourself how such an awful person you are, or do you berate yourself for doing what you felt you had to do?
If you answered yes, then, he is only manifesting, out loud, what you are saying to yourself in your own head. You stay with him because you beat your own self up, and you degrade and demean who you are. Therefore, when he does it to you, you believe it, “Yeah, he’s right. I am a horrible person. No one else will want me. I am not any good. I am not deserving of love.” You tell yourself these same things, so you allow him to do because you feel you deserve it.
Ma’am, like your other guy friends have told you, “Throw him to the curb.” You don’t deserve to be treated that way. Don’t ever allow someone to mistreat you, berate you, belittle you, and demean you for something you did in your past. Hell, I’m sure there are some things he’s done in his past that he is not telling you. But, because he’s an abuser, a bully, and a weak-a** man, he feels he can use you as his emotional, mental, and physical punching bag.
You do not have to take this. Do not keep allowing yourself to be a victim. Become a victor!
Sure, you made a choice, and based on the number of options you had, you had to decide how to do what was best for you. You chose to be an escort. You knew the ramifications behind that choice, but you did it. You made the money, paid off your lawyer, and got the felony off your record. And, along the way you did things you are not proud of. You didn’t remain in that lifestyle, but, you made another conscious choice to do something more productive and positive with your life. You changed!
Now, celebrate that milestone. Don’t continue to beat yourself up, and don’t let him do it either. I suggest getting into therapy and working out your issues. If you keep telling yourself how horrible of a person you are, and what you can’t have in life, and how no one will love you, then that is what you will continue to attract in your life. And, you’ve attracted a low-life dirt bag who wants to throw it up in your face.
Girl, move on from him. You don’t need to be with someone who keeps reminding you of your past, beating you up verbally and mentally, stealing from you, and going through your personal property. The hell! You should boil some damn grits the next time he gets out of pocket. Stop being his doormat, and giving your power over to him.
If he threatens to call and tell people, then you pick up the phone and hand it to him. BOOM!
Take control over your life. Stop letting him bully you.
I also recommend that you take control over your own narrative. When you meet someone, tell them about your past. I’m not saying on the first date you reveal everything, but as you feel more comfortable with them, don’t wait too long, but be upfront and own your story. When you own your past, own your story, and own what you did then no one can take the power away from you and make you feel guilty or bad over it. No one can throw it up in your face. Like this jacka** who feels as if he has something over you. When you own your power and narrative you can respond, “Yup. I did it. But, I’m here now. I survived. I made it through. I don’t let that hinder me from moving forward and doing what I got to do. And, if I’m not worried or thinking about it, then why are you? Now what?”
Get into therapy. Talk with someone. Confide in family and friends. Start talking about your story. Who knows, you may save someone else from going down the same road. Own who you are, and don’t let anyone ever make you feel guilty for what you did. It doesn’t define you. It’s what makes you stronger. Turn the negative into a positive. – Terrance Dean
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Make sure to order my books Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15); Hiding In Hip Hop (Atria Books – June 2008); and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, And Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden Books – November 2010; $15). They are available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click HERE!