By Guest Blogger “Jane Doe”
When I was 18 years old, I would hop into a sleek black private car around 11 pm every night. I’d wave my cigarette magically in the air and ask to be taken to the Soho Grande. The driver would speed off into the dark, bustling night of New York City. Slumped down in the grey leather seat, I’d peer out over the side, so just my eyes were visible through the window. Bright flashing lights everywhere, blurring the images of the young college student’s advertising of the normal after-hours college scene that I wasn’t a part of. The horn would honk, the brakes would slam and I would try not to puke as we swerved in and out of traffic. Another drag of the cigarette, ashes spilling on my bare leg. My cell phone would flash: 10:58 pm. The car would come to a screeching halt and out I’d step. One foot in front of the other. I’d make my way to room 603 and knock. Hike up my skirt, poof up my hair, pucker my lips– “Hi, I’m Michelle.”
When I was 18 years old, I was a drug addict and a high class escort in the city of Manhattan. I gave up control of my body every single night, without a second thought. Now, I’m 21 years old, married, sober, and pregnant. The last three years of my life have aged me, and although I’m still young, I definitely don’t seem like it. Finding out that my husband and I were expecting a baby recently was the most joyous moment of my life. For the first time in my life, I was actually looking at a pregnancy stick and praying that it said positive. Before, I spent countless hours in the bathroom of my dorm room (more formally known as Marlton’s crackden) praying for the exact opposite. But every month during this time, I never knew what to expect. I always used protection (at least I think I did, though most of the time I was hardly conscious), but throughout my life, I had come to learn that accidents still happen. Actually, my life had become the biggest accident of all.
I didn’t mean to become a prostitute. When I arrived at the front steps of a cute little brick building in the heart of the West Village of Manhattan in September 2008, life was full of promise. I was starting my first year at a private university, my first choice school. After a tumultuous high school experience, a volatile relationship with my father, battling depression, anxiety, drug addiction and the highs and lows of a very abusive relationship, I had every intention of creating a new me. Despite having clung to this boyfriend who abused me, all to fill the void of the male attention and adoration I so sincerely was lacking from my father, this would be my fresh start.