Today is May Day and to tell you the truth I don’t really know much about it. I couldn’t really find a site that explained it plainly. It is also International Workers’ Day today as well. I didn’t know that until today either.
There is a lot of what I don’t know. What’s troubling to me is that I thought I genuinely cared about people and wanted to work towards equality for everyone. Unfortunately, in that same breathe, I was committing the very thing that I now despise: trying to save people and trying to protect others.
It didn’t happen over night that I grew to despise this. It probably started in my last relationship (which has been over since 2009 so I harbor no hard feelings when I write this). However, I will premise with this: he WAS and IS a great guy. Now, the then-relationship just wasn’t a good fit….for me. I had these feelings that he only wanted to be around when *bad* things happen in order to *save me* or *protect me*. Yet, I didn’t want to be saved. I didn’t want to be protected. Especially when only bad things happened to me. I wanted support and love to be there when GOOD things happened to me too! People need support and love when they feel that there is good in their life, because what good is life when you can’t share the moments of happiness with another person? Exactly. It would be very boring.
I was going over a few old emails not too long ago and I noticed one that I had written about and it was the first time I had shared with someone about my sex work experience. I write in detail on another blog post HERE about those experiences in a different light. When I was reading over this initial email, I kind of felt disgusted with myself. I was the person I very much despise: trying to save and trying to protect. But protect from what and protect from who? Exactly. There was so much I didn’t know about the world of sex work.
Up until January 2012, I was always told that the reason all the bad things happened in my life was because of sex work. Even all the things that happened in my life BEFORE sex work was why I got into sex work. As mentioned before, up until January 2012, I didn’t know that there was this whole other side of world when it comes to sex work. I met a wonderful group of individuals at Maggies Toronto. I felt kind of out of place too but for reasons that others might not suspect. I felt out of place because I was at one point the individuals/institutions/organizations and the attitudes those individuals/institutions/organizations had, wherein we were trying to address them as a group. By the end of the 2-day experience, I felt liberated. For my entire life, up until that point, I was the very person I hate and I was constantly being told that sex work was the problem. Sex work wasn’t and isn’t the problem.
The problem is the attitudes that other people, institutions, organizations have towards sex workers.
Today, I don’t see how those two can be connected. I never felt like they were connected or related. Every time I met with a counsellor to discuss my feelings or what was going on in my life, I just never felt like there was connection with them. They would always blame sex work, and they would always say “you are the victim.” And maybe that is true in some sense but the reasons for getting raped is not because of sex work. And the reason for being in an abusive relationship is not because of sex work. Just to name a couple things that past counselors have blamed on sex work. I also love my current counsellor that I hate today because she gets this. She understands! I write about her HERE. I knew she got it the very moment when I told her that the reason I was worried about getting back into sex work after I lost my job was not because of sex work itself, but rather the people that I might lose–some of the people I love in my life. Again.
So when did I start caring so much that I had to become the person I hate? Because I thought I was doing the right thing. I was wrong. If you are going to help people, in no matter what type of capacity, you are going to have to let those individuals get the help they want and on their own terms.
Anyways, good news: I got a job offer and have really good marks to end this year off right! So I am happy with my outcome at the end of the year, even after losing my job. I am most certainly happy with all the wonderful, strong, confident, beautiful people that I have met this past semester. Especially the ones I met who taught me to remember to stop caring about what others think (something my momma always told me and my sisters to do!)