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Deborah's Story

Updated: May 5, 2023

This is my story because I want to give you hope for your future! Many years ago, I started in the industry as a receptionist. Many of the ladies who worked there began to see me as a safe person; a confidant and, at times, a mentor.

My heart formed a deep connection with those ladies as I could identify with them. I was sexually abused as a child. Watching those precious ladies work in that place was like watching them being abused and I knew what that felt like. Watching their pain and sadness triggered my own pain and sadness. At the same time, nurturing and comforting them, helping them with their problems felt like I was also helping the little girl in me. Still, the desire to get out of there grew. I bought the lie in my head which told me if I worked in the rooms, I would make way better money and be able to get out even quicker. So, I began to sell my body too. That’s when things got really bad. I moved from having my abuse being triggered, to re-enacting it. It brought me down very quickly and soon I could no longer work straight. Even though “Sherry”, the part of me that was able to endure prostitution, was confident, strong and vibrant, I still needed drugs to get me through bookings. I couldn’t see a way out. I felt trapped. I grew sadder and weaker. I wanted to die.

Eventually, I felt like I lost myself, the person I used to be. It was like “Sherry” slowly took over the rest of me. I didn’t know who I was anymore or how I was ever going to be ok or have a decent life. I was dying! For me selling my body felt like I was also selling my soul. It was killing me. The only thing I had left was my spirit. I had learned about that when I was a kid, you know – the God and the Jesus thing! But I thought that was for when we die, if you have lived a good life you go to heaven and if not you go to hell. But for now, in this life we are on our own, sink and swim. I felt dead already so I had nothing to lose! So, at 35kg, with my gums bleeding and my nails falling off, I didn’t have the strength to lift my feet to walk; I had to shuffle. I cried out to the heavens and said “If you are really there, if you really care about me, if you are real, you have to help me. I have tried to do life on my own terms and I have lost EVERYTHING that is dear to me. If you stop my pain and fix my life, I will go wherever you send me and do whatever you ask me for the rest of my life. I will dedicate the rest of my life to you, if you just help me! Will you please help me?! Otherwise I’m gonna die! Without help I can’t go on!”

With a counsellor, I developed an exit plan from the industry. I connected with a Christian church whose members nurtured and cared for me. They loved me whether I looked like shit or whether I had things together – they loved and accepted me no matter what. I was compelled to study Family Therapy, then Psychology, and went on to complete a Masters Degree in Psychotherapy & Counselling. I got jobs that set me up in amazing ways. I experienced the favour of God in my life.

Today I no longer have to worry about paying the rent or putting bread and milk on the table or clothes on my back. I have my own private practice in Counselling, Family and Psychotherapy for children and adult victims of trauma. I love my life! It’s been a long time since I left the industry and I have received much healing along my journey. I called out to Jesus and he gave me a hope and a future and I live a fulfilling life. He is going to work miracles in your life! Does any part of my story resonate with you? If you feel trapped by your circumstances and want help. Please contact us at Rahab, we are here for you.

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