Healing from Abuse

Dear Readers, this post is very hard to write about. I am not sure I will keep it. The intention in writing this is to bring awareness. It is to help others who might be suffering — maybe they can learn from my pain. Abuse is not always obvious, which is why many survivors will endure years of abuse until they take action of leaving the situation for good.

To anyone who has been subjected to abuse, please know that: You can heal. You are already perfect as you are. You are not alone in your suffering. Healthy love and kind people do exist and you are worthy of it. What happened was meant to happen and the goodness of why that happened will be realized later. Have patience. Be easy with yourself. Don’t give up.

Videsh-Heaven-On-Earth-Film.jpg

The above photo is from director Deepa Mehta’s Videsh (Heaven on Earth, 2008). A poetic film that portrays a young woman’s experience of domestic violence.

Idealize, Devalue, Discard

I was in denial. Sure, I had heard about the abusive cycle, but it didn’t occur to me that I was experiencing it. In the aftermath, it all makes sense now. With him, I experienced the narcissistic abusive cycle (idealize, devalue, discard) multiple times over the past 3 years. In other words, multiple times in three years he would come back to me after discarding me, and would declare he was now ready to be serious, he was sorry for his past behavior and he was madly in love with me. The pattern became predictable towards the end. Our ending itself proved everything that I came to suspect towards the end — that he is abusive, he does lack complete empathy and therefore, there was never any love at all.

 

A Short Summary of My Experience:

In the beginning, he mirrored my personality so I would find commonality in him. He would love-bomb me with affection to make me feel we had something special and shared endless commonalities. He seemed intellectual, he seemed cultured, he seemed non-conformist and uninterested by typical trends in Western pop-culture. Looking back in retrospect, it was a lie and a tactic for him to make me feel he was someone I would find interesting. I would have never liked him nor welcomed him in my life if I saw his true persona beneath the mask he put on.

Then once ‘in love’, his actions shifted dramatically. This was the devaluation stage. In an abusive relationship, this shift occurs because the abuser got what they wanted from the “love” stage. For my ex, having a woman fall in love with him fuelled his fragile ego and filled him with confidence, but sadly not in a wholesome way. I now know that he, a narcissistic abuser, is incapable of reciprocating love in a wholesome form — they are only looking to benefit themselves. After the ‘ideal’ stage, his abuse always started off subtle, eventually becoming more severe and obvious. Abuse, anger, threats, intimidation, lies, hypocrisy, projection.

Now, the irony is, I am not a submissive type at all. I consider myself quite resilient and intolerant to being mistreated. However, my ex abuser really had me confused, and I later realized this was a very common experience among other abuse recipients. When the abuse gets severe during the devaluation stage, an abuser will throw in breadcrumbs of affection/kindness to confuse their partner. The purpose of doing that is to excuse the abuse that occurred, and also to instil hope that the abuser has good intentions after all. During these tiny moments of kindness, the abuser will do things such as future-faking, which could be promises of marriage, declarations of ‘true love’ or the infamous, “I promise I will get help and change.”

It was always at the times when I was convinced my ex was being abusive where he would throw in his speckles of kindness and affection. I recall a day when my ex and I had a public altercation, which led me to break down in tears and hurry to go back to my home. We went to my home together. Once back at my home, his previous hostile attitude turned soft. While I was crying and rather traumatized, he began apologizing and caressing me lovingly. He then started trying to pleasure me in erotic ways while I was in that traumatized state. It was extremely strange and confusing, but I wanted to believe that he was sincere and really cared. I accepted his apology. The next day he raged at me in anger, screaming at me that I had the audacity to break down in public, run away from him and “cause a scene.”

Reacting to the abuse and defending myself was a way he could manipulate things and blame me. I had never been with an abusive man before, so I would defend myself and say often, “Men who truly love a woman do not behave this way.” He would then break down and say I am attacking his manhood by comparing him to all the other men I had — I felt really guilty for making him feel that way. Defending myself always resulted in me apologizing to him for causing him distress. I made excuses and justified his abuse — he, himself, admitted he mistreated me, yet he later would justify it because I was “a prostitute” or because I reacted ‘crazy’ in response to his abuse. Back then I didn’t realize this was his tactic of gaslighting (psychological manipulation). Gaslighting was a way for him to deflect from the fact that he was abusing me.

At the discard stage, like a typical abuser, his attitude towards me became the exact opposite of the Idealize stage. The “I love you for you are and I don’t care that you are prostitute and have had every man in the world! I want to be with you for the rest of my life” reverts to You are a whore and you will never change. I can’t trust a woman like you. Go back to whoring yourself.” By the discard stage, I was always partially destroyed by his endless campaign of devaluation — it harmed me not just emotionally, but I would physically begin to feel unwell. At that point, an abusive narcissist see’s their partner as useless, so they usually discard their partner or treat them incredibly cruel so the partner walks away themselves. The reason for this is because the abuser needs new supply to fuel his ego– a destroyed lover is useless for his ego that constantly needs inflating — so as such he will seek out a new supply (a person) to idealize.

Why Did I Take Him Back?

I had empathy and patience for his “I will change” declarations. He was very convincing in the love-bombing stages where he went to all lengths to convince me to take him back. He would send me money to prove he was serious in caring for me. Beautiful flowers. Sweet words. He apparently wrote poetry about us. I foolishly believed his declarations of love and his “we are soulmates” claims. But more than anything, I had hope in who he claimed to be as a person. He told me he suffered from severe anxiety and other mental health issues, which made me want to help him and not give up on him. I believed that he was sincere deep down, and I thought his own pain would make him a better person in the long run. I didn’t want to believe that he lacked empathy. It was only until his repetitive abusive patterns became so apparent and destructive that his mask truly came off. Everything was a lie.  Words truly mean nothing. The entire three years was a fraud. There was NO love at all. His intent was to destroy the confidence and strength I built for myself, which he lacked and craved.

Why Did He Gain?

Men-who-use-women-for-sex-emotional-rape

For a sociopath, the gain is sex, power and ego. They wallow in self-hatrid. The sad part is a sociopath cannot overcome their insecurities. It is normal to have low self-esteem and insecurities — but there are wholesome ways to gain confidence. I knew my ex was insecure, which is why I loved him and wanted to care for him. I thought he was simply a product of his circumstances and was battling to be become a better person in a healthy way. I thought loving him and showing my affection would help him. This simply never worked because he was devoid of emotion. He was incapable of introspection, incapable of empathy. His true character was hidden, so I fooled myself in the end by thinking compassion could cure him. Normal people do not destroy others to fuel their self-worth. His love-bombing tactics were all a ploy to get me to lower my guard and trust him again, which would make me consent to giving my body for love. Falsely claiming love and promising a woman a future (security) to get sex is an utmost cowardly act.

The Aftermath:

art-pain

Hypervigilance. Fearing to trust anyone. Depression. Stress. Wounded. The negative physical effects of emotional trauma and pain. What a woman should feel the most excited for is now something that fills her with fear and pain.

I worry more about other women that experienced what I went through. What is the fate of women who have been harmed and whom cannot cope without numbing their pain? How many women react in self-destructive ways in response to being harmed by an abuser? How many women blame themselves for the abuse they endured and believe that they were “not good enough?” The truth is many abused women are not coping. Most abused women I met suffered severely from being harmed by others. Many develop a very poor self-image and self -esteem. Often, they get plastic surgery or take drastic cosmetic measures to appear more superficially beautiful. They end up attracting the same type of shallow, unempathtic, conformist jerk. In some extreme cases, some women will seek revenge on all men, thus perpetuating the cycle of abuse. So how does one cope with just feeling the pain raw? The answer is: invest in your SOUL. Take care of your soul. Your soul is a garden that needs proper care and nourishment. It takes time, it will hurt, but you will heal. 

For any male reader — if you are wondering why some women are starting to view ALL men with fear and mistrust, ask yourself WHY did she become this way? I completely denounce Feminism, because indeed good and decent men do exist. However, the abusers are giving decent men a bad name. It is time for MEN to start calling out indecent men who think it’s “cool” to brag about the number of women they’ve slept with or discarded like an object (which is essentially bragging about exploitation and abuse). The normalization of sociopathy and soulless attitudes needs to be exposed. Silence only allows harm to continue, which, in the end, hurts everyone in society.


Reflections

Many years ago I used to work with other escorts. I noticed a sad phenomenon that, back then, made no sense to me. Many escorts I met were in relationships with abusive men — pimps and/or controlling, manipulative, abusive jerks, for lack of a better word. I used to feel sad for these women, and I couldn’t understand, “Why do these girls stay with men who treat them bad?” Back then, I felt lucky that my partners were very loving and compassionate men.

But now, I understand those women. I understand why they resorted to drugs and other harmful means of numbing —  they were hurt and in pain. I understand why they tolerated abuse — trauma bonding. I understand why so many went from vibrant souls to empty shells — depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, hyper vigilance (ie: fearing to trust anyone).

I understand now the behavior of so many fellow escorts I used to know. I remember my sweet former escort friend ‘Parisa’ who was once a vibrant flower. After many months of absence, she came back to the brothel. She was no longer the vibrant flower — her eyes, once alive and filled with life, clearly indicated she was broken. She told us girls that she ended things with an abusive ex. I remember when she broke down at the brothel in tears, when she began drinking excessively to numb the pain, when she broke down and confessed how she was suicidal. Broken women — these are the women who find themselves in prostitution. And then to think there are some (not all) men who brag about how they ‘conquer’ prostitutes as if we are objects to be claimed — soulless demons.

I now realize — the last three years of my life I became one of those girls —  I was with an abusive man. I justified the abuse. I made excuses for his abuse. Very typically, I believed things would get better. I blamed myself for defending myself. I thought his apologies would eventually become sincere.

During the painful ending, earlier this year, my ex abuser was completely unmasked. I feel disgusted and completely violated at realizing whom he truly was. Since his recent abusive episode which resulted in our ending, he has since attempted to repeat the whole cycle of abuse again – -apologizing, telling me he will change, pretending to care about my well-being. No more. The mask is off. The pattern of his abuse taught me that whenever I began to heal, he wanted to reappear in my life only to break me down again. Nothing fuelled his ego more than breaking down a strong, resilient woman like myself by exploiting her biggest strength: my heart. 

In my religion, Islam, we have a saying for all situations that occur in life — we are thankful always in all circumstances (good or bad). We say “Praise to the Creator” Alhamdulillah. This was my fate, and I know this happened for the best of reasons. Allah deals justly. SubhanAllah.

That’s Not Love

Love is imperfect in the beautiful sense that it has ups and downs —but love is certainly not abuse. Love is not supposed to harm. Love is uplifting and gives a sense of tranquility. Sadly, as noted in my blog, we live in a world where love is now grossly abused. The reasons are complex, and I hope to elaborate on this topic in further posts (ie: How Porn has dehumanized women and enabled the normalization of exploitation).

Resources for those Being Abused

The following books “Why Does He do That” and “Psychopath Free” provide great clarity to very traumatic and confusing abusive relationships. It can also help one refrain from going back to an abuser by explaining their false tactics of idealization, or guilt-tripping.

Psychopath-Free-Book                  Why-Does-He-Do-That-Lundy-Bancroft


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Great Explanation on Narcissism (starts at 1:13):

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For my dear fellow prostitutes or readers, please feel free to share any experiences you have had with individuals who violated, abused or conned you. How did you heal or cope? Or did you heal at all?

 

 

37 Comments

Filed under Relationships

37 responses to “Healing from Abuse

  1. That is so sad but what a great thing you broke away. I myself prefer the single life😀

  2. Salams, Sister.

    You wrote, “invest in your SOUL. Take care of your soul. Your soul is a garden that needs proper care and nourishment.”

    I just read “‘You don’t have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.’*”

    Imagine, that quote is from a book of science fiction, but isn’t it the truest thing?
    ——–
    *Miller, Walter M., Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz. J.B. Lippincott & Co. 1959., page 541: https://7chan.org/lit/src/A_Canticle_for_Leibowitz_-_Walter_M__Miller,_Jr__4.pdf)

  3. Romm

    Oh my…. Its been a while since I read your blog
    I consider myself a nice and good man… Ive my flaws but who doesnt? and like you say that good men should denounce crappy men, I felt shame and anger to the comment of the guy trying to sleeping with you, something inside that comment made me think that person is looking to be with a vulnerable woman and trying to take advantage.

    Im going to try to help, I might say a thing or 2 that are uncomfortable but know so that my intention is to help you, its coming from a place of love and understanding.
    Also what I might say is just my point of view.
    1. You might idealize love, look for friendship, not a drug, not a state of mind nor a man… Intense emotions bring intense situations.
    2. Heal your past wounds, like I said, I used to read your blog and I think you said that your father abandoned the family, then I remember your husband in Europe I believe, then I believe a relationship with the sheik and I have no idea how that went, therapy? meditation?
    3. Dont take a new relationship until you are ready, you have the power to stop a relationship that is descending into chaos. Why suffer? RELEASE
    4. Get a pet and take care of it and WATCH what problems and/or emotions you go through.
    5. Pay attention to what thoughts or actions and beliefs you might do or think, YOU have the power to put boundaries and limitations.
    6. Pay attention to ALL your relationships and the main relationship you have and for the rest of your life is with yourself, couples, is just a different kind but in the end…. Is just another relationship.

    Good luck

  4. Hi beautiful Sahar, I can deeply relate to your story. Unfortunately a couple of the men that I have loved the most were abusive narcissistic men who ensnared me in repetitive cycles of abuse. The cycles were so confusing because their behavior was so contradictory. One lover in particular that was in my life for six years would pursue me and romance me and treat me nice, then would literally wake up the next day by my side and start abusing and devaluing me. It was a shock, incomprehensible. I finally stopped responding to his messages, which ended the game. Yet I still see him in my dreams regularly. I loved him so much yet he is the only person in my life that I now consider my enemy.
    These kinds of traumatic cycles of love and abuse elicit such strong emotions. It is the power of the emotions that holds us in the situation. I know it is not mature to keep enemies, but I think I need to think of him that way in order to maintain my boundaries. There are still elements of his abusive and devaluing treatment that are affecting me.
    I have pondered many times why I would have such a strong attraction to abusive narcissistic men — whether it is something in my childhood or psychological makeup. I grew up in a nice, stable family where there was never verbal or physical abuse of any kind. My father was gentle and loving. Any uncomfortable dynamics in our family were subtle.
    Another man, who I thought was acting so sweet and supportive at first, revealed himself with time to be abusive and gaslighting, though in a very different way than the first guy. He dominated me even more than the previous abusive man, in ways that I was not able to see for awhile, as it was more covert. He duped me. I felt like an idiot. The worst part was that somehow I could not let go of my feelings for him either. Even now I still long for him, though he has given me nothing, lied to me, played me, gaslighted me, etc. I wrote a fictionalized account of this experience in a recent story. https://eroticapoetica.com/2018/05/20/the-temple-of-dark-eros-new-erotica-story/
    I often ponder my own patterns with relationships and men. There was an interesting book I read once called the 7 Stories of Love, which looks at love relationships in a psychoanalytic way. In this book they say that if a woman leaves her family in a manner that the family does not approve of, the woman may create destructive relationships in order to sabotage herself as an internal punishment for defying her family. This may be my story; I did not feel like I was allowed to live my own life in my own manner. I may still be playing out some pattern of destructive rebellion. This I see was the story behind the fate of Princess Diana. She tried to break away from the Royal Family and their stifling control and imperialist ways. Being with Dodi Fayed symbolized her rebellion against the British order. Yet it brought her and her lover to be destroyed. Prince Harry inherited this story and reversed it in his marriage to Megan Markle. He is seeking to heal Diana’s story in his love relationship and as of now it seems like he has. Perhaps it is working for him because he knows he is doing what his mother would have wanted.
    I always love reading your blog and connecting with your energy Sahar. I send you blessings and I appreciate your strength and skillfulness in all that you have shared in your writing.

    • escortdiary

      Dear Pua Nani

      Thank you for sharing your story. I wish the best for you, you deserve a loving, compassionate partner.

      With love,
      S

  5. K

    First, I would like to congratulate you on your writing skills. You express yourself very well !

    A couple of random thoughts – most of the time people believe what they want to believe. A lot of people get abused because they put their faith in something that is not true, in your case perhaps that was the love of your abuser.

    Now, you have mentioned that you have slept with many people. Frankly, in my opinion, escorts fulfill a important need of the society. You can go back thousands of years, and you will find that prostitution existed even then and thrived. Why ? Simply because it is something that is needed – men are by nature polygamous and even when they are in marital relationships, they still feel the need to have sex with other women.

    Actually, I would like to sleep with you and know more. Perhaps you can let me know what part of the world you you are in, and I will come down to see you, promise!

    KI.

  6. Dear Sahar
    Very Emotionally enlightening article for both men and women. I am sure reading it should make all men introspect on themselves.Abusive relationships should reduce . Divorces are an indication of bad realtionship in marriage and i hope they reduce too
    Regards
    Simi

  7. Woodbine

    Note
    This might have gone through 2 times the internet connection crashed. Don’t know, sorry for trouble.

    Dear Sahar,

    Please feel no obligation to post this. Guessing that we are out of dialogue, there are several things that come up for me in wishing you well. It would be great to learn magically the turmoil of the past is forgotten. I’m guessing you are still creating a new outlook and future from the joys and useless follies of the past.

    Still things come up for me on this subject. First it is rather astounding the number of people I have known who have found themselves in abusive situations with either female and male lovers. There is an inference in the comments and your post that [sex work] = [abusive attraction]. While you reference a lot of sex workers leaving abusive relationships, I am only acquainted with ordinary folks who have the same troubles. Regardless of profession it is said it takes at least five attempts to recognize and leave the relationship before it actually happens. As you point out that’s a lot of trauma. Odd our brains work feverishly often counter productively to avoid disconnection and thus maintain safety in connection.

    I know people who have been going through cycles for almost 50 years. It’s not because they are stupid, marginalized, and poor or lack access to therapy. It’s easy to stigmatize sex workers for falling into abuse because they have sexual agency or maybe marginalized. The reality is [something else] not [sex work] = [abusive attraction]. People’s blindness to violence is systemic, it’s no wonder it took you by surprise. It transcends culture and religion. I’d postulate equating abusive relationships with sex workers is just away to say nice people aren’t abusive. It’s marinating nice (well-to-do) people are not alcoholics or don’t block other’s humanity – nonsense.

    Second, contrary to the stereotype of sex workers, I hear in your work have a keen sense of self and social regulation. You are able to both read your emotional state and that of your clients with amazing accuracy and delight of both. I’m not speaking of sex or catering to sexual arousal (yours or theirs). Sure you give a smile to put people (clients) at ease but it is no more fake than a mad adult gives a spouse or child to calm them. Both smiles are fake; the difference is in a bonded relation people are there for each other for 24 hours each day not just the 60 minutes before booking responsibility ends. Bonded folks are constantly working on their lost connections to repair, replenish and restore. Understanding the biology of emotion helps this long term process of being accessible and dependable for each other. It sounds like you are gifted.

    Thirdly, and this may sound like fixing or finding fault, but you might want to check out the work of Susan M. Johnson on Attachment Theory. It speaks a lot to establishing secure bonds. And looks at the different attachment styles people learned from their childhood environment as well as shows how we relate to our selves and each other given our neurobiology and attachment styles. I’m guessing you would find her work interesting as she speaks to the neurology of human connection. I read your work as, a learned study of the neurology of emotional connection. Your subject gateway (this blog) just offers a different entry point, it is no less valid, Bravo.

    In closing, consider attempting to find more circles of people that can grant you emotional support and curiosity. Volunteering is a great way to move out of your paradigm. Volunteers tend not to be as transactional which might be pleasant break from the expectations of family etc. You are an amazing person. May you be well, do well, and continue to do good for all.

    • I want to point out that if I didn’t care, I simply would not bother to reply. This is my first time on your blog and it surfaced from a rather simple search. Regardless, what I’d like to share is below.

      Let’s reference the second point made in this reply:

      “Second, contrary to the stereotype of sex workers, I hear in your work (you) have a keen sense of self and social regulation. You are able to both read your emotional state and that of your clients with amazing accuracy and delight of both. I’m not speaking of sex or catering to sexual arousal (yours or theirs). Sure you give a smile to put people (clients) at ease but it is no more fake than a mad adult gives a spouse or child to calm them. Both smiles are fake; the difference is in a bonded relation people are there for each other for 24 hours each day not just the 60 minutes before booking responsibility ends. Bonded folks are constantly working on their lost connections to repair, replenish and restore. Understanding the biology of emotion helps this long term process of being accessible and dependable for each other. It sounds like you are gifted.”

      I wholeheartedly agree with this persons statement that one becomes bonded in some way, although difficult to define/say if not by the person themselves, and sometimes even then so. Many arguments against prostitution can be reduced to, and find at the core of them to be about the thoughts related to this statement. It’s difficult to argue it’s not true or that it is entirely true as that takes an in depth and scientific approach to validate either. Perhaps you’re also a respected member of the scientific community but if not, let’s not go there here.. Save it for another topic with without the fog from all that is this one.

      I just want to talk about the ‘what if’ that statement IS true, as I believe it is, however minuscule or grand. And grand is everything I believe the dreams of escorts are. Mine are. Why shouldn’t they be? There’s nothing wrong with that. However, those of us with such high hopes must be even more disciplined and self reflecting if we are ever to achieve that which we see possible. Moving on.

      I’m an anonymous poster who’d like to remain that way on the blog of an escort. So what can you likely deduce from that? That in my life I have probably seen an escort. I’ll leave it at that and continue.

      I want to share some thoughts I have gathered and feel resemble the honest and common/shared understanding of many who have sold sex. I’ll list them individually so anyone wishing to reply can do so easier.

      1. They are in control of themselves, and regardless of whether true or not(so when they say; ‘okay, I realize I’m not right now’), they seek to be.
      2. Their definition of control involves the continuation of selling sex.
      3. They believe they can be loved.

      These are simple statements I think are true and have not stated any opinions about them because that’s not wise to do in the interest of continuing a conversation, ie: maintaining your attention to keep reading. And no, I’m not at any point going to tell you what to do – that is something that should be and remain reserved for those you give that power to because with it reveals their ability to be trusted. Caution though: the wisdom you want is not always accessible in the present, without reflection, without time to do so, and without knowledge acquired to enlighten your decisions and thinking while in the aforementioned state. This is why it’s so common to post an article as you have where a number of your statements and words define someone other than yourself in a definitive, “this is true because of this” tone.

      A far more compelling perspective is the acknowledgement that thy self is not always in control and or possessing of the greatest perspective possible. As for how to even define the later bit, all I can say is that I’ve reflected on some experiences hundreds if not thousands of times and over time continue to find new insights that have sometimes radically changed my perspective. It’s wonderful. It’s human. To state another person is ‘abc’ is a small act of evil; as if ever read by the individual referred to, it might lead them to wishing to prove it true. All that said, I am not defending your ex. I am simply stating this because you have written on the internet for the entire world to see, from what I can tell is a brave place with which seeks self-development and betterment. Entertaining mine and any others thoughts undoubtedly should have some influencing effect if our intentions be that. Mine are. Simply, I’m asking you to ask more of yourself, particularly here in your writing but subsequently your mind and thoughts as those make that up! Followed by your behavior and actions because we write what we know! And then, the subconscious which usually is perhaps the largest part at play entirely. There are central thoughts and ideas that have been around and in development for years and then there are themes and stuff such as love and the idea of true love that surface frequently and as often as you experience something in the conscious reminding you of them. All of that makes up your writing, and life.

      I had one more point I thought you’d benefit from entertaining further and it’s the thought shared in Woodbine’s post regarding
      how connected(and by your definition good?.. I ask because I don’t know) you are to your clients and how those connections last indefinitely, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Remember how I said I thought that was true? Not looking to reinforce that belief right now, just bringing it up again because IF it is true, I ask you; is that not tiring? Perhaps maybe not to you because you have established your way of life and made your peace with it, but what about your ex-boyfriend whom you knew intimately for likely less than 10% of your life?

      You have not stated that the blame for the failure in your relationship lies entirely with him directly, but everything about how you wrote it implies so. And thus, deserves more thought.

      I must go and I wish you well!

      Please keep writing, regardless of whether you blog or not. Speaking with yourself is very healthy and wise and I’m sure you already know this. Take care.

      • Woodbine

        Dear Kindly,

        I enjoyed reading your notes, observations and questions. I would like to follow up with something you said, “… is the acknowledgement that thy self is not always in control and or ….” This, if I’m understanding you, is the basis for your exploration of the possibility of reflection. I would agree it’s the basis. To amplify there is a body of evidence that we are seldom in control of our emotions and that our conscious thought is a reaction to actions our neurological system, brain has already determined. In other words our logical thought process is more or less a justification for decisions our emotions have already predetermined at that moment.

        That is precisely why I used the term regulation in the passage of mine you quoted at length, not control. We have no ability to control emotions they are far to fast in occurrence (several milliseconds). Much of our regulation occurs below the level of awareness. Some of it “reappraisal,” is known to us. Reflection is just a longer term version of these short term responses.

        It is very important that emotion is fast because that is what saves your life when a tiger drops out of tree on you are another human next to you. But if the tiger was our best friend we would need the ability to quickly self and social regulate lest we cause harm to the best friend. We can not control our emotions we can only regulate them. Our brains enable us to do that both above and below the level of conscious perhaps 2% and 98% of the time respectively.

        Bankers are no more in control of their emotions than any one else including sex workers. Occupation has nothing to do with one’s ability to self and social regulate but a lot to do with one’s success in said occupation or within family or community for that matter – mother, father, child, wife or husband.

        Let’s be clear we regulate our being – our emotions. Some people regulate and harmonize with the regulation of those next to them better than others. By definition our lives are constant state of reappraisal and reflection. By reading and understanding our and others neurobiology we can move either toward or away from safety.

        What I was speaking of had nothing to do with a person’s occupation. Our neurobiology reacts to our wellbeing that is the peacefulness or danger of our environment millisecond by millisecond.

  8. Woodbine

    Re: Escortdiary reply
    May 15, 2018 at 10:58 pm
    @ Woodbine

    Dear Sahar,

    Yes you got it. That’s exactly what I was talking about regarding empathetic listening. I prefer the term active listening because listen in restorative justice is often anything but empathetic. On the other hand I understand you to be empathetically listening to Aphrodite and I thought I was hearing you with you with empathy as well.

    As you point out active listening is more likely to get to the hart of misunderstanding than other communication styles (read, essay and classical rhetoric etc.) And yes conflict is exacerbated by miscommunication or often the result of it. It’s surprising how quickly two people in conversation loose connection without checking meaning. Normally meaning begins to fade away after two rounds. Often in painful conflict it may take many attempts just to get one simple thing understood between the speaker and the listener.

    Let’s go back to empathetic vs. active listing. When people voluntarily enter a restorative practice one thing they agree to do is listen without rebuttal. There maybe actual hate, strong anger or lust for revenge that makes “empathic” hearing unlikely. But the act of hearing and attempting to understand the meaning of the other person’s words or actions has an effect on both the speaker and the listener. There is a likelihood that one or both will begin to see the humanity in the other. This increases the likelihood people begin to take responsibility for their actions and move toward agreed action. Doing so does not require forgiveness or “putting things behind you” i.e. numbing, avoidance etc. I digress away from active listening.

    One of the things that makes restorative practices so powerful is that it is voluntary and people can opt out. We often voluntarily opt out when we slip away form active listening to power over forms of communication. However in doing so we decrease the likelihood of hearing or seeing the humanity if another human being.

    Practicing active listening is a basic first step. But what practice we do here is only a pre-cursor of difficulty of actually doing this in our own lives with those that matter to us. There is a lot more to restorative processes. Actively requesting each time that a listener reflect back is an empathetic place to start. Messy as it is, it only increases the likelihood we can experience others’ humanity – not a guarantee.

    Yes I agree, seeing other people’s humanity – empathy – is key however it is not a prerequisite to active listening. I’m guessing empathic listening is short hand for the possibilities offered by active listening. In that way you heard me the way I wanted to be known.

    Thanks for checking!

  9. Dear Sahar,
    I already commented on this post by e-mail but I wanted to share my story here. While I was reading this post, I started looking back at my past, and to the men that came into it.
    I’m really grateful that most of these men were loving and kind individuals, except for the first one…
    To make this short: I was 14-15 years old, craving for attention, craving for some kind of recognition. I was an easy victim. I only had a little social circle.
    I was a very awkward teenager without any (real) friends.
    But I knew I was ‘cute’. I applied to a modeling agency, ’cause I had this ridiculous thought in my head: ‘Maybe I will get noticed.’ Well, I did get noticed…. by the wrong person.
    He said he was the managing director and he told me how beautiful I was.
    I couldn’t believe my ears, because someone as important as that had noticed me.
    He told about what he did, how smart he was, how successfull he was.
    He also told me he had to meet me, because he was so impressed by me.
    Finally I met him at age 16 (Yes, this had been going on for 1,5 year alrady).
    And we had sex. I was too baffled by the whole experience to say or act anything like rational. He was so much older than me. He could be my dad.
    But still, he kept convincing me to meet him. We had sex, we ate.
    Sometimes I was disgusted, sometimes not.
    To make things worse, he said I was the love of his life. He wanted me to stay with him. I even met his son (Yes, he had a young son?!).
    It was a constant inner fight. I had convinced myself I loved him but I didn’t want my parents to know. Eventually they found out, and they freaked out.
    Still, I kept seeing him. By that time, my mind was already contaminated by the countless lies I had told anyone. At age 17 (yes, this had been going on for so long), I told him I wanted to quit this ‘affair’, because it made me depressed. I even tried to kill myself unsuccessfully.
    I ended this eventually and got a lot of insults. He told me I was a slut, whore prostitute…everything that’s ‘bad’ in a woman.
    From then on, I have had trouble trusting people….
    And the idea of selling myself came to mind.
    Because ‘never wanted another relationship again.’
    And sex didn’t mean anything to my any longer.
    So it’s this experience that changed my views on sex and relationships completely.
    Did I cope? Not really actually. I ignored it untill this moment.
    I never would’ve guessed this experience could have such consequences.

    Yet, this isn’t the only aspect that made me enter the sex industy.
    Feeling like a complete misfit with ‘hidden’ disabilities, I felt isolated in this society from a very young age. It’s hard to explain this ‘disabilities’ ’cause I’ve never been diagnosed. But I suffer because I notice them every day.
    I’m not made for society and society isn’t made for me.
    Why even trying to be ‘good’ when nothing good comes from it?

    • escortdiary

      Dearest Aphrodite,

      Firstly, I wish I can give you the biggest hug and be a loving older sister to you. We have conversed for some years now, and I am so happy to read your thoughts and see what an intellectual, bright young lady you are. I am so sorry you experienced such a monster.

      It makes my blood boil that this sick, pervert groomed and abused your innocence. Only cowards/psychopaths exploit someone’s heart just to get sex. But do not worry, these evil types of men have nothing good coming for them. With more education and awareness, I hope soon it will become a criminal offence to emotionally rape a woman (ie: manipulate her emotions for sex; she consented for love, not to be used).

      To make this short: I was 14-15 years old, craving for attention, craving for some kind of recognition. I was an easy victim. I

      Yes, indeed you were an easy victim (sadly) — being vulnerable (young, innocent, naive, filled with innocent yearnings) is very attractive to predators. Predators are quite smart in manipulation, and they prey exactly on such naivety of an innocent person. False attention, false admiration, for the purpose of robbing the victims soul. Like you mentioned, this severely harmed you to the point of attempted suicide (my heart cries when I hear this). I am so thankful dear you are alive — you are so important and your experience can help so many women. You survived him dear, and you learnt a valuable lesson from this hardship. And one day, I hope you realize how much STRENGTH that hardship gave you.

      I ended this eventually and got a lot of insults. He told me I was a slut, whore prostitute…everything that’s ‘bad’ in a woman.

      Yep, it’s called projection and it’s very typical from abusers. He called you all things that are “bad” in a woman, because it is actually a reflection of himself — he abused you, and yet to confused you and deflect from his abuse, he projects his self-hatred and his misdeeds onto you. The point of him doing that is so that YOU feel confused and question/blame yourself rather than question him. I am so sorry you had to go through that at such a young age — it must have been traumatizing.

      And the idea of selling myself came to mind.
      Because ‘never wanted another relationship again.’
      And sex didn’t mean anything to my any longer.
      So it’s this experience that changed my views on sex and relationships completely.
      Did I cope? Not really actually. I ignored it untill this moment.
      I never would’ve guessed this experience could have such consequences.

      Yes indeed that experience was likely a major contributing factor (among many) to you ending up in the sex industry. You were severely psychologically and emotionally harmed, which caused you to feel stressed in ‘normal’ jobs, and therefore it made sex work a ‘better’ alternative to survive economically.

      Yet, this isn’t the only aspect that made me enter the sex industy.
      Feeling like a complete misfit with ‘hidden’ disabilities, I felt isolated in this society from a very young age. It’s hard to explain this ‘disabilities’ ’cause I’ve never been diagnosed. But I suffer because I notice them every day.
      I’m not made for society and society isn’t made for me.
      Why even trying to be ‘good’ when nothing good comes from it?

      Great points dear. For a variety of reasons, there are some people who simply cannot conform to and obey the capitalist work ethic. I, too, could not cope with a normal job back when I was in my late teens due to various traumas (only that which I realized later).

      I wish you the best and please continue to contribute and share your experiences my love

      With love
      S

      • Dear Sahar,
        Thank you for replying. Today I decided I need to seek help.
        What happened has happened, but I don’t want to continue being completely dysfunctional. Depression came to me as a comorbidity as a consequence of something ‘else’ in my case, I’m sure. I’ve tried to point it out to my parents and my therapist, that for some reason I cannot do what ‘normal’ people do. My worries have always been ignored as ‘self-esteem issues’.
        Something I believed, too.
        But where does my low self-esteem come from?
        Right, from suffering everyday, as it’s being rubbed in my face everyday.
        I’ve tried to explain this too, as I told my mother I understand people who choose ‘deviant’ paths of life. She dismissed this, of course, as me playing a victim. I’m tired of being ignored.
        I’m sorry for talking so much about myself. I needed to have an outlet…

      • escortdiary

        @Aphrodite,

        I am happy to hear you express yourself dear. You are not dysfunctional. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable in certain situations. Learn your patterns, learn what triggers you and why. One day, I wish that you embrace yourself as you are. Embrace that you have a different perspective on life and embrace that you feel things deeply (I hope you can see pain as a blessing one day). I wish that you let go of the need to prove yourself to others. Your parents come from a different generation, so it is understandable they will not understand your pain dear (they grew up in a very different time). So long that you are not harming others nor harming yourself (which I believe you are not), then be easy with yourself and embrace whom you are. I know it’s easier said than done.

        Professional therapy may help, so no harm in giving it a try. A councillor or therapist can provide good methods to cope or to reduce stress. A healthy and consistent diet, along with adequate sleep and moderate exercise can also enhance ones mood. Keep in mind that most councillors or therapists have little background knowledge of sex work and the issues that arise from being a sex worker. Sometimes it might take meeting a few different councillors to find one that really understands what your feeling.

        You asked “where does my low self-esteem come from?

        The answer is: Your need to belong and be nurtured was neglected. Am I correct?

        Even as adults, we still retain the same needs as a child: to be loved, cared for and to be protected — if one doesn’t have this consistently, then it is inevitable one will feel despair. The society you live in (and that I live in) has corrupted the need of belonging for many, and this is due to the break down of the family structure and the lack of a deep-rooted culture. For instance, when a person is left to fend for themselves with little emotional support from family (parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles), then, again, it is inevitable that such a person will feel low self-esteem and other maladies. As a result, many people are confused now and do not know how to identify nor where to belong. That’s exactly why drugs, drinking, partying and materialism are so popular; people would rather escape than learn healthy ways to cope with pain. Hope that made sense.

        For me, I learnt to cope and heal gradually –by reading, by observation, by trial & error. Also, things get better with age, and also when one surrounds themselves with wholesome influences. Having Faith was also an epiphany for me (something I didn’t have when I was younger), because I came to realize that all experiences are tests and have valuable lessons in all of them (which become apparent later).

        Fulfilling our human need to belong is indeed possible. The problem is that many of us make the mistake in basing our happiness in other humans (or anything in this earth). This automatically sets one up for disappointment, because all living things are constantly changing and are temporary. Therapists will tell you that you need to find a constant of some sort to base your happiness upon. For me, as a Muslim, the only constant is my God, my Creator (which is external to the world). Most religions/spiritual ideologies in their essence have this same concept of an external constant, which is desirable for many and makes sense because our world is the opposite of constant (it’s dynamic). Reverting back to my religion was my form of therapy. I can strive for God knowing He is constant, and moreover feel content knowing that my God is merciful (so there’s little point to worry or stress about the future, unless I am causing harm to others or myself). And when I do experience pain (which is inevitable), I am prepared for the pain by understanding that it happened for a reason (Qismat in Hindi/Qadr in Arabic), and moreover I have rituals to switch my focus away from the pain (prayer). Before when I had no faith, it was easy to feel hopeless and depressed, because there was nothing to look forward too, there was no wisdom that explain why this was happening, and moreover, I based all of my happiness and worth on temporary things (worldly things– all which are not constant and always temporary).

        I came to this way of thinking completely on my own learning/observation and was never influenced to look into religion by anyone. I came to value discipline, because I saw its purpose (after I spent years doing whatever I want with no boundaries or limitations). Anyway, that is what worked for me. I want to tell you that it can work for you too, but you do what you feel works best for you.

        I hope I heard what you said and haven’t missed anything.

        Love
        Sahar

      • Woodbine

        Dear Aphrodite,

        I very much enjoyed listing to what you wanted us to know. Thank you for inviting us to hear you. A lot came up for me in attempting to hear your meaning. And I was amazed at how refreshing it was to listen to Sahar’s reflection as I got a deeper understanding your meaning by simply listing to the dialogue. I found it very uplifting to experience your dialogue even though it is a horrific story. We have all experienced pain and your conversation of understanding is comforting to us.

        In thinking about Sahar’s reflection to you I was wondering:

        If she heard you the way you wanted to be known?

        What does it feel like, what comes up for you,
        when Sahar guessed – attempted to really understand
        the meaning of your words, your essay? Are there places
        in your body, intellect or recollections that you experience
        when reading her reflections?

        What is it like to be heard?

        Did Sahar get your meaning? If not what is you want her
        to know this time? Is there anything else you want
        her to know?

      • escortdiary

        @ Woodbine,

        Excellent questions. I am so happy that you have reminded me of this invaluable skill called empathetic listening. And I realized that is exactly what you excel at Woodbine, you are a great empathetic listener! Listening to the speaker, then paraphrasing what we think the speaker is trying to say, and then finally asking the speaker if we clearly understand them. When we fail to utilize empathetic listening when we converse with others, then indeed a lot of miscommunication and conflict can arise.

        Thank you for sharing that Woodbine and I hope Aphrodite responds.

  10. Woodbine

    Re: Escortdiary reply
    May 2, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Dear Sahar,

    Thank you for the honor of this dialogue. You had lots of requests including one to be heard the way you want to be known. First let’s explore connection through this curious internet thing where someone such as your self can be so open about themselves. Like wise equally strange that someone like my self could respond to and care about your well-being. This phenomenon is only strange if one ignores how human neurobiology works. Perhaps asking questions about neuroendocrinology could generate answers to your question, “how (why) you came ended up on my blog?” as much as it invites the counter question why write it. Or why do people connect in the ways they do?

    I can assure you I am nether an academic nor have psychoanalytical background. It’s interesting that you link essay format to academia. Of course school is where we first learned of the essay. What I was trying to say that we are taught this heretical structure of speech. Taught the power is with the speaker, the head of the family; the teacher, “follow directions the first time given”, “read my lips”. The essay is just a refined form of power speech useful in students, law and other places.

    What I wanted you to know was we learn early in childhood the speaker’s power in classical rhetoric (the art of the argument) from our families, the play ground, on the street or where people meet, the village well etc. What is it we often don’t learn from our families and never learn in formal education?

    It is for the communication circuit to be complete; the listener, the hearer, has to make known how the hearer/listener has received the essence, the meaning of the speaker’s words. This act of reflection is an invitation for the shared understanding of the speaker’s values, needs, truth or soul to manifest in community. Asking how the listener receives the speaker’s words democratizes the hierarchal power of rhetorical speech. Equality flows from Mutual Understanding. These concepts grow out of non-violent communication and restorative justice.

    That’s another way of saying I attempted to convey to in my first post certain things that came up for me from my learning and knowledge. Plus I attempted to reflect the essence of how I received your meaning and tried to explain fitters through which I was hearing you. It’s structurally as well as linguistically hard to do.

    How did find your Blog? Long enough ago I don’t recall stumbling on it but it was likely due to exploring conflict, attachment, and connection. You have many cogent interesting observations about relationships. Like other readers I reached out to you when I experienced your pain from your writing. It’s just a human neurobiology thing we do if we have the time etc.

    For the most part you’re feeling heard by my reflections and musings. It’s ok if that changes. In the meantime, I will try again in the areas I missed. You said you’re “… very dominant in my personality, and am also very stubborn about my expectations.” That actually comes through very clearly in your writing. Also you want me to know that you do very well taking care of your self. I’m guessing you don’t like to be in position where you might have to depend on or reach for others. It’s stronger to be independent and forceful to keep others from letting you down or protect yourself is they do.

    That is you take charge or control to protect yourself. Regarding the relationship turned toxic you want us to know how hard you tried to make things work. In other words in recognizing your partner’s mood fluctuations you were relying on yourself to overcome his self and social regulation fluctuations. It became apparent on your wedding day that was impossible. You are – angry, hurt and want to make damn sure people know your pain from his reprehensible conduct. This was a shock because you believed in the best out come until relationship imploded. Looking back you are surprised by course of events because you did not see the toxicity of the relationship as it unfolded over several years.

    Did I get your meaning this time? If not, we can try again by my asking, what is it I missing that you want us to know? I’m also hearing a sadness that keeps reoccurring in your writing and I think I hear it again in this post. I’m having trouble describing for you what it is I hear and will think further about putting it in words.

    There is an implicit invitation to continue this dialogue but only if we are both willing. Regardless, you are an amazing person. May you continue to do good for all.

  11. Amy

    You are such beautiful light in this world. I think some women grow tremendously post trauma, and for you to be able to see what happened, analyze it, understand it, and deconstruct it is empowering to women.
    I so enjoy the wisdom of your words and thoughts and hope you keep this very powerful and informative blog entry up. I was, like you, surprised to find myself in a relationship with a narcissistic abuser and, like you, kept feeling like he needed my heart and compassion. I did not resort to numbing tactics, but I was broken.
    I got better by reading other women’s stories. Yours is one of the best because you are not vengeful or seeking to destroy—your heart light still shines because you have compassion for other women and you are not bilious about your ex.
    Very informative and considered blog entry. Thank you.

    • escortdiary

      Dear Amy,

      Thank for your comment. I am very relieved to hear that you survived your experience without resorting to numbing. You are a strong woman, and I am grateful for your kind, uplifting words. Best of luck to you

      With love,
      Sahar

  12. Woodbine

    Dear Sahar

    I am so glad you granted us this new post about the breakup of your marriage plans. I apologies for not responding to your earlier thoughts as I postponed reading your out pouring of emotions. As I was busy at the time I only read enough to realize even though this turn of events was devastating to you there was a silver lining to be abandoned on your wedding day. He did you a great favor and one you seem to be taking full advantage of by examining how you want it to be like in the future. Bravo!

    This new post suggests that you have found your way through the messy tangle disappointments of unmet needs regarding attachment with your fiancé. I’m dreadfully sorry you have had to go through three years of fantasy about love only to have your expectations destroyed by emotional absence. Let’s morn with you this loss of productive time but on the other hand rejoice that you are taking stock of what emotional bonds are and what establishing and maintaining bonds require of all people. Let’s also morn his loss of relationship and be empathic toward his mental health difficulties with regulation.

    It is clear from your writing about your work of companionship that you are a very sincere, emotionally perceptive, and a wonderful person who enjoys granting support to others. It appears that you diligently care for your self in these commercial relationships. Your eyes are open to the short comings of clients who have difficulty seeing you for the gracious human being you are – when they have employed and you stand before them. Specifically I think of your post on clients in business suits which I’m guessing says these people’s privileged image of themselves allows them not respect the your indivisible individuality, dignity, and the humanity of your being. While other hourly clients hold your and other people’s humanity with high esteem and honor.

    In attempting to understand your observation I’m guessing it applies to all aspects of their lives both in business and their privet lives with spouses, friends and families. It’s rather freighting to think there are so many people women and men in the world who separate human beings and are therefore justified in powering over those judge below them. (Read the poor are exploitable because they are undeserving) I don’t mean to pick on men in business suits because women equally buy into this hierarchal way of thinking that – it is survival of fittest that leads them too view others a unworthy.

    If I understand Alice Miller http://www.alice-miller.com/en/ at all I am guessing that this way of exploiting people comes in most part from our family’s emotional ill health as children. If children come to believe in this hierarchical structure of overpowering their needs and wellbeing as D.D.K suggests “…I do know that the abusers in masks of love and affection, are the most damaging.” In other words for survival children submit to unnatural emotionally distant family hierarchy in the belief this is love and caring for their emotional needs. It is not parents don’t love their kids they do. It is just this modeling emotional distance and physical violence (whipping) has significant adverse implications for adult relationships and society as a whole.

    One quote regarding, why you took him back that was practically potent for me “I had empathy and patience for his …” But bonding is much more than giving, it is about being very selfish with meeting one’s needs first so that you can be available when your partner reaches for you. The partner also has to be selfish in meeting their own needs to the degree they can be available to you when you reach for them. If either or both people have difficulty with self and social regulation and or are insecure in meeting their own attachment needs because of an emotionally distant and hieratical upbringing the dance becomes vastly more difficult or impossible. Impossible by definition, like child in a hierarchal family relationship, it is likely you gave up meeting your needs believing it equated love.

    A word of warning, psychopaths while significant worries make up 2-4% of the population. It is the rest of the population like us who model from our families varying degrees of childhood insecure emotional bonding that may be the greatest worry. How does one’s family’s attachment history contribute to one’s knowledge and understanding of securer bonding? How do we learn how to establish secure bonds?

    In reading your posts in the past I often have worried for you. When you speak of your hart and your love I hear a fantasy that you can lend yourself fully to someone and only hope they can reciprocate. The fantasy is that in spite of what they say or do you still believe they will be there for you? In other words you are defining “love” as forgoing meeting your own needs for consistency, safety, trust, authenticity, empathy, stability, support, growth, hope, learning, sexual expression, clarity, , ease, equality, intimacy, cooperation, reciprocity, to understand and be understood as well as food, water, rest and shelter etc.

    This new post is monumental in that I hear you saying “I need to take care of my own safety, needs and values before I can make myself available to a friend, partner, acquaintance or family.” Hearing you this way is very different than your writing about either free or commercial sexual connection because sex can be done holistically with even unattractive strangers with high or low emotional/sensual reciprocity without any commitment or bond.

    I hear you now writing about how you anticipate meeting your needs to have secure bonded relationships with people who can be there for you and you for them. It’s putting the fanciful notion of love aside. It’s hard if we grew up in an unnatural emotionally distant family hierarchy – everyone did to one degree or another. In spite of our collective social history we can and do learn how to do bonding. We can learn how to meet our needs without being hierarchal or over power others.

    The way I read your post is you will be a beautiful bride for someone who can be a beautiful groom where both of you meet your needs first, not at the expense of others, and are available when reaching for and supporting each other. In the mean time meet your needs in community with others that are sable and supportive of others’ well being.

    • escortdiary

      Dearest Woodbine,

      ❤ Will reply in depth soon. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts.

      • Woodbine

        Dear Sahar,

        Please take your time. In reading over my note to you I got the feeling as if it could be heard in a critical or perhaps hearing you in a way that was not how you wanted to be heard – Or to give you advice. I guess part of hearing someone is by definition wanting to help but by advice definition is also not hearing.

        It is more difficult to hear someone who you don’t know and is not in the same room than to hear someone in person. We always hear others through the lens of our own experiences and knowledge. Sort of like you we speaking through the lenses of your expereance and knowledge. You were speaking first through the lens of being hart broken and then through the lens of the fiancé’s self and social regulation as well as the books on Psychopathy.

        So like wise I am hearing you through the filter of my interpretation of what you are meaning – your wanting to be known. There is a high probability I don’t get it the way you want me to know your meaning. There is also a probability that in getting your meaning wrong there is likelihood that hearing this incorrect reflection invites you to reexamine what is you want known. I am also hearing you through the lens of my experiences and knowledge so I attempt to put your meaning in the context of my own self. The confusion is not how someone speaks it is about how they are heard. How the information is received “heard” either leads to greater or lesser understanding of shared (spoken) meaning.

        If the dialogue does not explore the possibility of not understanding meaning the way it was intended the conversation leads very quickly to greater distance between people and within them. It becomes an escalation of misunderstanding if you will. The more clear people can be about what they want known by simply checking to see that what they wanted known was correctly received through the other person’s distorting lenses and filters the more likely the meaning is shared and understood.

        I had difficulty in writing my thoughts as we are trained to write and think in essay form. In the paradigm of classical rhetoric the power of speech is with the speaker not the hearer. In reality the power is in the ability to hear another person as they want to be known. I attempted to reflect to you how I heard you through your writing. Of course I can’t really do that without revealing that I hear you also through the lens of my experiences and learning.

        So I attempted to reflect back to you how I was receiving your meaning through the lenses of my experiences and some knowledge how our neurology works regarding human connection. The intention was not to put words in your mouth or explain how you are or should be but simply to ask the question given my limitations of hearing and understanding you did I get any of it right – what you wanted a reader to know? What aspects of your meaning needs to be clarified for the reader given the complications of the reader’s lenses, filters or blinders?

      • escortdiary

        Dear Woodbine,

        I really appreciate the comments you have made on my blog. It made me smile, because your genuine concern for my well-being is a great reminder that wholesome people (you) exist. You write very well and also have quite the intellect. It makes me curious about your background and how you came ended up on my blog. I am assuming you are an academic of some sort, because you noted how you are used to writing in essay format.

        I really like how you sought clarification on my writing before making assumptions about my experiences– you seem to truly understand that communication in this context can easily be misunderstood. My blog, of course, only gives tiny snapshots of the whole story, so indeed the reader can only understand my perspective within limitations (including their own biases, as you mentioned). This post, for instance, leaves out a lot of detail, which is why some parts you (the reader) can only speculate.

        I agree with most of what your wrote, except one part:

        You wrote:

        “In reading your posts in the past I often have worried for you. When you speak of your hart and your love I hear a fantasy that you can lend yourself fully to someone and only hope they can reciprocate. The fantasy is that in spite of what they say or do you still believe they will be there for you? In other words you are defining “love” as forgoing meeting your own needs for consistency, safety, trust, authenticity, empathy, stability, support, growth, hope, learning, sexual expression, clarity, , ease, equality, intimacy, cooperation, reciprocity, to understand and be understood as well as food, water, rest and shelter etc.”

        Here, there is a misunderstanding. I am definitely not the type of lover who neglects her own needs. I am very dominant in my personality, and am also very stubborn about my expectations. Previously I had been with very loving, compassionate partners who eagerly and happily provided me with all the qualities you listed. Prior to the abuser, I was accustomed to men who would sacrifice their own needs to make me happy. In other words, I have high exceptions and I wouldn’t be with someone whom did not meet my expectations. Now, with regards to what happened recently, — this is was something completely new, and caught me off guard. I let my guard and expectations down, because I was being manipulated into believing that things would get better. That’s how abuse works.

        “This new post is monumental in that I hear you saying “I need to take care of my own safety, needs and values before I can make myself available to a friend, partner, acquaintance or family.”

        Yes indeed. Pain is the gateway to introspection.

        Once again Woodbine, thank you so much for your kind words. If you do reply, please write a bit about yourself and how you came to understand family dynamics as well as you do. I wish you sincere blessings for sharing your kind heart.

        With love,
        Sahar

  13. Sending you love. Know that someone out there is caring and watching out for you, sister.

  14. mooremia

    Hi Sahar. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It takes courage and strength to push through narcissistic abuse. It does definitely get easier. And eventually makes you stronger. You will begin to value yourself more highly b/c of what you have pulled yourself through, singlehandedly. I experienced a lifetime of narcissistic abuse by a so-called “dysfunctional family” (a euphemism for a bullying and abusive family). I was the scapegoat, an empathic person who was was set up in the role to take on everyone’s misery and pain. That is the reason I ended up in our line of work. Just as you say, broken women are the ones who end up here. Many cases it was our original family who broke us, causing us to have no one to turn to, and drove us into a life of needing to depend on the kindness of strangers. And set us up to be further victimized by strangers who are not kind, and instead have ill intentions which we cannot perceive. I don’t mean to sound negative. There are things in life we have to accept, because we can’t change them. Our job is to pull ourselves up. Not many can do this successfully. Those of us who can are lucky. It feels lonely as a survivor of abuse. So many experiences that No one else can understand. So much we can’t say. Anyway, it is nice to relate. I am glad to know that I am not alone…and neither are you. You will pull through. I know it with all of my heart. It is love for yourself, and respect for life, that is powering you to push through all of this. That is how you know that your heart is still in its place, and no one can make you stop believing in love. xoxo

    • escortdiary

      Dear Mooremia,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story and your kind words. I am happy that my experience made you feel less alone. Your story also helped me feel the same dear. *Big hugs*

      I love what you said here, because it is very true:

      “Many cases it was our original family who broke us, causing us to have no one to turn to, and drove us into a life of needing to depend on the kindness of strangers. And set us up to be further victimized by strangers who are not kind, and instead have ill intentions which we cannot perceive.”

      That was put so beautifully, and I hope to quote you again if I ever write a more detailed post about why women enter the sex industry. Family background is critical in whether a woman becomes a prostitute or not. Some outsiders tend to think prostitutes (whom were not forced) had a ‘choice’ to become a prostitute. I despise that mentality and the notion of ‘choice.’ It is circumstance that led us to this life, and prostitutes come from a lot of difficult circumstances. It is the pain we experience that makes us all the more beautiful and interesting — it give us character.

      There are things in life we have to accept, because we can’t change them. Our job is to pull ourselves up.

      Well said. We have to learn to be strong, we cannot change the past. I am happy to hear you have such a strong head on your shoulders dear.

      I wish you the best dear, and I am grateful for your contribution.

      With love
      Sahar

      • mooremia

        Hello Sahar,
        I absolutely agree that the notion of ‘choice’ is despicable when it comes to becoming a prostitute. To suggest ‘choice’ is ignorant and proves only the lack of consideration shown toward isolated and marginalized women. A “choice” between the lesser of two evils at best; a “choice” made with a gun to one’s head, is no choice at all. It was nice to hear your response and yes, please quote any of my words should you expand upon this topic. As usual, I look forward to anything you may write. I am sending you love and healing energy.❤️xo

  15. D.D.K

    I see how damaged I am, after a lifetime of abusive parents.
    One of whom I have forgiven, the other whom I still imagine physically assaulting when they come to mind.
    My tendency to correlate every and any relationship to sex, to avoid emotional connection. I even subconsciously found myself in a group of people generally younger than myself , for whom sex only relationships are sought after. But also some of which have connections based on connections that are not sex or romance.
    I do not know if I have found the “right way”, to exist. But I do know that the abusers in masks of love and affection, are the most damaging.

    I Thank You for sharing such a personal account with others.

    Respect, and Admiration for your Strength.

    D.D.K

    • escortdiary

      Dear D.D.K.

      Thank you for sharing that. I am so sorry to hear what you went through with your parents. I sincerely hope you can heal from it and find wholesome care.

      What you wrote about sex and avoiding emotional connections is a very common reaction to abuse. I knew of women who reacted in a similar way to you. The effects of abuse are very serious and traumatic. You didn’t mention how that lifestyle has made you feel? I can only imagine emotion-less sex leaves one feeling empty after the initial thrill?

      With love,

      Sahar

  16. Greetings Sahar,

    I often follow your posts and blog and yours, was the very first e-mail I read this morning over breakfast. I am very proud of you for breaking free from narcissistic abuse, I have long history of it and very pleased you have educated yourself to break the trauma bonds that are the very reason that the abuser, continues to abuse.

    YES, to answer your question “do you heal at all?”. It takes a lot of Spiritual and psyche healing as narc abuse isn’t only mental, it is soul destruction. One part I found that you hadn’t mentioned that I wanted to touch base on, was spirit (jinn) possession with prostitutes + taking on the energy of dirty, abusive men that leads to the state of your friend who returned to the brothel.

    Many women who enter the sex trade, end up possessed by unclean spirits and these spirits are the REAL REASON for the trauma bonding i know this with experience as I am a former model and I was nearly sold into sex trafficking, personally. As soon as the spirits were removed from me, I began healing properly and abusive men didn’t come into my energy field any longer.

    As a protectionary measure, I began designing enchanted jewellery, out of which, one is dedicated as a narcissistic/abuser shield. It helped me spot a narc, shift the energy out and ensure that abusive people cannot stay withing my force field. In 48 hours, 2 people who were covert narcissists that I had suspected for a long time, dropped out of my life and the enchantment on the bracelet I wear, allowed my narc exes to contact me to physically prove that I could now protect myself against them. I simply blocked them and their energy didn’t hurt any longer.

    Clients began asking for these very bracelets and I have come to realise how much it protects us women (and even men who have experienced evil women!) From Cluster B abusers (narcs/socios/psychopaths). The abuser just cannot stay in the same force field as you, and you are protected 🙂

    I have been conned, abused, lied to, taken advantaged of, and cheated on in ways that are hard to describe. Sahar, (I have a good friend with your name), you are deserving of nothing but greatness, happiness and you WILL find a man who truly does love you, despite everything you have sadly had to endure.

    Your story, is relatable to many of us, including myself and you are not alone. Even on your worst days, when it hurts the most to maintain no contact, know that the hooks that narcs leave within you (the actual trauma bonds), can and will be broken. You will not only survive but thrive.

    Many prostitutes can easily be cleaned, renewed and saved from a life time of misery through exorcisms and Spiritual healing, no matter how broken you may feel you are on the inside 🙂 There is always, life after trauma. I am living proof of it.

    Sending you big hugs and sisterly love ❤

    If you have any questions on what I have written, I would love to hear back!

    Nadia

    • escortdiary

      Dear Nadia,

      Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your experience. It is great that your brought up the topic of spirits (jinn) and metaphysical energy –fascinating indeed.

      Many women who enter the sex trade, end up possessed by unclean spirits and these spirits are the REAL REASON for the trauma bonding i know this with experience as I am a former model and I was nearly sold into sex trafficking, personally. As soon as the spirits were removed from me, I began healing properly and abusive men didn’t come into my energy field any longer.

      Well said dear. I am very glad you got through your pain and grew stronger as a result. Sharing that really helps give hope to those who are going through difficult times.

      Blessings to you and well wishes for the future,

      Sahar

      • Nadia

        Greetings Sahar,

        It is fascinating indeed! I am glad I got through the pain too, and assist others today. You’re such a wonderful lady and it is truly heartbreaking to understand the inner landscape of rejection and abuse we often experience from our families as another individual had commented—to get us to this place. Thank you for your blog, it helps you and many of us, equally.

        Always proud of anyone who breaks free from this horrific abuse and finds courage to begin life again for themselves 🙂

        Nadia

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