"Please don't, I didn't do it, I apologize for everything." I screamed, tears streaming down my cheeks.
"I don't care; I'm going to sell you and finally get rid of you." The woman I addressed as my mother spat back.
I looked into my mother's eyes, searching for a glimmer of regret, a glimmer of sorrow, anything other than anger and disgust.
But there was nothing there, no sadness or regret, just pure delusional joy as she watched me beg for help.
My own mother was selling me to a cruel and disgusting man.
I screamed, kicked, and punched in an attempt to break free from the grasp of two men, but it was futile. When my mother came home, I had withdrawn myself into a corner, knowing that my alcoholic father was not far behind her.
We were the perfect family a few years ago; I was still young and innocent.
My father had a steady job, and my mother stayed at home to care for me, despite the fact that I was in middle school at the time. We lived in a lovely home, and I remembered my close friends.
Then, about a year ago, my mother began to come home less and less, ignoring her responsibilities and not telling anyone where she had gone. My father quickly discovered that she had cheated with another man.
After he found out, he began to drink and gamble, becoming less and less the person I looked up to. When he lost all of our money and our life savings, he also lost his job because he would arrive at work drunk and high.
We had to relocate to a bad part of town, which only exacerbated our problems. My father became involved with a gang and soon owed them a large sum of money.
But I never expected him to sell me, and I never expected my mother to agree, let alone be happy.
But there I was, being picked up by two muscular men in a business attire.
I screamed, kicked, and even tried to bite the man who had thrown me over his shoulder, but it was futile.
The man carrying me was twice my size, and when I saw the gun in his waistband, fear overtook my adrenaline, and I knew there was no way out.
Because of the tears that had formed in my eyes, I could hardly see anything. I screamed for my mother, hoping and praying that she would save me from this nightmare, but all I saw before being injected with something that knocked me out was my mother smiling, almost relieved that I was being taken.
I was 15 years old when I was separated from my family.
The man who had bought me took me to his strip club and kept me there for three years.
Sylvester was the name of the man who made all of my nightmares come true. He was the sickest man who ever lived, forcing me to strip and dance for men three times my age, touching me and beating me.
He didn't care what he did, whether he hit me or touched me against my will, he enjoyed it. His deranged mind took pleasure in seeing me in pain or helplessness.
Because of my parents, I lost all of my innocence, as well as all of my respect and trust for men.
Sylvester kept me in the basement for the first few weeks I was at the strip club, not letting anyone else see me. He fed me small portions of food, but I soon discovered that he was putting something in my food that would cause me to pass out.
After that, I'd wake up with bruises all over my body and my lower body sore and hurting. The first time it happened, I assumed it was because I was tired and fell asleep, hitting my hip on something. But the second time it happened, I realized he had raped me while I was unconscious.
I almost wish I hadn't come to that conclusion because now I was trapped not only in a nightmare but also in my own mind, tearing myself apart.
He not only did it twice more, but once he realized it was too easy, he wanted to make me conscious. He wanted to hear my screams and my agony, but I wouldn't let him. I kicked, screamed, and bit him whenever he came close to me, never giving him another chance.
Even if he never raped me again, I had to deal with the constant fatal beatings and uncomfortable touching.
He told me I'd dance after a few weeks in the basement. He threatened to beat me if I did not agree at that point. As a result, I agreed.
Fortunately for me, it only took a year for him to lose interest in me because I was no longer a new shiny toy to play with. I started making plans for my escape.
It took me two years to finally get away.
When I finally managed to flee, I boarded the first plane I could afford with the little money I had. After my dance, I slipped bills into my bra, just low enough for Oliver not to notice.
And I was relieved when I finally got rid of the money. The money was filthy, and I wanted to forget everything that had happened to me.
I moved to New York and began to take on small jobs, making sure that the manager and the majority of the staff were women because I couldn't get past what had happened, so I adjusted.
I started working and soon had enough money to stop sleeping on benches and get a studio apartment.
I started smiling when I walked into my new apartment; it was the first time I had smiled since before I was sold. I finally had a place where I felt safe; it was my own space.
I went to see a therapist after I got the apartment. I knew I was screwed up, and while I didn't want anyone else to help me, I knew I needed it.
To my surprise, therapy was extremely beneficial, and I learned my self-worth and began to learn to let go, even though I knew it was impossible to forgive and forget, I had to allow myself to be happy.