Personal power cannot come about theoretically. It has to be embodied. And for almost every woman, shame and embarrassment are the illusionary prison guards that keep us from expanding our consciousness and stepping into our fullest power.
What do we hope no one will ever find out about us? To transcend this requires us to face our embarrassment and shame by proactively bringing it out into the open. Only this can release us. But it will make us squirm first.
Most of the time, we will discover that our actions of the past were either no big deal to anyone else, or that it’s more common than we realise. And by baring our shame, we bring healing to other women in their shame.
How often do we cramp our lives in order to not upset others? How often do we deny our own truth because it will unsettle those around us?
I grew up in a female family. Five daughters, mother, and an emotionally distant father. My role model for relationships was Gidget movies. Totally naive … especially the kissing part. I still cringe when I think of my first feeble attempts to pash a guy.
Anyway, I was a virginal raging bundle of hormones by the time I left high school, and I quickly discovered my sexual power over men. Like many young women, I used sex to find love. And guys used love to get sex. It was an unhappy cycle of hope and rejection.
Then I was seriously wooed by my first real boyfriend, so I could finally pour my passion into a monogamous relationship. But then the love-of-his-life came back on the scene two years later, and I was asked to exit.
You can imagine my fury and impotent rage. That was the volatile time of my first suicide efforts. When I learned that suicide is frequently a substitute for homicide, except you get punished for killing someone else, well, that was my truth. But damn! I couldn’t even do that right. I couldn’t keep the pills and vodka down, and had retched them all up.
Oh well, back to a failed life.
I thought about what would cheer me up. Money would. But my job as a bank teller didn’t pay that well, even though I handled tens of thousands of dollars every day. There had to be another way.
Then it dawned on me … Well, I always liked sex and men were always willing to pay for it. So why not? I easily found a couple of shifts a week in a suburban massage parlour. Really. On massage tables. Not comfortable and often required delicate maneuvering.
Soon, I could no longer keep up the pretence of my dreary day job and quit. I moved on to being a glamorous escort. I found my power in connecting with the often-fragile masculine ego, and even now, I believe this was actually priestess work as a sexual healer. I did well enough to pay rent on an inner-city fully furnished penthouse apartment with stunning river views. Which got boring after a few months.
The worst situation I ever got into was not with men, but with a notorious madam of a Kalgoorlie establishment who kept me prisoner for two months. She was short staffed and the demand was too high so she was desperate for me to stay and locked the gates and kept the keys on her. I escaped with the help of the sympathetic cook in the early hours one morning, after the evening’s action was finally over and everyone had fallen into an exhausted sleep. But first I had to steal all my earnings which were being withheld from me.
That was when I knew my sexual career was coming to a close.
I tell this story as a coming out, even though it is generally considered an open secret within my family. Not the younger ones. Never was I slut-shamed by anyone. And by the grace of the Goddess, I never had trouble with police. My Nice Girl persona saved me a number of times.
My story is not that unusual among women. It’s just that it’s not talked about so we all carry our guilt around in private. Unnecessarily.