Hi, my name is Heidi.
I was a victim of human trafficking at age 14. I came from a wealthy Christian household, being the oldest of 7 kids. I had a great childhood, until around age 13 when I started to be molested by one of my dads employees. The family business was on the property where we lived, so he had easy access as I spent a lot of time in the same building. I started acting out at home and running away. Soon, I was spending my days and nights in an arcade shop holding drugs for drug dealers while they would sell them.
A few months later, I was introduced to a man. He was good looking, super nice to me, bought me nice things and always told me how special I was. My memory is still foggy on certain details due to the complex PTSD I now have, but the next thing I remember is being locked in a house with some girls and men.
We were forced to have sex with the men that came to the house and also we were brought to houses with someone monitoring us. We were made to do whatever the clients wanted. Some nights there would be up to 10 men waiting to take their turn. We were bought nice clothes, escorted in fancy vehicles and given lots of drugs. There was no choice but to comply.
Me, along with the other young girls in the home, were made to give our addresses so if we ever tried to leave they threatened to harm our families. We were never touched by the men who monitored us but the threat that it would happen if we didn’t comply was enough. Eventually, we were brought out to street corners to work and we always had a person with us making sure we went in cars and came back, then they took the money from us. I was scared for my life but soon I ended up numb and just did what I had to do to survive.
I dreamed of being back with my family. I missed my parents and brothers and sisters very much. When we were at the house it was alarmed so if a door or window was opened they were notified. I didn’t even know where I was at times.
Eventually I did get away. I cannot disclose the details as I fear they would hurt someone I love very much. Those terrible dark times were like a long nightmare. I’ve had many regrets.. thinking how I could have avoided the situation but it happened and I survived. I am a survivor.
Unfortunately it wasn’t an altogether happy ending as I numbed the pain with drugs for many many years after that with which I endured more trauma during those years. But those years are over. I am a survivor. 14 years later I still live with the pain. I have a diagnosis of complex PTSD. I see a therapist, get psychiatric help, meds and I have a great support system. I have 4 beautiful children and a wonderful husband who did not for one second judge me for my past.
I also have an amazing relationship with my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ because without Him I would not be the survivor I am today.
I currently blog on my CPTSD journey, so if you would like to join along side me feel free to visit http://www.heidijoosse.com.
-Heidi, Greater Vancouver Area