Do not judge characters

Sunrise in Malita  © Jojie Alcantara
Sunrise in Malita © Jojie Alcantara

“I’m not crying out for help, but I am sharing my experience in the hopes that readers will get something out of it. I’m not the one who gets to decide what that is, if anything. I’m just starting the “journey” if you will, so I can’t possibly know yet what the “message” of my life really is. I only know what has happened so far, and how I’ve felt up until this moment.  I agree that reading about the pain of others is concerning when they are still hurting and in the same situation as when they wrote about it. But what can you do? You can reach out, ask how you can help and be there to listen. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. You can’t love someone who doesn’t love themselves enough to take care of themselves and stay out of bad situations. Believe me, I know this.” ~ Ashly Lorenzana

Ashly Lorenzana is between 24-25 years old.  I found her on the net when I was looking for a good quote for my image.  I wanted to write about the virtue of being non-judgemental to characters.  She wrote a self-published book called “Sex, Drugs & Being an Escort” where she wrote of memoirs on her experiences as an escort. 

This is her interview.  Today, while she does escorting on the side, she also works on her online writing skills and gives tips and valuable resources on blogging and marketing.

On the other hand, I have come across admirable women with sheer courage to share their former lives as prostitutes. It isn’t an easy path to take. They created blogs to help fellow survivors get through the ordeal of trying to create normal lives and establishing normal, healthy relationships.

My most recommended are Stella Marr Undercover Call Girl and Secret Diary of a Dublin Call Girl. Both blogs are well written with such raw emotion and power of words, you cringe at reality being laid before you, but read on nonetheless.  They are very good writers.

Lastly, read An Ex-Hooker’s Letter to Her Younger Self, a powerful message of self-worth, acceptance, moving on, and realization.  It moved me to tears.  Thank you, Stellamarr.

When I was 18, I accepted tutorial lessons to add to my income.  There was this very young prostitute who was the star performer of a big club in the city.  She hired me to teach her basic English sentences.  Her “sponsor” was a wealthy old client.

I would wait for the time she gets off work for our tutorial sessions.  So if I was early I would sit in a corner of the club and watch her perform onstage.  She was most applauded for being young, beautiful and incredibly sexy.  I figured she wouldn’t stay long in this industry.  Someone was bound to whisk her off and keep her.

After her performance we would stay up in her room (a dormitory type at the upper floor of the club),  browse on simple books, and read aloud together.  In naivete, she would shyly show me her bank book where she deposited her keep every afternoon, and confided to me in our dialect, “This is what I have saved up so far.  If I get enough I will go back to our province and help my parents, Ate.”  Ate is dialect for big sister.

I have come to admire her, who was only 16 at that time.  She told me she will not grow old in this environment, but while she was young and fresh she will make use of her charm and beauty, and of course, her body.  She didn’t consider herself a victim, but she wasn’t scheming and ambitious, either.  She just wanted a better life in the long run. She was so grounded you would marvel at her maturity, instead of showing pity.

I was a young model then, and I sold some of my dresses to her (those sexy one time collections I wore on the ramp).  It earned me big bucks.  So imagine the surprise of my fashion designer when he walked into the club and saw his haute couture being danced onstage and taken off during a performance!  (Arrgh, that’s another story, and we’re still friends. I was very young and impulsive then. But he still creates clothes for me on special occasions).

Anyhow, the sad twist to my story (and a lesson learned toughly) was that I finally got to meet the “sponsor”, a gentle old man who was very kind and who paid for my tutorial lessons with her.

The sad part was that I recognized him to be a very good family man, for he was the father of two of my childhood friends.  Torn between loyalty to old friends and a young woman, I eventually stopped teaching her.  I still wonder about her until now. I hope she has found a good and better life.

In the blogosphere where diverse characters are found, it is best to keep an open mind and a welcoming heart.  Listen to them for they have the right to speak out just as you do.

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signature jojie alcantara

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7 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing so eloquently about this sad topic. An open mind, courage, and compassion can chance the world and that is what is most needed.

    Like

  2. This is such a sad story. In my line of work, I sometimes encounter and mingle with people like her. I have a daughter and it always breaks my heart to see women being exploited because they needed money. I hope it turned out well for her.

    Like

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