Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Problems with Alcohol: I Do Not Belong Here

My first night at the club was awkward. I felt like a small fish in a big pond; I felt inadequate. How could I measure up to what I was competing with? I thought, 'If I stay on this shift, I will surely starve.  These women are gorgeous!'  I was a girl still in my teens and under developed!

I was timid and I could not get into a groove.  I remember sitting at the bar for most of the night until I was called up on stage; I was terrified.  Over and over in my head, I kept thinking about 'how in the world did I get myself here?' I wanted to run; I literally wanted to crawl in a hole and die.  I had convinced myself that this was the ultimate low and I was very desperate.

In order for me to endure through this,  I had to counter those negative feelings with power thoughts:

Just a few months!

You are here for one reason and that is to survive!

You are in control!

Everything is going to be ok!

My stage name was called and that switch turned on; I was determined to work it out!  I commanded the stage and the fear somehow found its way out.  As the tips came, my false sense of confidence started building. I had to be someone else, called by a different name, because the real me that existed behind those layers I built up around me, was a scared little girl who was conditioned to think she was stupid and ugly. That girl would have been eaten alive here; she wouldn't have survived.  So, I had to bury her.

The club required that when the girls were seated with customers, we were asked to order drinks and if it was offered, we were not allowed to turn it down.  I had this sick feeling, remembering the pain alcohol has caused me and my family. What was I going to do? I really didn't have a choice; that was the way the club made their money and I had to follow their rules if I wanted to be employed.  However, I was really funny about it; I ordered very frou frou beverages with very little alcohol.  I honestly did not want to be drunk. I felt that altering my state of mind would relinquish any control I had. I eventually figured out how to order drinks that looked like adult beverages without the alcohol content.

 I did not make a lot of money on my first night, and to be honest, I never made nearly the amount other women there made.  I watched them count their bank rolls nightly and listened to them brag about how much they hustled their customers into champagne rooms. I suppose I just didn't have it in me to hustle the guys.  I didn't own the skills to seduce men in that way.  I wasn't lookin' at getting rich. I just wanted to make an adequate amount daily to get me to the next chapter of my life.  Interesting enough, I wasn't the only one who noticed this. The manager at the club randomly came up to me one evening and said something I will never forget.  He said, "you don't belong here."

As weeks passed, I made more and more money.  Nicole and I would hop from hotel to hotel looking
for the best accommodations.  We were spending money like it grew on trees!  My Army recruiter called me often because he knew what I was doing.  He was worried that I would get caught up in this life and decide against joining the military.  I assured him that this was just a means to an end.  I wouldn't allow this lifestyle to suck me in no matter how tempting it was; there was a goal in sight!

But while I had the greatest of intentions, that lifestyle has a way of pulling you into things you said you would never do.  Surely, I was traveling down a road that would deepen my sorrows and open new wounds…

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