Mother, wife, sister, friend, person in recovery from substance use disorder, survivor of prostitution, CEO of Living In Freedom Together.
“I am a broken, resilient warrior. I am empathic to the core and often feel others pain as if it’s my own. I have been exploited, physically assaulted, and abused. I am afraid that I am still not worthy of love. I still feel damaged and undeserving when my son looks at me with eyes of adoration and I often wonder why my husband loves me. I worry that I will never be whole again and that others really only see this damaged, broken, prostituted woman as opposed to an intelligent driven one. I struggle to find my worth in this world apart from my body. I struggle with self esteem issues and feelings of insecurity and self doubt. I try to manage it all with positive affirmations and by doing good in this world. I feel as though I have a purpose when I’m helping other women. Little do they know that they are helping me. I hold onto that old story that I’m a drug addicted loser that will never amount to anything. But my new story is one of strength, resiliency, and recovery. Something inside me made me fight. I thank god every day for the opportunity to live free; free from the substances and free from the sex trade. I wish more people understood that those women on the streets didn’t want to be there. They have a story too and usually a story of violence, loss, insecurity and pain. I’d tell a 12 year old me that you don’t need to give your body to get love. That love is patient, kind and respectful and will wait if you aren’t ready. I wish there was less toxic masculinity in this world and more female empowerment. Beauty comes from within. Looks fade but your kindness and compassion will always shine through. Success is having love, a few friends, family and finding our purpose in this world. I’m excited about opening Jana’s Place the recovery home for prostituted women. I am Nikki. I am proud of my resiliency and I feel most alive when I’m laying in bed with my son feeling his breath on my face. I never thought I’d get a chance to mother a child and that is a reminder that I do and that it’s real.”Nikki
Kristie Dean, Nikki, 2018. Digital Photograph. ©Kristie Dean. All rights reserved.