It didn’t matter that my friends knew and loved me… the fact that my family didn’t know was the pea under the mattress, incessantly digging at me
The last three years have been a whirlwind ride. I made lifelong friends, met incredible people, learnt invaluable, at times heart wrenching lessons. And you, my blog lovers, have been right alongside me for the ride. As much as I appreciated your support from afar, however, I have struggled internally for quite some time. This struggle came in waves…. I would blog to you in a fit of frustration as it reared its ugly head, then I would talk to my friends about it, I would grapple for months with it, and ultimately I would bury it again. I would chalk it up as a momentary weakness, a sign that maybe I wasn’t cut out for this life of secrecy. A few times every year, I would yearn for the freedom of not having to hide my job which has, quite frankly, been the best decision I ever made in my life. Until recently, I woke up often feeling that I couldn’t wait to be finished with the adult industry; I couldn’t wait to have my life to myself, to not have to lie to anyone. I planned to complete my education and move on from this industry immediately; because that was always the plan.
Until it wasn’t.
You all get it. I’ve told you a million times. This job has been the single greatest catalyst for change in myself both as a professional running a business and as an empowered human being.
If you had seen who I was three years ago, before I began this journey, you would not recognize me. The socially awkward, geeky girl that I was had no self confidence, no ability to say no to others, and worst of all no sense of self or self worth. I didn’t know myself. Most people go their entire lives not really understanding themselves; living to please others, working their job because that is what’s expected of them, having their family, growing old. Maybe they learn who they really are later in life, maybe they don’t. Maybe they’re lucky like me; I found who I was in a mind bogglingly short period of time, purely due to a job that some of society still looks down upon.
Over the last three years I have become a totally different person. I will never be the same again, and I am eternally grateful for that. I have grown to become the strong, independent, empathetic, self assured, goal oriented person that I always wanted to be. I had the foundations for this before, but work built it from the ground up. I have direction. And I don’t mean direction with this job specifically; I mean with life. I have a plan. Most people go their whole lives never experiencing that moment of utter, blissful clarity, where you can look ahead and see the path that your life is slowly going to wind along.
This job definitely isn’t for everyone, but for those like me who have been blessed with the personality to be able to cope with this job – I’m sure you would agree that it has given back ten fold.
Now that I have told my family that I’m an escort, I look back now at work and feel so utterly at peace with it. I genuinely love it. I am brutally shocked at how much the stress of keeping this job a secret affected my outlook on the work itself. Isn’t it funny how lies can eat at us… just the idea of work being a secret made it feel somehow less of a job to me, or more ‘taboo’, or more inappropriate. The lie tainted the good, seeped darkness into the light of it all. It didn’t matter that my friends knew and loved me… the fact that my family didn’t know was the pea under the mattress, incessantly digging at me. The experience of “coming out” really brought to the forefront how much society’s acceptance, or rather lack of acceptance, can grate on the psyche of a minority… whether escort or otherwise. I always said that I didn’t care what other people thought…. But I didn’t realize I was lying to myself until I really announced myself to the people around me. My aunts, my Dad, his partner, my brother and his girlfriend now all know about work – and they love me all the same. The second I realised that they were still there, that they were intrigued rather than disgusted, that they were PROUD of me – that stigmatism just lifted. I realized that although I wasn’t ready to be open before, I feel blessed that I had the recent bout of courage to tell them, and I feel so much appreciation for the warm response that I received; that feeling of opening all the doors and letting the wind blow through freely.
In other words – blood runs deep.
I have thought long and hard about whether I’m OK if people start to recognize me and talk to me about work…. I have made my decision. I would rather be open and honest and act as a voice for acceptance of our industry than hide a part of myself that has impacted both my own life and the lives of others in so many positive ways. I won’t be shouting it from the rooftops necessarily, but fucking hell am I going to be a positive voice for such a beautiful industry. Despite the fact that I will one day have jobs other than or alongside escorting doesn’t phase me; I have decided to live a life of authenticity, where I only surround myself with or work alongside people who are supportive of me and the life that I have lived. If they can’t look past the ridiculous media representation, the preconceived notions and the judgment of the uneducated to understand why I have chosen this path… if they can’t see what this job has brought to the table for me and how much it has bettered me as a person – then they don’t deserve me.
I am not naïve. Everyone’s chapter is different. I’ve heard horrific stories about people telling their family. For some, their chapters with some family members close as a result. I am not sure whether this will happen to me with any remaining family members. If they find out one day, I just hope that they will understand and be as loving and accepting as the others have been. And if not – well, I have an incredible group of loving friends and family to fall back to. They have my back.
So here we go, time to start the third book in the series… Get prepared for one hell of a ride. I know I am.
Charlie’s first full faced selfie will be uploaded to www.onlyfans.com/charlieforde on Friday the 18th August.