Industry Survivor Stories

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Christina's Story

My real name is Christina, not Crissy. “Crissy” was a name that came later and has just sort of stuck. I am quite often asked how someone like me ended up in the adult film industry. I made some really bad choices in life and I do take full responsibility for them. I will not be able to easily escape the reminders of my past because it is something I have no control over. I know that is not who I am anymore. I have a new beginning and a chance to help others not to make the same choices. Remember, it’s not our circumstances that determine who we will be but how we deal with them and it is never too late to change.

I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. My earliest memories begin when I was around 4 years of age. Our family of four spent most every Sunday in church. God was always a topic in our home. My parents spent a lot of time teaching my brother and I about His love and praying with and over our lives.

My daddy was gentle and loving. My favorite memories have always been sitting in my daddy’s lap with my head on his chest. It was a comfort to listen to his voice and heart beat while he rocked me in his chair reading his bible or singing songs. He would tell me that he was my “Daddy” but God was my “Father.” I fell asleep peacefully many times in his arms that way.

My mother always had a song on her heart. Everywhere she went she was singing! It seemed to calm her soul and bring her much happiness. My mom was in the church choir. When she would be up in front of the church singing she would tell my brother and I that she wanted to see and hear us singing from where she sat. That was her way of making sure we were paying attention in church when she was unable to sit with us. After church we would always discuss what we learned during the car ride home.

I was a very timid girl. I would blush and hide behind my mom every time my pastor would speak to me when we were leaving church. It just never came natural to me to let people in. I guess I was just sort of comfortable in my little “family bubble”. I didn’t have want or need for much else. I had all the love in the world!

Even though those years were the best memories, it was also during this time I that I was first molested. I was swimming over at a neighbor’s house. This family had three little boys who we played with a lot. The father of the boys began fondling me while he was carrying me around in the swimming. He took me to the bathroom when I needed to go and continued to touch me. I was about 5 or 6 years old and I had no idea what was happening but I felt sort of ashamed so I didn’t tell anyone.

My brother was two years younger than me and he was my best friend. We were very close as children. We rode bikes, built forts, climbed trees, and just did everything together. He was very outgoing and always had a ton of friends. I was very shy so making friends was much harder for me! When I was 11 years old, I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior. I had a pretty in depth understanding of the gospel. I felt the Spirit move in my heart and despite my shyness I walked forward during an alter call. I prayed with my pastor as tears of happiness streamed down my face. I was baptized about a week later.

My number one goal in life was to serve God with every part of it. It was easy as a child to serve Him. I didn’t lie, cheat, steal, and made all A’s and B’s in school. I was an all-around good girl. With lack of life-experience at such a young age I had no idea what obstacles would lie ahead in my young life.

At age 12, things drastically began to change in my world. Our family moved a few times, new people were hanging out with my daddy, and he stopped going to church with us. Out of no where it seemed he began drinking alcohol. The people he was affiliated with made me uncomfortable. They were all heavy drinkers and would just hang around the house building bonfires, working on cars, and drinking. They would be up all night listening to music around the bonfire on the weekends. I felt like these men looked at me with lustful eyes even though I was a little girl still. One of my dad’s friends had a son my age. He was constantly trying to have sex with me. I would fight him off or tell on him. When I realized that his father was abusing him, I stopped and just dealt with it my own way. They lived with us for a while and things were really rough. Our family was struggling financially, too.

My dad had become an alcoholic. His thinking became irrational. He would rage and lash out at my mom. He put his fists through things all the time. He would go out to bars and come home with gun shot wounds, broken knuckles, bruises and blood on him. He would say he was preaching the Word and someone didn’t like it. I remember wishing my parents would get divorced because I just could not stand to hear the fighting. It hurt to see my mom crying though she always did her best to hide it.

Late one night while my brother and I were at home asleep we were awakened by my parents fighting after they came home from a Christmas party. The arguing was so bad and my brother and I just stayed in the room scared to come out crying. We heard things crashing, my dad yelling, and my mother crying and trying to plea with him. She usually would come get us and go to my grandmas but this time he was threatening her so she ran out of the house without us.

My dad came into our room gave us each a trash bag and told us to put in them what we wanted to take. He then ran off with us to another part of ....Florida..... That year I was supposed to be “Mary” in the church Christmas program but we left before I got to. My brother and I missed our mom. We did not speak with her for several days and when we did we weren’t allowed to tell her where we were. After we moved into a trailer we were allowed to tell her. She started coming out to visit us and each time my dad would drink and become aggressive with her. She eventually stopped coming and just called.

My dad’s behavior was too much to take at times. The alcohol was an everyday thing. Some days were good and some were bad. I had the responsibilities of an adult. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping… and making sure my dad was somewhere safe when he would pass out. He still preached the Word to us and I always learned a lot from his wisdom even though his ways were messed up. He always said “Don’t ever say you want to grow up to be like me. I am no one. Try to be like Jesus.” My dad had a good heart but he had struggles that I, as a child, had no idea about. I still don’t.

I was about to go into 8th grade when I told my daddy that I wanted to go live with my mother. My mother remarried and I was becoming a woman at age 13 and felt I needed a more stable life. My brother agreed to stay and watch after my dad. My daddy didn’t take it so good. He would cry about it all the time. He was worried about how my life might change and how he couldn’t protect me anymore. At this point, I was extremely confused about God because no one ever taught me how Jesus works in our struggles. My dad would drop us off at church and come get us afterwards. Things seemed to be a bit hopeless.

My mother and step-dad did not attend church. Life with them was a lot different. They had a nicer house, nice vehicles, and could afford to buy me better clothes than my dad. While this was great, no one was really spending time with me. My mother saturated herself into her life with my step-dad. I never had a moment of her time to myself. I became withdrawn and just lived in my own little world in my bedroom. I slept a lot, listened to music on the radio, and went to school. I lost sight of God’s presence in my life. I was very depressed. I prayed to Him and expected things to change and nothing ever did. I was so alone and so confused.

My dad had always put the fear of God in me when it came to having sex, my mom just told me to let her know when I did so she could put me on birth control. I lost my virginity at age 17 to a guy who was much older. I didn’t love him so I thought that my heart would be safe. My depression took over my life and I was failing high school. I went to summer school every year to get to the next grade.

At age 18, I started dating a new boy who was in college. It was the summer before my senior year when I became pregnant by him. He and my mother took me to have an abortion. It took two trips to the clinic because the first time I freaked out when I saw a sonogram and saw the heartbeat flashing on the screen. My heart was just broken into a million pieces. I wanted to be a mother. I longed to feel the kind of love only a family could bring in my life again.

I stayed in school and worked really heard my senior year to graduate with my class. I dropped all friends and any activities. I had to bring up my grade point average drastically which required going to night school at a community college and NO electives at all. In order to graduate I had to make all A’s in all courses just about. My senior year I made all A’s and a couple of B’s and was able to walk with my class.

Eventually my mom and step-dad told me I needed to move out on my own. This is when I began cohabitating with men. It was the best option I had as I had to work multiple jobs just to make half of the rent. I had no girl friends. My search for love and approval continued into my adult life. I dated men and worked hard to keep the relationships together by trying my best to be the kind of woman any man would want. The men in my life never turned out to be the prince charming that I always thought I would have. No one had ever taught me anything about dating. My only guide was to look back on my parents lives.

I went through one break-up after another. My relationships lasted anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. At age 24, I discovered the internet at work. I put pictures on online dating sites because it was hard to meet men since I didn’t have a community of friends to hang out with. I was so secluded. I became reckless with my life. Men were offering to fly me to different states to meet them. I was flattered in a weird way and I had never left ....Florida.... in my life.

In pursuit of love, I allowed myself to be used for sex. I equated physical touch with love. Clearly, my views were skewed. During this time I put myself in many dangerous situations and I won’t lie, there was a part of me that wanted to end up dead. There was also a part of me that thought maybe someone would actually love me enough to rescue me.

This was also the time when I found an online modeling website. The “models” on the website did not look like what I always thought a model looked like. They were regular people and they had testimonies under their pictures from photographers who had shot them. I thought maybe I could make a little extra money doing that. When the emails started coming in I was beside myself. People actually thought I was pretty enough to pay to take photos of me??? I was just a regular girl, never the one considered “beautiful”. The only problem was I was still pretty shy AND most of the jobs offered were nude or topless.

After a few months of getting these offers and declining I hit rock bottom after a break-up. Instead of reaching out to God (who I lost hope was there) I took my first topless job. Why did it matter anyway, so many men who I had dated looked at it. Maybe if I was that girl they would have no need to look elsewhere. The photographer sent me beautiful photos of other girls he shot and the fact that he wanted to shoot me made me feel somehow I was as pretty as those girls were. It made me feel desired. Not quite love, but close enough.

It was only supposed to be a topless shoot, and the first time I took my top off in front of the photographer I felt so inadequate. I had never even been fully comfortable walking around in a bikini because I was so shy! I got completely nude on day two of the shoot. I replaced the snapshots I had used on my online portfolio originally with nude and topless photos. Within a matter of a couple of months I quit my office job of 5 years. I ended up traveling a lot and taking tons of photos in hopes of maybe making it into a magazine. The shots were nude but pretty tame.

I started a website and began making a monthly income. I developed a fan base. People would email me about how my existence filled something in their lives. The strange thing was as lonely as these men seemed, I was just as lonely. I too was searching for something to fill a void inside of me. I became what they all wanted me to be. If someone told me I was beautiful it made me feel good enough to stay alive. I felt pretty worthless so in my mind at least I had some sense of purpose.

I was still having meaningless relationships in hopes that one may one day be meaningful. Each man who entered my life would lift me up just to break me down. I discovered how perverted and calloused a man could be. The men in my life exploited everything about me. They would encourage me to go further in my limits in the business. Some even become involved as photographers or webmasters. They just wanted to take and take and take. I was involved with an abusive man for nearly 3 of the 6 years I was in the business. I moved from ..Florida.. to ..California.. then to ....Las Vegas.... with this man. I was physically and emotionally abused and he introduced me to drugs like cocaine and crystal meth. I was binge drug user. I would use because he did. It helped me escape the reality of what my life had become. I should have ended up dead the first time I touch crystal meth after being awake for 14 days.

A friend of mine saw how this man was treating me and helped me leave the relationship. I moved to ....Los Angeles.., ..CA..... I signed a contract with a company to run my website and they took over. After a year I met and moved in with a new boyfriend. The relationship was not abusive at all and I felt pretty secure. I continued working in the business and trying to maintain a normal relationship. My anxiety was high in social situations because I was always afraid to tell people what I did for a living so I would lie about it and say I did bikini modeling.

It seemed that the relationship was going nowhere. My boyfriend would send out my photos to his friends and brag. I never knew if he really cared about me but I felt safe because he was not abusing me. After a year and eight months the relationship fell apart. I found out something that really hurt me and for the first time in forever I cried out to God. I asked him to show me He was there. A few days later I met someone who led me back to God. He told me that God loved me and desired a relationship with me. I knew that God was at that moment speaking to me through my new friend. I broke down in tears and prayed with my new friend and accepted the Lord back into my heart.

From that day on I did not do another porn shoot. I moved out of my boyfriends’ home into my first apartment, alone. I asked my webmasters to take my website down but they refused since I was locked into a contract. They asked where to send my portion of the money and I said I do not want it, just take the site down. I had no job for months and got by with the help of donations and friends from church.

It took a lot of time to develop normal friendships. I was scared to death because I felt like no matter where I went I had a big sign on me that told who I used to be. I now was the real me and I didn’t know how to be that person. Changing was hard. All the things I hid behind like hair extensions, nails, clothes were gone. I felt so exposed. I think that if it hadn’t been for the conviction in my heart I may still be there. I am thankful that Christ intervened. In Him I can live again!

And that's why I am writing this to you. My hope is that my story will give you hope. God loves you and has a plan for your life. I love the words of Jeremiah: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

That's what God has done for me. That's what He'll do for you.

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