Industry Survivor Stories

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Melissa's Story

I was a stripper, model and porn star from 1995-2006. I am formerly known as Alexa Milano.

I was naÔve when I first started stripping. A friend of mine suggested I try out on ďauditionĒ night at a local strip club and of course my heart was saying, ďNo, I canít do this!Ē But I saw girls dancing and men literally throwing money at them on the stage!!! But I still couldnít do it.

I kept thinking about the INSTANT CASH and that Iíd be able to pay my bills, buy food, whatever! So, I showed up and there I was standing on the stage, almost naked in front of probably 200 guys hooting and hollering and THROWING MONEY at me!!!

I was scared to death but had seen all the money! I finished my song...a few others took their turn and next thing I know they announced the winner and it was.....ME!!! The attention from men and the money were too good to pass up. But time would prove me wrong and I began to feel dirty and used by men.

I already had a past history of abuse by men, including my alcoholic father who beat my mother daily and then shot himself in the head in front of me when I was nine years old. My mother never allowed us to speak of it. So I never received healing or understood what love meant. I only knew the abuse I saw growing up. Stripping offered me the attention and love I desperately craved and because I was naÔve I swallowed the lie.

One night while I was working, I was approached by a well known porn star who feature danced at the club I was stripping at. She told me how great the money in porn was and that I would be safe in the porn industry. She made it sound so glamorous. Next thing you know Iím off to Los Angeles to become a porn star.

I did a few porn movies but it was so traumatizing that I eventually went back to stripping. I couldnít handle the pain and trauma of making porn. The sex acts were extremely painful and degrading.

My first movie I was treated very rough by 3 guys. They pounded on me, gagged me with their penises, and tossed me around like I was a ball! I was sore, hurting and could barely walk. My insides burned and hurt so badly. I could barely pee and to try to have a bowel movement was out of the question. I was hurting so bad from the physical abuse from these 3 male porn stars! I swore Iíd never do porn again but here I was being flown back to Los Angeles again only this time for a very well known porn company.

I ended up doing a few scenes for this new kind of DVD that was new to the industry where, when we did scenes, the porn star guys face would never be shown....only the girls. These DVD's were the kind where when a fan would buy it, they could pick and choose what kind of scene they wanted to view such as blow jobs, Mish, anal, girl/girl, etc. It was a horrible experience and I just wanted out of there!

There was always alcohol and drugs readily available on the sets. Whatever you wanted, they would or could get it. In fact, the set I worked on for two videos, the stars had their own "doctor" with them! I would see the doctor giving out pills or giving B12 injections (or so they told me it was B12!) I never got involved with any major drugs, I only smoked marijuana and drank Vodka.

As I began to hate porn more and more I remember one porn set where a director really frightened me when she pulled down her pants to show off her Herpes. That did it for me.

I returned to stripping and suddenly my life came crashing down around me when I was involved in a serious car accident with my alcoholic/drug addict boyfriend in 2006. It was the wakeup call I needed and it changed my life forever.

The next thing I knew was I woke up in the hospital with a ruptured bladder, lacerated spleen, kidney & liver, broken ribs, dislocated shoulder, soft tissue damage in my left shoulder and a laceration of my upper right arm. I had a shattered femur and now have a titanium rod.

Since 2006, I have been in recovery from the accident and unable to work. I have carpal tunnel in both hands from using a walker for a few months and I had to have surgeries on both elbows. I also have arthritis in my hip and elbows where the screws are.

Somehow I managed to survive that accident, but I was in the trauma unit for 2 weeks. I did physical therapy, but never received therapy for my mental or emotional feelings. I tried a psychologist and he made me feel worse by giving me psych meds. I hated him and the meds, plus I didnít have insurance and could not afford his fees.

I received a small settlement from the accident for which I lived on for the past 3 years. It is gone. I am with nothing and cannot work due to my filing of an SSI claim. I canít get regular disability because I didnít pay into social security enough money to cover me, so I had to file for SSI.

Right now I owe 4 months back rent as well as ALL my other bills. I'm very depressed and feeling worthless at this very minute. Itís hard for me to even type.

All this for walking into an industry I thought was glamorous. The drugs, the alcohol, the drunk I met in the strip club who I trusted to drive me home that night. No, the sex industry is not glamorous. Hanging out with drug addicted, alcoholic, sexually diseased people who abuse and hate is not glamorous.

I have a hard time making and keeping friends. Everyone thinks of me as a stripper/porn star. I am virtually a recluse in my home. When I go out, I do not look at people, and I prefer to keep to myself. I just feel very dirty and used from my past in the exotic entertainment business. I try to get close to God because when I was younger my mother took me to church and instilled good Christian values in me. I have ALWAYS been a Christian and known that God must have been watching over me. I should be dead by now but I have to believe Iím here for a reason.

I really want to go back to the Baptist church where I was baptized but I am afraid they will judge me for my past.

Thatís when I was flipping through the channels one day and saw the "MTV True Life" episode with Shelley and Pink Cross Foundation on there and was so excited that there is a group that we, as ex porn stars can go to and find hope and prayer! Amen!!! The Pink Cross site is totally awesome and I am so darn proud of Shelley for making such a wonderful place for us to go to for encouragement and prayers. The site is big and I actually haven't been able to check it all out, but I will!! From what I've seen and read, it is absolutely remarkable!!! I signed up for the newsletter and I also am going to get help in the forums.

I am so grateful for the help Pink Cross offers and already I feel there really is hope for me and as Shelley keeps telling me, ďGod has a special purpose for me.Ē I really want to believe that. I hope my story is part of that special purpose and helps many who are thinking of getting into the sex industry or who are addicted to pornography. I want them to know the truth so they donít have to suffer like many of us have.

Porn is not glamorous. It hurts people. It almost killed me. But praise be to Jesus Christ I am still here to tell my story.

Thank you to all of you who support Pink Cross and help women like me. I sincerely thank you for giving me hope again!

Blessings through God!

Melissa AKA Alexa Milano/former porn star

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