She said she had been celibate for nearly 3 years and didn’t want to be involved with a man unless God sent him. There was a knock on the door and her prayers were answered. The service man was there from the cable company. He struck up a Godly conversation that quickly captured her attention. They talked way beyond his work hours. Two days later she had traveled out of the state and across the country with him. When they got to the hotel room she quickly undressed. He refused her offer. The next day he took her shopping for some less revealing clothing and suggested she toned down her friendly mannerism toward men.

To make a long story short she quickly decided this was not the man for her. But, she was praying for a man sent from God. As she told her story I became aware of how her PICS was still operating in her.

I sat observing this professional, but overtly sexy dressed and well-spoken woman in disbelief as she shared the events of her life and during her active addiction. For her, like many young girls, she had been touched…. No, let’s give it the correct name – RAPED by a trusted family member. To keep the secret she was given money. She was further traumatized by being told that she was ugly. For a young girl, especially a black girl, those are damaging words that crush one’s self-esteem and self-worth. Lacking in these two personality traits can easily lead a young girl in the wrong direction. As evidenced by the woman to which I was listening.

The trauma of repeated rapes and verbal insults was compounded by being bought with the gift of money. Causing her to seek approval and self-worth in getting paid for sex. At the age of 13 she started whoring. Quickly learning that her body could be used to buy the things her family could not afford. This opened the door to a crippling drug addiction and a dangerous life of jails and institutions.

Her story hit home. As I thought of one of my sisters who had shared a few years earlier, that when she was a child, our Uncle George had molested her. At the time, due to her substance abuse issues I thought she was just trying to get money from me. I wondered what happened to her that made her go in a different direction than I. But, after hearing so many women tell their stories and reflecting on the lifestyle my uncle lived, I now know she was telling the truth.

Although the women I was listening to, had several years in recovery and was now a professional social worker it seemed to me that the lifelong habit of sex for money was still in play. She was still repeating and living her trauma. By going off with a man too early in a relationship, and being immediately ready to have sex with him. Whether or not she knew it, there was a money exchange; the plane, the hotel room, the meals and even the offer to purchase her clothes.

Here’s where the PICS gets deep. When he offered to purchase her some less revealing clothes and commented on her overly friendly conversations with other men, she felt uneasy and decided he was not her God send. Was he trying to make her into his version of a lady or was she comfortable being stuck in her trauma response.