Little Haiti

I was in little Haiti which is probably the worst neighbourhood in Miami and I booked a cheap hotel by accident not knowing how bad the neighbourhood was. The hostel itself was decent for the price and people moved with an eerie but harmless quiet. I shared a room with a girl that told me she used to be an escort. She was funny as hell and we joked about the difference between Americans and Canadians, (how Americans were psychotic because they didn’t have healthcare) and gossiped about how she met Jennifer Pham (the parent murderess) who was infamous in our hometown. But when I asked for her birth year so I could read her chart she never said no but just silently refused. The way she holds her social boundaries is both elegant, efficient, and disturbingly disconnected. I tried to ruminate on the trauma of exchanging sex for money. I told her I sad similar trauma with sex and it wasn’t far from my imagination what that would be like. She said something validating to me that I’ve waited 12 years to hear. That emotional rape and abuse was valid. She was clairvoyant and incredibly perceptive. I told her she needed to be in order to survive. In the morning she grew annoyed with me for my aggressive treatment of the random stranger that came in our room to use the bathroom and for being noisy and moving around a lot while she was trying to sleep. I was annoyed that she was annoyed but I saw both sides. I also sensed a hint of, she felt comfortable around me enough to treat me worse than others. It happens that way, when you have low self esteem you punish people who care about you. But I was there not long ago in her position of desperately trying to get from other people what you need. We both had abusive relationships but I became a software developer because my family provided some base of support for me (financial but not emotional), whereas she didn’t have one and also got pregnant. There was also a hint of, she believing she had it worse than me. I’ve met several survivors so far and they all amaze me with their strength and survival instinct. But I still feel different from them somehow. In the group therapy circle I watched the other girls socialize but I chose to leave the group chat. It was not because I was afraid of connection, I actually sensed them competing with me at times. I’m just passing through now, I don’t belong there. I don’t belong with some ‘better’ kind of people either. I sensed so many things about her that annoyed me but it was such extraordinary luck to meet someone who acted similarly to me, because I can reflect on how I act around other people that I wasn’t able to see before.

While I tried to go to sleep she used my phone to call her brother to wish him happy new year. He had blocked her, but she insisted that she needed to love him. I would have done the same thing, but when I watch someone else do it I see how control is confused with giving, and how unnecessary this action is. Even with my brother dead I don’t regret the lack of contact we had. She refused to get angry ever over something bad that was done to her and I saw the same oversimplification of emotions I used to have. I still bias towards being angry as my response to everything. But I let her be, I think it was the best I could do for her.

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