“I felt like I wanted to die.”
When Michelle Richards was five years old her parents divorced and her father dropped out of sight. Michelle remembers, “As a 5-year-old little girl, to me the word divorce meant, “He didn’t love me anymore.”
Michelle’s mother worked seven days a week to provide for her children. Michelle stayed with her grandmother where neighborhood boys began to molest her. Then at a sleepover at a friend’s house Michelle was molested by an adult.
“I remember him telling me to take them off. I said, ‘I can’t do that, my mom said, ‘Only God can see my body.’ And that’s when he said to me, ‘I’m god.'”
By the time she was 6, Michelle tried to escape those pain filled memories. She even tried to commit suicide by overdosing on chewable vitamins. Michelle recalls, “Nobody reached out to me to say, ‘Hey, what’s going on? You’re just a kid. You’re only six. Why do you want to kill yourself when you haven’t even lived yet?'”
The abuse by her neighbors continued over the next two years. Michelle took me to the neighborhood where it took place.
Michelle Wilson asks, “What does it mean for you to come back now and to look at the very place where your innocence was stolen?”
“It just feels like I’m that little girl again. Because those feelings come back up where I was so defenseless and I just remember I can still hear his words,” says Michelle.
By the time Michelle was a teen she became very promiscuous. “It was never about sex at all. So if I could give my body away and it cause that guy to not leave me, that’s what I would do.”
When Michelle turned 16, she dropped out of high school and was drinking and partying everyday. Michelle reflects, “I only stayed numb as long as the alcohol was in my system, as long as I was drunk or passed out.”
By 20, Michelle had had multiple abortions before she gave birth to a baby girl. As a single mother, she struggled to provide for her daughter. “I had dropped out of school. I had no education, I had no way to support either one of us and I couldn’t get a job at all.”
When Michelle Richards thought that she didn’t have any other employment options she came to this bar to become a stripper. “This is where I would come in this door right here. This is the dancer’s entrance. Although on the outside I would put makeup on and wear all the clothes it gave the impression that I was very glamorous. On the inside I was so wounded. And I was so desperately hurting. That in my life for a man to give me a dollar to strip on a pole was actually more than I felt I was really worth.”
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SOURCE: The 700 Club