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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Adult Industry Medicine gets SHUT DOWN!!

God is SHUTTING IT DOWN, porn is coming down!!!! God has heard our tearful prayers and honored our faithfulness in this fight! AIM is shut down!! PRAISE GOD!

Please continue to support us in this fight, donate to save lives today.

Memoir: The truth about AIM (Adult Industry Medicine)

March 2010

My name is Jan Meza, I am a member of The Pink Cross Foundation and an ex bbw porn star. I contracted herpes and Chlamydia from my time as an actress in the porn industry.  I was in the porn industry for a little over a year. During that time I tested regularly through Adult Industry Medicines clinic in Sherman Oaks California, but because AIM does NOT make it necessary to test for herpes which affects about 66% of all sex industry workers, I became a victim to one of the adult industries overwhelming negative pitfalls, a sexually transmitted disease.

I remember my first time testing there, I was asked a couple of questions, told to fill out a form, blood and urine were collected and I was given a couple of pamphlets and a video, the whole process seemed very rushed and informal. I was never educated about the industry that I was about to venture into, nor was I ever told about the extreme risks I was about to put my body through. No one in the clinic ever verbally explained to me the statistics on STD’s in the industry, no one there explained my rights as an adult actress and adult film employee, no one really seemed to care, I was just another patient, and I was just another name on their daily roster. 

Adult Industry Medicines’ mission statement says this; “A non-profit corporation created to care for the physical and emotional needs of sex workers and the people who work in the Adult Entertainment Industry. Through our HIV and STD testing and treatment, our counseling, and support-group programs, we are happy to be serving the sex worker community. Our goal is to provide health care for the body, mind, emotion, and spirit.” How is their goal to provide these things, when not only I, but many other men and women I know in the adult industry never received counseling? AIM never made an effort to lift my spirit! All AIM did was give me a false sense of physical safety.  How exactly do they care so much for the emotions and well being of actors and actresses in the adult industry when they didn’t even educate me on my physical safety rights according to Cal OSHA? According to CAL OSHA regulations I should have been given a clean and safe place to wash up in, on the set health hazards should have been identified to me, I should have never been subjected to lighting that was obviously old and extremely hot to be under for extended periods of time, lastly, and what perhaps outrages me the most, is that over the 100+ times I had spit, semen and vaginal secretions put on my hair, face, mouth, breasts, vaginal and rectal areas, not one producer or production employee ever offered  to take me to be tested afterward or immediately paid for my testing.  

On one scene in particular the male talent ejaculated semen into my eyes, I had contacts on, my eyes burned, my vision went blurry, I couldn’t see straight nor could I get my contacts out. Did anyone who worked on the set offer me immediate medical attention, did they offer to pay for my testing, did they offer me any help whatsoever, no! They did however laugh at me and added insult to injury by telling me it was just another part of porn that happens. Ultimately, it was an actress waiting for her scene that helped me to the bathroom, assisted in cleaning me up and consoled me.

It breaks my heart to acknowledge that during my time as a porn star, I’ve done a scene with 25 men and even though I was assured that all of the STD testing had been taken care of by the producers, in my heart I realize now that this was a lie because I never saw the tests for myself. I have slept with male performers and later found out that they did what the industry calls “gay for pay”, meaning that they are straight in their personal lives, but will sleep with other men in adult films for the right price. How can you put a price on life? Did you know that the gay adult film companies don’t make it mandatory for their employees to be tested at all?? If I had known that they did these types of films and that I was putting myself at even a higher risk of getting an STD, I would’ve never worked with them. None of those performers felt the need to tell me the type of work they were involved in and as naïve as it might make me sound, I assumed that they only preformed in straight porn, I was severely mistaken.

 I have worked with female stars who I later found out had drug addictions and who were actively working as escorts and having unprotected sex with their clients, it’s what the sex industry calls “bare back sex” and this dangerous practice is sadly common within the porn industry. I in no way advocate this lifestyle however, certain producers convinced me to work as an escort aside from filming for a short time during  my porn career claiming it would bring me more work and more notoriety and as a result every porn stars bottom line, more money!  I always used condoms to protect myself while performing acts of prostitution and I never came close to sleeping with nearly as many people as I did while working in porn.

I recently overheard a saying that goes; in your life you will either be affected by HIV and or AIDS or infected with HIV and or AIDS and other STD’s. We as humans are fallible and because of this what we create also has the possibility of failure, this includes testing for sexually transmitted diseases. How is AIM certain that their tests are foolproof when nothing in this life is guaranteed, not even the use of condoms, contraceptives and other prophylactics? And how much more is the risk of getting HIV, AIDS and other STD’s in an industry where you have not only one sexual partner per day, but several or more and condoms are looked at as an unnecessary, negative, component of this industry?! 

There is at one time thousands of porn stars actively working in the adult industry, can AIM say in all honesty that they are able to accurately test and regulate all of these performers’ health, I think not.  Has everyone forgotten the cases of HIV surrounding the porn industry in 1998, 1999, 2004 and especially just this past year when in October 24 year old Derrick Burts contracted HIV from his very short stent in porn ? Do you honestly think he was the only one when the AIM clinic quarantine list was extremely long? Enough is enough! How many more HIV incidents will occur in the adult industry before changes are made once and for all? Over 25 reported cases of HIV, how can anyone say that this is a small number? We are talking about human lives! There is so much secrecy, and abuse physically, mentally, and emotionally going on within the porn industry that it would be asinine to believe that the porn industry is safe and that clinics like AIM can and do care for each individuals complete and total well being.

During my time in the porn industry I became a heavy drinker, I started using marijuana and pain killers because they were offered to me at almost every shoot, I didn’t have to lie to the producer about being under the influence of any substances that would alter my decision making, they new when I was drunk or high and filmed me anyway, does that sound like an industry that cares about its performers? I felt I needed these drugs just to make it through the day and especially through a shoot. I had other drugs offered to me, but I refused them. I even showed up to AIM high for my monthly testing at times, why didn’t anyone offer me counseling then? I became someone I didn’t recognize, I drifted further and further away from my family, I lost my job, my home, I lost my sense of self and self worth. The money wasn’t worth my life anymore and I wanted out. I contemplated suicide, I was sick of the porn industries lies, being taken advantage of and not being in control of my own life. 

I’m here today because of God, Shelley Lubben and my family. Even after leaving the porn industry, getting violently ill and finding out that I had herpes and Chlamydia, I stand, broken, but not destroyed. I take a continuous stand to open the eyes of the world not only in regards to the spread of diseases like Chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea and HIV within the porn industry, but to the fact that the porn industry itself is a plague on life. The industry seeks out the young, naïve and the poor for its own personal gain and that is why I work with Shelley Lubben and The Pink Cross Foundation. We make it our job to reach out in love and to counsel the men and women working in or affected by porn to the best of our capabilities. We strive to educate them and help transition them if needed into a healthy life away from porn. It is my sincerest hope that by sharing my experiences and by uncovering the truths behind the fantasy of porn that just as I had enough and decided to do something to affect change, the world would too.

The California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/Osha) Standards Board Votes Unanimously to Protect Adult Film Workers

March 2010

The adult film industry set itself up for failure by fallaciously recalling the events that transpired during Cal-Osha’s March 18th council meeting to amend state health statutes in order to better protect adult film workers.
Not only did the council vote 100% in favor of the amendment, but one of the council men stated that upon walking in the door he was against it, but when he heard testimony from Shelley Lubben, former porn actress and Executive Director of Pink Cross Foundation, Madelyne Hernandez, former porn actress, myself, also a former porn actress, David Pounder, Producer/Director/Performer and President of Dave Pounder Productions, Robert Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, Director of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and finally Darren James, former porn actor who contracted HIV in the 2004 HIV outbreak in the porn industry, he decided to vote for the amendment.

The adult film industry wants you to believe that they were all for the amendment, this is absolutely not true. They also want the public to discredit our roles as former porn actresses by downplaying the amount of scenes we were hired for and our actual experiences during our careers in the adult film industry.’s writer Mark Kernes stated in his article regarding Shelley Lubben:

“Lubben, whose last direct contact with adult movie-making was in her short stint (12 movies) as a performer in the early '90s, spoke next, repeating her oft-stated claims that she is a "survivor of the porn industry."
"As a former porn actress, I have suffered much at the hands of the porn industry and their illegal activities and hazardous work conditions I was subjected to," Lubben told the board. "I was subjected to being forced to do scenes with five or six—several male performers while there was blood and feces and urine and semen and vaginal fluid all over me. These are conditions that were all over the set while we're working. We're actually staring sometimes at piles of rags that they just throw on the set, and because most of the scenes are filmed in private homes where there is no one to monitor what's going on, and as a young girl, who's your advocate on set? There's no one."

Lubben claimed that "hundreds" of performers had told her that they had been threatened by their agents if they asked to use condoms, and that she herself had caught herpes and HPV while working in adult (though the Centers for Disease Control recently announced that one-sixth of the population between ages 14 and 49, the vast majority of whom have not worked in adult, suffer from herpes), which supposedly led to her contracting cervical cancer….”
“Two more Lubben acolytes followed Cambria at the rostrum: Elizabeth Rollings (14 movies) and Michelle Avanti (80 movies). Rollings claimed to have contracted herpes during her brief time in adult, and castigated AIM for not testing regularly for a larger variety of STDs. She also claimed to have been forced to participate in a bukkake with 25 men, not all of whom, she charged, had been screened for STDs. "I've been on sets where there was blood-soaked towels or wipes or semen-soaked towels and wipes just laying on the floor openly and nobody did anything about it," Rollings contended.

One of Avanti's first scenes, she told the board, involved 75 men though she had been told that she would only be working with five, and that when she complained to her agent, she was told she would be blacklisted in the industry if she didn't complete the shoot. "I was given cocaine and alcohol to get me through the scene," she alleged, "and drugged out, I did the scene and 75 men that were not in the porn industry... went and basically ejaculated all over my face and my hair and my mouth, and there was no condoms, and I sat there after the scene, crying, and I actually had to be carried off in a chair into the shower and they filmed all of that while I was crying, and there was urine all over my face and it was awful." Avanti also claimed that when she addicted to drugs and alcohol and went to AIM for help but was rejected.”

Well Mark, let’s get the facts straight shall we! Anyone can research Michelle Avanti (Madelyne Hernandez) and Elizabeth Rollings (which would be me, Jan Meza-Merritt) and easily see that Madelyne has actually done hundreds of scenes and I have done well over forty, excluding all of the adult websites I was hired for and performed in. Shelley Lubben might not of been a “hundred scene” actress, but was in the industry just the same, contracted a life altering disease and has been helping women and men in the adult film industry for the last five years overcome their emotional and physical abuses administered by the hands of producers and or agents and she continues to fight for the adult film performers rights to be protected and healthy and often helps them to transition into a normal life as well. also leaves out the fact that David Pounder was completely for this amendment, however Mark Kernes and his cronies seem to have a knack for selective hearing, they pick and choose want they want their public to see, can anyone say mind control?! David Pounder spoke for well over thirty minutes regarding the hazards in the adult industry and stated that the adult film actors and actresses are in fact employees and need better protection. AVN. com did no justice what so ever for speaker Darren James who has to live with HIV every day of his life since contracting the disease in 2004. would love you to believe that Darren’s comments are somehow biased by stating that he is an “AHF employee”.  I don’t really understand how that has anything to do with the fact that he contracted HIV while working in the adult film industry.

Angelina Armani, contract employee and actress for Digital playground read from her well scripted notes stating; “I have worked for multiple companies with my choice of performing with multiple people as a contract player for Digital Playground and independent worker," she said. "From my experience of almost two years in the adult industry, I have never participated in or witnessed any unlawful behavior with my producer, director or any on-set worker that would jeopardize my health or safety... AIM is a nonprofit organization that encourages healthy practices and lifestyles of performers. Due to AIM's superior knowledge and support, I have never caught a sexually transmitted disease in two years of active performing.” She also went on to later contradict herself by saying she wasn’t just a contract girl, but in just the last week had worked in many different scenes and was only a contract girl for Digital playground for one year.

The fact of the matter is that just like Shelley Lubben so eloquently stated after Angelina Armani spoke, She, Madelyne Hernandez and I represent the majority of women in the adult film industry. We represent the mass numbers of abused, enslaved, addicted, diseased women that have either come out of the industry or are too afraid to speak out against it. Contract girls are few and far between, they only represent about 5% of the women in the adult film industry. This is not a high number when you take into consideration that there are a couple thousand women actively working in the adult industry every month. It’s also kind of funny how the adult film industry only had one adult film performer come to speak on their behalf, where were all the bigger names at? Were they too busy to show or was it that they were to afraid to tell lies in front of the government?? And how are we to ever really know if Angelina Armani is telling the truth about not contracting any diseases or not being subjected to anything illegal on sets or by producers, I have my testing from a “real” doctor, does she? I’m praying for you Angelina, you know the truth and one day you’ll be willing to share it too.

Diane Duke, FSC Executive Director stuttered through her scripted notes as well claiming she was sorry for what had happened to us (while directly looking at Shelley Lubben, Madelyne and me) and that the FSC is there to protect us from things like that and if they had just known we could’ve received their help. 

Wow, well thank you Diane that was um, sweet and sincere?? We forgive you and the adult film industry like Christ forgave us, but try explaining the FSC’s lack of concern and help to the hundreds of other men and women in the adult film industry who come to The Pink Cross Foundation for help on a daily basis, aren’t we doing your job?

I could continue to penetrate (no pun intended) the lies of the Adult film industry all day long, but they have done a terrific job of exposing themselves and if they’d like to continue to set themselves up for failure, I say more power to them. Who am I anyway, according to Mark Kernes just a small fry, an “acolyte” not to be worried over.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."- John 8:32

The porn truth at church (2009)

Ex porn stars Shel­ley Lubben and I share our in­spi­ra­tional sto­ries and tell the can­did truth about porn in church. 

Three ex porn stars on the Joni show

Ex porn stars Shelley Lubben, myself and Tammie Boling tell the hardcore truth about porn on the Joni Show in May 2009. Watch and learn the truth!

MTV True Life I'm addicted to porn (2009)

Three ex porn stars, Tammie Boling, myself and Shelley Lubben (The Pink Cross Foundation) are featured on MTV's True Life in the episode "I'm Addicted to Porn". The show is actually really good however they cut out A LOT of the talking we did with porn star Jayden Jaymes.

A poem: The reality of porn

Oh those herpes itch,
Why do those guys call me a bi*ch,
Why can’t I get some respect?
I am a gorgeous porn star so what the heck,
Why won’t they take me seriously?
Why did I get Chlamydia, gonorrhea and P.I.D?
Why do all these other women hate me?
I am a good person,
I am very smart,
Why can’t my fans see past my cooter to my heart?
Why won’t these stalkers let me be?
Why does it hurt when I go pee?
I think I want this to all go away,
False fame, no real love, producers, porn stars and fans that want to use me,
No one knows who I really am,
No one can see my dreams and aspirations through a one sided cam,
I think I’ll go home now; I want to forget my past,
I want to find a true love that will appreciate “me” and last,
This business was no career,
It only fed off of my money and fears,
I feel battered and bruised,
I’m sick of the addictions,
The drugs I no longer want to use,
God help me,
God save me,
See past who I was and release me from this industry.

-         Jan Meza

Memoir: Attendance drops at 2009 AEE / AVN

Attendance drops at Adult Entertainment Expo
Isn’t God good!!!! 

 As most of you know I help Shelley Lubben and The Pink Cross go into as many adult conventions as we can to reach out to porn stars and to porn fans, but the biggest adult convention we have been to so far was the AVN held in Las Vegas January 9th through the 11th   2009. Going into these conventions always breaks my heart because I get to relive all the horror stories that most of the girls in the industry are facing and because of the oblivious fans who think that buying the videos, magazines or even paying these women for sex on the side, really helps them and not hurts them.

Taken from an article written by Laurence Lerman, Sean Devlin an AEE spokesman was quoted as saying this; “We are just like every other tradeshow in that we are experiencing the same market forces that they are.” So is that true, are they really like any other market???? My answer is no!! The adult industry is a billion dollar industry and yet all of the sudden they can’t seem to make their quota?? Is this the affects of the economy or is it God? My answer is God. You see adult videos and other adult paraphernalia for most is an addiction and the last time I checked people will do anything to keep their addictions going, even at the risk of themselves or others around them. So why the lack of attendance, why are the numbers dwindling not only at the conventions, but adult sales in general?? Education and intervention!! 

The Pink Cross was founded in 2008 and has grown tremendously since then, if there were no need for the foundations’ cause why would it be growing, why would people be so responsive to the materials we hand out? When I talked to people at the conventions I would say that at least 90% of them had no clue about what goes on behind the scenes or about all of the possible STDs you can catch and spread and how you can do it nor do the porn stars even realize they have rights as an independent contractor. When The Pink Cross steps in to share our stories, to reach out in love, to educate and inform, we then open the door for God to change lives and he has in a major way! Take a look at what God is doing through us, go to The Pink Cross blog and read how Nadia Styles left the adult industry and was helping the foundation at this years AVN, read the other stories from former adult stars and strippers, God is moving in a mighty way! 

Take a look at some other quotes from the same article written by Mr. Lerman
“I know the numbers are down, but it looks the same to me,” said John Stagliano “My impression is that DVD sales are down across the board.”

Jeff Thill, director of video operations for Hustler Video Group, agreed that activity on the show floor was noticeably lower from the previous year. -
“Traffic is definitely down from last year. As you walk to the back end of the floor, it does seem to be a bit dead,” he said.

And the quote to end all quotes, one that brings a smile to my face and joy in my spirit is from Larry Flynt himself “We have a solution, and it’s called bankruptcy.”

I’m no one to receive joy from other people’s pain and this is not about that at all, the adult industry brings enough suffering to people. What this is about is helping people realize that they are destined for more, that selling their bodies is NOT an easy way out of financial distress and that intimacy with one person is the most fulfilling experience emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. That polluting their minds with a false sense of sexuality will only further separate them from ever having a real intimate encounter. My hope and adamant prayer for 2009 is that the adult industry will completely dissolve and that the producers, stars and fans who were apart of it will find God, peace, joy, real intimacy and prosperity by maintaining a real career. 

Jan E. Meza

Memoir: My exit interview from porn with Shelley Lubben (2008)

Jan, formerly known as Elizabeth Rollings, left porn in October, 2007 and shares her story in an interview with Shelley Lubben.

SL: How did you get into the sex industry?
ER: I was in my first movie because of an ad I answered on craigs list off the internet. I needed money and it sounded easy to do so I thought, why not? I knew it was wrong but I needed quick cash and of course it was legal, right? So I did the movie and never told anyone until months later when I decided to do it full time.

SL: Tell us about your childhood.
ER: My mom and dad divorced when I was three. My dad was a weekend dad and my mom took all of the responsibility raising us. We never had much of anything but my mom always tried to make sure that my older sister and I stayed in good schools and out of bad neighborhoods. My mom met a man when I was about 6 or 7 who whisked her off to Europe often and she would leave us with her side of the family. This went on for the next couple of years until my sister was about age 14 and I was about 11. We ended up homeless and went to live with our Godmother who was very spank happy to to say the least.
I was becoming very bitter about my mom and dad not being there even though I had accepted God in my heart at 7. When I was in 8th grade is when all the trouble began and I started noticing boys. There were a lot of gangs and gang fights and because of that I needed protection. I turned to clicks and pot heads and underage parties and smoking cigarettes and boys. I was only 13 years old. 

I was in a world of trouble when I met "Candyman". Candyman was a gangster and offered me protection and a lot of attention. He took me home to meet his parents. I trusted him and thought he loved me. He tied me up and raped me. This was my first sexual experience. When he was done, he told me if I said anything I would be hurt worse by him and his friends. Gangs began to harass our family so we moved out of the neighborhood.
In high school I was into getting high and smoking cigarettes and having sex with my boy friend. Even though I was an A student, we constantly partied and had sex. At age 17 I ran away from home. My boyfriend and I were living in a friend's rat infested basement for 200 a month and soon I became pregnant. I attained my GED and traded in my hopes of becoming a nurse for becoming a mom and wife. I married my boyfriend and we had three children together. 

SL: What led you into the sex industry?
ER: I worked off and on sometime two jobs to make up the lack of my husband's laziness. He never wanted to work. I got involved in prostituting at 19 and I worked for a women who had about 50 other girls working for her. I did topless massage and dominatrix work off and on for two years. I also pursued modeling because it had always been a passion of mine to be a model even though I am plus size. My husband knew I was doing sex work and didn't care.
I always loved to act and was involved in school plays growing up. I did a lot of promotional modeling and some street acting, but having to work a 12 hour shift as a cna (certified nursing aide) and take care of three kids kind of killed the dream. My husband and I divorced in 2004 for obvious reasons and my financial stress grew and grew. I had been to church a couple of times but to me it wasnt enough. I felt like a horrible mother and provider. I made my first porno after answering an ad in craigslist. I felt so ashamed and yet sexy at the same time. Even though the money was good, I had no intention of doing another one.
I ended up doing about 40 movies, 20+ websites, 3 magazines, 3 expos, countless online interviews and finally my own website. But yet I have nothing to show for it.

SL: What was the porn industry like?
ER: I was in Las Vegas so I had to drive back and forth to the porn industry in California four times a week. The money was great and my new boyfriend who recently lost his job, was loving every minute of it, traveling, seeing me have sex with other men and with other women. To him we had it made. I started making a name for myself in the BBW niche. I was in high demand and started loving the attention. My kids were fed, happy and had what they needed when they needed it. My boyfriend and I stayed in nice hotels and ate at good resturants. I bought him things and even helped him out with his own kids.
I got more and more requests for fetish films. After much pressure from porn producers, I finally caved in and did a 25 guy movie. I never thought I would have done something like that. I felt disgusted and violated, but what was I going to do? I was paid well for it and needed the money desperately. 

SL: OH MY GOSH. What was it like to make a 25 guy movie?
ER: For two days I had to fast. I drank heavily one day prior before I did the movie. When I got on the set I felt really sick to my stomach. I wanted to turn around and run when I walked through the door and saw all the male porn stars and film crew standing there. I zoned out and wanted it to be over. I kept saying to myself, "this is going to be over in an hour. You can do it.". I wanted to break down and cry but I hid behind my fake smile.
During the movie I mentally and emotionally checked out and felt like I died. I don't remember real well the pain and trauma I went through. After it ended, everybody wanted to take pictures with me and get my autograph. Here I am standing there with bodily fluids all over me and people wanted to take pictures with me. It was horrible. My body was sore the next couple of days and I wasn't right mentally for two weeks after that. I wasn't able to use to the bathroom right either. My internal system was totally messed up.

SL: Did you lie to your fans and clients? What lies did you tell them?
ER: Of course I lied to my fans. I led them to believe I lived a fantasy life which was far from the truth. I fed into their fantasies. I said I wanted sex 24/7 and made it seem like I absolutely loved what I did and was living this happy life. I gave them hope and insight into their relationships by telling them what to do, or if I were with them what I would do to them. I started to feel like an important nobody, they knew Elizabeth Rollings, but they would never care to know Jan.

SL: Were you exposed to drugs and alcohol?
ER: Yes, the first time was at the 2006 AVN Porn Convention after party. I didnt do them but saw other porn stars using drugs. I was seriously tempted to but instead I got drunk and fooled around with a lot of other people in the "sex room" of the suite. I was still kind of new to the industry but I think after time, I would have used drugs. I always drank heavily before I did a movie.

SL: In your experience, how many other porn stars or sex workers use drugs and alcohol?
ER: I would guess around 90%. It becomes an escape route to reality, a temporary vacation from it all.

SL: What was the worst thing about the sex industry? Or a worst experience for you?
ER: The feeling that you are not in control of your own life. You have to submit to others (producers, agents, etc..) no matter HOW important you think you are, you're not in control. Being called a bitch and being told it was all apart of "acting" the part. Having men do disgusting things to me and even if it hurt, I had to make it seem like I was enjoying every minute of it. I hated it. 

SL: Where was God while you were in the sex industry?
ER: In my heart and in my subconscious, pulling on my heart strings, painfully and patiently waiting. Many times God saved me from harm, especially from sexually transmitted diseases.

SL: Why did you leave the sex industry?
ER: I left because I was on the verge of suicide. I hated who I had become. I hated looking in the mirror. I hated not having any "real" relationships with people and most importantly I was desperate for love. There is a website on me for which I have no part in, the man who owns it will not take it down. I had a contract with him and put much time and effort into this site, but after 8 months of mental and emotional abuse, financial threats and much more, I chose to part ways with him. He made threats to "break" me financially because I wouldn't bend to his will. I told everyone I could that I wasnt associated with the site anymore and he was not happy about it. My nerves were shot, I couldn't take it anymore, I was physically sick and had to go to the ER for a nervous meltdown, enough was enough. I didn't care about my name anymore. I didn't care about a temporary financial fix. I wanted to be a good Mother for my children and show them that life is not about the easy way out of things, but about the road less traveled. I left for the sake of my sanity and my soul.

SL: Where are you now in rebuilding your life?
ER: I'm struggling with finances and I don't know how my bills are going to be paid, rent, food, supplies, but I know God is faithful and I'm NOT turning back again. I'm back in with my church and just started a job at Starbucks, for which I'm so grateful to God for. I'm honestly on the verge of losing a lot, but have a peace I haven't felt in years. I know God is with me and has a plan for my life.