I have these fragments of thoughts this morning left over from yesterday that never really got wrapped up. It’s hard to connect to them emotionally. But the thoughts are there, so I suppose I’ll start there.

It has to do with the contrasts of my two worlds—my homelife and the trafficking world—and my realization that being trafficked was actually better.

It was partly that way because the girls were sort of normal. They were dysfunctional, I suppose. A few of them were drug addicts. Some of them were alcoholics. They were all struggling with trauma in some way, but they were psychologically mostly intact. And they cared about people. They cared about each other. They cared about me. They were warm and sometimes nurturing and more or less straightforward. They didn’t say one thing and mean something else. Trafficking did not force the humanity out of them. They were not psychopaths. Yuri was, but he wasn’t present every second. He wasn’t even present most of the time. He came and went.

It shouldn’t surprise me that it was like this, but it does. I went home and lived with complete madness. I lived with people who really were not human most of the time, who couldn’t care about others, who were deceptive.

School ought to have seemed normal, but it’s a public setting. I didn’t know what people were like when they went home again, when they found themselves in a more private setting. I didn’t know if the normalcy remained or if it was nothing deeper than a veneer.

So the girls were my model for how normal people behave, except that it never seemed they ought to be that. It seemed upside down and backward, because of course that is upside and backwards. A brothel is not a psychologically healthy environment. But it was the best I had.

It also makes me understand there is psychologically unhealthy and then there is psychopathic, and they are quite far apart.