Introduction, Aline Terpstra, April 10, 2021
In excerpts part 8, Esther tells us about a "party" with high-ranking people where she is used as a teenager to sexually entertain the guests. Esther tells us how horrible it is when even the little bit of protection that those who consider her property offer her (making sure you don't die), is gone. In 'normal life' you read how Esther discovers as a teenager that there is also an ordinary world, where being abused by family members is not ordinary. The start of a long process of awareness.
Esther's own story, by Esther
Special occasions (sex work)
One day I was picked up by car and I got in as usual. There were fixed places to go to when I would be picked up, depending also on my age. This time we drove longer than we usually do and I didn't recognize the road. Unknown roads, meant unknown events, meant being extra alert. Inside, everything was on edge. I had to change my clothes and halfway in the car they checked if everything was all right and helped me with my hair. Usually it goes like this. I get dressed and then I know that I have to do something and I jump into the role of mistress, prostitute or accomplice. Like a robot, a sort of program kicks in, in which I am prepared to do anything, for fear of reprisals.
We arrived at a sort of estate where there was a building that looked something like a hotel with a large lobby with rooms. I was taken to a room where a group of people were sitting around laughing and talking. Alcohol could be smelled as I walked past the people behind A and the cigar and cigarette smoke hung throughout the room and permeated my lungs. I didn't mind those smells very much, I was used to it, but still it struck me over and over again that those smells were there and invaded my lungs again and again. The men made a lot of noise. They laughed, sometimes someone shouted and they talked a lot.
As I walked past a few tables, they were also whistling and some got the chance to slap my ass. I was not surprised by this. I had also put on the clothes that influenced this behavior and had been prepared for it for a long time. I just didn't expect the setting. An unfamiliar environment, and the atmosphere was very businesslike and smiley and the people looked very well-groomed. The women who attended had beautiful dresses and suits on and the men were all in suits with nice shiny shoes and combed hair. It was noticeable that it was a neat group, who felt like having a party. I myself looked like a waitress in a too short skirt with a thong. I only had an apron over my belly and something you could call a bra underneath. A cloth in my hair to look like a real waitress. A. pointed me to a table and on autopilot I climbed on it.
There was a cheer from a few men and the music came on and I did my dance on autopilot. I danced to music so often. If you try to be elegant and make sexy moves, you've come a long way. Sometimes taking something off makes people, especially the men, more alert and then you can just ask them what they want. They tell you what to do and you just have to do it. I always find it a stupid game, but the better I do, the faster everyone will be finished and the faster I can go home. My goal was to do my job as well as possible and go home safely as soon as possible.
Yet most of these types of dates were in a different setting. Less businesslike and less fancy and the men were quick to be more aggressive and attacking. These people were wait-and-see and just enjoyed my performance and because of that, at some point I didn't know what to do anymore. I became clueless and started to stumble a bit more. Because of my doubt and because someone made a nasty remark about my clumsiness, I asked without thinking twice, aren't there any other children who want to play with me? Children always do well and since I was already further into my teens, I became less and less interesting. At least, that's how I felt.
A, who was standing in the back corner, immediately called out. Well, you want to go really fast today. What do the others think of it? He shouted through the room. There was a loud yes shout and A pushed a girl of about 6 years old in my direction. I had not seen her before, but the moment I saw her I regretted it. I saw her eyes and her fear in her whole body and the ground felt like it was falling away from under my feet. I had betrayed her and I knew very well how that felt. Almost simultaneously I flipped a switch in my head and slipped back into my role, simultaneously with hearing the trigger words that spurred me into action even more. I looked up and saw grandpa sitting at a table with a stately man and behind him two men standing against the wall. They looked like guards. I was intimidated by them and suddenly I didn't feel safe at all and I felt like I was turning white. Grandpa and W were sitting next to each other. That man, with whom I had been in a small forest house before and who had killed my friend, was sitting there next to grandpa. A button flipped and I pulled the girl that had arrived at my table by her arm and started dancing with her on the table. I told her that it would be alright, together we could handle this group and soon we would be lying in our own beds again.
I smiled and disappeared into the feeling that it was so much fun and so enjoyable. I kissed her, undressed her and let her undress me and invited the men to come. First 1, then 2, until we ended up in a gang rape session. Some preferred me, some preferred the little girl. Some just stayed at their tables watching and quietly finished their drinks and the women pretended to have giant fun with the men who didn't get laid.
I saw the little girl being carried away, she was too tired to walk and was bleeding from underneath. I knew that she would be well taken care of, because this girl was strong. This girl had not screamed, had not resisted, this girl was the ideal object of use, just like I had always been and still am. This girl I would meet more often, somewhere that consoled me. My action had not killed her.
The barns are a dangerous place for me. First, because it was usually unexpected things that happened there. A lot of fringe people came there. People who belonged to the larger group, but not the smaller ones and therefore felt more powerful and more allowed to do things. Torture was done here and recording porn with and without animals.
For me, this meant unexpected assaults or acts, which were often wanted and for which I could not prepare myself enough. Recording the videos was still reasonably planable, but when I went to a barn I never knew in advance. In addition, they often went very far and it always became a kind of extended torture session, where at some moments the camera would turn off or come closer. The clicking of the camera, the turning of the tape, the lights, and then the endless pounding in my body are sometimes present for days when I'm awake and in my dreams. It never stops, it's always there. The pain and at the same time the numbness and wanting to escape from myself. It is so deeply ingrained.
It doesn't help that I know the footage is roaming the internet and has been viewed by many people and some are definitely still being viewed. I once saw the site they tracked it from, I had a video that had over a million downloads on it. I was an adult at the time and they threatened that they would do the same with my adult images. I was still so naive that I thought I could stop that, but they also wander around the internet. The thoughts of others having sex by looking at my body, while I don't do that kind of thing anymore, are almost unbearable. But it is the way it is.
Every newspaper article that says child pornography was found feels like another stab, another rape, because who else is going to see it. Who's going to recognize me. Maybe not real thoughts, but present. Sure I want them caught, but it's an illusion that it's off the internet. One of the barns had a cage. A cage that I could be strapped into, with my legs up and like a birdcage, a door could then open, allowing them to have sex with me. The cage was hoisted up so they could get to it easily. They liked to throw a bucket of cold water over me and rape me hard. I never understood it.
In 1 of the barns there were cockfights. Lots of drinking, lots of screaming and the roosters slaughtered each other until one was really dead or as good as dead. The winner got a lot of money and there were more girls and boys for sex. Because they were so drunk, they were unpredictable. This sometimes meant that the person who was supposed to look after me that night was very busy, or when he got drunk himself, I was at their mercy.
I was dependent on others to let me live or harm me or not do anything to me. That fear is hard to deal with. Sex is doable, so is torture, but not being able to trust that someone will make sure everything goes well enough is not doable. Your life collapses in a moment, as soon as you see someone who is not doing his job, and then you are at the mercy of unknown whims of drunk men and women.
My life at home was also different from other families. I only noticed that when I went with a classmate to her house to play. Her mother was sitting at the dining table with a cup of tea for both of us and a biscuit tin on the table. She opened the drum with simple old-fashioned biscuits in it. I was used to eating expensive and fancy biscuits from home and we never had these simple ones. I took one out of the drum and the mother said, take two, you can use it. I was as skinny as a batten and probably looked a bit malnourished. I took another one and the first question she asked was how our day was.
I fell silent. I looked at her like she had gone crazy and couldn't answer the question. Her daughter, my classmate, began to talk in a relaxed way about what had happened that day in class and what we had done for lessons and I was silent. I watched a family event with relaxation and friendliness as if this was the first time in my life that I had ever experienced such a thing. No expensive, special cookies, no alcohol or sex, just a mother at the kitchen table with tea and cookies in front of her and a simple question of how was your day.
From that day on, I began to realize that my life was different from some others. I started asking questions to another classmate about whether she has to go to places where men want to have sex, and whether she really has to go to the doctor when she says she has to go, etc. It was as if the world opened a door and I found myself in a totally different world.
That I sometimes almost forgot my verbal prohibition cost me dearly. As soon as rumours were heard that I had asked a classmate questions about sex and stomach ache, alarm bells started ringing and the next day my uncle came to fetch me from school under the pretext that I had to see a doctor. I was strapped to a wheel that day and kept underwater all the time because I had to learn to keep my mouth shut. I just wanted to discover why some other people's lives are different, I didn't understand the world anymore and this newly discovered world felt nice, that's all it was. I was not disobedient, but they thought so. For me, the affirmations grew larger and larger and it depressed me. I realized more and more that I had been through a lot of misery and others hadn't and I became jealous.
My parents were hard workers when it came to business and that was expected of me as well. In the mornings I often had to help out in the business before 6 o'clock and on the weekends, when I wasn't away for whole weekends to appointments and parties, I ran the household. I can remember being about 7 years old when I learned how to scrub the toilet and the floor and the bathroom properly and later more and more chores were added. Around my 10th birthday I did the whole house from top to bottom, I got the weekly groceries on my bike by myself and also washed the 2 cars that were parked in front of the door. I got some money for it and didn't think it was the worst thing in the world. Only now in my adulthood I realize that it was slave labor as it went and I feel bad about it, but then it was an excuse. Free time was unknown to me. Working hard provided a distraction, made me feel useful and most importantly, I didn't have to go to another place where I would be abused.