"On March 29, 1998, I tested positive for HIV. I had made a movie that was to be my last. I was given lines of cocaine before the movie and a bottle of my favorite champagne to drink during the movie. I remember countless men, many of which I knew, some I did not. And I remember crying and asking them to stop because it hurt so much."
When I was young, I didn't attend church regularly. When I did, the ominous shouting of the preacher about damnation and hell was more than I cared to witness at least at that age.
Much of my life I felt depressed and like I didn't fit in. I was exceptionally intelligent and attended a gifted school 4-6 grades. I attempted suicide for the first time at the age of 15.
Not more than a year later when I was 16, and it was my dad's birthday July 3rd. I saw a classmate's older brother John and his friend Mike. John asked me if I would park my car and like to take a ride with them to the party. I accepted, and they drove me to a dark country road and proceeded to rape me. I was a virgin, it terrified and made me feel shameful all at once. They were both 20 years old. All I remember is emotional and physical pain. They told me if I told anyone about the incidence they would never believe me.
To my dismay, when I did finally tell my parents days later, they did not believe me and proceeded to put me in a mental institution. I began running away and spent a lot of that summer in a mental institution in Kansas City or in jail because I looked so young and my parents would put in a missing person's report.
They sent me away to live with my dad's mom and my great uncle. My dad's brother. I didn't adjust in the new high school Rock Bridge, two hours away in Columbia, MO. The kids were calling me '21 jump street'. I began working and not going to class. I dropped out basically and got my GED at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I didn't study so I did not score quite high enough for a scholarship, but passed my GED. I enrolled in a community college my uncle John put me in. It was 45 minutes north in Moberly.
Not long after, I was working part time 30 hours and going to school 16 hours, it was over load and I dropped out again. Not long after I found out I was pregnant. Then very shortly after my uncle pleaded with me to get an abortion, he was nabbed by the FBI. On the cover of the paper it read FEDS NAB MAJOR DEALER! I lived with my great grandmother at that point, Maude. She encouraged me to read the Bible. I did. I read from Jeremiah, and Jacob, names that i liked in the chapters.
I answered an ad in the newspaper, the Columbia Tribune for a couple trying to adopt a child. I figured this was the only way to give the baby a good home. I couldn't expect my great grandmother to take care of me and the baby. The couple that was trying to adopt a child, lived in New Hampshire. They were interested in giving me room and board in exchange for my son after he was born.
I went in to labor in August reading Misery by Stephen King. It is no wonder. I named my son Jeremiah Jacob and put down the father as “don’t wish to disclose.” I told my birth mom I wanted to keep my son and there was no way if I could get out of the hospital with him, that I would ever give him up. My birthmom Chong, sent me a ticket to KC. She wanted me to go home to my dad.
I did not know how to support myself or my son. I started dancing in adult nightclubs in KC. My dad and step mom offered to watch my son for me so Jon M. and I could have time together. I did need a babysitter while i tried to get money for diapers, etc. I had warrants for outstanding traffic tickets. He had a way to get me arrested if it wasn't for trespassing. After no luck getting my son back, I went to a guy that worked at a hotel in St. Louis.
We left for California, my plan was to make it to California to get money to get my son back by getting a lawyer. We took turns driving his car. I woke up to him asleep at the wheel. The car rolled six times. I remember praying to GOD each time the car rolled, please watch after my only son. I am so sorry GOD, please give me another chance at life. I am so sorry GOD. I had glass in my lips when I woke up at the hospital on an x-ray slab. The guy from St. Louis had left me there, he thought maybe I was in a coma. I remember grabbing some Marlboro cigarettes that were on the table of mine. and leaving the hospital. Not even a coat on. It was snowing. I hitchhiked the rest of the way to California in semi trucks that I would get at truckstops. Luckily no one made any advances on me at that time. I had hitchhiked from a small town called Rifle, CO. It was a miracle. This is the first time I knew for a fact that there was a real GOD. I made it all the way to an industrial area outside Los Angeles.
I would stay awake at night in Coffee shops. The first place I went to was a place in Hollywood called ‘Teen Canteen’. I met a guy named Michael. He was doing community service there. I found out later he had lost his wife and son in a car crash. He was still dealing with his loss. He one night threw a champagne glass at me while I was in the tub. I went into an adult club for the first time.
Not only did I meet later a criminal attorney that defended Henry HIll, the movie that the Goodfellas movie was written about. To my surprise this smart, attorney did cocaine and drank vodka straight.
I did drugs too with his friend who was a judge. That is when I began questioning where I was and what I was doing. Needless to say he did give me his convertible and I dropped him off at court and had his Mustang all day. I answered an ad in the LA weekly for calendar modeling. I met a guy named Michael. He worked for a company in the adult film business.
On March 29, 1998, I tested positive for HIV. I had made a movie that was to be my last. I was given lines of cocaine before the movie and a bottle of my favorite champagne to drink during the movie.
I remember countless men, many of which I knew, some I did not. And I remember crying and asking them to stop because it hurt so much. I didn't truly understand what I was in for.
The movie was titled World's Biggest Anal Gang Bang. I had done gang bangs before but this was brutal and they said if they did not get the 2 and a half minutes footage per man, I would not get the $15,000. What a price to pay for your life. And wouldn't you know it, the checks bounced.
Time went by, it wasn't till I was to work on another movie for Michael C. that the test I had at that time was okay but the one I took the day before was positive.
I was devastated. I was lonely, I felt like GOD had abandoned me. Someone I had known for six years, had forged his test and infected me and five other women in the adult industry. I was so hurt. I felt like I was dying emotionally. My heart and chest never hurt so much before. Every time I would wake up, I would cry myself back to sleep. How could this be? Could this be a mistake I wanted to convince myself. But it wasn’t. Soon after I had newspapers and tv shows calling me and tabloids even. I never wanted to be invisible so much.
I went on MTV and talked about how condoms can save lives. I spoke to the new generation and told them all what I thought about HIV transmission. It was hard to conceal my own pain. I had a dance offer in October in Hawaii. I took it. I featured at a club for a week. To my surprise the book store outside Aiea, Hawaii was full of fans waiting for a long time. I felt like it wasn’t all for nothing and I had support. To my surprise the MTV True Life episode had aired the night before. They were supporting me. I was almost grateful. I was like a star to them. If only I felt that way.
I became homeless eventually in Hawaii after I took an offer to work for someone's internet company. I got on SSDI and SSI benefits. I took psych meds for the first time. After finding out I was positive, when I got sober, I had real anxiety. It was almost like a post traumatic stress type of thing looking back on it. I had a lot of anger and a lot of pain. I began healing after I put myself in a rehab when I turned 30. A month later, my mom died. I heard voices for the first time. It terrified me. I was hospitalized in a mental institution by choice this time. I played music a lot to get rid or drown out the voices. They think this was due to my ice use.
I got clean from drugs for two or three years. I smoked medical cannabis or took marinol.
I had a ruptured appendix in 2004 and smoked medical marijuana, they tried to kick me out of the federal low income housing at the military barracks in Hawaii. I got a hold of someone I had met at a club in Florida soon after I was diagnosed in 1998. He flew me to Dallas. It was my only hope at that time.
I went on chemo for the first time and was not on HIV drugs. It caused me to get a call from the doc’s office telling me I had full blown AIDS and try not to be alarmed. I was once again devastated.
I soon after met my husband online on an HIV site. He would keep me company when I felt I was going to die. I had hope again. When I flew to California to see my girlfriend, he flew me up north to San Francisco.
It was bumpy relationship at first partially due to his mom. But we are together and married five years later. My dad became a pastor in a Baptist church.
We got into a fight about two years ago. I went back out and did drugs. It was during this time that I went to Glide to get my ID replaced, and in turn I started volunteering there. It was by volunteering that I was able to stop doing drugs while I was in the basement of that church. I attended on Sunday and felt unconditional love. I felt hope. It was soon after that that I realized GOD's love for me. I wanted to go to a church where I could worship the LORD and share this experience with others. I haven't looked back to drugs. I still have to go to counseling by choice.
I continue to pray and read the Bible, though I haven't read it thoroughly yet. I am overcome with so much joy and happiness and hope when I read the Bible. In church, it looks like maybe I am crying because I am sad. I am just so touched by the gospel at times, that I weep. I have never felt like He has so much presence in my life before.
One thing I didn't share with my friend or anyone was I was fighting a workman's compensation case in the industry for twelve years, at one point I had tried to take my life in 2007. God came into my life soon after.
I was stuck in an endless circle of doing crack cocaine and I was breaking out with sores on my head. If God would not have shown me he was present and cared, I feel I would not even be alive to tell this story. In January of this year, I was finally awarded for the workman’s compensation, I received compensation for the last 12 years. I was able to put my son into his first year of a religious college, also Baptist in north Kansas City.
I was able to talk about dark secrets of my drug addiction and admitted to trying needles years before when I was younger. Despite all my own wrongdoings, I believe God was present in that too. I can't tell you all the ways I know. But I am not scared to die anymore. I know that there is Jesus Christ who died for my sins and if I tell Him my wrongdoings He will forgive me, whereas before, I just thought I was a bad person unworthy of God’s love.
I have Jesus Christ who died for my sins and with Him I feel whole again. Thanks for letting me share my baptism with you.