Jonesboro, GA
When I pulled into the motel parking lot, Rochelle and another lady were yelling at each other about money that had been stolen out of a motel room. It looked like it could get serious so I waited to see what would transpire. When everything calmed, I asked Rochelle if she would tell me about her life.

Rochelle: What changed my life is that I got molested. I smoke crack every day, all day. I sell my body for the crack, every day, all day. 

My childhood was fantastic. I had a great mother. I have two sisters and two brothers. My mother was a single parent. Never wanted for anything. Had all my needs and a lot of my wants.

BW: You mentioned getting molested…

Rochelle: I was seven and my cousin was fifteen. Now, I’m fifty-five. Did anybody talk about stuff like that back then? Hell no. Did I know in my seven year old mind that something was going awry? No, I did not. But, in his fifteen year old mind did he know? Hell yeah. 

BW: Did you ever tell anybody about it?

Rochelle: Yeah, when I was grown. I think I might have been nineteen, maybe, when I finally told my mother. 

BW: Did it happen over a long period?

Rochelle: It happened from seven to probably twelve or thirteen. He didn’t penetrate me. He wasn’t gonna hurt me so everyone would know that he’s getting his nut off on a seven year old girl [Tears].

BW: Do you think that set you on this path [addiction]? 

Rochelle: No. No. What set me on this path is that I was actually born this way. I have an addictive trait. My father died of alcoholism. When I was born, I got some of his genes. When I took my first drink it automatically sent me into alcoholism.

Part of these collections: Sex Work