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  • Jessika Highers

Throw Me to the Wolves, I'll Return Leading the Pack

Updated: Dec 5, 2020




In true “Started From the Bottom” fashion, at the age of 19, I was working as an internet cam girl from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am in Troy, MI. That was my first attempt at “going legit” before the night shift became too much for me, and I quickly went back to bootlegging marijuana. At the age of 21, I did find legit work in property management, but my position was eliminated shortly after finding out I was carrying a high-risk pregnancy at the age of 23. When my child’s father cheated on me, giving me chlamydia, and causing a leak in my water. I was hospitalized for four weeks before giving birth to a baby boy, six weeks premature, who remained in the NICU for a week. Once I returned home, my new car was wrecked, the bills had been left unpaid, she had been living in my house, and so I literally packed and handed his things to the mistress, leaving myself with no job, no money, and a sick baby to care for, already behind. After one awful night at a diner where I made less than $4 per hour, I knew something had to give, illegal work was no longer an option, and so I went back to sex work. As an exotic dancer and entertainer on and off from 2004 until 2011, I was able to not only support myself, my son, and anyone else who came along, but I also put myself through undergrad and grad school. In a situation that would have destroyed most people, I rewrote the narrative to suit me as the victor.

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