It was a little after three weeks that I got my job stripping. I still couldn’t believe that this was the path I was taking but at this point I had no other choice. I have never been a big drinker and have always been turned off by drugs so I figured it would be easy for me to stay away and if it could help me afford to raise my kids, I had to give it a try.
It was a girlfriend of mine who mentioned it to me originally. She noticed a sign out of one of the strip joints that they were looking for a day time stripper. She joked with me that maybe I should apply and we both laughed about it. That laughter turned into something more serious as I began to look online at how much a stripper could make. I was blown away by how much cash they can make! Maybe it really was an option?
I gathered up the courage to go down to the location where my girlfriend had seen the sign. I honestly had no idea what to expect as I had never even been in a strip club. Obviously I had seen things in movie but never before had I actually seen a strip show live. I went in and was actually greeted by the manager. I think he knew what I was doing there the minute I walked in the door. He was a very kind man however and made me feel comfortable right away, They were still in fact looking for a stripper and he said all I would need to do was show him what I got.
I expected this and was also thankful the place was empty. He asked me if I had a song I liked to dance to and I honestly drew a blank! I was so nervous. I snuck off to the washroom and gave myself a pep talk “This could save my family,” I kept telling myself. I walked out of that washroom with confidence and went to the stage. Luckily I had taken a pole dance fitness class so I was a little bit familiar with what to do. I began to dance like I knew what I was doing and apparently I killed it! I was so nervous; especially when I stripped down to my underwear in front of this complete stranger but at the same time it was also extremely exciting!
When the song ended, the manager gave me a big clap and told me to come back tomorrow at noon for the lunch crowd. And that was that… I was a stripper!
When you hit rock bottom, there are a lot of scary decision you need to make. As a single mom with two kids, I struggled to make ends meet when my husband left us. It was the toughest time of my life and a time I won’t soon forget. It’s a time in my life when I had to make very tough decisions and I think in the end, I did alright with those tough decisions.
One thing you don’t realize until you’re in a desperate situation is who your true friends are. I had many angels along the way who helped build me back up while at the same time many people who abandoned me once I had nothing to offer them. Two people who never left my side were my beautiful kids who I love more than anything in this entire world. Not only did they support me in their own way but they never stopped believing in me; even when those tough decisions affected them.
I remember when I had to tell the kids they wouldn’t be going to Summer Camp with their friends. This was only a few days after I realized what a tough financial situation I was in. I sat them both down and talked to them a little about the situation we were in without telling them too much. At this point, they thought Dad was just away for a business trip. Even at this point, not knowing anything, they were supportive of me and understood that by not going to Summer camp they were helping their mom out.
One of the first things I did after he left was create a budget. I listed everything I had to buy in a month. Groceries, and rent were obviously the two big ones and my priority was to ensure that by the end of the month I had enough money to afford these two things. Entertainment was not an option. It wasn’t my turn to get over my relationship by a drunken night at the bar, instead it was sober nights alone with whatever vibrators I had left over from the sale at market of pleasure.
I had to weigh the risk vs reward when it came to things like my cellphone. True, a cellphone would help me find a job but could I really afford a $60 bill every month. The same applied to my internet subscription. Most people could not imagine living in a house without internet but this was a reality for me. I just simply couldn’t afford it. Instead, I did anything I needed to online at the coffee shop what had free wifi. Instead of buying a coffee I would just find a little spot in the corner and hope none of the employees noticed me. Starbucks was great for this as the staff never seemed to care and they didn’t have a wifi access code.
I also had to sell some things to get me through the first couple of months. The first thing I sold was the family vehicle as insurance payments and the cost of gas was just too much. The sale of the car honestly was what saved us from being on the streets.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, remember to put your kids first. They are most important and deserve to feel like it.