Once we settled in at our gig in Florida the girls started to teach me what I needed to know to be safe, and to make money. We worked on costumes together and an identity was created for me…including some id to help the process, it was pretty loose then and dancers where not overly inspected.. “you look good..your in”. I was ready to work as a dancer during bike week in Daytona. I always loved music and this felt right, now I was able to provide for myself. I watched and learned very quickly.
I was always very lucky to attract people close to me, that cared,. The girls who were showing me the ropes really did treat me like a little sister. they educated me very quickly on what to look for when travelling and how to get booked into the best clubs , Daytona during bike week is absolutely crazy there are thousands and thousands of people. Awesome about that is that there’s also thousands and thousands of dollars to be made. And I learned very quickly how to tuck my cash away.
I didn’t actually have a bank account so I had to make sure that my bills were small so I cashed all my little bills into hundreds and tucked them away. Once we were completed the circuit the girls and I headed back home. I moved in with one of the girls who had taken me under her wing and we had a ball. When we weren’t working in the clubs we were out in the bars having a good time. I had family in a sense and it felt great!
Funny thing is at that time I didn’t drink at all, alchol was the last thing on my list but it started there and I certainly didn’t do a whole lot of drugs at that point..but in time that came later! My grandmother was happy to have me home for a bit, and I made my rounds to visit my siblings and step momma!! I spent the cash I earned on my family. I bought the kids their first computer and tried to spoil them whenever I could!
The police and CFS were still on the look out but I made a deal with my family.. they don’t tell and I don’t disappear and never speak to them again. There was some talk about a missing person picture and they ensured that did not happen..
For a little pocket of time I had peace.
One evening, my close friend died.. on her way home from working, I was sick so stayed home and they were traveling out of town.
The driver of the car she was in left the road over a train track bridge the car flipped and it landed upside down on the tracks. Both were killed instantly.
I was devastated and this was the first time I experienced physical illness due to stress and sorrow!
I went to her funeral wearing her favourite dress and I said goodbye.. I know I will see her again “Wild Horses” and any Stones song .. She still speaks to me and I often hear her laughter!
When you are on the run and your roomate dies..you move..I was mourning for my friend but her family wanted her apartment cleared and It was really this point in time that I realize that I had to become “self-sufficient”. I needed help to get canadian identification set up so that I could work in Canada. With a good amount of cash and patience I finally got a good set of ID. I was able to rent an apartment and open a bank account. I bought furniture, clothing, household items and made myself a nice little home in a high rise where a couple other dancers lived! ( we would always chose security buildings for safety. )
In this city I was able to work at one or 2 clubs at the same time. We worked 8 hour shifts dancing, and serving. I was popular and made very good money!! I was in charge and had control of my life. I kept myself busy when not working because I did not like “ getting into my head’. Life seemed good but I was so very lonely , still confused and angry with my mother and my father. Still super confused sexually in that I had no idea what is normal in sexual relationships . I was about to meet someone that would change me forever!!