The Real Long
Long comes across as a carefree happy go lucky girl in the bar but in reality she is a very troubled young lady heading for the precipice.
It all came to a head last week when she came over and had a large white bandage around her wrist. When I saw that my heart dropped and my first thought was Oh no, not you, Long. You see, throughout my career in law enforcement I had seen too many of them and knew immediately what it signified.
When I saw the wound I knew. She tried to run some cock and bull story about slipping and putting her hand through a glass door pane past me but I said, "Come on, Long, you know you can't bullshit me" (I had caught her out telling "untrue stories" a couple times, as she does frequently, and she now knows that she will be caught out by me). She got all flustered and finally said, "I don't want to talk about it anymore."
She has been consumed by worry about her little 5-year old son who was in the hospital for over three weeks with a serious infection. Long was told by her doctors that he might not make it (fortunately he got out this past week) and was in a panic.
Long has been going with little or no sleep all this time because she works late in a bar and when she gets done at 2 AM she goes right to the hospital and lets her mother go home and get some rest because the mother stays with the son all the time Long is at work. This is one sob story that you might get from any one of many bargirls but in her case, Long has a new phone and every time she sees me she shows me videos and still photos of her son in the hospital and the poor little tyke has an IV drip in the back of his little hand so I know this one is not a tale.
As with most Thais she knew absolutely nothing about wading through the bureaucracy of the government hospitals so I advised her what she had to do to escape without a giant bill and she was relieved but inconsolable because she had to pawn her one baht chain down to 1/2 baht to pay the bill. I also contributed to the cost and she was on the way to her knees to do one of those Thai wai the feet things right in the bar before I told her that was not necessary or wanted.
But then there is the uncontrollable beer drinking in massive quantities. We were at my house drinking some beer. While she was consuming them at a rapid pace, I told her no need to rush because we had all night. She looked at me then came out with the most telling statement she has made. She got that 1,000 yard stare that war victims or veterans have and said, "I like to drink it quickly and A LOT because it makes me forget!" She blinked and was back to her normal self quickly but then I knew.
She has also told me, "I do this for my son and only my son. I would do anything for him", talking about her working in the bar.
She has got to be one of the most "productive" girls in the bar preferring the 1/2 hour in and back to the bar for another style, going out several times if she can. She said she does that to get more money for her son and gives 70% of the money she makes to her mother to use for the son's care which I believe because if she bought all the gold she so loves with what good money she makes she could be a walking gold shop and she isn't.
BUT, and it's a big but, she will normally perform whatever services were agreed upon with a client but it will be to her a "work function" and there will be little or no "emotional feelings" involved on her part. The best thing in her mind is one of those quicky wham bang over in a hurry encounters so she can hurry and leave and get back to bar and find another client.
I won't get into details but Long, along with a depressingly high number of the bargirl population, has the classic symptoms of someone who was subjected to "unwanted close sexual encounters" with relatives at a young age (you can find them online if you look) but as normal with these victims she won't discuss what happened to her directly. The "blame" was probably thrown her way by her mother "believing" the male perpetrator over her youth (which is the case in almost all these cases) because the mothers are in denial and don't want to risk losing their own security in the form of the male perpetrators.
Think about it the next time you are studying the many tattoos that the girls have on their bodies now. If you see one that seems out of place like something evil or even a devil on their back, most of the time that is how the girls think of part of themselves and express these feelings through their choice of art.
Some even go so far as to have the actual words thrown at them, when they tell their mothers, or other female caregivers, what has been happening and are not believed or blamed for corrupting the male/males involved. I know I have seen more than a few with slut or bad girl or any number of bad words in both English and Thai right there on display for all the world to see.
A few have both religious type tattoos right next to foul words or images because that is how they feel. "They" are not the bad one but the devil or bad person takes over and does the bad things. It's how they cope with themselves.
Hopefully with her son on the mend home she may get past this crisis. If it was an actual attempt at suicide, a cry for help, or the beginnings of self-mutilation on her part I don't know yet.
But combined with her low self esteem, from the early unwanted sexual encounters, and being made the scapegoat for them combined with the heavy beer drinking to anesthetize herself from her work, I'm very concerned for her safety and fear she is heading blindly towards the cliff and her doom.
Being drunk, going home in the wee hours, and going to who knows where with men she knows nothing about nor their motives is a prescription for disaster.
I'm very worried about her and there is nothing she will let me do but she has made very small baby steps in discussing minor things in general but not yet about herself but with some small admissions she is "testing my sincerity" and hopefully sometime in the future I can help her but fear something bad will happen to her before we get there.
So for you all reading this, what I'm trying to get you to think about is WHY some of them do what they do and their actions may cause some of you to meet a less than fully expected experience or catch them on a bad day and be very upset by their actions.
This story is to let you know they are human too and sometimes less than stellar performance on their part may be because she has been with little or no sleep for 3 weeks.
It's always nice to read the words of someone who has seen beyond the bright lights and the false smiles. So many of these girls have really troubled backgrounds and so many are in a dark place. Few want to be doing what they are doing. With that said, the attitude seems to me that they may as well make the most of it while they're there. And yeah, they are as human as you and I and they should be treated as you would treat any other human.