Letters to the prison

It can be stressful if someone you know has been sent to prison but we have to take care of our dear regular customers, even when they go through a hard time.

For me, he was not only a regular of the club but a kind of friend, a valuable person with a big heart for his friends and family and one of the most caring men I’ve ever met.

I’m thinking a lot about him and how someone’s life can change in such a short time. He was almost sure they can’t catch him. He was smart, but he trusted the wrong person and some of his so-called ‘friends’ took advantage of him. Someone who maybe was jealous of him or someone who got in trouble and to save his life needed to sacrifice someone’s else.
I was aware of his drug addiction and had the sense that he was also selling it, although we never talked about it openly. Many people who visited me in clubs were in the same shoes. The night clubs attract all of the junkies, gangsters, drug addicts, dealers. Maybe their families didn’t even notice but we, night people see a different face of the clients (and that’s often the real one).
Also, this customer of mine was negative. Many negative things happened around him, one of his friends passed away, other friend went back to prison, other lost the restaurant because of gambling and drugs, and all dragged him in the current situation. It’s like when bad things happen around you, you attract more negativity. Lately, he was drinking a lot, plus the drugs, not like before for fun and party, but like someone who carries lots of pain. He was a regular in the club where I was working time by time, and all the girls were worried about him. One of them told me he was depressed since his friend died and was drinking because he needed to forget it. The boss was also thinking about her pocket, but she was scared too that he might do something stupid to himself. He set up himself on the negative spiral that pulled him down to the black hole and dragged him to hell. Into his personalised hell. And now he’s sitting in the middle of his worst nightmare.

I wish I could see it earlier, and maybe I could change his negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones. I don’t blame myself, but surely, I was selfish and didn’t realise what was going on around him. I was busy chasing my own dreams.

One girl from the club told me what’s happened, then I immediately got in touch with his friend who told me the things don’t look so good, but he has a good lawyer. I was trying to contact him, I even wrote an email to the prison near his town asking if he’s there, but the answer was that I could write a letter, if he’s there he will get it if not, they would send it back to me. How helpful! Then I was thinking to contact his family (I’ve met his father before). I just wanted his family to know that he has my support and I’m hoping for the best for him. I didn’t want to contact him during the investigation period. The only reason why I was hesitating because I know him from a strip club, and what people usually think about strip clubs? Drugs and prostitution… I thought it would be better to wait until the investigation has finished. I knew he would understand it.

I had mixed feelings of anger, sadness and a desire to support him, but I felt powerless and confused. I was worried about him. I know it was one of his biggest fear to go to prison. Once he told me if he ever goes to jail, he will not get out from there alive.

Many questions were in my head. Is he also going through a drug rehabilitation program? Is there anything I can do for him? Would it be possible to write him some encouraging words? How is the family? I suppose they didn’t know much about his drug addiction. Were they shocked? I was lethargic for a few days after I heard what’s happened. I had no idea how he feels, what he could do there. I couldn’t even imagine how his days are passing by.
Then he asked his family to contact me and let me know about what was happening. Regrettably, at the moment he was not able to write to me himself. They told me he had a problem with the police and he was detained in prison during the investigation and no one knows what was really going on. He is a truly good person and is always there to help his family and friends. Since he was arrested, his true friends have supported him and the family emotionally and financially for the lawyers. This hard time has shown who are true friends and who are not.
One way to offer support is by writing a letter of encouragement to him, letting him know that I’m thinking about him and sending him my best wishes and good thoughts his way. Writing letters has always been my choice, it helps me to express those emotions in a controlled way, giving me time to think about what I want to say. Just needed to realise that all the letters I write to him will be opened and read by the judge and the state attorney. So, I must be very careful and not mentioning anything about the investigation or case, especially nothing about drugs.
I believe that everything that happens to us has a higher purpose, even we don’t see it at that very moment, but we will understand when we look back. And what happened to him was the only way to stop him from this self-destructive habits and make him rethink his life. I’m also the person who’s seeking a little positivity in every bad situation. We have to take responsibility for our own acts. He knows he can’t carry on drinking and partying like before. He can’t continue where he stopped. I think the current situation will change him a better one, and I wish him the strength to hang in there. I know it’s not easy to find any positivity there, but at least we should try. I wish him to be strong and don’t let people who love him down. The world hasn’t ended yet, only is changing. Changing for a better one. And that sets him on a healthier path for the future.

I want to show him the light at the end of the tunnel. Because there is surely a light, maybe we just can’t see it right now. We just want to see the darkness.

He needs to break his negative thoughts and don’t sink into self-pity. He’s in there, alone in the room, no TV, nobody to talk to and can go out to get some fresh air one hour per day. The worst thing is he doesn’t know when they set him free. But he needs to motivate himself, read books, get new information, study something, make new plans. Anything just doesn’t lose himself.
Finally, I’ve written to him and got a reply very soon. His letter was full of jokes, so I believe he’s okay. He’s doing very well considering where he is. He still doesn’t know how long he’ll have to stay, but I hope he’ll be home soon. And I’m here for him writing him some jokes in the letter as well as stories that will lift his spirits. Even if our contact is limited during this time, it is crucial to let him know that whenever he needs me as a shoulder to lean on, I will be there. He spent an enormous amount of money on me in the club, I can’t show my back to him now. I want to support him continually. He’s worthy and loved, people believe in him and count on him. He decided to enter drug rehab. He always thought he could control his addictions, but indeed, they controlled his body and mind. I’m proud of his decision and providing him with the determination needed to work through the many challenges that he will face during this time spent in prison.

The Antwerp Boot Camp

I couldn’t say a better description of the clubs here. It’s like a hard physical and mental military training where they push you beyond your own limits. I’ve worked here in a different club maybe 5 years ago, I knew what to expect, but things in time didn’t get any better. I remember 5 years ago when they offered an extra day off because they had enough girls, my friend and I stood up first. Those were very well appreciated and well spent days off with sleeping and resting after the exhausting work!
That’s my 2nd week working here and I feel I have no more power. Either physically and mentally. I should be a social butterfly with a huge smile on my face but some clubs just know how to kill it. All night long they leave the aircon on, it doesn’t matter if there are customers or not. Sometimes you feel you’re sitting in the fridge for hours – wearing nothing else but lingerie. And they don’t care much if the girls are cold or getting sick. We are sitting in a bar chair all night with a straight back (just like in school) and we have to dance minimum 7-8 times a night on stage, again if there are customers or not. I’m really crying back those times and clubs where nobody came in and we were sleeping or reading books on comfy sofas. Here we can’t even sit in the VIP area when no customers. Until 7 am. We can’t leave even 10 minutes earlier. Then we sign the papers etc., often it’s 8.30-9am when I go to bed. All for €35 fix salary per day (I make most of my money from tips, but this is not the kind of money you can rely on.) And if I fancy a drink from the bar (anything except water, even juice), I have to pay for it myself.
But what is really disturbing me that’s the music. 8 hours of house music, no variety. And it’s way too loud. If I don’t be deaf by the end of the contract here, that’s a miracle. No chance to talk to someone without screaming, sometimes I don’t hear my own voice. This music is perfect when you’re on drugs but if not? I don’t take any.. (but here I’m seriously thinking about it just to survive!) Ah, and drugs: it’s a Canaan for those who take drugs because you can get ANYTHING from customers for free! But if you don’t, it sucks. And sometimes the other boss (I didn’t know he’s also a boss, I thought he’s just a drunk, drugged attention-seeking customer because he doesn’t behave like a boss) comes in and makes noise hitting a metal tray on the bar. It’s a proper mental terror! (and God knows how much I’d like to hit his head with that tray at 6.30am!)
In the apartment the kitchen is empty, we didn’t have even a kettle. I voluntarily bought one because I didn’t want to go outside to Starbucks every time I fancy a coffee. (I drink a lot!) In the other apartment, the girls put some money together to buy a micro so at least they can heat up their food. We don’t even have a fridge! And when you work in places like this, you need to eat properly and healthy as food is a source of energy. I’m eating fast food since I’m here, no wonder I have not too much energy these days. Not even for posting here.
So yes, this club really pushing my limits, both mental and physical. But as they say, if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. I hope it’s true.
(In the last few posts it sounds I complained a lot about the clubs I worked at. It’s kind of true because lately, I didn’t work in a club where I felt good and appreciated. And these are the pure facts about the stripping industry, no makeup. If you think it’s a sugary, sweet world where everybody is happy and makes amazingly good money, then this blog is for you to read.)