My daughter is a prostitute


It's so good to be here with you
'Mum, I am a prostitute and training to be a dominatrix’. This is what I heard when my daughter called me in August 2015. My daughter cried when she told me, and offered for us to go to a counsellor. I can recall more of what she said now a few months have gone past, but at the time my mind shut down after that first sentence.

The following weeks were a blur of sleeplessness and crying. I had never anticipated my daughter making this choice and I was shocked. I have no idea how I got through those days and actually have no memories of parts of that time. I do know that I repeatedly looked at the webpage of the brothel she is working in, stared at her faceless and headless pictures in various poses, learned her pseudonym name coupled with details of her attributes, her personality and her prices. I read over and over what a porn star and girlfriend experience is. The menu and prices regarding a dominatrix’s activities were staggering.

My mother and brother ran brothels, starting from when I was in my late teens. I had grown up in a pub and considered brothels public houses too. In fact I just really didn’t consider them much at all. 25 years ago I even helped my Mum run her brothel by doing the banking and keeping up the coffee supplies. When my daughter was about 8 and told me that she wanted to work for her Nana when she grew up, was when I grew up too. I felt as if I had been smacked in the face by my own reality. I didn’t want that for my daughter!

Around that time, a woman had come to my mother’s brothel one night and she charged up the stairs banging on the locked doors and called her husband’s name. That woman was desperate! She won’t know this but she gave me a gift, because for the first time I really appreciated and owned that others are harmed by prostitution. The women who are victims are not necessarily the prostitutes. They are the partners of the men who are with the prostitutes. The betrayal is not just in the relationship, but in how their shared money is spent too. I allowed myself to think about it…really think about it, and feel what the betrayal might be like, especially if the woman who are harmed (knowingly or unknowingly) have children from that relationship.

Because my family had expectations that we all thought and acted as one, I made the decision to leave the town where we all lived and I started my life afresh 400 kilometres away, 22 years ago. My daughter was nine then, and I had two young sons. Their father had had numerous affairs and I raised my three children alone. I visited my mother and spoke on the phone with her a lot, until her death in 2002.

My daughter showed talent as an artist from a young age. I encouraged her with her art every step of the way. Despite being raised in poverty by a single parent, and despite her developing Crohn’s disease at the age of 24, she managed to complete two University Degrees.

Her health has prevented her from working in an average type of job, because she needs to take it easy sometimes and also to be near a toilet. She has had a significant part of her bowel removed and is generally keeping very well. In fact, she told me that she was offered a job in a store but turned it down, choosing to work as a prostitute.

I had a thousand worries for my adult daughter, but her choosing prostitution and being a dominatrix, was never one of them. I suppose I had some false belief I had role modelled to her that prostitution impacts everyone it draws in, negatively. A false belief that having been to University and gaining two degrees, she would use her education to gain employment.

I have tried to communicate my sadness to my daughter. I have said and shared feelings she didn’t want to hear. I found that my loving and sensitive daughter is gone. Replaced by a businesswoman, who has told me very clearly that people are not designed to be monogamous and she brings happiness by providing a service. We used to share spiritual views, mainly that there is more to this earth to what we see (i.e. loved ones near us and guiding us in our life’s journey) but this is no longer a belief of hers.

Much of what I shared was hurtful to my daughter and to my relationship with her. I have apologised to her, not for sharing my views but for the way I shared them. I was hurt and angry in some of my communication with her.

My daughter has raised issues with me too and we seemed to have gotten into a spiral of negativity. She returned to our home town a decade ago, so lives 400 kilometres from me. Before she was working in a brothel I visited her frequently, and she me. Now I hardly know her anymore. We have been torn apart with our differences. Aside from that, she comes across as quite self-seeking. My son became engaged recently, and she had no trouble telling a highly offensive joke to his father in law to be, the first time they even met. She had no trouble spending the night with her brother’s best friend, who she also had not met. She does only what makes her feel good. It looks like her new way of being.

I still love my daughter (and myself) and want her in my life somehow, so in an effort to cope with the changes in our relationship, I have let her know I am taking time for myself, with a hope to start afresh in a few months’ time. We are going to meet up at a psychologist’s office in November to help us find a way forward, and I am not going to be communicating with her before then. I let her know this, and that she is free to contact me anytime she needs to. Right now though, I need to focus on me.

I wanted to share my story here. I wonder about other mothers of prostitutes. I wish I could sit and share my pain with them, face to face. I would like to hear their stories and even cry together! The grief and loss associated with this is unbelievable. Yes, I have reflected on my past and the care free, thoughtless days I helped my Mum run her brothel. How totally blind and thoughtless I was!

I don’t know what the future will hold but I know its needs to be about me. My daughter is 31. I had up until now stayed close to her always, especially as she has Crohn’s and can be unwell, but I know I need to separate out and leave her to walk her own path.

If there are other mothers / parents of prostitutes out there, my thoughts are with you. I long to be with you, actually. It’s very hard to cope with this all alone. Or maybe parents raising children alone because of relationship betrayals may read this too, and my thoughts are with you too.

I am open to any feedback about the decision I have made to temporarily withdraw from the relationship to focus on me. One counsellor I spoke with said to stay close to my daughter, but to me this is unrealistic. The fact is that prostitution robs us of the daughter we thought we knew. She doesn’t exist. My daughter has changed and I don’t feel I know her anymore. She is a prostitute, and training to be a dominatrix.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
My heart goes out to you Slimothy, in your honesty and your pain. I think the decision to take the next few months to assimilate what you've learned about your daughter's choices will be very good for you both.

Has your daughter agreed to come into therapy with you in November?

I am sorry she behaved inappropriately during family functions.

Do you know whether drug use is involved? That might account for your daughter's behavior change.



Well-Known Member
In United States, where most of us are from, prostitution is largely illegal, although that certainly doesnt stop it. Its a popular underground profession for girls who are drug adficts.

I have no experience with thus, but I do have a relative with crohns disease. Its horrible. In a way I feel sorry for your daughter to think of this as a profession to accomidate her illness. Its a lose/lose for all, but I assume that at least in your country they insist on good healthcare habits for all.

I am sorry you are hurting and feel bad for the entire situation. Certainly take all the time you need to digest your feelings and one day you might feel comfortable enough to focus on your relationship with daughter,aside from her choice of profession. Maybe you can agree not to discuss it. She already knows how you feel so no need to keep bringing it up. And you already know all you need to know about the profession. She neednt share.

Hugs and good luck and go on with your life. You cant control your daughter, but you can make your own life better.


Active Member
Slimothy, Welcome to the Board. Here you will find many compassionate listeners and gentle helpers.

My mother suffered Chron's. She also had the surgery to remove bowel and managed fairly well. She learned to stay away from certain foods. She took a healthy (or not ;-) dose of tranquilizers on a daily basis.

My step-daughter is an Exotic Dancer. (read: stripper) For me, the hardest part is that we don't tell people in the family. Her dad is in acceptance of his daughter's choices; but he doesn't agree with them. My mother in law would have a complete nervous breakdown if she knew. It's bad enough for mother in law, that we tell her step-daughter is a bartender. Which she is, at several different bars. She also runs the Karaoke and she really loves that.

Step-daughter is a "recreational" pot smoker. She has many, many, many disorders - all pretty much self-diagnosed. She has social anxiety and PTSD from traumatic incidents of her childhood. Her life growing up was not a cake-walk. Her mom and dad were never married, never raised her together. Her mom explored other options with her sexuality and was in a long-term lesbian relationship. Kids at school bullied step-daughter relentlessly for this reason. (She claims - I was not in the picture and have no knowledge of the facts)

Her mom put her in a psychiatric hospital sometime around 4th or 5th grade. THis was after her mom had pushed doctors for ADD drugs and whatnot, in an effort to control step-daughter's behavior. She then came to live with her dad and his first wife. First wife was not a nice person. Step-daughter did not respond well to first wife. First wife and step-daughter's mom were mortal enemies. Neither of them did anything to shield step-daughter from their hatred of each other. Just a crummy childhood, no doubt about it. But she's 25 now, kind of time to move on.

Several years ago, step-daughter accused her cousin of molesting her when she was a child. This was right about the time she began "dancing". husband's family was in complete shock and dismay by that revelation. None of us believe it, quite frankly. Sadly, we think SHE believes it, and of course it's caused quite the rift between her and her cousin. She avoids family gatherings, which is a bit of a relief, to be honest. She is a very difficult person to be around.

It seems she's never met anyone who wasn't out to hurt her or mess with her head. She is stuck in blame. She blames everyone and everything for all her troubles, going back 20 years. Ugh.

Her dad and I just want the best for her. Her dad is such a gentle and kind soul. He does not engage with her when she goes off on her negative rants. He listens and does not comment. She eventually runs out of energy as he is not feeding in. I have a very tough time listening to the blame blame blame and what I believe are sometimes downright lies. But I try to follow husband's lead, and simply listen with my mouth closed.

So, my story is vastly different from yours, but I did want to let you know, there are others of us out there; parents of children who work in the sex trades. I have to work at letting go of the shame of it. I have to try and respect step-daughter for who she is, and believe that she is just trying to pay her bills the best she can.

It's tough. I think you're making the exact right choice for yourself, to disengage and take some time apart. I hope you stick with us and keep coming back. I'm sure others will be along soon to share their experience, strength, and hope.


Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Slimothy, welcome to our group of hurting parents. I am glad you reached out to us.

Your daughters choice of profession is very sad and I can only imagine your heartbreak. While your daughters choice is very different from the path my son took, we still have much in common. Our adult children have chosen a life path that brings us pain. We wanted better for them and it's heartbreaking to watch what we had hoped for them to slip away.

We are going to meet up at a psychologist’s office in November to help us find a way forward, and I am not going to be communicating with her before then. I let her know this, and that she is free to contact me anytime she needs to
I think this is a very wise thing to do.

Right now though, I need to focus on me.
I am glad you see that you need to focus on yourself. You cannot change your daughter but you can change yourself and how you respond to her. Your daughter has to live her life just as you have to live yours.

Yes, I have reflected on my past and the care free, thoughtless days I helped my Mum run her brothel. How totally blind and thoughtless I was!
I do not think you were blind and thoughtless. You were brought up to think this type of business and behavior was normal. You came to a point in your life where you made a choice for yourself. It was good you recognized it was an unhealthy environment for you and your daughter.
I have learned that a child can be raised in the most loving, stable home and end up a drug addict, homeless, in jail, or a prostitute. You can also have a child who is raised in a hate filled home full of chaos and dysfunction and will go on to be the most upstanding, responsible person.

My daughter has changed and I don’t feel I know her anymore.
I know how you feel. My son is pretty much a stranger to me.

I am so glad you are here with us. Thank you for sharing your story. You will find much needed comfort and support here.

((HUGS)) to you.......................


Active Member
Slimothy, let the guilt go, we all have it in some form or another. There is absolutely nothing you can do to change the past. This is your daughter's choice, she is an adult, and as far as I know, no way to stop her.

There are so many different reasons that our adult children lead difficult lives and we may never understand them.

In one of my groups a man and his wife told a little of their story about their son. He had grown up in a middle class home, went to college, was youth pastor in their church, and is now serving time for selling drugs. The man was a minister and the church forced him to resign. He and his wife were an older couple and appeared so lost. My heart ached for them.

I know of so many children having really good lives growing up that somehow everything fell apart as they reached adulthood. I also know many that had really crappy childhoods and now as adults have good lives.

It is all a matter of choice, and that doesn't make the pain go away, but in my opinion, it's not your fault.



Well-Known Member
It is one thing to give her her space to make her own lifestyle decisions. But where is her motivation to respect the lifestyle choices and sensibility of other people?
focus on your relationship with daughter,aside from her choice of profession. Maybe you can agree not to discuss it.
I think this is an enlightened way to look at the situation except for one thing: your daughter seems not to be observing conventional behavioral norms, i.e. sleeping with her brother's friend right off who she met at a family function and telling a very off color joke to your son's father-in-law. Both things made you, her mother, uncomfortable, and others, too.

You may tell her what your expectations are of her in family gatherings, with you, or not. Your choice. It is her choice whether or not she will adhere to them.

I know how you must feel, wanting your daughter in your life, even though you will not share hers. But I believe that respect is a 2 way street and we do not help our children by allowing them to disrespect others, themselves (in our presence) or us--which I believe your daughter has done.

I believe she is capable of changing her behavior, if she wants to. Nobody has a right to tell her what to do in our own life as long as she only suffers the consequences and is willing to pay the price. She is choosing a lifestyle which in my country brings with it the risk of incarceration, disease and violence. Even if you remove the elements of stigma and the degradation. Her choice.

If she keeps this part of her life and herself separate, it is one thing. It is another if she insists in submitting others to her moral code.

She is in a sense saying to you, take me as I am, whatever I want to be, wherever I am, whatever I do whether I embarrass you or anybody else. I see this is dominance.

In my own life with my son we have decided to curb this dominance around us. More and more we are saying (directly)this: in our space, with us, or anywhere we control, our rules or leave. Do whatever it is you want, anywhere you want, except with us.
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I Am The Walrus
in our space, with us, or anywhere we control, our rules or leave. We are saying do whatever it is you want, anywhere you want, except with us.

I think this is a universal wall many of us come across. I can and did accept most of my daughter's choices: not to go to college, to choose men far beneath her, to hover between jobs and live in slums, to float and be aimless. (I did not know about the drug use but that I can never accept.) Yet she cannot and will not abide that - do as you do anywhere except around me, so there is no relationship because she cannot respect that boundary.

This is more than her "profession." She has no respect for herself or anyone else. Even parents of "normal" children don't always agree with the choices their adult children make and wish differently for them, but they can agree to disagree as adults. Our children are not able to do that, whether by choice, nature or both.


It's so good to be here with you
It’s really good to be supported by others! And to have affirmed it’s good to take time for myself. It seems so odd to even think that time out from my communication with my daughter under these circumstances is obvious thing to do but for me, it seems to go against the grain of who I am. It’s certainly different to the pattern of open and frequent communication we used to have.

After years of parenting alone, I started to see a space coming up to focus on me, starting when my youngest son was about 15. I was thinking ‘what-now’ that my days will not be filled with parenting in a few years’ time. I started to make plans for me back then (6 years ago) and approached the man who I liked very much, and started a relationship with him. This was the same time when my daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s.

Living so far away from her, I was hot and cold in my commitment to my newly formed relationship because I felt I was abandoning her in her time of need. I applied and got a job where she lives and then the job offer was later withdrawn and I hurt like heck thinking of walking away from a man I loved. Then I decided I can travel back and forth to help my daughter and I started an automatic payment into her bank account to pay rent for an art studio for her. She was in a relationship with a bully (that’s now over), although I didn’t know that about him at the time. If I had of known she was being abused by him, I would have placed ALL my needs on hold and moved to be with her regardless of having a job or not.

Funny how it’s all panned out. I ended up married and she ended up acting on her beliefs of free for all with sex, while supporting herself financially totally now. When I learned she was a prostitute, I stopped financially supporting her.

Scent of Cedar, thank you so much for affirming I am on track taking time for me. Yes, my daughter and I will see the therapist together in November. My son gets married later that month and it has crossed my mind that my daughter may want to make a display of her non-conformist ideology, as she did at his engagement. So I worry about her having a microphone in her hand at the wedding (saying inappropriate things, for shock value) and think she will be open to having sex with his friends or any other wedding guests who are like minded. I think this would damage her relationship with her brother. When we see the therapist, I have decided to politely advocate for my sons day to be about HIS ideology and not hers, while realising I cannot control what she does. It’s awful to have these worries instead of just the pleasure of the day!
-You mentioned drug use can be behind a change in behaviour. She sure has changed! I think this is down to her awful relationship ending and her having surgery to have some bowel removed. I don’t think she is using drugs but could not be certain. She went through a lot of contemplation after her surgery about her rights to control who touches her body etc. I think she’s now taken body ownership to an extreme, although this is just my opinion. She’s going to the gym daily and is pedantic about her food, which is positive seeing she has Crohn’s. My impression is that she is rigid about taking ownership of her body now, and wanting it to be in top notch. So much so, I think she is likely to have a sense of gratification that a man has to pay her to touch her. She told me that she has never felt better about herself in her whole life, since being a prostitute.

SomewheerOutThere, you have knowledge of Crohn’s. A surgeon once told my daughter that if they had to wish one disease on Hitler, it would have been Crohn’s. She was actually abused when I think about it, by Healthcare professionals who did not explore what she was saying about was happening for her. Their disbelief started to make her think she was going crazy. When finally diagnosed after four years of pretty extreme suffering, she is now taken very seriously by professionals here and treated well. I feel soooo sad to think of her having sex with all these men, who know nothing of her fragility and vulnerability regarding her self-esteem and body image. They would not have any care about her wellbeing. As she said, she 'provides a service'. She has been so underweight; truly I worried about her going out on a windy day. I am not kidding. She is looking and feeling a lot better now and has gained a few kilos. Despite this, her body is more up for grabs now, at her own choice, than it was when she felt disempowered by health professionals. I have stopped looking at the tweets for the place where she works, but she was named in one under her pseudonym name while a rugby game was on. It went something like ‘guys, after the game, XXX will be here. Come and get your fix’.

I thought my daughter is somebody’s made me feel sick.

Pony girl65,
I really hope prostitution stays illegal in the United States. The way woman are advertised here is horrible. My daughter thinks I am old school and made a comment to me one day about ‘in your day’. I really find it hard to think of her facing consequences for her decision making but know like us all, this is how we learn and what makes us strong. Although I chose to step back and take time away from her, she was not keeping in contact with me anyway. If she thought about it, I have always had her best interests at heart and feel sad to be cast aside like an old hat, by her.

What I understand too, is how hard it is to not tell family members. It’s like my daughter's (and your step-daughters) behaviour flows down to all of us. The nature of the sex industry is that it operates in secrecy. That’s what the men like about it, especially the married ones! But it has been going on long-time on and we have these awful secrets. I think you have been incredible to keep your lips sealed, while hearing things said that are not true. I wasn’t able to, so now have stepped back for a while, not just to keep me from saying stuff, but to protect the threads of a relationship with my daughter from snapping completely. I understand your comment that your mother in law would have a complete nervous break down if she knew. I had one very dark day last December, when I considered jumping off a bridge! I didn’t want to die, but I wanted to float and not be connected to anything. I told my husband and have promised myself and him not to ever go there again, but I understand that knowledge can take someone to a breaking point, and how ignorance is BLISS. I think you are so kind and you respect your mother in law enough to spare her from grief.

I considered that your step-daughter and my daughter seem to both be attention seeking. I think that the places where sex workers go (brothels and strip clubs) may both be similar places in that they are the centre of their customers attention. It’s weird how they choose this work because it seems they want to shine to people, while it’s where they have altered identities and/or are hidden, and they are full on out-there to people who actually don’t give a damn about them and likely would deny knowing them in another environment. On the flip side they damage the relationships they have with people who love them unconditionally. One sad day they will come to see this for themselves. In my case, the damage is serious and I don’t think we can ever be the same again.

Like you, I struggle to let go of the shame of it. I think you have wisdom, staying in the middle of it and remaining silent. If you have any advice here about shame, please let me know. Last night I thought about forgiveness. Maybe I can start there, to try to help me to let my shame go.

TanyaM You really touched on a point that has caused me so much of my pain, and that it is heart-breaking to watch our kids choose their life path, and our hopes slip away. When my daughter told me she was a prostitute she said some of her friends were Ok with it, and she hoped one day I would be too. She may as well have poured acid on me! I think you may know what I am saying here too? I thought of the hopes I had while pregnant, the years of investing in her (and I’m not talking about money) to reach her potential. Its all slipped away…we are incomparable to friends. Thanks so much for your comments to me. Also, saying you did not think I was blind and thoughtless being in my mothers brothel, was so good to see. I suppose when I did open my eyes to the horror of the sex industry, I was gone, rapidly.

Tiredof33- you also affirmed what TanyaM shared- let go of the guilt. ‘It’s not your fault’. THANKYOU. Why do I (we/ woman/mothers) do this, do you know? Does anyone know…why do we own the choices of our adult children and get down on ourselves for them? For me, it’s as if I was an awesome parent for some of the time, and an Ok parent for the rest of the time. I was an awful parent on the occasional bad day. But now that something has come up (her being a prostitute and training to be a dominatrix) that has blindsided me and I absolutely believe this will harm her (even if she is 31 and it was her choice), I have felt somehow I let her down…like I failed to do enough for her. I know this is silly of me to say this. Its irrational actually. This personal discomfort with her situation is like wearing a coat with no buttons, hard to get off.
I like your comment with your signature; 'he marches to a different drummer'. I think that of my daughter too. We are similar in age with similar histories from what I see.

To everyone here, I am so glad I found you. I have felt supported, understood and validated by every comment you all made. Not only that, I have read others stories and some others here are going through horror in their day to day lives; so much so that I just cannot imagine their pain.


It's so good to be here with you
Copabanana and The Walrus I had considered exactly what you both have said and actually it is good to see you say it! The truth for me is that her behaviour impacts us all and so far I have been unable to put up and shut up, as the saying goes. Thats why I am staying away right now. My daughter makes her point of being all out-there sexually. Her behaviour re going against social norms has harmed me, and therefore her and me.
The few friends I have told about this have commented that she is still my daughter; just don’t talk about it with her. It’s not so simple though when I cannot anticipate what she may do, like I even considered if she would have sex with anyone she may meet at my home.
Until coming to this site, no-one has really taken on board that I have been torn apart by her behaviour. She must have known that this would rock my world because I do not accommodate anything to do with the sex industry as being Ok. I lived away from my own mother because of this.
Strengthened by your comments, I think she is being very dominating.


Well-Known Member
So sorry that you have to try ro come to terms with your daughters profession. I hope in time you both can have a relationship and be able to leave this part of her life off topic. I would not want to discuss her profession with her, as a mom, it would be so hard. You don't have to give your approval, but hopefully your daughter will understand that you still love her.



Well-Known Member
One thing I had to learn, and it shocked me at first, is thst our grown children's accomplishments and perceived bad choices have nothing to do with us. We can be proud or ashamed of what they fo because we love them, but we are not them. We didnt achieve what they may have achieved, nor does high achievement mean we were superior parents, and we never choose for thrm to fail or to to do things we consider immoral or harmful. We are not responsible for the deeds of another adult. Society may make is seem as if we are who our kids become, but its a myth.

We can choose to be ashamed of a choice we didnt make or we can tell ourselves the truth...we had nothing to do with it and dont own it nor do we own their selfishness. Each adult chooses his/her reaction to a bad decision or flawed character of a love one. If one chooses to walk away, thst is fair. If one strikes an uneasy relationdhip that is what THEY live with. If one chooses devestation and to become ill over it, that is a choice too... not a healthy one, but a choice. In years of therapy I learned not to own what somebody else does, nor can we change another person, even a grown child. And we can choose to feel unwarranted guilt or let it go.

Easy? Took years of therapy here but it makes sense. More sense than owning a deed we didnt do. At least to me.

Is it possible for you to maybe grieve this decision then make plans with your husband for your own life?

Lastly, on a different note, doctors here are willing and even eager to test for disorders. Yet it took from age 12 until relative got sepsis in college for him to get taken to a good hospital where he was finally diagnosed. He has chosen excellent doctors now, but it is still a bad disease. He has always worked responsibly though and does not feel sorry for himself. This way of seeing his disorder is his choice. Everything we do about every obstacle is a choice. We dont own another persons choices. They do.

Hoping for better days ahead for you..

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
We can never fully understand what drives our adult children to make the choices they make. As parents we are left shaking our heads in disbelief wondering how did this happen. All we know is that they have lost their way.
While none of our adult children's problems are the same many share a commonality in that they self medicate to ease that which troubles them and I think most are not even sure what IT is that troubles them. Some use drugs and alcohol, some use anger and violence, some use self mutilation, some seek attention through sex and for some they use a combination of these.
One thing is certain, none of us are alone in this. We come here to share our stories in hopes of gaining a better understanding. We learn from each other and grow stronger. We are Warrior parents.


Well-Known Member
our grown children's accomplishments and perceived bad choices have nothing to do with us.
This is a brilliant post.

Sometimes people make choices for their effect. And they do hurt other people. They act in such a way as to embarrass and humiliate or control or to compete--and it is hurtful, not because it is an unintended consequence but because it was their intention to cause hurt.

It is not just their personal choice to live a life that is different and unique or unconventional. It is to do things in their lives that hurt people. And to not care. Or to do it just because it hurts other people.

I am old school. I believe that being a prostitute is not about sex and not about money for most people. Your daughter sounds like a very able person with all kinds of options who has chosen this specific profession for very specific reasons.

She may be somebody who at this point in her life wants to defy, wants to trample boundaries of convention, wants to dominate and control, wants to shock, wants to be seen and attract attention, and possibly may even want to hurt.

It may be that these wants of hers, are the whole point. If this is the case anybody around her will be at the receiving end of her behaviors, and be hurt.

Yes. It is her personal choice, having nothing in the world to do with her mother or her brother or his new father in law. Except that they, each of them, are impacted by her choices because she at this point in her life wants to inflict her choices on other people, devil may care.

I do not necessarily see it as the limit of the brother or mother or the people around Daughter who need to go to therapy to learn how to not take personally the behavior of a person who is choosing to act out.
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Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Why do I (we/ woman/mothers) do this, do you know? Does anyone know…why do we own the choices of our adult children and get down on ourselves for them?

There is something called Detachment Parenting.

Detachment Parenting, for me, has meant learning to detach from my own emotions ~ guilt and shame and a kind of helpless terror ~ about whatever it was my children were (or are) doing. If you haven't already done so, please read the article Recovering Enabler pinned to the top of Parent Emeritus for us. It helped me to learn that we parents don't have to know the answers. We have the right to take time to understand our changed situations. We have the right to say nothing, or to say, "I don't know." We have the right and even, the responsibility, to figure out what we think about things, so that when we do respond, we aren't shooting from the hip. There is nothing you need to do right now. You have found a steady source of support here on Conduct Disorders, and that will help you come through this time. As you become familiar with us and our stories, you will find yourself reaching out to other parents, helping them understand their situations and reactions, too.

At the bottom of my posts is a link having to do with how to respond to our troubled adult kids. When I didn't know how to respond, I would respond using the words I'd learned, there, or from other parents here. At first, I had to write the words down and keep them posted next to the phone.

I am so grateful this site exists.



Crazy Cat Lady
This may be controversial, but I learned a different point of view on prostitution while living in Germany where it was legal, but only in licensed "houses".

The women working there were also licensed. They underwent medical exams and STD testing monthly. They were protected from their customers by security guards.

They were safe, and with their stipend plus a percentage of each fee paid, made decent money. They were required to be well-read and well-spoken as part of their "services" included conversing with a wide variety of customers.

I actually visited a house with husband, he wanted me to see the place, visit with the girls and the madam, meet his chess partner. (Yes, not only had Stu befriended a prostitute, but he used to meet up with her during her off hours to play chess with her.)

It was a very nicely decorated and kept sprawling old house, with each girl assigned two rooms. One for her own use if she lived at the house (rent was taken out of her earnings) and one for working out of. Meals were served at the house, not only for the employees, but for clients. Stu and I had dinner there a few times. Not bad food, and becaue the madam knew Stu, liquor wasn't pushed.

In general Stu was treated like a mascot. The little "Ami" who spoke perfect German and never slept with anyone. He played chess with Elke and helped the girls learn English, considered a necessity because of the house's location about a kilometer from a small military base.

I saw nothing dangerous or morally wrong about this type of prostitution. It was a job using one's body. Safer, really than boxing or American Football.

It's once you have women working the streets for pimps that it becomes dangerous and demeaning, and once drugs enter the pictures. The women at this house were screened weekly for drug use. The only thing you could get away with once was THC. Anything else was an immediate termination. THC the second time if not dropping compared to the first, was immediate termination.

And having been fired from a good, licensed house, it is very hard to get into another one.

I would be very comfortable with this type of prostitution being legal in the US, provided we could somehow get honest people to handle licensing, health records, etc. It is the infinistesmal chances of that happening that give me pause.

I will say the the prosititutes I met in Germany were happy with their work, clean, healthy, comfortably off, and well taken care off. that's a lot more than you can say for most sex-workers in the US.


Well-Known Member
GN, that is so different from prostitution in the U.S. that it is almost apples and oranges. If indeed that is how it is in G ermany, I certainly still would hope my daughter took a more noble path, however legalization would not upset me. I have felt for a long time that health coscious prostitution should be legal.


Crazy Cat Lady
The fact that it was so different in Germany in the 80s is why I wrote that. The problem isn't that some women choose to sell the use of their genitalia to other men or women.

The problem is that due to prohibition, and no gov't monitoring, there is room for a huge criminal element to move in and take over the business.

Same goes with prohibition of other types. Drugs, alcohol, etc. We know it didn't work for alcohol, and we are seeing that it doesn't work for drugs, either.

I would be terrified for the safety of ANY man or women who became involved with a pimp and was turned out in the streets as property of that pimp.

Just as I'm terrified for the young men and women working in the mob-run houses in Asian nations, Thailand being one of the worst examples as one of its major sources of income is sex tourism.

Sex work and the demand for sex workers will never go away. The only way to keep our sex workers safe, for whatever reasons they became sex workers, is to regulate it medically and governmentally. That at least ensures that our sons and daughters who do decide to go into that work are as safe as possible. Another industry that needs to be very heavily regulated is the porn industry, which is much more exploitative of its workers than house based prostitution.


Well-Known Member
GN, it scares me at how much we think alike.. most Americans are very different types of thinkers. I dont believe "morality" laws work. I'd rather they be regulated and made safe then banned possibly due to certain peoples beliefs of right and wrong.