In My Skin
A Memoir of Addiction
This is the frank, harrowing, and true story of one young woman’s descent into addiction and prostitution, and the long arduous struggle to reclaim her life. A shy, bookish college graduate, a nice girl from a solid middle-class home but uncertain of her way in life, Kate Holden tried her first hit of heroin as a one-time experiment—an adventure with friends—but the drug took over. Hooked, she lost her job and her apartment, and she stole from her family.
Desperation drove her onto the streets, where she became “Lucy,” offering her body for cash to the first car to stop, risking arrest and, worse, the human predators—anything for her next fix. With her name on the police blotter, she eventually left the streets and offered her services to a high-class brothel. There she discovered hidden strengths, as well as parts of herself that frightened her.
Throughout, however hurt and dismayed, her family never abandoned her, and their acceptance and unyielding love helped her defeat the drug and leave her netherworld behind. In taut, devastating prose, Kate Holden recounts her journey with an emotional honesty and genuineness that will leave no reader untouched.
What happens when a bright, well-loved young woman gets hooked on heroin and turns to prostitution to keep up her habit? Hopefully, she eventually shakes free, as Australian Holden does, but most likely a lot goes wrong first. In this vivid and riveting account of her own sudden fall and slow recovery, Holden describes the slow pull toward heroin as her friends and her lover are hooked. Mild, almost bored temptation turns into obsession after she gives it a try. As the drug and the life compromises it encourages take over Holden's universe, she loses her job and rarely sees her family and clean friends. Eventually, desperate for cash for the daily fixes for herself and her inept boyfriend, she starts turning tricks on the street. When, one night, a john turns out to be a scout for temps at a brothel, Holden's story turns. The relative stability of the brothel, and the accompanying relationships with sister prostitutes and even some johns, revives Holden's sense of self and self-worth. Throughout, she tells it like it is. Her depictions of the dark realities she lived through are at times graphic, especially in some of the more difficult scenes with johns, but always clear-eyed. She lets the readers see and judge the situation for themselves.
I loved reading it, great writing and vocabulary! Really puts you in the writers shoes!