Former sex worker turns new page
Being chopped, stabbed, beaten, robbed, raped and arrested multiple times are just some of the many tribulations Linette McCarty has encountered in her life. However, the former exotic dancer and sex worker has switched lanes and opened a new chapter in her life.
The 53-year-old, who earns a living selling second-hand clothes in the May Pen, Clarendon, market, also admitted to a life of heavy cocaine and alcohol usage, but insisted that the only drugs that have entered her system within the past eight weeks have been prescribed by a doctor.
"The only spirit that touched me in the last two months is the spirit of God, I have turned a new chapter in my life and thanks to God. I haven't used crack-cocaine, smoked or drunk alcohol for the last two months," McCarty, who is recovering from stab wounds, insisted.
She told Family and Religion that, as a young girl, she was always a wayward child, and by the time she turned 14 years old, cigarettes and ganja were part of her daily routine. Alcohol abuse followed shortly and by 17, she was an exotic dancer and sex worker.
She recalled that as the routine of being in the sex trade set in, and with the compelling influence to go to the limit with drug-taking, she eventually fell for crack-cocaine and hit upon a slippery slope where all kinds of abuse was thrown at her.
"I feel like I was lowered down into the pit of hell. I have experienced so much abuse working as a prostitute, but with God as my guide, I am taking a step from that pit once and for all," McCarty added in an interview with Family and Religion.
Her life-changing experience began after a near-death incident that left her hospitalised with multiple stab wounds after an attack by a mentally ill man in May Pen.
"I just decided that this is the last straw, enough is enough and I throw away my crack pipe and walk straight into a church and said, Lord, what is left of my life, I am giving it to Christ," she declared.
The new convert also has a message for persons considering experimenting with cocaine, alcohol or any form of drugs. She is also appealing to families whose siblings have fallen victim to the highly addictive substances to reach out to their loved ones.
"I have been there and done that. Don't even consider experimenting with drugs because that's a death sentence. And for God's sake, don't abandon your loved ones in their hour of need, but fight to save them," she said.
It has not been an easy road. Cigarette, drugs and alcohol addiction are just three of the forces she is fighting. Finding the means to acquire food and medicine is another and without any supporting sources, it is a hard fight for the mother of 10.