Owing money isn’t fun, especially when the amount you owe is a huge sum and that certainly isn’t a laughing matter! Just ask Pamela Lim, who had run up a debt of S$500,000 (RM1.57 million) by the time she was 29 years old. To add insult to injury, she was also homeless, jobless and desperately in need of money.
That was when this Singaporean lass decided to turn to the oldest profession in the world, prostitution, as a means of survival and to repay her mounting debt. In a recent interview with Happiness Notebook, Pamela who is now 43 years old, speaks frankly about her past.
She said that her troubles began in 2004 when her events management business went bust and she was left with a S$50,000 debt (RM157,999). Her financial problems increased when she got conned into joining a get-rich-quick investment scam by a friend, which caused her to lose her job as a receptionist.
By this time, her debt had snowballed to a staggering S$500,000 (RM1.57 million) and she even resorted to stealing her mother’s jewellery to pawn. “I fell out with my family because of the money issue. I even stole and pawned my mum’s jewellery out of desperation for a few thousand dollars. My brother was angry and took my house keys away. I was jobless, penniless, and homeless. I was desperate, and ended up doing (prostitution),” she said.
Trying to find someone to share her woes, she visited cyber cafes to use the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) but men would often make lewd remarks or indecent proposals to her. Thanks to this experience, she realised she could make money out of it and having no choice she started accepting clients.
Pamela said that she did prostitution for eight months and had amassed about 30 clients, with three of them being regulars. The worst experience she had was when a client forced himself on her without a condom, “We did the first round, then he literally forced himself on me for a second time without protection. I ended up with gonorrhoea. The experience was horrible, I felt humiliated.”
Although she hated her job, she saw it as the only way out but as fate would have it, she met Eric, her client-turned-husband.
“Before I met Eric, all the clients I had, wanted my body only for their personal satisfaction. I was, to them, a tall and beautiful girl they could use as an object of carnal pleasure. Eric was very nice, brought food for me and brought me to see a doctor. He was someone I felt very comfortable with,” she explained.
Eric said that he couldn’t help himself from falling in love with Pamela even though he knew about her profession. “I did ask myself if I should get involved with her. But I told her I would always be behind her. I have this feeling that we’re meant to be together. I didn’t mind her past, the past is the past. This is life, right? We all have issues,” he added. So sweet of him!
When she tried to commit suicide after her father found out about her job, Eric managed to rescue her and she was admitted into the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). They got married after Pamela discovered that she was carrying their first child, although she was hesitant to get hitched at first.
Pamela then decided to write her autobiography in 2015 entitled, Love Heals: How I Turn My Life Around detailing her struggles after many people told her that they were inspired by her story. The book was published last year. The mother of three sons currently runs a digital marketing business but still owes more than S$400,000 (RM1.25 million).
Eric, who is now an operations manager in a local IT company, says that they are handling the debt and living happily together. Pamela says that she wanted to published the book because she hopes that her story could help others. She says, “I realised my story has a bigger purpose: to bring hope to women who’re forced into the prostitution trade.”
Such an inspiring story! We wish you and your family all the best, Pamela!
Also read: My Date With a Prostitute
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