The only sense from me that seemed to interest him was pain. – Jill Brenneman
This is a continuation of an interview which started yesterday; if you have not read it please go back and read that part first. As I said yesterday, the first two parts are the most graphic, disturbing narrative I have yet published or am likely to publish again, and I must caution sensitive readers to consider carefully before proceeding.
Maggie: So were the clients just as bad as he was?
Jill: The clients tended to be less violent or sadistic than he was. There were a variety of fetishes, of roleplays involving rape, torture, sometimes faking death. Sometimes he gave me stims because after multiple clients in a day I often was in a daze and was struggling to remain attached to the present and coherent. Eventually I started doing some outcall work, even occasional streetwalking on really cold nights ostensibly to remind me of where I would be without him.
Maggie: How did that “loyalty test” you spoke of earlier happen? Was it a kind of trick to make you paranoid of anyone who offered to help?
Jill: One night I was brought to a client named Brian by one of Bruce’s friends, a guy named Chuck. Brian invited me in, told me he just wanted to talk. I mostly listened as he talked about wanting to understand what makes a girl do what I’m doing, then he asked me a question. He said he knew who Bruce was, that he was a terrible man who was obviously hurting me. He could see the bruises on my wrists and ankles, he saw some of the scars. He told me, if I agreed, he would hire me again the next night and help me get away from Bruce. I didn’t agree at the outset but he sold me on it and I agreed.
The next night I was dropped off at Brian’s house as promised. Brian invited me in, this time inviting me upstairs to the living room; when I got there I saw Bruce, Chuck and some other men there. Bruce said to me “you know what you’ve done, don’t you”. I agreed that I did know. He told me to strip, to get on my knees. He threw a dog collar at me and told me to put it on so tight I couldn’t breathe. I came as close to that as the collar would go, then he handcuffed me and left me kneeling for a long time while the guys talked about my betrayal, about how I was going to spend my last few hours alive. They took me to Brian’s dungeon and every man got to do everything he wanted to. For a while I was gagged because apparently they were realistic in realizing it was impossible to not scream. Midway through the night Bruce took me to the bathroom, told me to get in the bath tub, that they’d had it with my bullshit. He reminded me of the contract, that I was his slave and that I had to do whatever I was told. He took the handcuffs off, then put a gun in my mouth and told me to grab it and pull the trigger. The guys were impressed that I didn’t hesitate and didn’t try to turn it on one of them. When I pulled the trigger nothing happened and the gun was taken away. By then I was crying, but not for the reason they thought; I was crying because there wasn’t a bullet. It wasn’t death that scared me, it was living through more.
The night was hours more torture which included hanging me by my neck, which damaged my larynx to an extent that is still obvious today. It never fully healed correctly. When the night was finally over I was left in the bathroom chained to the sink. Everything hurt to such an extent it was virtually impossible to move. I knew I was bleeding from either my vagina or rectum or both but didn’t care and couldn’t move enough to look. They left me there for a couple of days, aside from kicking at me to see if I’d move or taunting me with water to drink…I didn’t work again for over a week until enough of the bruises had disappeared.
Maggie: So obviously, Bruce was a sexual sadist of an extreme kind; it seems that torturing and breaking you was really his primary motivation, and the money was only secondary.
Jill: Yes, I agree with that. I don’t know that specifically as he never said it straight out. And clearly money was important and I was bringing him a lot of it. I was very young and clients could essentially do almost anything they wanted to with me and I would do almost anything the client wanted. I didn’t have any say in the matter. I believe Bruce found a way to make a great deal of money and indulge his motivation. I think his sadism went to such an extreme that it kept getting harder and harder for him to be fulfilled. He talked often about how hot he felt it was when I got a certain look in my eyes. It’s hard to describe this in writing. The look was essentially that I wasn’t there anymore emotionally. That he had caused so much pain and so much degradation that it didn’t matter who did what anymore. He took great pride in demonstrating to his friends and other men what he could do to me, how easily he could make me say anything he wanted. Our cover story, that he came up with, was that I was a college freshman that was studying “women’s lib” until I had met him. Now I was his slave and he was proud to demonstrate that to other men.
Maggie: Since you were so totally broken, how in the world did you ever get away from him?
Jill: All the violence, degradation and shame had left me totally compliant. I also knew I had no place to go if I did get away; I had no one to call and I was terrified of the police as I had some awful cop clients. So I finally only escaped his control through a fluke. One day just a little before my 18th birthday I was locked in the closet like usual, naked, handcuffed. I heard a ruckus, heard Bruce explaining to somebody that his girlfriend who was Goth and into BDSM and fantasy was in the closet, heard him showing my fake ID that said I was 19. Then some cops opened the closet; they took off the blindfold and handcuffs, and told me to go put some clothes on then they would speak to me. I actually asked Bruce what he wanted me to put on, but they told me not to worry about that, just get dressed. I came back down stairs and they asked me what I was doing in the closet like that. I stuck to the story that I was 19 and it was just a bondage fantasy with my boyfriend. They explained to me that my boyfriend was being arrested on an outstanding warrant. I asked weakly for a female officer. They told me if I wanted to speak to a female officer there were plenty of them down at the station and asked if it was worth it to me to get arrested also just to talk to a female officer. I realized then that the cops thought I was going to try to defend him; I don’t know what I was going to do, but I backed off on the request. They explained the process for me to bail him out and took him. I was terrified and had no idea whether this was real or just another loyalty test. So I went back in the closet and waited a long time. Still nothing. I had reached a point where I really had to pee. I wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom at will, only when I was told to, and Bruce checked the toilet often to see if it was wet so I didn’t dare to use the toilet. So I went outside, then realized I had locked myself out of the house. I could only get into the garage, so I sat with the dog for a few minutes. The dog, Rocky, was a pit bull and would likely have attacked anyone but Bruce and I, so Bruce kept some money hidden in the garage. So I took the hidden money and fled out of fear Bruce would come back at any point; I let Rocky go out of the garage so he could find food and water in case Bruce really was arrested. I got a cab to Burbank Airport (by this time we had relocated to LA and were living in Pasadena), then went to the ticket counter and got a $29 one-way ticket to Vegas that departed in 40 minutes. Literally 1.5 hours later, I was in another state and suddenly free, but I was terrified that Bruce was going to find me and much of me felt worse for escaping. Now I had to watch over my shoulder and I had very little money, no idea where to go or how to rebuild my life and myself.
That is my escape. No dramatic rescue. No rescuing exit organization. I got away for no other reason than I had to pee and didn’t think to leave the door unlocked to get back in.
Maggie: It’s almost impossible to imagine a person being that broken and yet eventually recovering, but you did it and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that impresses me. I’m a strong person, but compared to you I’m a spoiled whiny-baby.
Jill: Eventually I came back from it. I learned from it. In some ways I don’t regret it because over time I learned about oppression, about understanding the suffering of other people. I grew up in a very conservative family until they threw me out at 14. I wouldn’t likely have learned about tolerance, about empathy, about diversity without the experiences I went through.
To be continued…