Camming saved me. I was never “sexy”. Nor was I one of the girls who all the boys and girls liked at school. I was shy, and our family was very poor so we never had nice clothes, all I ever wore were hand downs from my mother! I grew up in a city in Eastern Europe and while a lot of my friends at school were trying to be models and actresses – they wanted to leave our city and make it big – I had no illusions of doing either. I was very anxious as a child and this got worse when I got older. My mother passed away when I was 16 and my father started drinking, so I had to go out and work to support my 2 sisters and brother. I found this very hard with my anxiety, I have always found talking to people to be very difficult, as my confidence is not good, and I soon found that working 10 hour jobs for such little money, did not help my mental issues. At 18 I left home, which is something that has plagued me for many years as I knew I was leaving my father looking after my younger sisters and brother and he was incapable as an alcoholic but I just could not support them any longer. I moved in with a guy I had started seeing and my life fell into despair. My mental issues got very bad, I was very depressed and quit my job and didn't get out of bed for days at a time. I realise now that I was dealing with my mothers death. I had thrown myself into work so hard, that I had not allowed myself time to grieve. But there was still no time. We had to pay the rent and buy food. My boyfriend watched porn and webcam sites and suggested that it is something I could try. At first I was angry with him, as at the time I felt it would be degrading. But then I had a look at some of the girls and decided what was really degrading – being online and doing something you might not want to or lying in bed and not changing your clothes for a week?! I signed up for a site though, and it was really not good. I hadn't realised that I had actually signed up for a studio, not the actual site, and the studio was taking over half of my earnings. The studio was set up like this, so that you couldn't cancel your account and get a proper account once you had signed up with them. You had to stay with them for one year! So I was going online for hours at a time and making hardly anything for doing things I really did not feel good about doing. I was very depressed. I didn't know what to do. My boyfriend was also drinking at the time, and I felt like I would never escape this cycle. Always surrounded by angry alcoholic men, and having no money and no self respect. I didn't leave the house for weeks, sometimes only to buy food, but usually I would make my boyfriend do that. I was suicidal and I would think a lot about how one day I would take my own life and be with my mother. Then one day I found another camming site. It looked very different to the site that I had been working on. I had the house to myself that night because my boyfriend was away for a few days, and I decided that instead of logging on to my usual account, I would make an account with this new site. After all what did I have to lose! And at least they were not a studio. I was approved almost straight away, and I decided to broadcast. I was so shocked! My first night on, I stayed on for maybe 3 hours and I made $500 USD. This was really the point that my life started to change and I can truly say that without camming I would not be alive right now. I became addicted to the site! The guys online were funny and cared about me. It felt like a community. They signed on when I signed on and we would chat, and talk about anxiety and all sorts of other issues. I broke up with my boyfriend and I now live alone. I make more money that anyone I know (though I don't tell them that) and now that I am able to take care of myself i have started being able to give money to my family. I feel so thankful that I found camming and I am only sad that I can't tell my family or my friends how well I am doing. For the first time in my life I am really successful at something, but they would be disgusted with me if they knew. The few people I do tell, sometimes ask me if camming has made me become more depressed and reclusive. I answer no. It is the only thing which has saved me. I am living in a beautiful apartment now and I have enough money saved to maybe study some more. I am also planning on going travelling. I have never left my home city so this is a big thing for me but I want to see the world. I wish people could understand that not all cam models are lazy or too stupid to get a “real job”. I studied hard at school and intend to study again, I worked ten hour jobs for hardly any money which almost drove me to the point of suicide. Camming for me was not an easy option but a necessary one. I am so glad I took it.