Carla’s journey to healing after dark times
THERE are no two roles for a woman more different than the oldest professions; a nun and a prostitute.
Carla van Raay has been both and credits each to her journey of healing from abuse and discovering self love.
The 79-year-old was sexually abused by her father as a child and almost died at his hands.
Ms van Raay, who was born in The Netherlands, endured years of abuse that led her to believe she was “sinful, bad and dirty”.
“I would separate myself because I was not worthy of being loved,” she said. “I believed I was this awful, dirty, terrible child.”
She moved to Australia with her family in the ’50s and joined a convent in Melbourne, seeking refuge in a life of poverty, chastity and obedience.
“At the age of 18 I chose to go in to a con-
vent and live with a group of nuns but we weren’t allowed to talk to each other or form friendships,” the mother-of-two said.
Ms van Raay divorced herself from the Catholic church and left when she was 31 before realising she did not know how to identify with her femininity.
“I didn’t grow up to be an adult at that time, I was just a rebellious teenager,” she said.
“My decision to become a prostitute was part of that but it was also because I wanted to explore my sexuality.”
Before becoming a sex worker, Ms van Raay was a teacher in Melbourne and married a man she tried to love.
But she couldn’t and ended up having a love affair with a 19-yearold man that broke up the marriage and left her as a single mother.
The grandmother, who stopped working in the sex industry when she was 52, said it was her time as a call girl, and having passionate relationships, and children, that brought her into her feminine self.
But it wasn’t until writing her best-selling novel, God’s Call Girl, that she discovered her need for self love and to heal the wounds of being abused.
She is now dedicated to helping heal others who have been emotionally, physically and sexually abused.
“Women are very powerful and that’s why they’re being suppressed but when women are supporting women, nothing can stop them,” she said.
Carla Van Raay is a former nun and prostitute... she is now a healer and author.