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“I always wanted to be loved and I was always looking for my father’s acceptance. I grew up thinking abuse was normal, that’s all I’d seen.” Recalls Tania Fiolleau.
Tania Fiolleau’s alcoholic father almost never gave her attention and when he did, it was to beat her.
Tania says, “I remembered how much it hurt when I was in the courtroom and my mom chose my dad over me and let me go to foster care and I felt so abandoned. I was put in 13 different foster homes in one year and I was moving around faster than I could unpack my suitcase.”
She got pregnant and married early.
“I married someone just like my father.” She says, “Everyday he was telling me I was stupid I was ugly, I wasn’t good enough. His last conviction was he hit me with his truck. And that was with my child in the van watching as I was ran over. I didn’t feel like I was worthy of being loved by anyone.”
When marriage didn’t work, she moved on.
She moved with her kids to a women’s shelter to escape the violence. Her husband challenged her for custody. Tania needed $7,000 to retain a lawyer so she looked for a job. An ad in the paper caught her eye. “And the ad said, ‘earn the sum of up to $1,500 a day, female owned and operated, fun, friendly safe work environment’ and I was thinking wow that seems almost too good to be true.”
The “fun, friendly” job was prostitution. Tania took the job.
She prostituted herself for several years and went deeper into the sex industry. She eventually owned several brothels with hundreds of girls working for her, but her new lifestyle took a toll.
Tania recalls, “My spirit was broken. On the outside according to the world I appeared to have it all, but inside I had nothing, it was all an act. I had no heart left. And I was numb, and I didn’t want to be living anymore. Cause every John that you’re with it chips away at your soul and it takes a piece of your soul, and eventually you’re the walking dead.”
She says: “I was angry at God my whole life, she says, “If God was real why would I have had this childhood? And my grandmother was on her deathbed and she kept telling me ‘Tania, you’ve got to give your life to God’ and I’d say, ‘God’s a goof, I hate God.’ And she said, ‘God never turned his back on you Tania, you turned it on Him, He’ll always be there.’ So one night I was on my knees and I was weeping and I was like ‘God I don’t like you, I hate you right now, why did this happen, But OK I keep hearing about you and if you give me custody then I’ll believe in you cause it will be a miracle. And if you do, I’ll give my life to you.’”
“The next morning I was reading the paper and it said, ‘Porn Industry Mom Wins Sole Custody.’ And I thought, wow if they’re giving it too porn stars maybe I have a chance and I read a little further ‘Tania Fiolleau got sole custody.’ And my heart just stopped and I was like, I called my lawyer, he said ‘I didn’t get a chance to get to the phone cause I was in court.’ God had given me sole custody.”
Tania made a radical change. She shut down her brothels and walked away from her life as a madam. She gave her life over to God and started going to church.
Tania says, “God’s always there extending his hand we just don’t take it and I realize that now looking back that God was always there for me it’s me that turned my back on him. But when you turn to God he’s always there! And he can take all the hardships and he can turn it around for his Glory.”
“When I’m working with these people, women who are being bought and sold every day and they have no hope and then I see them led to Christ and now saved, there’s no bigger joy than that. Now that the Lord is in my life I know I have a purpose and a calling and I know that I’m worthy of being loved and I know that there is a God, Jesus that loves me more than I ever thought possible.”