- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
"This bright young author has written a story that hooks you in the prologue, which cleverly describes the intense ending of the story. The story is a pretty accurate portrayal of the effects abuse can ...
"This bright young author has written a story that hooks you in the prologue, which cleverly describes the intense ending of the story. The story is a pretty accurate portrayal of the effects abuse can have on a family and the extreme results that can occur. We thoroughly enjoyed this story. A Big 'Write On' to J. L. Woodson!"
--Darcina Garrett, The Literary Diversions Book Club
"I strongly encourage parents/adults to read this book because it shows what we, as women, tolerate sometimes for too long."
"A definite page turner! J. L. Woodson is absolutely inspiring. Word for word, he compels the reader to sit up and take notice."
--Mary B. Morrison, National best selling author of When Somebody Loves You Back
Most stories begin with once upon a time. Well, at least most fairy tales. This is not a fairy tale or a tall tale. It's the truth as I see it. I live in a house full of women. First, it was just me and mom. Then, my aunt moved in. Then my grandmother moved in. Then my cousin moved in. Now I'm the Lone Testosterone Soldier. I thought to myself: Lord, can we have someone else in the household that swings like me? I'm outnumbered, outgunned, outwitted, outdone-you name it, I'm out of it.
I love them all, but sometimes they give me a hard way to go-especially on things I want to do. I already know the answer to my question before I ask it. It's always worth a try to ask it anyway, just to see the drama it takes to get an answer. Having them in the house helped me to learn how to disagree so well. If I didn't have my mind set on being a doctor, I'd probably make an excellent lawyer. I've learned to present my case, make an opening argument, listen to defense arguments (my mom), hear from witnesses (my aunt and cousin), and then hear from the Judge herself (my grandmother).
Either way, it's like being on trial. If I ask, "Mom, can I go skating," or "Mom, can I go bowling?" It seems like any little piece of information can do me in: an unclean room, unwashed dishes, garbage that misses collection. You know-the things I make sure are done before I ask my question. Innocent until proven guilty doesn't count when my mom always bring in what happened a few days ago, or a week ago. Justice? Not from where I'm feeling it most-my social life!
It wasn't always like this. At one time it was one-on-one-just me and mom. Then, I stood a chance. I'll tell you about those times-the good times, the fun times, the times when I knew my mom could do anything. She was "wonder woman." There was only one thing she couldn't do-and when I tried to get it on my own...it was nothing but trouble.
I was age twelve and puberty took over and the you-know-what hit the fan. I blame it on puberty because something has to explain it. Mom was pulling her hair out, and I was pulling out a few of my own. We had a really good relationship for years until then.
I can't tell you why I did some of the things I did during that time. Up to that point, if anyone else tells the story, they will say I was a perfect child. I guess when I turned twelve, I decided not to follow any rules and not to listen to anyone. I just wanted do my own thing-my own way. It was the beginning of two of the strangest years I could think of. The rebellious years.
I had never seen my mother cry so much. I knew I was hurting her, but I didn't know why or how to go back to the old me. The "me" she was proud of. The "me" she smiled at. The "me" she loved. It's a frightening thing to hear your mother begin every sentence with, "I love you, but..." or "I don't know what else to do. I give up." My mother never gave up on anything-until then. My mother was able to give me everything I wanted and I couldn't understand why I couldn't see my father. I wanted to talk to someone who had what I had from the waist down. I wanted to talk about things that I was embarrassed to say to my mom. I wondered how she could do anything and everything-except make my father be in my life.
Those two years changed everything. My mother had always believed in me and now she questioned everything I said. It was like before, if I explained or answered her-she believed me first, and if I was lying, someone else had to tell her that I was lying. Then it changed to everything that came out of my mouth was a lie and somewhere in there she was hoping for a little bit of truth. Sometimes I didn't know what the truth was.
I saw her walk away from me, rather than listen to what I had to say. She said she was tired. Those were really hard times. Yes, teenagers have them, too. My mom and I are on our way to better times, but I want you to understand why this time in my life was so hard for me. You have to know how good it was from ages zero to twelve. There were very few bad times then. I want to tell you all the things I remember.
My mom said if I want to get her attention now, I have to think it over and write it down. This book is my way of reaching her.
Everyone thinks that people who write a book need to have lived a long time-that they should have something special happen to them. Well, I have. My life is exciting to me! It's just getting started, and if what's already happened is what I can look forward to...then bring it on! These years have prepared me for anything.
When you're done reading this, and you've walked in my fifteen-year old shoes-if you're a mom or a dad, you'll understand; if you're a teenager like me, you'll understand. 'Cause there's some things I could tell you!
So, let me take you to the beginning of it all...