I Can Take it from Here: A Memoir of Trauma, Prison, and Self-Empowerment

I Can Take it from Here: A Memoir of Trauma, Prison, and Self-Empowerment

by Lisa Forbes
I Can Take it from Here: A Memoir of Trauma, Prison, and Self-Empowerment

I Can Take it from Here: A Memoir of Trauma, Prison, and Self-Empowerment

by Lisa Forbes


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An emotional, page-turning account of unhealed trauma and personal transformation that will break your heart and change your mind, in the tradition of Somebody's Daughter, A Piece of Cake, and Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped

Riveting, honest, and raw, I Can Take It From Here recounts Lisa Forbes's harrowing journey into darkness — including a fourteen-year-long stint in a maximum-security prison — and her fierce resolve to understand the effects of the trauma she endured, to take personal responsibility for her actions, and to ensure that her history does not dictate her destiny.

The youngest of six children, Lisa grew up in a Chicago housing project where she endured sexual, religious, and emotional abuse as a little girl. A voracious reader, she graduated high school at 15 and went to work as a secretary in a downtown insurance office, became pregnant at 16 and, at 19, unexpectedly and uncharacteristically committed a violent act, stabbing and killing the father of her daughter.

Providing powerful insights into what we as a society need to learn and confront in the ongoing epidemic of mass re-incarceration, Lisa is a stunning example of an individual who through determination, knowledge, and hard work has been able to reclaim her own life.

The book ends with Lisa's rousing call to action to support the people—as well as the shorthanded employers—who need the help, and need each other, more than ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586423049
Publisher: Steerforth Press
Publication date: 06/07/2022
Series: Truth to Power: Eyewitness Memoirs
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,067,663
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Lisa Forbes grew up poor on the South Side of Chicago. An ex-con in her thirties, she started her own company, Lisa Forbes Inc., to help restored citizens cope with post-prison life. Based in Denver, she has spoken widely and conducted many workshops. Previously the state communications director for the League of Women Voters of Colorado, Forbes now edits her local county League’s monthly newsletter, The Voter. Additionally, Forbes is a Colorado co-coordinator of Better Angels, a national citizens’ movement to bring liberals and conservatives together at the grassroots level.

Table of Contents

Escape 1

Book 1 Chicago

Jump 11

Friendly Ghosts 14

Wiggling 19

The Lake Michigan High-Rises 20

The First Time 27

Shame 28

Mama and Daddy 34

Sisters and Brothers 38

I Need a Knife 42

Mount Olympus 46

Romance 50

Shunned 54

In the Loop 57

James 60

The American Dream 66

The Crime 69

Confession 76

Cook County Jail 80

The Trial 82

Shipment 86

"You Just Have to Be Patient" 91

Tango Aftermath 94

Recovery 100

The Education of Lisa Forbes 105

The Parable of the Enlightened Man 111

Of Thee I Sing 116

Baptism 119

Home 122

Prison Action Committee 127

Legacy Theatre 132

My Day 135

Book 2 Atlanta

New Car, New Home, New Life 141

Free 144

Entrepreneur 149

Marrying Mommy 152

Answered Prayer 159

Really Old Hurts 165

Surgery 171

Divorce 174

Book 3 Colorado

Denver 179

A Temporary Life 181

Parliament 191

In Town Suites 207

Zoe 212

A Room Full of Faces 215

Armageddon 219

Lisa Forbes Inc. 221

Book 4 The Way Forward

From Invisible to Restored 229

Acknowledgments 245

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“While I've long been a proponent of second chance initiatives, Lisa Forbes' memoir forced me to rethink how best to impact change. Lisa argues that, while housing and jobs are indeed a major obstacle to returning citizens, addressing the underlying trauma that leads so many to the criminal justice system should be at the real core of our work as a society. Her gripping and, at times, graphic story of her trials, tribulations, and triumph left me inspired." Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO, Society for Human Resource Management SHRM

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