the struggle

August 9, 2008
(this is the 1st 3 chapters of my book)

"How can you see the light when you are surrounded by darkness..."


Every night I would get on my knees, tears running down my red cheeks, hands trembling with fear, for God to take us out of this misery, to rescue us from this struggle, I begged for his mercy. I asked him could he save me from myself.

At two years old I could throw almost a perfect spiral, at 3 years old I could out run almost any 2nd grader, at 4 years old
I developed skills not even the doctors could explain, and at 5 I had to push all my skills to the side and get to the books and my education, and that's where the struggle began.

1992, my father had got into a big argument with my mom. That whole night I remembered balling into a ball with my football tucked inside me crying, because I could hear my mama screaming on the top of her lungs
for my father to leave, and that she wasn't gonna take no more. My brothers and sister were also crying, holding on to each other. It was six of us, I was the 2nd youngest, and unfourtualy I carried the most traits of my father, and my mom hated that about me. She said I acted just like him, I talked like him, I even walked like him, and she hated that I love football so much. She said what 5 year old gives up cartoons to go outside and throw a damn football. She thought I got that football crap from my father and she tried all her life to take my passion for football away, but she never succeeded.

My dad tried to come back and forth into out lives, he would promise my mom things and money, and like a fool she would believe him. When she did, two weeks later he was gone again. All that did was drive my mom crazy and she would take out her anger and frustration on me. She would try to crush my dreams because she didn't have none of her own. My brothers and sisters turned on me, not because they wanted to but because they were forced to by my mother. My youngest brother was the only one that I could talk to without arguing. Everyday of my life was a struggle, and everyday was a fight for survival.


It was March 10th, I was 5 years old. I had long braids that reached the middle of my back. I was light skinned and I was small but powerful. I had almost perfect teeth and perfect skin.

We were on spring break; my mom was outside arguing with my father about gas money and groceries. All my brothers and sisters were outside at the park and I had to scrub the floors and clean the walls. “What do you want me to do Tyrone”, my mom yelled as her and my father came in from being outside. “Tiffany I don’t have any money right now im trying, but you yelling at me aint gone make nothing go faster,”. I peeked my head up to see what was going on, and I happened to look when my mom was looking my way, “Jay!”, “yes mama”, I said jumping up of the floor are you crazy,stupid,or slow?” I didn’t answer. She ran over to me and slapped me to the floor. I held my bleeding face, my father tried not to look at me and he tried not to care, but I was his child and so it was impossible to ignore. My father lowered his voice, “Tiffany you didn’t need to do that, that was unnecessary.” Little did my father know he was only making things worse. “Unnecessary? Unnecessary?” she yelled. She walked over to me and I was scrubbing a stain on the floor so hard I didn’t even hear her come over to me. She pulled me up by my braids, “Ahh, mama please stop! You’re hurting me!!! I cried with tears running down my cheeks. She stared at my father, “you call that unnecessary?” she screamed. My father kept trying to avoid my yelps and screams for him. “Daddy please help me!” my mothers grip was getting tighter, “tiffany stop it,” my father said softly. “No!,” you look, look at this bastard,” she yelled, “He aint gone be nothin' in life, just like your stank ass.” She threw my head against the floor, and then darkness.


I woke up to the sound of cries. I squinted and blinked my eyes to try to make out the faces that stood over me. I reached out and touched somebody’s face, next thing I know a small body is hugging mine as I layed sprawled out on the floor. I soon realized, when I could finally get my thoughts together, it was Alex my youngest brother. I hugged him back. I finally got the strength to rise to my trembling feet. I held my forehead and Alex ran and got me some ice to put on my forehead. “Who did this to you jay?” he asked, “mama” I said dryly, “again” he questioned with fear in his eyes. I shook my head yes. I walked into my room and I saw all my bags packed, and all my randy moss, and Michael Vick posters torn into pieces on the floor, I sat in the middle of the floor and cried myself to sleep.

When I awoke the next morning they sun was shining in my eyez, and everything around me was warm. I felt my head, and flinched when I felt the big knot in the middle of my head. I stumbled to the bathroom and tried to wash my face, but the big knot on my forehead was crippling my movements. I peeked downstairs and I saw my mom talking to my grandma, I ran downstairs “Nana”, I cried. She smiled ‘hey baby”, she said picking me up and hugging me. My mom looked away go back upstairs now she yelled. I shook and ran upstairs. I laid down in my bed and looked out my window, I saw all the other kids in the neighborhood playing outside, running around with smiles across their faces…just being kids. And I am stuck inside a prison wishing I was somewhere and somebody else right now. “Jay” my grandma yelled, “Yes Nana I said, “come on lets go to my house sugar”, “for the weekend” I guessed. “No sweetie a little longer than the weekend”. I looked up at my mama, I saw nothing but anger in those eyes, and she saw nothing but my father staring at her and not her baby boy.

I saw my bags in the back of my grandmas’ car as I looked out my bedroom window. I stood one last time in the doorway of my room, and the shredded football posters on my wall. I looked into my closet where I had spent so many nights in, crying and hiding from my mom and the monster that always hunted me in my dreams. I looked at my bed and remembered praying so much, and telling God I promised to be good if my mama stopped hitting me. And I remembered always feeling safe in my bed, I felt like that was my one place of protection, I always felt like God had his arms wrapped around me when I slept, because my mom never bothered me when I was sleep. So I got down on my knees one last time and prayed to God for protection and a better life, and I slowly walked out my room. I looked back one last time and picked my football up from the top of the stairs, and walked outside.

Alex came running towards me crying, “Don’t go Jay, please don’t leave me”, he cried. My mom picked him up and rocked him as she glared at me. I glared back at her as my grandma started the car. My little brother opened the door and hugged me, “are u coming back”? I stared in his eyes, “I hope not” I said. “But what about me Jay”, he said with tears forming in his hazel eyes. “You gotta be strong Alex; you can’t give in to her ok? don’t let her turn you against me like she did the rest of them”, I said. My mom grabbed Alex out the car and my grandma pulled off onto the sunlit road.

Chapter 3

And when I grew up, when I finally thought I was gonna get away from it all, my mama wouldn’t let me live in peace. She constantly called my grandmas house looking for me, and when she found me her conversation was always about how I wasn’t nothin'. My mama always let me know I wasn’t wanted anywhere. My daddy didn’t want me, and neither did my grandma. She constantly tried to break me down, coming over to my grandmas house and stuff, trying to hit on me and trying to kill my spirit, telling me if I didn’t kill myself soon she would do it for me. She hated me every since I developed my own swag, cuz she said my swag was too much like my fathers. But I refused to accept that, because I refused to be compared to a man who watched his own child get knocked unconscious. I refused to get compared to a man who didn’t even claim me at times. I think he’s afraid ima grow up and be somebody instead of a nobody like him, I think he’s afraid ima actually make it to the NFL and don’t have to work a 9 to 5 like him. I think he thinks ima be everything he ever wanted to be, and refuses to see that happen. Because that scares him more than anything in this world. I don’t think he wants to see me succeed because he failed at everything, even being a father.

Its sad how I can’t trust the only people I should ever trust. My brothers and sisters are drones because my mama tells them things that would turn any young child against me. She tells them I was the reason why Santa Clause aint bring them many gifts last year. I am the reason why she cries every night. She fills their naïve heads with lies and I can feel the resentment build inside them every time I visit them. The only one who would run to me with open arms is my youngest brother Alex, and he would always cry when I left him, screaming for my grandma to take him with her. She always asked my mama if she could, she would say no.

One day on Christmas Eve, I and my grandma went to visit my mom

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

im_not_crazy_im_myself said...
May 27, 2015 at 11:13 am
Wow. This is really amazing nice job
scureton96 said...
Sept. 8, 2008 at 2:55 pm
Great article! Keep writing and change the world. You can do it.
cynthiac said...
Sept. 3, 2008 at 5:13 am
An absolutely heart tugging story. What a talented young writer!
TNLOVE said...
Aug. 30, 2008 at 1:36 am
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