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Growing up Fucked Up

By

Not for me 😔

A true life story from rags to riches that Cinderella could never tell.

Synopsis

TRUE LIFE STORY. From rags to riches to homeless a young couple fights their way to the top until disease strikes them both. One lived one didn't. How a military brat and a midwestern cheerleader struggled to the top and how one of them made it out alive. A tragic love story written in the language of the street - raw and unfiltered.

Being a military brat throughout the entirety of his childhood, takes a toll on the sanity of young James, forcing him to find a good time in all the wrong places. Struggling with drug abuse and conflicting identity of self, James knew one thing for sure, he wanted to find the rarest form of love that would make his heart flutter. What he doesn't expect is to find it in the arms of a woman unlike anyone he had ever known before, D'juna.


Although the synopsis of this story is thrilling, the development of the novel does not share the same sentiment. There are, in fact, numerous errors within each chapter, that it became hard for me to read. Things like repetition where it is not needed and flashbacks within the middle of a sentence can become very confusing at times, leaving me wondering whether or not this was intentional.


Sometimes, amidst all the confusion, there was a heartbeat to the tale that made this memoir as raw and unfiltered as it can get. Drug addiction is definitely nothing to play around with. Even admitting it can be scary and a little embarrassing, which is why I commend James for even being able to share his story with us in the first place. This, unfortunately for me, does not take away from the various mistakes that make up this novel.


After having an opportunity to speak with the author, James Case, about my thoughts, he did inform me that there will be heavy revisions and possibly changing the title to The Cunning Disease. For this reason, I would suggest looking out for the new book so that you may have the opportunity to enjoy the memoir without being as confused as I was.


If, however, you do not care as much about the errors, but are interested in what you have read from the synopsis of the book, by all means go and read this book. You must to be willing to handle the twist and turns that is Growing Up, Fucked Up.

Reviewed by

My name is Emilia Rivera and for the past year, I have been writing book and movie reviews for my own personal blog Tell It Like It Is. There I present my opinion and provide recommendation on books I have read and movies I have seen.

Synopsis

TRUE LIFE STORY. From rags to riches to homeless a young couple fights their way to the top until disease strikes them both. One lived one didn't. How a military brat and a midwestern cheerleader struggled to the top and how one of them made it out alive. A tragic love story written in the language of the street - raw and unfiltered.

MOFO’S AND MEMORIES

 Two memories still burn in my mind to this day, they are my earliest and both surround the same event. Somewhere outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, in which my biological father, my mother, and myself as a little boy are living in a small downstairs apartment. I am four shortly to turn five and I am sitting on my tricycle in the middle of the street with cars parked on either side of me. It’s dark and I am staring up into the streetlamp imagining it is a spaceship, and inside it is a little spaceman getting ready to blast off to the moon. I am dreaming he’s going to take me with him, and we would leave this place and go far away.

My first thought as an adult, of course, is what the hell is a four-year-old doing in the street after dark and what exactly is going on in my house at the time? The next memory, however, explains it all. My 23-year-old mother and I are in the kitchen of our small apartment, the memory is a little hazy, shades of off white and light browns, yet my mother’s screams and cries I know well enough. My mother has the stage set to leave my father, her purse and keys are at the end of the kitchen island closest to the short flight of stairs that lead to the front door. I am standing with her ready for our escape. Her soon to be ex-husband, my biological father, has other ideas about us leaving and pins her up against the wall, she fights him crying, screaming, and yelling, he is hurting her. Then I panic as well. I reach for the most dangerous thing I know at the time, a serrated steak knife.

The image of the knife is the one thing that is clear: the kind with a brown and white fake bone handle. I swing the knife at my father, it does little to injure him, but it is a distraction, and my mother and I break free and run. That was motherfucker number one. Motherfuckers two and three would come in quick succession, both in the same fucking year. All three before I turned five, and all three military men. She was into military men, and one day she told why. She said, “So if they fuck me, I know where to get my money”.


My mother was raised Catholic, complete with Catholic schooling. It was the 60s, and the Catholic nuns who taught school could be a bit harsh in their approach. As a result of their strict upbringing, a lot of those girls didn’t turn out baking pies and going to church socials. They were pissed off, and railed against the system. All that bullshit about God punishing you for your sins and who you are, it had to have been stifling. I remember seeing one of the pages in the Bible that my mother kept, filled with sketches depicting the depths of hell, flames, demons, and gross men and women looking up in agony begging for mercy. My mother wanted out of that life and she was determined to find something better.

About the author

I am an executive chef living in Colorado Springs, CO. My intro to writing came in the form of an oped in the local paper in which I wrote part of my story. Immediately a career nurse at a local hospital responded with an email saying I had made a difference in her life. So I wrote the whole story view profile

Published on September 05, 2020

Published by

70000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by