19 Years Old and 19 Men Later: How Someone Truly Loved Me is a book that I wrote as a guide for young women so that they won’t make the same mistakes I’ve made. So many times, I learned from the mistakes of others, but at other times, I knew no one on the path in which I was heading. Every day, we are faced with so many choices, and many of them look good, but in the end, they are not all they seemed. Day after day, I thought to myself, Tenisha, you have to do something. You can’t just sit around and do nothing when so many of your home girls are getting pregnant, chasing these no-good guys, and going down that same road you were headed. Are you going to sit there and let them kill themselves or are you going to do something, say something?
And it’s so sad that for a very long time, I held on to the position that I didn’t have time to help anyone, that they didn’t want to hear me, or that I needed to let them live and learn. But for me, living and learning did not work. I really needed someone to step in and show me that I could be so much more than what I was being. And that is what I hope this book does for some people—step in and tell you for the first time or remind you that you can be so much more than what you are being. Because I have been in the bottom of the barrel and am now climbing out to be so much more than I ever thought I could be. As I hear the latest statistics about young people—getting pregnant, getting STDs and AIDS, losing their lives, going back to jail time and time again, and just living lives that were not meant for them—I know why they are there, because I have been in many of those places or have seen my parents and loved one go through it, and it doesn’t have to be that way. So many of my choices felt so right that no one could have told me any different because I know what I felt and what I wanted to do and that’s what I did. I could still be doing those things, but I think I learn fairly quickly. A lesson that would take someone ten years to learn, I will learn in ten minutes. By the end of this book, I hope that you and those you know will have learned the easy way what I learned the hard way.
So many times in my life, there was no one to tell me what was ahead of me. Or maybe they just kept silent because I had grown tired of listening. I’m like that sometimes; I can only listen to so much before I need to get out and go do something. I can only read so much or do so much before I’m exhausted and need to stop. I can only comprehend topics so far in advanced when I realized somebody said this was going to happen. Then there’s little I can do once it happens except adjust my plan and keep it moving. I have to keep in mind that this person knows what they are talking about. And remember that life throws us poisonous darts that we have to duck, dodge or go get some medicine for.