Ms. Nique’s (née Monique L. Crusoe) stirring memoir If My Past Wasn’t So Dark…My Future Wouldn’t Shine So Bright (Xlibris) is hard to read. As it should be. Cutting to the bone of what it is to endure domestic abuse and sexual molestation and contend with mental illness, this compelling account depicts stark reality, anguishing the heart, mind and soul.
From the press release: “Sexual abuse is a pervasive problem in society. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network states that every year, 213,000 people fall victim to sexual abuse in the United States. Victims of sexual assault suffer many damaging effects and many go through life scarred from the past. A woman gives voice to the many people who fall prey to abuse in If My Past Wasn’t So Dark…My Future Wouldn’t Shine So Bright.”
Ms. Nique (Ms. N), readying for a national book-signing tour in March, granted MSR an email interview about her memoir.
MSR: Why were you moved you to set this memoir in print?
Ms. N: To let others who have gone through the [circumstance] and or abuses [that] there can be a light at the end of their tunnels. I’m an everyday person telling my story in an everyday way.
MSR: How might readers benefit? Specifically, women who’ve been abused? And people who haven’t been?
Ms. N: [This book] isn’t just for women who have been abused. [It] is for anyone, male or female, victim or not. I feel that readers will read walk away inspired and motivated in some way. For those who have actually experienced [abuse], they can draw inspiration in knowing that they’re not alone in their struggle. It’s a proven fact that we all know someone who has been a victim of some form of abuse… Bottom line, I want to give [hope to] those who have given up.
MSR: Domestic abuse, rape, and mental illness — these are issues, each unto themselves, that’ve been studied, written about. If My Past… brings all three to light with, as it were, the same lamp. How do you feel about having done that?
Ms. N: I’m aware that these subjects have all been studied and written about. The thing that makes my story different is that…I’m here to inform readers, through my story, that these issues sometimes arise in one situation. [And] Sometimes one leads to another, like an adverse reaction of some sort. Because of the mental illness as described in my book the reactions to the domestic violence wasn’t handled in a way most would have approached it, same with the reported molestation and so on and so forth.
I, too, am bringing more awareness to these important issues — not just in urban communities but in all communities. [Everyone has] a story to tell.
MSR: Congrats on the upcoming book tour. Will you be reading from If My Past… to women’s groups?
Ms. N: I haven’t deliberately pointed anyone out for this tour. I consider myself an advocate for the voiceless victims of abuse, which means women or men. I’m catering to anyone who’ll come to listen.
MSR: How does it feel to have survived your experience as you told it in If My Past…?
Ms. N: It feels great, although I still struggle with things, like trust and being able to share control of different things in my life. Every day is a work in progress. I have come a very long way from where I was. I feel I’ve transitioned into the woman I was meant to be. I also know that if it weren’t for the love of my Savior, I wouldn’t be a survivor. Through all of my trials and tribulations I would often ask God to show me [what] my purpose was on His earth.
MSR: What’s next?
Ms. N: In my spare time, I’m working on finishing [a new] book.
If My Past Wasn’t So Dark…My Future Wouldn’t Shine So Bright is available through xlibris.com and amazon.com.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.