A story of finding self-worth and triumph over hardships.
Based on the book of the same title, by Sapphire, the movie left me unmoved. Not for lack of domestic violence or incest scenes; abuse is just all too familiar.
I have been Precious.
Mary Jones is my mother. Unlike Mary, however, my mother didn't have her boyfriend desert her to rape and impregnate her daughter.
Mother is educated, independent and always had men at her feet. Granted, she did not take advantage of the opportunities life had sent her way, but she had virtually no reason to be physically and verbally abusive at home.
She had no right to turn me into Precious.
If my back could talk, it'd scream the pain of that whip, torn twice lashing it. My wrist would show you the big kitchen knife cutting it, that one night.
My sweet 16 remembers the pepper spray under the covers.
Much like Precious, I escaped into a dream world as soon as my body and soul were yet again being polluted. I created a world where I had a loving father, an affectionate mother and fun siblings.
That dream felt so real, I made part of its characters to my classmates. A fertile imagination came in handy for this boy when he found himself in those awkward moments when all his peers showed off their families.
The only break from physical abuse I used to get was when mom and I had company. Just like Mary Jones acted all kind and gentle with the social worker, mom changed masks in the presence of people.
The anger disappeared, the civility reemerged, the joie de vivre looked natural and the torture chamber temporarily closed down.
But I did receive the cold stares, kicks and pinches under the table, which elicited a broken smile by a soul silently sending out an S.O.S.
Much like Mary Jones blamed her daughter for her lack of love and affection, I believe mom holds a grudge against me because the men she wanted to marry must have had a problem with her having children.
Mom often confessed wanting to abort me. She had had two kids from a first marriage, but they were less problematic since they lived with their dad.
Her excuse for being violent? She did not know any better.