some children are prayed for, sought after, dreamed about and even cherished, but the sad reality is that not all children are considered blessings. tressa was one of those unfortunate children. the delivery was easy, as was the recovery, and her mother passed tressa off to a "close friend" after being discharged from the hospital. the close friend happened to be tressa's father's sister, who turned out to be a bitter and angry woman that let her own fertility issues fester until resentment was the emotion running in the forefront of her relationship with tressa. angel's death at her daughter's tender age of two years old was a turning point in the toddler's life. all custodial rights were granted to the aunt and the department of human services closed the case with finality that was ultimately dooming. the case worker firmly believed that angel's death from a heroin overdose was in tressa's best interest. quite possible, but certainly not the case. her childhood was wrought with screaming, arguments that she didn't understand, punishments for crimes she didn't commit. the am/fm radio, the only electronic she was granted, was where she could close her eyes and find solace, escape to a world that belonged only to her.
tressa's personality was stifled for the better majority of her time in her aunt's home; however, late in junior high and the early moments of high school brought about a time in her life when tressa began to develop herself. the things that she liked were easily recognized; music, writing (especially in her composition notebooks), hanging out late at night with her friends, sketching and creating images with charcoal. these things, of course, were met with animosity from her aunt and caused an increasing amount of fights. i took you in when no one else wanted you, she would scream as blow after blow landed on tressa's shoulders and the side of her head. you owe me your life, she would whisper to tressa in public. the only reason you're alive is because of me, she would tell tressa after her alcoholic boyfriend poured himself out of tressa's tiny bedroom.
all the negative emotions swirling inside tressa came to a head when she was sixteen. the physical altercation was bad, it left her aunt with a smashed and bruised mouth, jagged and chipped off teeth, and a broken nose that profusely leaked blood. tressa's last memory of her aunt, who she vehemently denies relation to, was her clutching her bleeding face and wailing the same sentence over and over: i will kill you. it was more than an idle threat, too; tressa went into the custody of the state for six months, until a public defendant could get her emancipated. seventeen and on her own in queens, new york city was a terrifying new adventure. resilient, though, tressa scrambled to find any and all odd jobs to boost her income since the little coffee shop she was working the counter at wasn't cutting it. she made enough to buy food to keep from starving, usually, and the soup kitchen welcomed her when she her money went more towards cigarettes and liquor. she learned how to couch surf, she met other youths in similar situations, she went to her first live concert after saving pennies for months. all in all, even taking the bad times, it was a lot better than the house she had come from.
after she turned eighteen, things seemed to improve in small ways, but in ways that seemed to vastly impact her life. over the course of the years, tressa's developed herself educationally and musically. music was still on her mind constantly, an itch she couldn't stratch, a hungry snickers couldn't satisfy. odd jobs held down her finances and her lifestyle was far from fabulous, but she was able to start lobbying to producers, dj's, anyone that would listen to her music. the road was long and up hill both ways, but tressa had forrest gump certified running shoes and nothing has stopped her from chasing her dreams, not even finally achieving them. it all seemed surreal in the beginning; tressa's music and her beats spread like wildfire with a demand for more -- and she wasn't even twenty yet. soon she wasn't classified as homeless by the government and she was on her way to a much better life, where she could use her voice to lobby for those that otherwise wouldn't have one.