Shaquenia ‘Queen’ Witherspoon’s debut work is a raw and gruesome look at life through the eyes of a scared little girl, a confused teenager, and a troubled young woman. It is a chilling tale of child abuse, sexual assault, and mental anguish, made real by the truth in every word. As she recounts her life in this memoir, Queen takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through obstacles, struggles, and disappointments, while leading them on a harrowing journey of self-discovery. In that search, she realizes that writing, music, and her faith not only bring her comfort, but allow her to look inward and begin putting the pieces of her life back together. This is a must read, because as she shares her truth, it is an invitation for others to share their own. A multi-talented young woman, Queen continues to defy the odds as she maneuvers through this vortex of life, offering hope to all those who find themselves in b.o.n.d.a.g.e.
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Sometime in the middle of the night, I heard a noise. I remember trying to sit up, but being so groggy, that I couldn’t really lift my head like I wanted. I smelled the strong stench of alcohol, but I wasn’t alarmed at first. Only the people that came with me had a key to the room. I felt the bed give, and for some reason, my stomach dropped. Some inner warning bell went off in my head. It was dark in the room, but when he spoke, I recognized the voice of my dad’s friend. He was saying something that I couldn’t understand, and I asked him to repeat it. I asked him where my dad was.

He got on top of me.

This man was muscular, with the upper torso of a bodybuilder. I was about 140 lbs and under the influence of medication. I asked him to get off of me. I tried to roll to the right, and he grabbed my arms. I knew that he was talking to me, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. It was almost like he was rambling to himself but wanting me to respond. I realized that he was completely inebriated, and that’s when the real fear rolled in. I asked him again to get off me. What I didn’t know was that he had taken off his clothes before he walked to the bed. I couldn’t breathe. The liquor on his breath was stifling to me. His body was hot and hard and pressing.

He yanked up my nightgown.

“Please don’t do this.”

My one plea.

The tears streamed from my eyes. I tried to get out of his grip. I tried to will myself off the bed. He told me not to ‘fucking move’. I thought about how heavy he was, and how easy it would be for him to hurt me. I thought about the other times, how being pressed underneath him reminded me of Peter. I thought about every time I’d been violated, every time something was taken from me.

I stopped fighting. Mask on.

I turned my head away from his face, with tears still streaming from my eyes, and forced my mind to leave my body.

No, I didn’t scream. No, I didn’t cry out for help.

I just learned a new lesson. I learned to suffer in silence. To hold my breath and wait until the pain was over.

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