Authors: Antonia Carter
Tags: #ebook, #book
Antonia “Toya” Carter
ISBN-13: 978-0-615-27521-5 (e-book)
©2011 Antonia Carter
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo copying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher.
Farrah Gray Publishing, its logos, and its marks are trademarks of Farrah Gray Publishing
Publisher: Farrah Gray Publishing
P.O. Box 33355
Las Vegas, NV 89133
Editorial: Karyn Langhorne Folan
Dr. Marcia Brevard Wynn
Cover Shot: Reggie Anderson
Cover Design: Dontay Barnes
Toya…One amazing woman, super mother, defiant leader, and awesome friend. She’s a cup full of love. Toya is drawn to every aspect of life. She is helpful and forgiving. Toya wears her intentions on her heart, therefore, she loves all. Because her strength is love, she’s stronger than the mind can imagine.
I can honestly say she’s my 1st love and I support this book 100 percent…Toya Good Luck!
It’s been said that “everything happens for a reason.” I don’t know who said it first, but I believe it. If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it, for reasons we don’t understand most of the time.
While I was going through some of the things that have happened in my life, I didn’t understand them at all. Why didn’t I have a home? Why didn’t I have loving parents? Why was I always so alone? Was there something wrong with me? Was it something I did? These questions were constantly in my head, and I couldn’t understand my situation. My parents didn’t know it at the time they gave me my name, but I found out not too long ago that “Antonia” means “priceless” in Italian. It’s funny. Most of my life, I didn’t feel “priceless.” In fact, I felt just the opposite.
I felt like a rolling stone most of the time, rolling from one relative to another and from home to home, beginning at the age of 12. I’d stay a few months here or there, and then it was on to the next home. I was always bouncing from one place to the next, sleeping on couches and in spare rooms. I was constantly struggling at school, at home, with my family members and in my relationships. It felt like my situation would never, ever change. I was always looking for guidance, usually taking it from the wrong people and finding myself in deeper than I had been before. I was always looking for love. Sometimes I found it, but most of the time I didn’t. I learned a lot, most of it the hard way.
I’m still learning, but I understand things so much better now than I did as a scared, pregnant, 14 year old girl, who had no money, no help and no idea how to be a mother. I remember writing all my thoughts and feelings down in a notebook, and when I read those words now, the emotions come back to me like I am going through everything again for the first time. I want to share some of my experiences with you in this book, just so you know my story. Things might look good for me now, but not too long ago, everything in my life was all messed up.
was all messed up.
There are so many young girls and women out there who are struggling, looking for guidance, and looking for someone who understands what they’re going through. I’ve read their letters, their emails, their tweets and their Facebook messages. They’ve seen me on
Tiny and Toya
and they reach out, even though we don’t really know each other. There is a connection because they know I can relate. They’ve seen the issues I’m dealing with on the show trying to raise my daughter, my relationships with men, my mother’s struggle with her addiction and how it impacts me and my life. They know I’ve been through some of the same stuff they have, and that I’ve managed to come out on the other side. Sometimes smiling, sometimes with tears in my eyes, but I’ve survived and I’ve kept moving forward. I’ve tried to not let the past make me bitter, but better. I’ve tried to keep my heart open. I’ve tried to walk with faith in God and the hope that the future might be better. I may be bent, but I’m not broken, and I don’t want you to be broken either.
Sometimes, I wish I could talk to my younger self. I would teach the girl I used to be some of the things I know now and save her the pain of making the mistakes I have made. I know that I can’t. What I can do is reach out to other young girls and young women out there. I can reach out and say, “I’ve been where you are. Don’t give up.” I can reach out and say, “I’ve been where you are. Don’t make the mistakes I’ve made.” I can say, “Hold on, little sister. Dig deep into your faith in God and in yourself and stay strong because you can make things better.”
I’m writing this book to you, and in a way to my younger self, too, because all the hurts and struggles of my life have taught me some things. I hope the things that I have learned can help someone else. I hope the things that I have learned can help you. Unlike some books that try to skip over the heavy parts and make it seem like life is one big, happy, fairy tale, I’m gonna keep it really, really, real. I’m gonna lay it out there, both the good and the bad. Being fake is not my style. I’ve never been that way. I’m not pretending to be an expert and I’m not a doctor. I’m just a person who has made mis takes and learned from them, and who is not afraid to say so.
This is my story, both my mistakes and my victories.
In every chapter, I try to address something that’s really going on for young women and girls, everything from family drama, to love and sex, motherhood, domestic violence, and even the drama that some of us go through with the people who are supposed to be our friends.
If telling my story helps even one young girl, then it’ll be more than worth the pain of remembering some of my darkest moments. It might even be the reason God led me to those dark places in the first place.
I spent a lot of my life looking for the place where I belonged. I spent a lot of my life looking for my “home.”