|With or Without You
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“. . . isn’t the typical ‘look what I survived story’.”
Born to a young mom who depended on “free money” from welfare to buy cocaine, clothes and take out dinners, Nikki had no option but to grow up faster than her mother Kathi. Nikki’s childhood was more about entertaining and caring for her mother than playing and being a kid.
With or Without You is Domenica Ruta’s memoir, it isn’t the typical “look what I survived story.” Instead, Ruta describes what it was like to be raised by a self-centered, drug-addicted mother. After all, how many little girls shared medication with their mom? Or was kept home from school to watch movies? How many little girls describe their favorite game as acting out the hanger scene from Mommie Dearest? With these commonplace experiences, Nikki knew the odds of being a typical teenager or adult were against her.
Nikki expected more excitement coming her way as long as she remained in contact with Kathi. Kathi had a way of pulling Nikki into her drama no matter how far the distance was between them. Nikki was faced with the decision to take the easy way, that of her role model or turn the other way and change her path.
With or Without You is a worthwhile read. It contains depth, anger and hope. Nikki needed many years and relationships to figure out what was missed in her life. But it only took a few times to realize how much better off she could be without it.
Reviewer: Tammy L. Sanchez, MPW; Freelance Writer