On February 6, 2006, Precious Jackson had to make one of the most devastating choices that anyone has ever had to make; to live or die. Precious’ world was shattered as she peered at it through a broken mirror. Hiding behind a mask of well put together smiles and faces, Precious’ eyes told the story that burdened her soul. Warding off issues of abandonment, failed relationships, delving into poor decision-making due to a lack of self-confidence; and rescuing others from their problems, Precious was not prepared for the storm that was brewing her way. Not heeding the warning signs that God placed before her, Precious fell into emotional and spiritual bankruptcy. There was nothing left in her; Precious had pronounced herself dead!
In 2015, with a rejuvenated spirit for life, Precious reveals her journey. With a clear view of her authentic self, Precious explores and resolves the roots that kept her bound. Breaking free from past hurt and pain, Precious now experiences; love, laughter, strength and most of all, the courage to share her story. Knowing now that life will throw you curve balls, Precious reminds us that we sometimes create our own chaos.
“We have choices; we can stay stuck and play the victim role, or we can take responsibility for the decisions that we’ve made, learn from our mistakes, heal, recover and live our lives to its fullest potential!!” –Precious
A MOMENT OF CLARITY
They say the first thing to do is admit that, your life is in shambles and I did. When I admitted to myself that I was tired of all the hurt and chaos that my marriage was bringing, a light began to shine. One Saturday in October 2005 is a day that will always be embedded in my brain. I was going through a vicious cycle of co-dependency. Trevon was “on one”—antsy, discontent and dis-eased! He’d spent all of his money and his habit was starting to spill over into our household finances, not to mention, my purse. Instead of dealing with Trevon’s dramatics, I went to the grocery store and wrote a check over the amount of the purchase so that I could get cash back to tide me over until I received my paycheck. That same night I came home from a children’s event that I attended with my nieces and Trevon was waiting for me as I entered the door. I could tell by his behavior that he’d been using but he still asked to use my car to go over to his homie’s house. Now let me remind you, I did say this man had been using all day. I knew because I was the one who gave him the money to cop some drugs and at that very moment, he was tweaking. Trying to be rational, I attempted to convince Trevon not to go anywhere since we hadn’t spent any time together. Just picture me, a woman who has never used drugs a day in her life standing in front of a person who is irrational and addicted to crack and trying to have a rational conversation. Being the master manipulator that he was, Trevon convinced me to let him use the car. He promised that he would be right back. As he walked out of the door, I yelled, “Please come back tonight because you know I have to go to work on Monday.” In my heart, I knew he wasn’t coming right back because having my car gave him the motivation he needed to stay out for four or five days like he always did. I still didn’t have the courage not to let him go. Sunday came and I decided to do some chores around the house. I popped in a video and listened to Bishop Noel Jones. My spirit weighed on me heavily and I felt convicted about the night before. That was when I knew something was wrong with me. My inner spirit began to speak to me and it was something fierce: Precious! What is wrong with you? How can you let that man continuously talk you into letting him use your car and you know he’s going to get drugs and stay out for three days! For me, this was my moment of clarity. You see, Trevon was not the only one with a problem; I had a problem as well. I allowed God to open my eyes and let me see my own reflection. I could hear the women at the Co- Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) meetings bearing witness about how they were able to build up their self-esteem by putting themselves first and knowing their own self-worth. I could hear one lady telling her story loud and clear. She spoke about how she put her life on the back burner to support her husband’s addiction. She covered up for him if he missed work. She lost her own identity because she was so focused on taking care of his problems and his needs. Her last statement was powerful and it resonates in my mind to this day: “I’m tired of getting the LAST end of the stick!” At that very moment, I could feel those words building me up. I, too, was tired of being tired. I made the decision to pack my bags and leave my drug-filled life
Precious A. Jackson of South Los Angeles is the author of Revelations: Unveiling the Mask. Born during a time where social prejudices were very relevant, she relied on the values instilled her to become an independent college graduate who reached back to lend a helping hand within her community. Teaching others to pay it forward became her motivation until she was taken on an emotional roller coaster ride when her doctor delivered the devastating news that she tested positive for HIV.
Not giving strength to her diagnosis, Precious knew what her next mission would be; to educate both men and women equally on the importance of getting tested and protecting themselves at all cost.
Adamant about bringing awareness to everyone, Precious has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, BET News Special and Newsweek, Essence and Ebony Magazines. In 2008, she was given the opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa with Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Sister Circle, a program of the Diva Foundation that helps to create a global connection and movement with other women whom were infected with HIV.
The courageous Mantra that Precious shouts to the world comes from the words of Maya Angelou “Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” These words purposely filled her with inspiration and guided her on the quest to bring change amongst those infected and uninfected.
Today, Precious is empowering others to be courageous in announcing they are beautiful and helps them face their battles of self-esteem issues. Receiving the Social Service Provider Award from the Los Angeles County Women’s HIV/AIDS Task Force and a certification as a HIV Testing Counselor and Hepatitis C Community Educator’s trainer, Precious is always delving into the lives of others to help them survive.
Realizing that her education status was very important to her, she faced the thought of those who needed more than just a dose of a feel good moment. Precious put her pen to paper and released her life story of struggles and pain to show that if she can heal and recover, you can too!!
Get to know Precious:
- Where Were You Born?
I was born in San Bernardino, CA and was raised in South Central Los Angeles by my paternal grandmother and step grandfather. I had a good childhood growing up. My grandmother was a stay home wife while my grandfather was the breadwinner of the home. I had the privilege of having my grandmother participate in my education. She made sure I did my homework, attended every parent-teacher conference, and did what I call “drive-bys” she would come to the school unannounced just to check to see if I was paying attention in class. I was a good student, but I loved to talk so, I would get disciplined. Because of my grandmother’s strong believe in education, I excelled in school.
- Is This Your First Book Project?
Yes, this is my first book that I’ve written and I plan on writing more books. The next book I’ll write will be about my childhood through my adult life and when I tested positive for HIV in 1998. After testing HIV positive, I decided that I wanted to empower women to stay HIV negative or if they were positive themselves how to stay healthy by telling my story of how I acquired HIV.
- What Was Your Motivation For Writing Your First Book?
I’ve always been told I should write my book about how I acquired HIV and how I’ve become an HIV advocate powerhouse. I wasn’t motivated to write a book then because I felt people already knew about my story. Being the fact, that I’ve appeared on several news specials like K-Cal 9, BET News Special “Down Low Exposed.” I’ve been in Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine and I also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006. In 2013, I was talking to my good friend/brother Corey and we were discussing our life struggles and Corey discussed how he struggled with drug addiction. Corey explained to me a phrase they say in Narcotics Anonymous “full flight from reality” when he explained that phrase that’s when the light bulb went on. I knew then, I needed to tell my story of how I struggled with making wrong choices which lead to a physical altercation with my ex-husband and how I was able to heal and recover.
- What Is Your Favorite Chapter? And Why?
My favorite chapter is “A Moment of Clarity”. In this chapter, I finally recognized not only did my ex-husband have a problem (drug addiction) but I had a problem, too (co-dependency). I enabled him to continue his lifestyle due to my need to be needed in a relationship and to feed my appetite to control. When a person attempts to control another human being this means that this person refuses to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions.
- How Long Did It Take For You To Write Your Book?
It took me 1 year to write my book. When I started, I was motivated and excited and then I hit a low after writing about the physical altercation with my ex-husband. I became depressed not wanting to write so I stopped writing for 6 months. After my father became ill I started to get the motivation to write again, but then as his illness became terminal I didn’t have the time due to taking care of my father. After my father passed it was like I had a burst of energy and I plummet through until I completed the manuscript in April 2014. The book was finally released on May 5, 2015.
- If a Person Would Like To Write a Book Would You Recommend a Book Coach?
I would recommend if a person has never written a book to sit down with a book coach. Seek out a book coach who has written books themselves whether they’ve self-published, or if they went through a publishing company. The book coach should have knowledge and resources on how to copyright your book, resources on book cover designers, editors, and discuss on a weekly basis your progress on your book writing journey.
- How Do You Market Your Book?
I utilize social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and my website. I’ve also hired a publicist to help me email press releases about my book to past journalist who I’ve interviewed with from Essence, Ebony, Poz and HIVPlus Magazines. Also, my publicist will be booking book readings and signings at different venues.
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