Texas State Senator Wendy Davis reveals the details of her gritty and sometimes unhappy life growing up in her new memoir, Forgetting to be Afraid.
In the book, Davis writes about her experiences growing up, including a very personal story of how her mother once tried to kill herself and her children, including Davis, while battling depression after her divorce.
Davis recounts how her mother, then in her 20s, put Davis and her siblings in the trunk of her car and planned to start the car in the closed garage. In an interview with Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, Davis said they were saved by a chance visit by a neighbor who came over before her mother could act.
Davis, who was still an infant at the time of this suicide attempt with no recollections of the incident at all, said she has forgiven her mother for the incident completely.
“My mother shared that story with us I think so that we would better understand her,” Davis said. “I think she wanted us to see in her that she was able to overcome a great deal of struggle in order to do what she had to do for us. Every day of our lives, my mother did what she needed to do for her four children. She truly did.”
The book also tells of Davis’ childhood, growing up under dire financial straits that had her working at a very young age. In her junior year of high school, she moved in with an older boy and was soon pregnant with her first child. It was only when a nurse at the medical clinic where she worked handed her a course brochure from the local community college that Davis’ life started to take a different path.
“I started looking through it and decided that maybe I could try to become a paralegal,” she said. “So while working a full-time job, and a part-time job waiting tables at my father’s dinner theater at night, I also enrolled in paralegal courses.” This decision would be the start of the journey that would take her to Harvard Law School and eventually, to her current candidacy for governor of Texas under the Democratic Party.
— Blue Rider Press (@BlueRiderPress) September 14, 2014