Most people know Robin Givens as boxer Mike Tyson's ex-wife. But, in her new memoir, "Grace Will Lead Me Home," the actress goes beyond the tabloid sensation that was her volatile marriage and recounts a domestic violence legacy that has haunted her family for three generations.
Her book reveals that even after Givens divorced Tyson, her campaign of destruction continued.
In the end, Givens credits motherhood for providing her with clarity. "Grace Will Lead Me Home" is her redemption story.
Here's an excerpt.
I have known of God all of my life. I was raised Catholic, going to mass every Sunday. When we had a special request of God we said the Rosary, and if we were even more concerned we resorted to novenas. I believed in God and, from every indication, God believed in me. Of course I wanted God to be pleased with me, but most of all I wanted God to make me happy ... and indeed the relationship was quite rewarding. But ritual and even religion do not ensure a relationship with God. It is by experiencing God that we get to know him ... and it is in knowing God, truly knowing God, that we get to know ourselves. After years of ritual and religion, I was finally introduced to God by Michael. I can say that surely I know God by name. God has a way of getting your attention and making sure you never forget. For me this relationship is ... home.
I awakened at my usual time, though it had been a late night, especially for the boys. I had let them stay up until just after we blew our horns, threw our confetti, and kissed one another -- Happy New Year! They were in the deep and peaceful sleep that childhood permits, the kind of restful sleep that grown-ups envy, since it brings such great comfort and renewal. On my way to the kitchen, I stopped to close Buddy's bedroom door. I lingered for a moment. He practically looked like a man now at twelve years old, sprawled out in a bed that until recently swallowed him up. We really need to have some more shelves built, I thought, before continuing down the hall. Buddy is running out of room for his tennis trophies. I reached Billy's room next. Before I closed that door, I took a moment and smiled, as I breathed in the fragrance of yet another blessing -- my golden-haired six-year-old boy. Life has been good to me, I thought.
I headed through the living room and toward the kitchen. Draped in a big, shaggy throw, my sister Stephanie was asleep on the sofa. We had stayed up late sipping a little champagne and sharing some resolutions, but mostly reminiscing about Christmas holidays as kids. She decided to spend the night and was sleeping as peacefully as the boys. I stood at the doorway to the kitchen and realized the boys would be much more excited about chocolate croissants than with my making eggs. I turned and tiptoed back to my bedroom, not wanting to disturb anybody. I grabbed my down coat and a pair of boots from the closet. I felt eager now. The time alone would be as much a treat for me as the croissants would be for the boys. I stuffed the flannel pajama pants I was wearing into my boots.