New York City Ghetto Of Harlem

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In 1987, by the age of 16, Claireece Precious Jones had already endured inconceivable adversities in her young life. “Precious,” as she was called, lived with her dysfunctional, abusive, unemployed mother, Mary, in the New York City ghetto of Harlem. Mary and Precious resided in a Section 8 tenement where they survived on welfare. After being repetitively sexually abused by her own biological father, Carl, Precious became pregnant with her second child at 16 years old. Precious’ grandmother cared for her first child, Mongo, although Mary forced the family to pretend that the child lived with her and Precious so that she could receive additional funds from the government. After Precious’ pregnancy was discovered, she was forced out of the public school where she had been able to hide her illiteracy, and began attending an alternative school called “Each One Teach One.” It was at the alternative school that Precious encountered her first supportive community, as she built friendships with the other females in her GED class, as well as with her teacher, Blu Rain. Precious dissociated from her traumatic daily life by absconding into daydreams. Perry defines dissociation as “the mental process of disengaging from the stimuli in the external environment and attending to inner stimuli” (Perry, 2003). Perry describes dissociation as “a graded mental process that ranges from normative daydreaming to pathological disturbances that may include exclusive focus on an inner
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