Riveting and shocking are the best words fit to describe Norwood Young’s tell-all memoir, “Getting Back To My Me.” Young speaks candidly about his experiences in Hollywood, drug and alcohol abuse, being raped as a child, and his former obsession with plastic surgery.
ESSENCE.com sat down with the singer and reality television star — on E’s “High Maintenance 90210” — to take a closer look into “Getting Back To My Me.”
ESSENCE.com: The title of the book is “Getting Back To My Me.” What does that mean?
NORWOOD YOUNG: I chose the title because it is reflective of where I am in my life. In life we can sometimes lose our “me.” Our “me” is our passion and the core of who we are.
ESSENCE.com: How did you muster the courage to speak about your child abuse?
YOUNG: I felt it was my job as a public person to let people know what I endured. I have a mission to help other people through my journey. I knew I had to be strong enough to facilitate my mission.
ESSENCE.com: What are some of the challenges you had to endure in your life?
YOUNG: I was raped and molested from age seven to fifteen or sixteen by a male relative. I carried that weight for many years. I didn’t want to destroy my close family. I don’t know what made me think I could carry that weight for so many years. In my life it manifested into drug abuse, jail, and self-mutilation through plastic surgery.
ESSENCE.com: Pulitzer Prize-winner Karen Hunter co-authored the book. Were there any particular moments where you could not reflect on your childhood?
YOUNG: Yes. I had blocked out so much of my stuff, but when I started speaking with Karen it forced me to remember events. I would wake up in the middle of the night and start remembering things that took place in my childhood.
Initially, I was going to do a book that addressed my issues with Karrine Stephens, though Karen Hunter suggested we put the focus on creating a book that would help myself and other people.
ESSENCE.com: What do you say when people make rude and insensitive remarks about your plastic surgeries?
YOUNG: When I was doing it, it was from a place of darkness and hiding. I did it to hide from pain, not for vanity. I was trying to run from the negative voices that were reminding me of being raped. When Michael Jackson was getting plastic surgery constantly, I knew something else was going on in his life. It’s easy for people to ridicule, laugh and make fun, but it really didn’t affect me. Also I’ve had everything taken out so I can get back to my “me.”