Grace Byers pens message to 8-year-old self with new book, ‘I Am Enough’

Grace Byers pens message to 8-year-old self with new book, 'I Am Enough'
Photo Credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre

Empire” star Grace Byers reveals she was bullied as a child.

During a recent interview with People surrounding her new children’s book, I Am Enough, the actress recalled growing up with deaf parents.

“‘Why does your mom sound like that? Why does she talk with her hands? Why can’t she hear?’” Byers, who was raised in the Cayman Islands, recalled of the early taunting. “Kids lashed out. That was a very difficult time and it was hard for me to assimilate to the fact that I was coming from a deaf culture household.”

“I remember being very angry with my mother and wanting her to not sign so largely in public or when she spoke, not make so much noise because she sounded differently from everybody else,” she added.

According to the 33-year-old, publishing her childhood experiences came about after a literary agent asked her, “If you had a message for your eight-year old self, what would it be?” Byers responded, “I really think that I would tell her that she’s enough.”

Byers went on to credit her mother for teaching her to stand up to bullies. “I’m so grateful that my mother was so adamant in being like, ‘No, this is who I am and I can’t change that and people are gonna have to accept that,’” she said. “Her indomitable spirit was amazing and really inspired a strength and calmness as I continued to grow.”

It wasn’t until her late 20s, after a serious car accident which left her bedridden for two weeks, that Byers admitted she had an epiphany: “I realized I had the gift of being alive. I felt like ‘Wow, I’m here for a reason. We are worthy, we are enough, because we have been given life.’ That was a turning point.”

Nowadays, the brown-eyed beauty revealed that her biggest cheerleader is her husband and costar Trai Byers, who she wed in April 2016. “I’m gonna go ahead and boast about him,” she continued. “He’ll say, ‘Grace, you are more than enough. You are talented, you are powerful, you can do anything. I believe in you.’ I just feel like he’s love personified truly.”

I Am Enough, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, with illustrations by artist Keturah A. Bobo, is set for release March 6, 2018.

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