Erica's Mena father would compel her mother to sell drugs for him. No big surprise, Erica couldn't receive emotional support and early love from her mother, as she remained in prison until Erica was 5.
In her 2013's biography book "Underneath It All", she uncovers stunning stories of her past. Obviously, the most stunning of all was Erica getting manhandled by her dad as a baby until 5. Fortunately, her father abusive run inside the house ended after her mother got released from prison.
"I've gotten used to living behind mirrors and smoke screens, it's easier to portray an image for the world to see. When I m alone I am haunted by my truth. A girl who entered this world in a jail cell. A girl who was served struggle with a side of pain on a broken platter. A girl who was thrown into a tank with sharks deep in a world whose motto is to eat or be eaten.
I can still see the dirt underneath my nails; I've fought too hard to get where I am and I don t plan on looking back. However, there s always someone waiting to knock me down because they don t think I deserve it. Well I say to hell with them. I've put in too much to allow anyone to drag me down. So either you re riding with me or against me"
From Erica's Underneath it all.
Today, people know Erica as one of the greatest bad girls starring in Love and Hip Hop ever. Maybe, her extreme childhood molded her to an expressive and vocal personality as a grown-up, which is the right thing. But the bad thing is people have also seen violent sides of Erica on reality television.
In an interview in the past, Erica has admitted that her negative behaviors are the result of her strict upbringing. However, in the interview, she was also proud of who she had become in spite her sad past, taking her life as a learning process.
Surely, she has made her sisters and mother proud because her showbiz, academic, literary and business achievements, and she is a proud mother of a son herself. Importantly, she regards high of her older sister and mother, who looked after the entire family working hard day in, day out, in the past.
“I like to add variety to what I do, so basically [my career's] like a big pot of rice and beans,”. “You add the sofrito, add the sazòn, you add the adobo and the final product gets demolished. That's how I want my career: very tasteful. I want people to ask for seconds."
Connect Erica, who is also the founding editor and publisher of Anomalous Press, and the managing director of the American Literary Translators Association, on her Twitter (525 k followers), @, and Instagram (2.4 million followers),iamerica_mena.