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Sally Byrne

Sally Byrne is a former Tae Kwon Do state champion, writer, and mother of three.

Stress! Not enough and life is dull and boring. Too much and you feel like you're going to jump off the deep end. I asked a group of teenagers what they do when they're too stressed out for comfort. Here are some of their suggestions: Exercise. Nothing beats a good workout to let off steam. Michelle likes to run. "It's free, I can do it anywhere, and when I'm done I always feel better." Basketball, aerobics, biking, swimming and walking are also popular. According to Jack, nothing beats karate. "I take all my frustration out on the punching bag. I punch it, kick it, and yell. It gets the anger out.

During a commercial break, a public service announcement flashed across the TV screen: "Twenty questions to determine if you are an alcoholic." A minute later I rushed out to the porch where my dad was sitting with a can of beer. "Daddy! You're an alcoholic! You do seven out of the twenty things, and you only need three to pass!" I was twelve years old. My father looked at me and said, "Do we live in a nice house?" We did. "Do I go to work every day?" He did. "Am I a lawyer?" He was. That was that. Alcoholics live in cardboard boxes and beg for a living. The TV must be wrong. Every night at 5pm, Dad would come home, tense from his day at work.

A Tae Kwon Do state champion writes, “The room was cold and I could hear other kids snoring on the couches. I was frozen, inside and out, outraged and shocked. I didn't fight. I didn't scream. I didn't even say ‘stop.’ Mostly, I just couldn't believe it was happening.” Sally Byrne decides to help other girls fight back with this scary story that comes with practical advice for empowerment and strength.
Angela was 14 the first time she had sexual intercourse. "I was the fourth child," she remembers. "By the time I came around, my mother and step-father - both alcoholics - had no energy left to discipline me." "I didn't have a curfew. I stayed out as late as I wanted." Angela admits that she had low self-esteem. "I didn't know how to say no. My father left the family when I was three. I guess I was looking for a father figure." The father figure Angela found was a nineteen-year-old friend of her brother.
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