NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A local teacher is hoping her story will help others in their time of need.
It took 26-year-old Tia Deas a long time to heal from the traumas in her life — but once she started on the journey of self-love, she wanted to show others how they too could overcome anything.
“I looked at my past and said, ‘That’s bad. Let’s not talk about this so it didn’t happen.’ Now, I look at it and say I went through this so she won’t go through this. I survived this so they won’t have to go through this. I realized my life was a survival guide,” Deas said.
Deas is originally from Florida, but moved to Hampton Roads to help take care of her sick uncle. She enrolled at Norfolk State University.
She wanted to major in athletic training, but a mentor quickly noticed her spirit was made for teaching.
Deas didn’t know that life would soon be giving her its hardest lessons. “Coming up here, I encountered a lot of life lessons I should’ve learned and I did not adjust well,” she said.
Deas ended up meeting her high school sweetheart here.
“I thought it was fate,” she said.
But, it did not turn out as expected.
Deas says looking back, it was an abusive relationship. She ended up getting pregnant.
At seven and a half months, the two got into an argument that escalated.
“He ends up following me, pushing me going down the stairs, ends up pushing me down the stairs, kicking me in my face, my stomach. I end up breaking seven of my ribs and my nose,” she said.
Deas was taken to the hospital and healed from her injuries. When she went to get her things from their home, the locks were already changed, according to Deas, and she lived in her car.
Deas says friends let her stay with them and she bounced around from home to home while still pregnant.
When the time came to give birth, she put her son up for adoption, but changed her mind.
“We struggled. We struggled for a long time after we were out of a place of homelessness, we slept on people’s floors and places that weren’t meant to be slept on, but I was with him,” she said.
Her son, who is now 6, became her inspiration and helped her work even harder to get back on her feet. Deas eventually got a job with Norfolk Public Schools that allowed her rent an apartment.
She even graduated from Norfolk State University with bachelor’s and master’s degree.
It is her third year teachingm, and Deas says the students also inspire her to give back through the books she’s written.
“They have such broad potential but they don’t know how to use it. They’re afraid of what they can do and who they are,” she said “I realized my purpose was beyond me. I started seeing self love wasn’t about me. I needed to teacher other people how to do it because I had that void for the longest.”
That’s the help she gives in the four books she’s written: “Figurative Keys: A Guide to Overcoming”; “Figurative Keys to Locked Doors”; “Figurative Keys to Toxic Cycles”; and “Figurative Keys to Family Matters”.
She also helped write a book entitled “The Anthropology of Modern Milennials.”
Deas is now working on other projects to give back and will be an English teacher this fall at Churchland High School. She hopes that those who read her books are inspired to love themselves and that sometimes pain has a purpose.
“I believe God places a mission and purpose in us we need to go forward and I want people to realize that too,” she said.
For more information about Deas, visit her website.