I’m an award-winning Journalist, Author and former company Spokeswoman who is proud of my professional accomplishments. I’m proudest, however, of my resilience which helped me cope with severe childhood trauma growing up (including a random abduction and rape when I was nine) and fostered my determination to build a better life for myself, my children and future generations. In 2018, I was invited to deliver a TEDx Talk about my triumph over trauma which launched my role as a passionate Advocate for my fellow survivors of trauma and the related Adverse Childhood Experiences movement. I also continue to work hard every day to broaden awareness regarding my PTSD diagnosis, and those of us living with it.
In my early life, I told no one about my abduction and cumulative trauma for many years, not understanding that repressing traumatic events can lead to health issues in adulthood. I thought I’d overcome my childhood trauma because I was living a successful life raising my three sons, happily married and enjoying a successful career. But then, on September 11th 2001, I was in my native New York City on a business trip all alone when the terrorist attacks happened. On lockdown there for several days – while separated from my family – I did the best I could to process the heightened panic and isolation until I was able to return home. I gave myself no time to grieve and just kept moving forward; continuing to win accolades for my achievements in all sectors of my life.
But then, three years later, around the anniversary of several traumatic events, my symptoms of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder presented with a vengeance; resulting in the most terrifying period of my life. My recovery was made possible because of my decision to seek medical treatment and to accept my mental health diagnosis of PTSD (which initially freaked me out!). I had to work hard to dedicate myself to medication and life-long therapy whenever necessary. Several years later, in an effort to help de-stigmatize issues related to mental illness – and in gratitude for my hard-fought stability – I wrote my book, “NEWYORICANGIRL…Surviving my Spanglish Life.” I wrote my memoir once I realized that helping others is the most essential part of my own healing journey. I continue to share my story of trauma and resilience through advocacy, speaking engagements, book clubs and across all social media platforms with the intention of elevating the conversation regarding mental health.
Together, we can help each other heal. NEWYORICANGIRL