The most important thing you need to know about me is that I’m a childhood trauma survivor who feels lucky to be alive every day. Too many children don’t survive being abducted and raped like I was when I was nine. By then, I was already in trauma living with my very violent, frightening and dysfunctional family of origin. Even so, I’ll never forget how defenseless and terrified I felt on the day when my kidnapper (a man claiming to be a police officer) snatched me away in broad daylight and forced me into that filthy tenement basement. What happened next – and the story of how I relied on my own resilience to overcome it – is in my book. I hope you’ll consider reading it.
I was born into a poverty-stricken Puerto Rican family, struggling to assimilate back in the 60s in the South Bronx when it was a war zone. Back then, it wasn’t exotic or cool to be from la isla either. Extreme prejudice, racial slurs and hardships were the norm. But, my family was tough and good at kicking ass, even as they spent time on the welfare line, in prison and in rehab. Amongst this chaos, the elders in my family cleared a path for me to go to college. I’m eternally grateful to them for the sacrifices they made for me – literally spilling their blood, sweat and tears so I could have a better life. Sadly though, there were also adults in my life who terrorized me, violated me and forced me to do things I’ll regret forever.
After graduating from college, I prospered in Corporate America while happily married and blessed with my three sons. Then, on September 11th 2001, I was in Manhattan, on lock-down and all alone. My PTSD symptoms hit a couple of years later and this is when my resilience saved my life for the second time. In recovery, I became an award-winning Journalist and penned my memoir. I wrote it to continue my advocacy for children and in support of my fellow trauma survivors.