JULIA TORRES BARDEN
I’ll always be that Puerto Rican girl from the South Bronx who survived a violent and traumatic childhood. My severely dysfunctional family included child molesters, drug dealers, domestic violence abusers and had me frightened all of the time. I lived on guard to protect myself. Even so, I still fell prey to the stranger who abducted and raped me when I was nine.
After being released by the rapist, I had to find my way back to our apartment – although I wasn’t sure where I was. Please watch my TEDx Talk here to learn the rest of my story…
It was my resilience that saved my life. It was my own resolve to survive and thrive that sustained me into adulthood – where I graduated from college, launched a successful career and, created my own non-violent family. However, my cumulative childhood trauma – combined with my 9/11 experience – lead to the onset of my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) medical crisis in 2004. I was fortunate to receive outstanding mental health treatment and medication during the scariest year of my entire life.
As a Journalist, Author and mental health Advocate, I’m now focused on children and adults suffering with untreated trauma. I believe that raising awareness about the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) movement is the most effective way to educate about the longterm effects of childhood trauma and what we need to do about it. Please review the resources I provide to learn more. I also want to offer hope to my fellow trauma survivors by sharing my story here. Through empathy, education and empowerment, we can help each other heal.