Newyoricangirl…Surviving my Spanglish Life
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What is your book about?
My memoir chronicles my severe childhood trauma experiences, resilience and recovery within the context of mental health and my PTSD diagnosis. It also shares my painful assimilation journey – just a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx whose Mother’s agenda is to become “White.”
What inspired you to write your book?
As a trauma survivor, there was much stacked against me and, statistically my future was bleak. Somehow, my resilience often saved me from dire consequences. Because I’ve been fortunate to “beat the odds,” I wanted to share my life’s story of overcoming trauma to thrive. I was most inspired to write my memoir as a way to help others, de-mystify stereotypes and, multiculturally connect with my fellow survivors.
What is a typical day like for you?
As an Author, Journalist and Mental Health Advocate, my days vary based on topical news and events pertaining to these arenas – all while hanging out with my 3 grandchildren (including newborn twins!) as often as possible. My three sons, my husband and my Maltese puppy serve as my guiding light!
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I’m most grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to engage the public in conversations about mental health, surviving trauma, kids’ issues and believing my voice is making a difference. I most enjoy speaking opportunities to connect as I have via my TEDx Talk that has garnered almost 100,000 views. I’m grateful for every day and care passionately about my legacy.
What are some favorite books you’d recommend to our readers?
“No Ordinary Time…” written about FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt by Doris Kearns Goodwin. “The Deepest Well,” by Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris, “Conquistadora” by Esmeralda Santiago and “Why do I Love these People?” by Po Bronson.
What advice do you have to offer our readers?
Be true to thyself. Read and write about what you’re passionate about, while embracing other points of view.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I was cast as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz!”
What’s next for you?
I’m currently revising my memoir for the 4th time! First published in 2013, I’m always thinking of ways to improve the book I still can’t believe I wrote and published!
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