Speaker. Author. Foster Care & Child Abuse Advocate
I was 13-years-old when I overdosed on cocaine. While I almost died that day, my overdose actually saved my life. As I was recovering at a Palm Springs hospital, the authorities stepped in to arrest my stepfather. It was he who drugged me, raped me repeatedly and was grooming me into prostitution. If I hadn't OD'd that day, who knows where I would've ended up.
Where I ended up is extremely rare given my background. I am the less than 4% of former foster youth who has gone all the way with her education. I have won awards and been promoted at every job I've held, in different fields. I have contributed to charities. I have authored books and I'm a subject in the upcoming foster care documentary, "Breaking the Cycle." But most importantly, I have had therapy, my writing as an outlet and I've done a lot of progressive healing work, which still continues. I've also maintained healthy and loving relationships since I emancipated out of foster care 20 years ago. Now, I share my incredible life's story to all walks of life for motivational and educational purposes.
breaking the cycle documentary
"This book tore off all the scabs that covered the wounds of my experience in foster care. I'm 55 now and I thought my traumatic experiences were all in the past and I was wrong. I related to so much of the author's experiences and I'm so glad that she rose above all her adversity to become such a gifted writer and person. I didn't know I had so much mess locked up inside of me and this book helped me realize why I still have certain problems and that I will need to seek help to finally heal. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is a truthful and raw documentation of the horrors of child abuse and foster care. I was lucky to have a foster mother in the end just like Ms. Todd's that helped her on the road to recovery. A lot of foster children are not as lucky as Ms. Todd and I in that respect. I hope this book casts a harsh light on a system that needs to be revamped so that it does not send more damaged children out in the world as even more damaged adults."~ Barbikat60