“I feel like I'm on top of Mt. Everest.”
Barbie
ATC Client for 18 years

Barbie describes how telling her story is part of her healing process.

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Olivia: What is it about leading and telling your story that's kind of life-giving to you? Because it sounds like it's just been such an important part of your life.

Barbie: It's a healing process for me because I feel like when I'm up there talking to people, I'm peeling back these layers from the onion. I'm getting to the core, and I'm healing myself. I feel like when you speak about it, it no longer is a burden. It no longer is a boulder on your shoulder, a huge rock that you feel defeated from, but you feel overcome because you're able to talk about it. You know what you did, you own up to it, and you move forward. You talk about ways that can help you to become better.

And that's what I'm about. Like I said, I see the positive in every negative situation. That's how you have to see things because, yeah, some people believe in black and white, but there's gray areas for me. Every situation, there's something positive coming from that. When I be speaking to those kids, and I've been their shoes, or they know someone that can to relate to my situation, I think that I inspire hope and I give them the truth of the streets. It's a dangerous place. It's no place for love. There's no love there.

So if you want it, you stay in school. If you want love, you stay connected to people who are positive. You want love, you stay connected to people who you feel safe around, that don't provide you with harm. So yeah. When I'm speaking, it's like, I feel like I'm on top of Mt. Everest screaming, "I've tackled the world."

Olivia: That's was really powerful just hearing you say that.