The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Author shares trauma to empower students

The Collegian Logo
The Collegian Logo

Teacher overcomes past to achieve success

By Victor Allison/reporter

In a speech for Women’s History Month, TR English instructor and author Tricia Barker spoke about recovering from traumatic experiences and shared her personal story about confronting fears after being a victim of harassment.

Barker spoke March 20 to a near-capacity Energy Auditorium as part of TR’s campuswide celebration of Women’s History Month.

She told students her soon-to-be-released book “Angels in the OR,” a memoir of her near-death experience in 1994, would have been written 25 years ago, but a traumatic experience with a stalker forced her to shelve it.

“So, I went into hiding,” she said. “I was terrified of him, you know.”

She moved from place to place, school to school and state to state, constantly changing her address to keep the man, who Barker said still sends her suspicious packages to this day, off of her trail.

But she said the physical shuffling of her life wasn’t the only infringement to her freedom. Her long-held career aspiration to become a published author had to be suppressed as well, she said.

Her stalker, Barker said, is a literary critic that runs a magazine obsessed with targeting writers, particularly women, with the intent of killing their careers.

“They target people. They gather people up, and they destroy them basically,” she said.

Barker told students this form of bullying and harassment is an all-too-common story among women, and before the #MeToo movement, a heavily silenced topic in the conversation around impediments to a woman’s success.

She said she wanted to share her personal story to show how women can recover and heal from traumatic experiences but also wanted to give students strategies on how to deal with issues like harassment and sexual assault.

“You should take pictures. You should document it with the police. You should constantly keep very close documentation of this because that’s all you have is your documentation and the police knowing this occurred,” she said.

Barker said she also wants her story to be a testament to a woman’s ability to rise past her challenges. After almost 25 years of living in fear, Barker said she is ready to now confront those fears.

“I decided to write this book,” she said. “I said ‘I don’t care. This stalker is going to find me anyway. I’m going to write about it. It’s going to be a part of the story. And, we’ll just address it head on. And, it will help other people who have been stalked.’”

Nursing major Sandra Loredo spoke on her takeaway from Barker’s message.

“[It’s] interesting to hear how someone can come back [from a traumatic experience] and make a difference in their life,” Loredo said.

Fatimatou Kropp, a second-year student who hails from Senegal, said Barker’s story touched her personally.

“I have the same feeling, people don’t believe in you,” Kropp said. “We have this doubt everyday in our life. I understand this feeling.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian