Sign in

I’m a recovering abuse victim and life survivor, sharing my story to help others.

Reader, Writer, Marketer, Information Geek, Photographer, Mentor, and Farmer

Photo of Author, Doreen Barker

My Grandfather was the best story teller in my life. His vivid recounts of his time served in the Army during World War II, travelling the world, created a love of story telling. The way he could paint a visual picture with words inspired me to become a writer.

I remember being assigned my senior thesis and choosing a topic I knew he could give me personal feedback on. I picked the Pygmy Tribe of Africa. I researched and listened to his recalls of what they were like in person, something…


A book based on decades of research, by Harry R. Moody, Ph. D., focusing on spiritual development as we age, searching for the meaning of life and self-discovery.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Walt Whitman

It seems like long ago that those words were part of the pathway of life. At graduation, the world was right at my fingertips. Like clay, waiting to be molded and shaped into the life I had dreamed of having. For many years, I fought…


What I’ve witnessed with a mental illness in my relationships

Photo by Gabrielle Meschini on Unsplash

In nearly every relationship I’ve ever been in — platonic or romantic — I’ve watched again and again how others have no idea how to handle episodes that involve my mental health. It has been extremely discouraging, if I’m being honest.

Many times, it has left me feeling flawed and unlovable. Damaged so badly by trauma that my issues are too deep for anyone to accept and still love me, anyway. That abandonment has left me scarred and a little bitter. Why can’t I just find someone that I resonate with as myself? …


We all fear getting a call that something has happened to them, at any age.

Photo by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash

Trigger Warning: Automobile Accident

“Ma’am, this is Randy from Bangs Ambulance. I have your son here with me. We are transporting him to the trauma center.”

My heart stopped. My brain stuttered. My whole being broke.

I knew it was bad if they were transporting him to a trauma center over an hour away. I was told they were only allowing one visitor, that they were 10–15 minutes away from the hospital and that my son was involved in a bad head-on collision. It’s 8:30 pm.

I made the hardest trip of my life to the hospital. Alone. Terrified of what I would find…


I am more than just the tragedies I have faced in this life

Author, Doreen Barker and her rescue horse, Velvet Photo provided by Doreen Barker

A friend recently said to me that I seem to have some form of drama in my life about every six months. It’s not because I’m causing it, it just seems to find me. The most recent was my son being involved, through no fault of his own, a head on collision that nearly took his life when another driver crossed into oncoming traffic.

But this drama, oh this life long cycle of drama. All of my life, I always felt like I was somehow cursed. I’ve…


LIFE LESSONS

Oh, I f*cked up. Too many times to count.

Messed up Polaroid
Messed up Polaroid
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I have too many stories from my life on how I f*cked up. It all started when I was young. My legs were too long and I danced around like a newborn colt on wobbly legs, falling often. Eventually, it got better. Not because my body balanced out (I have a 32–1/2" inseam and stand 5'8" tall, I’m mostly legs), but because I learned to adapt.

I still trip over myself or faceplant from time to time. I’ve learned to perfect the art of the tuck and roll. After being diagnosed with MS and losing some feeling in my legs…


In a recent conversation, I was criticized for sharing my story

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Maybe if you’d focus more on what’s right in front of you instead of being so worried about telling the world to give you pity, maybe you wouldn’t be in this situation.

As anyone with a mental illness can tell you, there are just some people out there in the world that will never understand or accept who you are. I wish we lived in a utopian world where people could just have a little empathy and compassion toward things they don’t understand. For me, I see it continuously in my life when I’m trying to share my story.

Phrases…


How saying “I’m fine” impacts your interactions with others

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash

I bet everyone can sit back and remember a time when someone asked if you were okay and your instant reaction was, “I’m fine.” Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not helping you or anyone around you. Bear with me and I’ll explain why.

The battle of lies begins with those around us. Yes, I said it, lies. We’ve all faced the issue of trying to talk to someone about how we feel. We’ve all had someone important to us reject our mental health and/or our feelings in the process. There’s a term for it. …


We can all use a break from reality, but why is alone time so important?

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

In recent weeks, I’ve been spending time removed away from everyone and everything. I had gotten to the point where I stopped hearing my own thoughts and all I kept hearing was everyone else’s expectations of what I should do.

After living most of my life under the dictator rule of narcissistic abuse, I started realizing that I was allowing myself to slip back into those old habits of showing myself off to the side. It had gotten to the point that I was neglecting my own physical and mental health to just “handle” what was expected of me.

“I…


A poem written about the end of relationship, a broken heart and being faced with the reality that it’s time to move on.

Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash

Moment in Time

A small moment in time,
Your life touched mine.
Joyful days of laughter,
Are gone now after.

Feeling a boundless love,
Sent from heaven above.
Full of emotion intense,
Stubbornness made you dense.

A small moment in time,
Your life touched mine.
Now it’s darkness and bleak,
Sadly, it’s been but a week.

You stabbed my heart,
With the toss of a dart.
It’s just silence and quiet,
Cravings for sugar on a diet.

A small moment…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store