My name is Candice M. Martin. I'm an author, an epileptic and struggling survivor of rape, domestic violence and childhood sexual and physical abuse. For years I did what I was told and kept my mouth shut. In fact, until my first book came out in December 2005, I really didn't go in the specifics of my past, nor did I share my writings with many of my family members. Sure, they read some, but not the darker ones-the ones that contained so much of my pain. Now I would post them on my website, hoping that I wasn't the only one with the feelings I'd had when I'd written each piece. It took me a long time to even think of actually seeking out a publisher-not because it wasn't my dream, but because I didn't want others to think I was certifiable after they read my work. But after a while, I didn't care. I'd written what I'd went through and my writings were my voice-an affirmation of my past. After my first book came out, I was honestly shocked at the response that I received from so many other survivors. Others, who like me, had struggled to find their voice over the years, and some who still hadn’t. My second book, “Reflections In My Tears”, was released in July 2006 and though it deals with much of the same topics, it also shows the progress that I have made as a survivor.
For those of you who don’t know about my story or much about abuse, I will only touch write part of my story here. Find the more in depth version at http://www.freewebs.com/candicemartin
Near as I remember, the abuse started when I was 4. I don't have a lot of memories from my childhood-which I'm thankful for-but the ones that I do have are painful and usually flashbacks of my father touching me, whispering not to scream or I'd regret it in more ways than one. And I knew better too. I still have the scars to prove it. I carry his wrath on my body. I spent many years in foster homes, and in one of them, I was again sexually abused. I ran, but was returned. After almost a year there, I was finally moved, then moved again and again and again...you get the point. One too many foster homes and not a one of them a HOME!! At age 17 1/2-18, I started having seizures-but at that time I didn't know what they were-and the system sent me to a stomach doctor!! There goes that Sheer Stupidity Syndrome again! Well at 18 I was on my own, with a disease I knew nothing about, trying to go to college like I'd always wanted to. That dream ended quickly. My seizures became so out of control I was forced to drop out, and have never went back. It was not meant to be. I moved to the town my sister lived in and stayed with her, all the while my seizures getting worse. I battled depression, self-hatred, PTSD, suicide attempts, drinking to numb the pain-everything! At 19, I was raped by a boyfriend's best friend. I never reported it because, 1) I was used to being abused and 2) he was my boyfriend's friend. I bounced back and forth from my sisters’ house to being homeless to living with friends. I was a mess. I still had no control over my seizures. I got into a 2 1/2 year domestic violence relationship with a man that SEEMED perfect at first. I thought he would take care of me and help me deal with my seizures and everything else I was dealing with. But know, he just added to the pain. He'd come home from work, throw me to the floor, and just start beating me. He didn't care where the punches landed or what I looked like when he was done. He'd call me every name in the book. I ended up having 3 miscarriages due to his beatings. I dealt with this for 2 1/2 years, day in and day out, the names, the beatings and his means of hurting me-AND he loved to see me hurt. He got off on seeing me crumble. I was broken. I had nothing left. I no longer cared what happened to me. He could kill me, it didn't matter to me. BUT, I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of killing myself. He wouldn't win that way. I wanted to die, but not by my hand-if he was that much of a man, then let him do it himself! The beatings kept coming, some days worse than others, until one day I'd had enough. He came home, ready to fight. He threw me to the floor again, but when he went to hit me, I hit him first and broke his nose in 2 places with one punch!! I'd had enough. I was done! He knew it. A look of shock and defeat came over his face all at once. He didn't say a word. He moved out a week later and last I heard he went to jail for knocking his girlfriend down a flight of stairs while she was holding their new baby.
I met my husband shortly after that and expected the same treatment. When it didn't come, I tried to make it. I'd pick fights just because. I wanted him to hit me-in that "I deserve it" way. After a while, I realized that he wasn't going to treat me that way. He has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and I think God for him. We will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in this March 2008. He is my world. My seizures are still a problem for me. Doctors haven't controlled them yet, and though I finally won my battle to get my SSI, it isn’t much each month and is a struggle to survive. I still battle PTSD and depression, some days worse than others. Through it all, I write. My husband is the main reason that I submitted my books to the publisher. When they accepted them, I cried with him for who knows how long. When I actually got my copies of my books, I cried again. He is my rock. We don't have much, but we have each other. He is required to care for me, due to my seizures-so he doesn't work. He's had to do this since early last year. Faith and Prayer has gotten us this far, as has our love. In September of this year (2007) God blessed us with a beautiful baby girl-something we had tried to have for almost 10 years. She is the light of our lives! It is my hopes that my words will help someone who has gone through the same thing or is going through the things I've gone through. "Petals of Life: A Survivor's Writings" and “Reflections In My Tears” are both at the major online bookstores, as well as most brick and mortar stores. Please visit my site at www.myspace.com/thrumywords and drop me a message!
This is my story~