Tonight's special guest is Olivia Martinez from Pico Rivera, CA, child abuse survivor and Employment Coordinator at the California Department of Rehabilitation who says she always aims at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Immigrating from Mexico in the 60's her family lived in the largely Latino East LA area. Her father was a blue collar worker who suffered from alcoholism. "I always felt alone," she wrote. But her mother spend the majority of her time dealing with her father's alcoholism. Olivia was repeatedly sexually abused by a cousin, eight years older than her. The first incident of this was when she was about three, but the last time was in adulthood. "I grew up eating my anxiety away and reached 375 pounds in adulthood. I was fat and felt like a monster." Eventually she began working on herself. "I had gastric bypass and lost all my excess weight. I began kick boxing I learned how to physically to not let anyone hurt me gain. The recovery period has been long and imperfect." Olivia began therapy for the first time when unsuccessfully trying to prevent a break up with her boyfriend, but eventually found more appropriate help at the East Los Angeles Woman Center where they assist woman who have been sexually and/or physically abused. "I have developed a more keen relationship with myself," she says, "and continue to work on me and my developmental stages and inner conflict I go through every day. I now am ready to let the world know my story and take what happened to me and embrace all the good things of who I am. I am preparing to finally forgive men in general for what one man did to me, and I want to one day forgive him for changing the course of my life and introducing a struggle that will never go away."
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