Tonight's special guest is Jennifer Martinez from Garland, Texas. "I speak to groups of individuals regarding Child sexual abuse and my personal experience with this topic," she says. "It is my passion to motivate and inspire individuals who struggle with anger and forgiveness." Jennifer was sexual abused by her older cousin from age of 3 to 11. She never told anyone, and grew up troubled and tormented by her past. She secretly hated her mother for not protecting her. Jennifer had her first child at 16 and was pregnant again by the age of 19 years old, and attempted shortly after her second child was born. A Psychiatrist diagnosed her with bipolar disorder which was then called "manic depression." At her very first family therapy session Jennifer told her mother what her nephew had done to her, and she found out that her cousin had tried to sexual abuse her sisters, too. Years later Jennifer found out that her aunts husband had been sexually abusing her abuser. By the time she was 25 Jennifer was a single mother of five children. After many highs and lows, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, hatred, unforgiveness and several suicide attempts, Jennifer decided enough was enough. She wanted to learn how to control her episodes in order to give her children a chance at life. Jennifer obtained her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in counseling. She currently works for the State of Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative services as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and counsels and guides individuals with disabilities daily. Jennifer plans on entering the psychology Doctoral program in the fall.
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