100 Pennies: A Journey to Forgive the Unforgivable is Gaetane Martin’s story, a story that is rooted in her childhood in rural Canada. Those roots held childhood hunger, incredible poverty, generational incest and an ever-present fear of violence from an alcoholic father. Those roots also held the seeds of the activist she became, of the woman no longer afraid to speak her truth, and shows how she found her way to the flowering of a healthy and happy life; how she was able to forgive the unforgivable and, in so doing, set herself free.
This autobiographical memoir covers her lifespan from childhood to present, a necessary approach in order to show the repeating patterns of dysfunction that flowed from childhood trauma to adulthood, patterns hiding just below the surface that directed her actions without her conscious awareness. It was only through an unquenchable hope for a better life and a belief that there had to be another way to live that she was able to endure, heal and ultimately triumph.
100 Pennies is a journey of self-discovery, healing, and transformation. But it is not just Gaetane’s story. It is a story told by so many women. How does a young woman survive childhood incest and desperate hunger and become seemingly stable and successful in her career while continuing to make so many poor choices in her marriages that she ends up abandoning her own daughter? How does an accomplished woman end up settling for crumbs from a series of men who are never available to her?
Certifications and a life’s work helping others couldn’t save her. It was only when she started to save herself through her strong faith and deep exploration with therapists and alternative healers that she was able to rebuild her relationships with her children and find a love match solidly on equal ground with a man who was not a stand-in for her father.
The author’s fervent wish is that by telling her story, it will help others face their own past traumas, see their self-defeating patterns and find their own pathways to healing.
About the Author
Gaetane Martin has been interviewed on local and national radio about her story and her work. She is the President of the local chapter of Toastmasters International, a Certified Life Coach, and Certified Feng Shui Practitioner. Her passion is speaking publicly about the issues of childhood sexual abuse, alcoholism and childhood hunger and poverty.
She has presented at hospitals and mental health conferences on the impact of the trauma of sexual abuse and how to work with children and teenage victims. Putting her experiences into action she also lobbied politicians on behalf of parents for Megan’s Law, now a federal law requiring law enforcement authorities to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders.
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