Tisha Campbell Martin on Overcoming Sexual Abuse

Tisha Campbell Martin on Overcoming Sexual Abuse

The actress says breastfeeding her children triggered bad feelings.

Published September 8, 2015

When Tisha Campbell Martin appeared on The Daily Helpline in August 2014, the actress helped a young woman calling in about being sexually abused by coming forward with her own story of molestation. The actress, who had never before shared this dark past with the public, encouraged the woman to stop viewing herself as a victim because it would continue giving her abuser more power.

In a recent interview with MadameNoire, Campbell Martin reiterated her refusal to see herself as a victim, but added that being sexually abused when she was only three years old did leave a lasting mark.

“I’ve never looked at myself as a victim. I knew that I didn’t do anything wrong, but it would affect me in a different way that maybe I didn’t really discuss on The Daily Helpline,” she said. “It would affect me with breastfeeding my children. I didn’t want to with the first one because I felt like I was going to hurt him. You know, that kind of thing.”

“It’s surprising how things kind of pop up out of nowhere. I didn’t know why I felt uncomfortable doing that. I didn’t want to do it, and I felt like it was a lot of pressure for me to do it,” Campbell Martin continued. “Finally, the pediatrician was like, ‘Can you just stop trying? Because the baby can see your angst.’ So I took the pressure off of myself, and it was easier to do it with my second child because I knew what it was then.”

Campbell Martin also credits her new music track “Steel Here” as a testament to her true self. Not the “bougie girlfriend” she keeps portraying on television, but rather a strong woman who’s not afraid to express herself regardless of how others might feel about her truth. The people she knows will always be there for her are her children and husband Duane Martin, with whom she just celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary. When asked what her secret was to juggling career and family, she said she’s very picky about what roles she takes on.

“I do not take jobs that keep me away for lengths and lengths of time. I have very young children; one is 14 and one is turning 6. Even before the kids came, [Duane] and I had rules about which jobs we take,” said Campbell Martin, who’s set to star in the new comedy sitcom Dr. Ken. “We only wanted to do sitcoms because it was more like a teacher’s job. You know, you only work a certain amount of hours and a certain amount of months, and you’re off in the summer. For our family and our relationship, it was a better choice for me.”

“I think that if you put your family first, your career and everything else will fall into place,” she added.

To read her entire interview, click here.

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Written by Dorkys Ramos

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