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Carmen Tarleton pens a story of strength - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Carmen Tarleton pens a story of strength

Carmen Tarleton Carmen Tarleton

Thetford, Vermont - May 21, 2010

"We all have dreams thoughts and hopes of what our lives will be like," Carmen Tarleton said.

Using a magnifying screen made for the legally blind, Tarleton reads the first chapter of a story that changed her life forever.

"I never could have prepared for what direction my life took 10 days after my 39th birthday."

Tarleton was attacked by her estranged husband who doused her with industrial strength lye. The horrific act of domestic violence permanently altered Tarleton's appearance, leaving her scarred over most of her body. Tarleton's attacker, Herbert Rodgers, is serving a 30-year jail sentence.

"That will be one of the hardest chapters, the night it happened," she said.

Almost three years later, Tarleton still has open wounds from the assault. But she says she feels the best she has since the attack and is ready to share her story with others.

"It is something I deal with every day. Every day," she said. "So you know, over time you get better at coping with it."

Tarleton says she's writing the book for herself as a way to come to terms with what happened to her. But she also says that once the book is finished, it becomes something for everyone.

"If I can inspire people to get through a hard time," she explained, "maybe their hard time isn't going to be as traumatic as mine."

For Tarleton no task is too high. Her goal is to get on the set of Oprah-- sharing her story with the world.

"I can have my people call their people," she laughed.

All joking aside, Tarleton explains where her strength comes from: "I refuse to be here and not have an acceptable quality of life for myself."

And as she shows off her newly potted vegetables in front of her home, Tarleton proves that is does not take a pencil and paper to offer words of inspiration.

"I try to get through each day, each situation the best I can," she said. "And, if I'm not happy at the end of the day, then I am going to try something else the next day."

Tarleton says her newest task is the book; a detailed account of how she has come to be the person she is today.

"This time I am lucky," she said. "I get to do it just by being myself. And there is nothing better than just being yourself."

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News

Related Stories:

New Outlook for Lye Attack Victim

Rodgers Sentenced for Lye Attack

Lye Attack Survivor Battles Back

Carmen's Road to Recovery

Survivor of Brutal Attack Comes Home

Husband Accused of Burning Wife with Chemical

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