A message from Cranford:
I was driving along the other night listening to a late night talk show on the radio. The guest was talking about healing your body with energy (or something like that) when a lady called in with a question.
The caller said she was almost 50 years old and asked in advance for forgiveness for getting emotional. The caller then asked what could be done, for herself and other women, to remove the shame and emotional pain of being molested; to help her “know” it wasn’t her fault; to help her “know” that her body wasn’t trash.
By the time she ended her question, her voice was breaking up, and my heart was doing the same.
50 years old and still living with the pain and torment of being molested as a young girl.
She felt like maybe she was “asking for it,” maybe, she caused it to happen. She continues to live with the feeling that she was broken, not good enough to be loved, trash even after all those years. I wanted so badly to be able to hold her like a loving father and hug the pain out of her heart – to let her cry out the poison and the agony of the lies she has heard or even worse, told herself, so she could finally start to heal; so she could finally start loving herself again.
But I couldn’t. All I could do was hear the phone click as she hung up. I was so in pain for that woman, I have no idea what answer the show host or guest gave to her in the next 10-15 seconds before going to the next call. But I’m sure it wasn’t enough.
I’ve heard similar things from women in the past who suffered through being molested or raped. The questions they continue to ask themselves. The judgements they place on their bodies for what happened. The pain that lingers and affects their self-esteem, their belief in themselves, their belief about what they deserve in a relationship, and sometimes, their choices about just staying alive.
I’ve heard the torment and the confusion caused by the realization that, in some cases, even though what happened was terrible, their bodies responded to the act of violence with what makes no sense at all: pleasure. “If my body responded with sexual pleasure, even to the point of climax while I was being assaulted, what does that say about me?”
Here’s the answer. It says that the purely biological functions of your body are not always connected to your mind’s understanding of what is right or wrong. It says that your body parts, just like every other person who has ever lived, will sometimes do what they were meant to do with no understanding of the rightness or wrongness of the situation. Your body didn’t betray you and it doesn’t hate you. It just acted in a biological manner with no understanding of your mental desires or morality. It had absolutely nothing to do with the “kind of person” you are. It only has to do with being a living breathing human.
As a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a friend, and someone who has seen the physical and emotional trauma caused by monsters who pretend to be “trustworthy,” I want to say something to every one of you who has suffered. I want each of you to hear this and I want you to let it melt into your heart. I want you to let it affect every thought, judgement, and memory you have about yourself.
This is what I want to tell you:
-It wasn’t your fault.
-It is impossible to MAKE someone assault you.
-You didn’t deserve it.
-You are not “trash.”
-You ARE loveable.
-You ARE worthy of love.
-Your body is not “bad.”
That is the truth. But I don’t want you to just hear it from me.
So here is what I want you to do: Read the next lines out loud, and with compassion – read them out loud so your biological body can hear YOU telling it the truth. It may not be ready to believe you the first time. It may take days, weeks, or even months, so be patient, and love yourself enough to keep reading the following words to yourself -out loud- until your body, your pure spirit, and your beautiful heart start to believe it again. They will, just don’t give up.
Here’s what I want you to read out loud:
“What happened to me wasn’t my fault”
“I didn’t deserve what happened to me”
“I am NOT trash”
“I deserve to have love and trust in my life”
“I am worthy of love, joy, and prosperity”
“I love my body”
“I respect myself and require the same treatment from others”
Your body is like a child. It will listen to you and it will respond to what you say. If you’ve been saying the wrong things, it may take a little time. Start saying the right things. Don’t give up.
Love yourself and love your body. You are wonderful, funny, joyful, beautiful, worthy, and strong, even if you’ve forgotten it. It’s time to remember who you really are, who you were meant to be.
Be the strong hero you dreamed of as a child. It’s not as far away as you might think.
With honor, sincerity, and hope for each of you,