Rape might not leave physical scars, but the damage it causes the spirit can be indescribably devastating. Know that your pain doesn’t have to last forever.
No matter the type of victimization you experienced, no matter who assaulted you, no matter how many times, healing is possible.
In my book “I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse,” I included an entire chapter full of prayers and meditations because I wanted to provide practical tools for healing the soul.
Melinda Contreras-Byrd, a psychologist and co-pastor of Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church in Trenton, N.J., contributed one of my favorites. I’m thrilled to share it with you now. It’s an affirmation of the wellness that, I believe, exists at the core of your being. Your potential for becoming whole again can never be extinguished.
The Ebony.com series #EndingRape4Ever is designed to assist the African-American community heal collectively, and to help readers recover from their individual trauma. They’re the same goals I had for “I Will Survive,” in which I encouraged survivors to: “Accept that God can work miracles in and around you that you cannot even imagine.”
I hope this meditation moves you further along in your journey to the miraculous healing you deserve.
Self-Talk for Thrivers
I began as a victim, but I will move to being a survivor, and finally a thriver.
I will survive and thrive by saying the right things to myself.
I acknowledge the power of my mind to heal myself.
I claim the biblical promise that “truth will make us free.”
Therefore I will speak to myself only in truth
And pledge from this day on to stop the voices of blame and shame that constantly talk inside my head.
I will affirm that: There is no way I could have known–unless I suspected every man of harboring wicked motives.
Only psychologically unhealthy people suspect everyone of wicked motives.
He was not a monster, able to be everywhere at once, all-powerful and omnipresent to keep me inside, in fear, in pain and surrendered.
Only God is all-powerful and omnipresent.
We cannot know why God allows such horror to occur,
but we can affirm what we do know with certainty about God.
We can affirm that God is with us in our suffering.
No one deserves to be abused; I will never say that I caused this in any way.
No one is within his rights to behave this way toward another human being.
This did not happen because I was too free, too open, too sexy, or too trusting.
This happened because he was lacking in some essential human part.
I refuse to let this sick individual change my whole life.
I refuse to become fearful, untrusting, depressed, and silenced.
I will develop a plan for my own healing.
I will include a support circle in my healing process.
I will tell my pain, and shout my rage
until it has no more power to silence or disable me.
In the future I will sleep peacefully again.
In the future I will trust again.
In the future I will not dread the night, or being alone, or the footsteps of men.
In the future I will not need medication or ongoing therapy.
In the future my life will not be focused around this terrible event.
In the future I will be healed.
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Special Guest Editor, 'Ending Rape 4Ever'