To my wonderful fellow bloggers,
There are a lot of you (too many, sadly) who can relate to the childhood sexual abuse experiences and what it does to your sense of self. I have been surprised to read how many others also doubt their own stories and wonder if they made it up. Before I started blogging and reading other blogs, I honestly thought it was just me and that everyone else had very clear memories of their experience.
Some of you have said to me that you are tempted to try your own version of the Believe the Girl Project, but you hesitate because you aren’t sure if you can believe her. And so this letter is really for you.
Based on my experience over the past seven (!) weeks now, I would recommend you go ahead and try it. When I started, I didn’t know if I could do it either. And there have been days when it has been hard to hang tight to the belief. I kept going anyway. To be really honest with you, I don’t always fully believe every word I write to the girl in the letters I post on my blog. I’m not always convinced of her/my inherent beauty and worth. But I write it anyway. I fake my way through the days where I’m less certain.
One thing I have learned is that you don’t have to feel it completely first and then be gentle and loving to the girl. It’s almost the other way around. You go ahead and act loving to the girl (pretending if you need to that she is some other little girl and not yourself), and you tell her over and over the comforting things she needs to hear. And by doing it before you fully believe it, you come to believe it, bit by bit.
It takes a lot of repetition. Which makes sense, after all. The things that made you disgusted with yourself and depressed or ill are things that happened over and over and over for years. The cruel things that were said to you were repeated again and again for years. Naturally that’s not reparable overnight.
I don’t want to exaggerate and say everything is fine with me now. Anyway, if you read my blog, you know that’s not true. But I am doing vastly better than I was before I made the intentional choice to to believe the girl. The positive effects have carried over to other parts of my life as well, and I am kinder to myself than I used to be.
So, too many words to get to my real message: I say, go for it. Try it. What do you really have to lose?