LOPEZ: People other than abused children need the healing of “sexual wounds.” Is this a book for a lot of different kinds of sexual wounds? Some self-inflicted? Some cultural?
EDEN: I believe that the greatest wound caused by childhood sexual abuse is the wound to the child’s identity. John Paul II in his Letter to Families talked about how children need to develop their identity in an environment of truth and love. You can’t do that if you are subjected to lies and what John Paul called “the opposite of love,” which is “use” — that is, being treated as an object.
Being abused caused me to develop an identity that was founded not on truth but rather on the lies of my abusers — the utilitarian lies that made me believe I had no value beyond my usefulness to others. So, as a teenager and young adult, acting out of the lies I had absorbed, I compounded my pain by using people and letting them use me.
I tell readers in My Peace I Give You that they are not responsible for the abuse they suffered in childhood. We have that truth from the mouth of Christ when he casts woe upon those who would tempt little ones, and it has been affirmed again and again by the Church. But healing means more than recovering from the sins that were committed against us. It also means seeking and accepting God’s forgiveness for those sins we ourselves committed. I address both those issues in My Peace I Give You. For that reason, I believe its message helpful for anyone who is recovering from any kind of trauma or pain, particularly those in twelve-step programs, which likewise distinguish between healing from harm caused by others and ending harmful behavior. (Read entire interview.)
Read my review of Dawn's book, HERE.