Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Childhood sexual abuse can have a profound effect on a person's confidence and self-esteem, especially if he's trying to conceal the pain. "The work it takes to hide it weakens everything else," Ray says. "I knew that I had the confidence to do what I wanted to in the world. I was raised that way. But with this in the background in my life, I just overdid everything ... to prove that I was worthy."
"Bottom line: It's a worthiness issue, is it not?" Oprah asks Dr. Fradkin.
"It's that healing of all that deep shame that we blamed ourselves for and held ourselves accountable for when it wasn't our fault," Dr. Fradkin says. "It's essential to heal that shame and to be able to know that it was truly some other person's actions against you that caused all this pain. You have a right to heal."
Published on November 12, 2010