Hi, Marianne. Is there a prayer I can say for my femininity? At the age of 14 years old, I was touched inappropriately by my mother's boyfriend and then was the victim of an attempted rape at 23 years old. I find myself dressing in manly, baggy clothing, not really caring how I look, and when I'm with a man I act like a man. I'm hard, childish and completely uncomfortable. God forbid he would try to hold my hand. I pray about this to God every day, because I know I'm behaving this way to try and protect myself because deep down I don't trust men. Thank you for your help.
— Autumn W., Atlanta, Georgia
I know I express not only my own sentiments but also those of everyone reading this in telling you how sorry I am.
There are support groups for the kind of things you've been through, and I urge you to do research and see what you can find. There are many fine therapeutic processes—both individual and group—that address exactly the kind of thing you ask about.
In the meantime, I don't know your religious background, but if you are Christian, I suggest you ask Mother Mary for her help. Go into a church where there is a statue of her, light a candle and pray that your womanhood be overshadowed by hers. In all the great religious systems, there are divine beings who represent the feminine face of the divine. Find her and ask her to help you. I also am praying she helps you.
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Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer who has published several books, including New York Times best-sellers
A Return to Love and
Everyday Grace. A popular guest on numerous television programs such as
The Oprah Winfrey Show and
ABC's Good Morning America, Marianne has lectured professionally since 1983. For more information, visit her official website.
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