The great mystery of Tedd Cadd’s life is this: despite unrelenting, savage sexual abuse at the hands of his father, and profound rejection by his mother, Tedd somehow held onto the capacity to love, and ultimately, to accept love. The clue to solving this mystery lies in a simple, powerful drawing that is forever etched into Tedd’s consciousness. It is a drawing of Jesus Christ holding and comforting an anguished, wailing child. Somehow, Tedd is able to feel that love, a love that has healed his own wounds. And having done so, it has become a love that Tedd can share with his wife of 45 years, with his children and grandchildren, and with other survivors – men and women – of sexual violence.
While that love made healing possible, it was not an easy road. For decades, Tedd lived with the marrow-deep belief that he was identical with the depravity and perversity of the men who had sexually abused him. It took years of journaling, of therapy and of hard internal work to erode that profound internalization.
But the work has paid off. Through tears, Tedd describes the equally, marrow-deep joy he now experiences when he cradles his granddaughter, and watches her fall into a safe and peaceful sleep.