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Monday, February 18, 2013

Bruce's Lecture

Sexualized Anger

Healthy sexual desire is nourished by love, connectivity, and intimacy. However, when we have been traumatized into compulsive sexuality, love, connectivity, and intimacy are replaced by shame. As we have already discussed, sexualized anger is the reaction to the shame that trauma fosters. Let's consider the model below: (Note: I'll transcribe it)

Sexualized Anger

Etiology of Sexualized Anger

Born precious and valuable

Shame Core
I am worthless.
I am unloveable.

Abuse                        Abandonment

Results in Feeling...
  • One down
  • Disempowered
  • Fear
  • Vulnerable 

The other diagram...

Sexualized Anger

Etiology of Sexualized Anger

 Born precious and valuable

Shame Core
I am worthless.
I am unloveable.

BIG arrow pointing UP for (anger rising)...

Results in Feeling...
  • Feeling in control
  • Nero Chemical release
  • Temporary relief
  • Return to shame
We were all born with inherent worth and value. But when we grow up in abusive and abandoning environments; are we told we are worthless; and are physically, sexually, verbally, emotionally, and intellectually abused by our caregivers, we are compelled to believe we are worthless and not deserving. In order to survive these painful beliefs and feelings, we mask them with anger. Anger masks our shame so that we do not have to recognize the ego-annihilating pain that lies behind it. When new clients come into my office to share their histories, I listen first for the shame and, second, for their reaction to the shame, the mask of anger.*

* Not all anger is dysfunction. Healthy anger gives us strength to protect ourselves from physical and emotional harm. Anger becomes dysfunctional when we mistake the harm we are doing to ourselves, or when another's behavior triggers our own sense of worthlessness, making us vulnerable to attack from outside. The anger we feel toward that outside person is the projection of the shame we feel at our own worthlessness. 

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