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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Acting Out and Acting In: The Socially Forgivable Behaviors

 They are inevitable products of their childhood wounding. To unlock the mystery that hides this moment is crucial. It's a first step in reducing an individual's shame to a level low enough that they can begin to believe that are worthy of respect and capable of recovery.

The ways in which sexually dysfunctional individuals display their pathology are varied, ranging from voyeurism to cross-dressing, cybersex to sexual anorexia (i.e., aversion to sex), sadomasochism to all points between. Not only do specific behaviors vary, there is usually more than one traumatic template behind the presenting symptoms.

It is important for me, in observing my patients and listening to their histories, to recognize certain points in their family histories when their primary caregivers inflicted the original wounds that formed their trauma. The harsh judgment that society passes on many addicts behaviors, viewing them as perverse, cruel, or weird, is unfair. They are inevitable products of their childhood wounding.

Trauma creates a compulsion to repeat the traumatic moment whenever its memory is stirred by later events. Trauma freezes us in the ego-state of when we were first traumatized. This freezing in time is often called "arrested development."

To unlock the mystery that hides this moment is crucial. It's a first step in reducing an individual's shame to a level low enough that they can begin to believe that are worthy of respect and capable of recovery. For the sake of tracking these crucial moments, let's look at some sexually dysfunctional behaviors planted in the poisoned soil of childhood abuse.

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