Women of all professions in all countries are coming out with their encounters of sexual abuse by men – powerful and rich. In so many cases, women experienced those assaults in normal life. As more skeletons spilled out careers of men and their work was hit. Roy Moore – the Republican nominee for the Alabama seat vacated by Jeff Sessions is now being asked to step down due to the revelations of his sexual assault on a 14 year old girl. Also, Kevin Spacey is out of House of Cards, after men and boys came out with how he groped them.Sexual Abuse and Sexual Addiction - Mental and Social Battle is Not Enough! #MeToo Click To Tweet
The #MeToo campaign on Twitter and Facebook allowed women to share how they have been assaulted in their lives as well, not just the stars. It allowed many to “come out”.
Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) accompanies one throughout his/her life, if not handled properly. It has consequences that go far beyond that time and those incidents. Filmmaker Tony Montana shared his groping experience by Kevin Spacey, where Spacey says something to Montana that is very striking.
“I smiled, he leaned in,” Montana said. “His right arm was around my shoulder, and he put his hand under the bar, and that’s when he grabbed me, and he grabbed me very hard. “I had never been groped before,” he continued. “And he looked at me and he said, in a very sobering voice and this sardonic look in his face, said, ‘This designates ownership.’” (emphasis added)
What Spacey said in his moment of sexual perversion is what becomes the bane of the victim – specially in childhood. It adds to the feeling of helplessness and assault.
Sexual Abuse and Sexual Addiction
In a rather strking movie named “Addicted” – based on the novel by Zane, a successful business woman, Zoe Reynard played by Sharon Leal goes through a very troubling life. She has a loving husband, two beautiful kids and is a very successful business woman. Interestingly, in her idyllic existence, she has an addiction. She is nymphomaniac. Constantly seeking sexual gratification on a daily basis. That puts her in very difficult and often life threatening situations. Due to that she leads a double life. It is later found out that this whole thing was triggered by how she was raped as a kid. Her rape, as harrowing as it was, lead her into a direction where she seeked sexual pleasure constantly as an addiction.
In another movie “The General’s Daughter”, a body was found on Georgia military base of Army Capt. Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Army general Campbell. two investigators – Warrant Officers Paul Brenner played by John Travolta and Sara Sunhill played by Madeleine Stowe try to resolve the case. During the investigations it is found that Army Captain Campbell was seducing every one on the base. In fact, it was not as if she was having flirtatious relationships but she was engaged in the most extreme BDSM sexual fantasies which she was taping while in the act. Those tapes are found by the investigators and they also come to know how she was involved in those sessions with almost everyone on the base, irrespective of the rank or age. She was basically an extreme case of nymphomania. When the investigators dig into the past, they find that she was raped in the most gruesome manner by her Army colleagues during an exercise and left to die. For the rest of her life, she was trying to recreate that experience in an attempt to cope up with the terrible past.
Dr. Drew discusses how sexual abuse leads to sexual / love addiction.
What he is saying is that trauma becomes attraction after puberty.
Three Case Studies from India
I recently came across a post by a Facebook friend – Shobha Guha – who shared her conversations with three youngsters who were now battling depression, self hate and drug addiction. These are the “case studies” she shared:
Case 1 – When he was 6, an elder cousin sister(14 years) used to visit them and at night used to tell him to do sexual things to her … And he got more and more drawn towards these things… And then he befriended some boys who would take him to places there they would indulge in Blood orgies, scat orgies and so on… By the time he was 21, he had practically done everything that a man can do and he started to feel empty…. Suddenly he did not know how to love any more.. He tried to find love but each time he found a girl he encountered failure and then he got into depression… And now he wants to die… He suffers from anxiety and fears… He thinks he is dirty and this world is dirty… He is too powerless to walk the path towards recovery even…
Case 2 – When he was 9, his nanny used to sit on his face without a panty and told him to do things which he cannot explain… And then he got more and more interested in sex because since his nanny always loved him in this way so now for him this is what is love… And to give and get love he can only think of sex… And he feels a void after that… A painful ghastly void…
Case 3 – When she was 7, her maid servant (A teenage boy) had sex with her after school when she would come home and nobody was at home… And she used to feel strange yet enjoy it… But slowly she started feeling dirty… She could not love people any more without thinking about sex…
When one looks at the studies done on the victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse, one finds that there is a prevalence of sexual addiction as an escape from the inability to handle the trauma of the past.
Early in the Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) training that I attended, in order to give us a sense for what goes into the making of a sex addict, he presented us with some important factors that his research findings revealed, including these: that 72% of sex addicts were physically abused as children; 81% were sexually abused as children; and 97%, emotionally abused as children.
This is sad and indeed ironical. That the very factor that has been the basis of one’s lifelong trauma also becomes an escape.
“An Attempt to Control…”
One victim who walked the path of hypersexuality described her reasons in one line in her blog – “Being hypersexual was my way of trying to regain control of the power I lost when I was attacked. It was as if I adopted a similar mentality to my rapist; sex was a game and I wanted to win at the end of the night.”
Afropunk, the blogger, shares how sex – rather hypersexuality – had become a coping mechanism of distancing the body and people she was intimate with. It was a way to punish others and banish them from her heart.
Sex was how I baited men and eventually women alike – it also became how I manipulated them to stay. Sex was a way to wedge a certain amount of distance between us. I figured if I fucked people early on, then there was no way an emotional attachment could form, there was nothing but “intimate distance.” If I started feeling a certain amount of dependency forming, I started talking to other people and eventually I was able to juggle multiple “lovers” at once. Every romantic relationship I had became a circus act of me attempting to control people to fill a void.
Sadly, in most of the literature dedicated to helping the victims today, the emphasis is merely on “rearranging the chairs on the Titanic”. The interventions are merely cosmetic or mental positioning. Here are some of the steps mentioned by one help guide for the sexual victims.
- Reach out to someone you trust
- Challenge your sense of helplessness and isolation
- Assign responsibility where it belongs: on the rapist
I am not sure what you think of these but they are like a mockery of the whole thing! It is as if the people in the business of helping do not even begin to understand the trauma of someone who has gone through all this!
Psychologically, victims are trying to cope up with the trauma of something that impacted their very being – the mind, the body and energies. And, even though they can psychologically find coping mechanisms, the memory of the events that occur are deeper still. They permeate the body and energies of one’s being.
Body Memory from Sexual Contact and Yogic Tools to Handle it
Sadhguru discusses the phenomenon of “Body memory” or runanubandha and how sexual contact creates the most lasting body memory.
What I was referring to in this context was runanubandha, which is a certain kind of physical memory. You pick up runanubandha in many ways, but sexual relationships have maximum impact in terms of the amount of memory that they leave, compared to any other kind of touch, or any substance you come in touch with.
This is not a question of guilt or ridding yourself of guilt. This is not about social conditioning – we are only looking at the existential aspects of life. The body has its own memory.
However that contact and abuse may have happened, the memory is embedded within the victim (and the aggressor). The victim can never cope up with or handle this trauma at purely psychological level. For, at that level one will find escapism and avoidance as the best companions. Shoving something out of your mind does not resolve the deep residue in the body memory.
As Sadhguru says further – women are the most impacted by sexual memory. Sadly and damningly for the world, women are the majority victims of sexual abuse as well.
Runanubandha is the physical memory that you carry within you. This memory can be acquired due to blood relationships or sexual relationships. When it comes to sexual relationships, a woman’s body has much more memory.
Beyond the tools that psychologists use to intervene in a psychological way, there are Yogic tools which intervene deeper.
There are certain festivals like Pongal or Bhogi that are about clearing up your mental baggage, your emotional baggage, and your runanubandha. At Linga Bhairavi, we are doing Klesha Nashana Kriya. You could consider it as a ritual fire wash, which you can make use of if a regular shower is not sufficient to get you clean. Klesha Nashana Kriya is a way of burning physical memories that you have picked up – not necessarily because of relationships. Just by coming in touch with people, situations, atmospheres, so many things, the body picks up memory.
Clearly, psychological ways are not enought to deal with what is not an isolated crime.
Raising the Consciousness is the Only Way to Handle Growing Perversion
As sad as it is, sexual abuse and perversion, in today’s world – given the tools of propagation of perversions – can probably simply not be stopped. Specifically with the law enforcement ways we have. What we need is more openness and understanding for men and women who come out, without shaming them. Also most importantly, the consciousness of humans needs to be raised where perversion and psychopathic ways are not how so many want to express themselves. Abuse is a sickness of mind. Either coming from the urge to dominate or to break the rules of society or holding one’s bodily urges above one’s discretion. If one’s consciousness is vibrant enough, such things may not be something that people do.
This discussion on raising the consciousness of the masses is not some hocus-pocus, but something that has been empirically tested out. Crime has a statistically significant INVERSE relationship to enhancement of Collective Consciousness.
This research tests the hypothesis that group practice of the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) and TM-Sidhi® program by a group of sufficient size is associated with reduced rates of homicide and violent crime. Data from a prospective quasi-experiment were analyzed using intervention analysis or interrupted time series analysis. Dependent variables are time series of the U.S. monthly homicide rate as well as violent crime rate from a sample of 206 cities. The binary intervention variable is based on the size of the largest U.S. TM-Sidhi group. Intervention effects were analyzed by time series regression using a broken-trend intervention model. As hypothesized, there was a statistically and practically significant shift in trend in the direction of reduced rates for each of the variables beginning with the onset of the intervention period.
The whole world will never become full of enlightened monks. But isn’t it important that we start engaging with each others and with basic human sensitivity?
With respect to the victims of abuses, it is important to speak out and share rather than be embarrassed or feel the shame. For a crime exposed leads to better acts of prevention. But more importantly, the poison of the past cannot be allowed to tar the present or the future. Beyond the psyhological battle and the war in the mind, there are other areas where this purge needs to happen. And mental re-arrangement can not do it alone. One needs to seek consciousness interventions. Take up some serious meditational technique and work in ways that help the healing process. In the end, one needs to remember – we are not what others make us, we are what we allow within ourselves to manifest.
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