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THE NUMBING PROCESS

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


While the preceding sections in this chapter emphasized causes of the increased violence in our society, the original levels of violence were already high. These next sections provide additional suggestions for reducing these levels significantly.


Millions of us make the situation worse by emotionally harming (numbing) our children (as we were so harmed as children by our parents). We demand that our children swallow their hatreds for us, causing them to displace them on to current targets like African-Americans, white males, gays, fundamentalists and women. We numb ourselves and our children (1)by making insensitivity the norm, (2)by making ourselves too often "be nice", (3)by circumcising our males, (4)by teaching our boys that to be a man means to be tough, (5)by teaching our girls to be asexual and to deny anger, etc. All these parental (and societal) teachings make us insensitive to parts of ourselves. We numb out as we try to please our parents and society.


I so desire to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end when I come to lay down the reins of power, I shall have lost every friend on earth, I shall have at least one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me..... Abraham Lincoln

This numbing/ traumatizing process (described in Chapter 3) is almost universal in this society. And our "inner childs" are furious at being so numbed out! Typically, we displace our furiousness at being so numbed on to safer current targets, thus never resolving the issue for ourselves. (Rage at current targets is safer than facing our childhood rage.) Our hatred will continue on and on. If our numbing is significant enough, we will consider violence (or death or injury or pain) to be "no big deal."


A most important question is, "How do I contribute to the numbing process?" How am I still numbing my sensitivity, sexuality, anger, hatred, tears and love? If I am still displacing my rage, anger and hatreds on to safer targets of today, I am part of the violence problem. If I am still numbed, I am contributing to the continuation of violence; and I will not be maximally effective in changing others.


This is another case of "think globally, act locally." My work first is to face my own emotional numbing, including its violent and not-so-violent causes. Then I'll be much more effective in changing my parenting, the schools, television and society. This author considers numbing to be a massive human problem that will only start changing when each of us becomes more aware of our personal numbness.

Next Excerpt  

More Excerpts This Chapter
   VIOLENCE: HOW DO I CONTRIBUTE TO THE ADDED VIOLENCE?
   TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE UNHAPPY
   OUR VALUES & SPIRITUAL BELIEFS HELP CAUSE THE VIOLENCE
   THE NUMBING PROCESS
   HOW DO WE CONTRIBUTE TO THE HOMELESS PROBLEM?
   VERBAL BASHING CAN LEAD TO VIOLENCE
   OPPORTUNITIES TO CHANGE THE VIOLENCE
   HOW INGRAINED IS THE VIOLENCE?


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Psychology of Sex Education - Psychological Sexual Health Care
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