The great thing about studying Psychosexual Somatics (PST) is that I receive my own therapy as part of the process. I had a rather epic 2.5 hour session this week.
My inner critic was stuck on a loop and I couldn’t seem to break out of the cycle. What I discovered during the session was that there was a lot of anger in my system that I wasn’t noticing or processing. The energy of anger needed to go somewhere and so I had unconsciously turned it in on myself and it showed up as my super harsh inner critic. Owch!! I’ve been on a bit of a journey understanding why my inner critic appears – but this was a completely new golden insight.
As soon as I let out my anger, punched and screamed into a pillow, the energy shifted and released, rippling through my rib cage with a deep soul shaking sob. Then silence. My inner critic had put down her weapons. I turned over onto my back in surrender. My mind quietened.
Ahhh the relief!
What I love about the PST model is that it refers to 5 developmental stages during childhood where we require specific needs to be sufficiently met. If this does not happen then we develop a core wound which becomes an imprint in how we show up in the world and relate with others. We all have core wounding, multiple wounds at that which have a huge influence on our lives, our choices, our decisions! Once we can understand how our core wounding is operating and running the show, we then have choice. Every sexual issue is emotional at its root and so part of what the PST model does is explore how our core wounding impacts our blocks to sex and intimacy in our adult relating.
So how does unexpressed anger, the inner critic and sexuality link? Well, turning anger inwards and having a strong inner critic are typical behavious of people with an individuation wound. Individuation is the developmental stage around 2 – 4 years old where it is important that a child is able to express their no. If this is not nurtured, amongst other things, then the child learns that love is conditional – if they are a good girl or boy then they will be loved, if they achieve they will be loved. This wound develops into the fear of worthlessness.
How this wound shows up in our adult relating is by not expressing ourselves, not communicating our boundaries, sucking up the bad stuff, taking what we can get because there is a belief that we are not worthy of having more. All of this holding in of energy creates a contraction in the body. When our bodies are contracted this impacts how well we can relate and open to sex and intimacy.
A big element of the PST process is to slow everything down, breathe and come back into the body and feel. For many of us, this can be a very new and uncomfortable experience as most of us live from the neck up and have developed many strategies to avoid feeling. The PST process gently increases our capacity to feel, enabling energy to move, so that our bodies can soften and open. Just like me with my anger.
What I love about my new anger insight is that when my inner critic rears its head, this is now a clue that there might be anger in my system. Do I need to express my no, have my boundaries been overstepped, am I putting up with something I am not happy with? Do I need to speak to someone directly, or can I journal my thoughts. Can I sit with the experience of anger in my system or do I just need to have a jolly good scream into a pillow?
What a wonderful enquiry to lead me into 2020. This new awareness will bring a richness to my own continued opening, self compassion (when my inner critic is rested) and healthier relating. Huzzah!!
Happy New Year Everyone