In last month’s newsletter, I mentioned that “trauma” has become a phenomenon understood by many to be deeply embedded in sexual addiction. Therapists and other healing professionals are discovering that where there is sex addiction, previous trauma is nearly universal. The purpose of identifying trauma is not to blame parents or other caregivers, but to identify the sources of “disconnection” and discover how to reconnect with ourselves, others and God himself.
Michael Barta, in his important book, TINSA, (above) defines trauma as “loss of connection, to ourselves, to our bodies, to our families, to others and to the world around us.” Trauma can be caused by things done to us or by things “left undone.” As a result of trauma, we can become dis-regulated, turning to addictive behaviors to soothe our pain. This false attempt at re-balancing ourselves leads to more painful consequences, especially as the addictive cycle continues. But trauma is not just a psychological phenomenon. It is a biblical truth. Apparently God himself saw Israel as a traumatized people, left abandoned and alone. Ezekiel wrote:
“On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.
6 “‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!”
Many of us are walking miracles. Jesus came by our fields of blood and picked us up, washed us off and carried us out. How we have survived until this point is our story, miraculous though it may be. Yet, here we are. We are on the road to recovery.
We recommend Dr. Barta’s book as an avenue both to understand where we have come from but more importantly as a pathway to connection, freedom and healing. He writes both as a fellow addict and a healing professional. In a movement where we are truly learning from each other, we can all gain much from TINSA.
As always, please let us know how we can help along our common journey. May the summer provide the rest and reflection we all need to restore our souls.
In the Lust-Bearer,
Executive Director, Living Without Lust