Sacrifice of the Self
DOI link for Sacrifice of the Self
Sacrifice of the Self book
The goal of sacrifice as it is commonly understood is to support and preserve life. However, in the context of trauma therapy, the call to sacrifice is often experienced as implying the very opposite because it is a call to sacrifice some aspects of the self, and it is therefore experienced as a threat and is consequently resisted. Under such conditions, when the trauma survivor is called upon in therapy to give up self-stabilizing, psychosis-avoiding behaviors and rituals, he or she experiences the call as a mortal threat. It is difficult for the traumatized psyche, which is already traumatizing itself in order to survive, to let go of dysfunctional, self-sabotaging patterns. Sexually traumatized women often sacrifice all connection to their bodies and desires in order to avoid being reminded of the sexual violation they experienced, as well as to suppress awareness of their ambivalent feelings toward sex.