"There is a strange comfort in the confines of the cage, however much you desire to live beyond it." - Dr. Lisa Cooney
Last week we talked about the Cage.
It’s my name for what life looks like after somebody experiences abuse, and it’s a big part of Creating After Abuse.
In the Cage life looks limited, pessimistic. And it looks like it’ll always be that way. You morph your cellular functioning to accommodate the lies of your traumatic experience.
It also looks...kinda nice.
Wait, what?! Weird, isn’t it?
The Cage means not having a life though, and that means not having responsibility, not having big decisions. That’s much less work than a radically, orgasmically alive life!
It’s also much less joy, much less growth, much less payoff. I compare it to “armor” that protects you from the outside world, while you get smaller and your energy dwindles.
The Cage is a sad place, but sometimes we dwell there for a long time. You, like me, experienced some awful insanity!
What parts of life show the Cage taking its toll?
What’s the difference between guilt and shame?
Guilt means doing something wrong. Shame means being something wrong.
Shame is a persistent quality of the Cage. The feeling that you’re damaged goods, on the bargain shelf, worth less.
And then you know what comes along? Anger.
Anger at being that way, anger at what caused it. With little outlet, anger becomes depression, anger turned inward. The emotions seem to see-saw back and forth, without a firm resolution.
These feelings make you feel broken! It’s a lie. That’s why the Cage is so heavy!
In the Cage, the body is wrong. It’s already plain as day - the shape of your body is wrong, the weight, even just the comfort of your body isn’t there.
And the body’s cues, such as for hunger, the need for rest - the Cage mutes all that. Somebody who’s experienced physical abuse makes the terrible compromise of abandoning their body this way, because the body was the venue for so much pain.
Your body being wrong and a judgeable offense is a lie - distorted by the Cage!
Relationships and Sex
Relationship and sex are parts of life that reward us. They’re tricky sometimes, and they’re bigger than we are, but in intimacy there’s fun, stimulation, growing, and love.
The Cage prevents all that.
The Cage is about disappearing from those things. It’s about pretending you’re not there during sex - reducing pleasure, fun, and joy. The Cage robs you of the sensual, spiritual communion of sexual experience!
The Cage makes a relationship you know is great into something problematic. And those problems simply aren’t real. Living as the Cage in relationship creates separation conflict and isolation, a divorce from you with another.
It’s a lie!
Struggling Isn’t the Final Outcome
We’ll talk about other symptoms of the Cage in the next blog post.
But remember, there’s much more after that. Radical aliveness is so much more than the Cage.
For now: choice creates change. And that’s true even in the midst of experiences of abuse! There is so much more to choose after that moment of abuse. Don’t give in or quit on you because somebody conveniently used you to vent their insanity!
It’s never too late to change. You feel the heaviness of your past? Kiss the past goodbye and move on with what’s true for you!
Your choice is everlasting…use it! Claim your power with choice.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Creating After Abuse.
And remember… If no one told you they loved you today I DO!
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