Interior Integration for Catholics

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Dr. Peter teaching three levels of listening to a real story of trauma with a focus on shame. By exploring this story and your reactions to hearing it, you can learn about yourself and your experiences and also learn to better understand others, which helps you to love them.

Show Notes

  1. Intro: Welcome to the podcast Coronavirus Crisis: Carpe Diem!, where by God’s grace, you and I rise up and embrace the possibilities and opportunities for spiritual and psychological growth in this time of crisis, all grounded in a Catholic worldview.   We are going beyond mere resilience, to rising up to the challenges of this pandemic and becoming even healthier in the natural and the spiritual realms than we were before.  I’m clinical psychologist Peter Malinoski and I am here with you, to be your host and guide.  This podcast is part of Souls and Hearts, our online outreach at, which is all about shoring up our natural foundation for the Catholic spiritual life, all about overcoming psychological obstacles to being loved and to loving.  
    1. This is episode 40, released on November 2, 2020 -- we made it to forty together.   
    2. Thank you for being here with me.  
    3. Steep learning curve -- starting to find my groove now, not nearly as rough and awkward as when I started.  
    4. and it is the fourth episode in our series on shame.  
    5. and it is titled: Rape, Incest, Shame, and Silence: A True Story Reexamined, Part 1
    6. This is the first of three or four highly experiential episodes -- these episodes are opportunities for experiential learning -- to learn a lot about yourself and your history.  
    7. Pushing the envelope of what is possible for learning from our experiences in an interactive podcast.  
  2. Review
    1. Series on shame is vitally important. 
      1. Most people can't define shame -- if we can't put what shame is into words adequate, we can't think about it clearly, we can't engage our intellect and our will
      2. Deficits even in experts' definitions -- they can be very incomplete -- even Brene Brown's definitions are incomplete
      3. Really critical to understand what shame and guilt are and what they cause, what they do to us.  More than just natural life and death -- also spiritual life and death.  

    1. We have been really exercising our deductive reasoning skills so far in this series on shame.
      1. Deductive reasoning
        1. Start by understanding basic principles and general concepts 

        1. And reasoning from those, arrives at specific observations and conclusions
          1. Top down approach
          1. Starting from the general, and getting down to specifics

        1. Clarified definitions of shame and guilt -- really necessary
          1. Three episodes ago, in episode 37, we introduced shame as the silent killer who stalks us from within
            1. Defined shame -- I drew from many sources
            1. Conceptual exploration -- understanding a much more complete picture of shame as not only an emotion, but also a bodily response, a signal, a self-judgement and an  action. 

          1. Two episodes ago in episode 38, I invited you to see the signs of shame in yourself and others, to recognize shame in ourselves and in others, becoming better able to detect it, because shame very often, almost always, remains hidden and unrecognized from what it really is.     

          1. Last episode, Episode 39 we discussed shame and guilt conceptually -- multifaceted aspects of guilt, three aspects -- guilt as a moral state, guilt as a legal state and guilt as an emotion. 
            1. Comparing and contrasting shame and guilt -- conceptual distinctions

    1. But a lot of us struggle to learn that way -- with deductive reasoning, staring with generalities and drawing specific conclusions from them.  Seems so intellectual, so conceptual, it can be hard for some of us to see it --   
      1. we need concrete examples, something we can see, feel, sense, something tangible that we can wrap our minds around.
      2. We need a story -- preferably a true story with real people who did real things, said real words, and who had real experiences.  That kind of thing helps me understand the overarching principles. 
      3. Stories and case histories help us with inductive reasoning -- going from the specifics of a real, given situation to general conclusions.
        1. Sometimes called bottom-up reasoning.

  3. Our Plan with the Story
    1. Today, we are going to start with a true story, a real story, chock-full of trauma, shame and guilt. 
      1. And we will go through this story multiple times to really flesh it out. 
      2. We will begin with the facts, the particulars, we will be getting into the details
      3. And from those specifics, we will work our way upward toward clarifying the general principles by studying them in a real-life context 
      4. Can think of the principles we've learned about shame and guilt as the first broad strokes in a drawing, the outline of shame -- now we are going to bring in specifics, we will bring in details in color and this drawing will come alive in the story
      5.  That is what we are doing today.  We are start with a story.  And eventually we will review what we have learned about shame and guilt, the conceptual ideas and we are going to put bring those concepts into this real-life situation.  

    1. Preparation
      1. So the last three episodes provide the conceptual foundation for understanding shame and guilt in the natural realm, in the psychological realm.  
        1. If you haven't listened to them and you are a conceptual thinker, you like the principles and ideas first, I would encourage you to listen to Episodes 37, 38 and 39 -- lots of conceptual meat in them
        2. For those of you who learn through examples and stories, those three conceptual episodes may make a lot more sense once we work through this case history -- you can go back and listen top episodes 37, 38, 39 after hearing out this story, get a lot more out of those conceptual episodes the second time around.  

    1. What is our plan with this story -- delicate material, no surprises
      1. Brief go over some cautions about this story, how to listen prudently
      1. Next I will go through some training with you as to how to listen to this story to really engage with the story and apply it to your experience -- this is a really important part of your work, so I hope you'll tune into the section that is coming up on how to listen to this story.  

      1. Then, I am going to introduce the main figures in the story -- today in this episode, number 40  

      1. Next , in this episode, I will give a little bit of the context and the back story behind the story, things I was able to find out and pull together about the story.
      1. And in this episode, I will read the story as it was originally published -- this is in the public domain, it's fairly easy to find -- you can google it.  
        1. The published version is quite short -- 4 paragraphs, about 680 words more or less, depending on the version
        2. While there is detail and substance, the story is not told in a particularly psychologically-minded way -- it's more like a news report focused on the facts -- the behaviors of the characters, not as focused on their internal experiences and their relational connections. 

      1. Those are all the things I am doing in this episode.  But wait there's more, there's a lot more.  I just can't fit it all into one episode, there's just so much.   

      1. In the next episodes Then I will go over the story again, filling in a lot of other details 
        1. We are going to take our time with the telling, and bring out the details
        2. There is much more to this story than meets the eye in just the published account
        3. Together, we will find the richer texture -- bringing in a lot more of the connections/ 
        4. I will bring in of the family history -- Back in the day, this was a well-known family, so there are other sources beside the one published account.  
        5. Cultural context -- these events didn't happen last week, so will bring in some of what the current events were, the attitudes and the cultural factors.
        6. Most important, thought, as a psychologist, I will get into internal experiences of the real people -- window into their hearts and minds.  
        7. Making reasonable inferences -- speculative.

      1. In the next episodes We will go through the five dimensions of shame for each of the characters in the story, all of whom have very different experiences of shame
      1. In future episodes We will go through Nathanson's four defensive scripts for avoiding shame:  Attack Self, Attack others, Isolate self, Avoid inner experience
      1. This story will also be a bridge to us exploring the spiritual dimensions of shame. 
        1. Haven't really gotten into the effects of shame on the spiritual life
        2. The many ways shame sabotages our capacity to receive God's love, to take in His love and care
        3. How shame compromises our capacity to love God back
        4.  How shame undermines our relationship with our neighbor
        5. This story will serve as a reference point for understanding shame and the spiritual life in future episodes in our series on shame.  

      1. Benefits
        1. Why go through this work?
        1. As difficult as it will be, if we can make sense of this story, it will help us make sense of other stories that are similar at least in some ways
          1. It will help us make sense of our own stories of trauma and shame
            1. Sometimes it’s easier to have some distance in looking at trauma and shame
            1. It’s easier to understand the experience of sexual abuse its consequences, especially shame in someone else’s life.  
              1. From a distance, you can see how the dynamics of violation, trauma, betrayal and shame work more clearly
              2. Remember our own shame is hidden hard to recognize -- easier with other people

            1. Understanding the stories of these real people can help us to accept our experiences and come to love ourselves in an ordered way -- so that we can heal.  

          1. It will help us make sense of others' stories of shame -- help us to accept and love them with greater compassion and attunement.
          1. Help ourselves and others along the road to salvation
          1. Grace perfects nature.  Apart from vice -- In the natural realm I know of nothing disordered that harms the natural foundation for the spiritual life more than shame.  

    1. Cautions  
      1. There is an incestuous rape of a teenage girl in this story.
        1. We won't be graphic about the rape itself
        1. there isn't a need to get into the gory details of it
        1. we won't be gratuitous or sensational about that.
        1. However, I will bring out the emotional, relational and psychological impact of the traumas here, and not just the rape, but the betrayals and the failures to protect, and the injustice of it all and all the aftermath
          1. For the teenage girl, the rape, as horrific as it was, the rape was not the worst part of the trauma.  We need to get that, we need to really grip on to that.  

          1. That can be very difficult to take
            1. As I got into this story, I was up several hours last Thursday night, reeling with the impact -- really wound up.
            1. Seeing this story through clinical eyes, not just the published account, but entering into the internal worlds of the characters -- that was tough, agitating. 

            1. Hard for me right now.  I'm a seasoned clinician, I have seen a lot of really bad things go down, a lot of wreckage, truly vicious and horrible things.  And this story really hit me hard.  

            1. Understandable that people would want to avoid this kind of material.  It causes us to suffer.  

          1. We need to be real about these things.  People who are traumatized, people who are burdened with shame, who are confused, who are lost -- they need resources.  These kinds of awful violations happen.  A lot.  We need to talk about them
          1. There is no neat and tidy way to talk about incest and sexual violence and its aftermath, especially the experience of shame.  
            1. We don’t want avoidance of these topics -- even when it masquerades as propriety.  

          1. And we need to be able to put these thing into a Catholic context, see them from a Catholic viewpoint. 
            1. If we don't get into them as Catholics, if we don't address sexual violence, rape, incest, family trauma, those who have suffered these traumas will experience being abandoned again, unheard and unknown.  
            2. And they will look for explanations and meaning making from somewhere else, from some other sources that do not have the fullness of revealed Truth.\  

    1. Warnings -- let's be prudent here in listening to the story -- Lucy and James
      1. As important as it is to deal with these topics
      1. Be thoughtful about where you are in your life journey, where you are in your healing -- this story may strike close to home for many of you
      1. You don't have to listen to the story or my analysis of it -- listen only if it is good for you -- even for people who are really psychologically well integrated, this is painful stuff.  
        1. Unresolved sexual trauma -- this may be a great time, it may be a terrible time listen to it.  
        2. Unresolved incest
        3. Unresolved betrayal
        4. Unresolved abandonment
        5. Sibling issues.  

      1. If you listen, this story will move you in various ways -- I already mentioned one night of little sleep for me.  

      1. How to listen -- attuned listening 3 levels of listening -- 1) listening to the story -- ordinary sense of the word 2) listening to yourself to your own experience of hearing the story; 3) to the inner experience of the characters
        1. You will listening to the story and my speculative recreation of it
        1. But also listening to yourself
          1. Hearing about trauma can pull for unresolved trauma in you -- parts carrying trauma can begin to well up and I don't want you to be overwhelmed
          1. Hearing about shame can also pull for unresolved shame.  

          1. How do you care for yourself -- attuning to yourself.  Listen especially to your body -- bodyset -- this is so important anyway
            1. Are you in your window of tolerance 
              1. Window of tolerance the zone of arousal in which you are able to function most effectively 
              2. Notice Hyperarousal -- this is where our sympathetic nervous system revs us up, gets into fight or flight mode
                1. Heart starts racing
                1. Breathing quickens
                1. Pupils dilate
                1. Blood rushes to arms and legs
                1. Face can flush red 

                1. Get ready to defend ourselves or attack or run away 

              7. Notice Hypoarousal, when the parasympathetic nervous system shuts us down -- freeze response, like a deer in the headlights
                1. We disengage socially
                1. Want to disappear, hide, camouflage ourselves. 

                1. Shut down.  Numb out.  Dissociate
                1. Lowering of the head
                1. Breaking off eye contact
                1. Tightening up of muscles, curling up in a ball (spine) -- hunching to protect vital organs.  Making one's body smaller, less visible
                1. Feeling like ice water in the veins, cold freezing sensation
                1. Fluttering in belly.
              15. Might have some of those reactions.  Monitor how much.  

            1. paying attention to your body reactions
            1. those body sensations will tell you very important things 
              1. Things that you will not be aware of, things that are outside your conscious awareness.  Our bodies hold our intense, overwhelming experiences for us, so that we are not flooded with them all the time
              2. Bessel van der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score

          1. Listening to your emotions -- what feelings come up.  You can write them down.  

          1. Listen to your thoughts -- to your attitudes, to your desires, to your memories, what songs come to mind as you listen, all your internal experience -- note what they are
          1. You can make notes -- what parts of the story struck you, what elements of the story really caught your attention or generated emotions or body sensations or other inner experiences -- what moved your heart or blew your mind, or rocked your body in some way.  
            1. Can note down the time markers for those significant elements of the story
            2. This requires some focus, so as we get into this material, might be good to have some dedicated time to give it your full attention -- hard to do this while driving, exercising

          1. As I mentioned, I will tell the story multiple times, each with increasing intensity.  
            1. If you are really activated and agitated by the first telling, the published version with just the facts and the behaviors, that's an important sign -- really pay attention to it.  
            2. Talk through it.  Bring it to your therapist.  You can have your therapist listen to these episodes as well -- these topics are great for therapists, Catholic or not. 

          1. Process these story episodes with someone you trust, preferably someone who has listened to them as well.   Good time to reach out to a trusted friend or family member and introduce them to the Coronavirus Crisis: Carpe Diem! Podcast.  

        1. To the degree that you are able, listen to the characters. 
          1. Real people
          2. Building your capacity to understand them and enter into their internal worlds.  
            1. Even when that is really difficult, when it is painful
            2. Stretching ourselves, our comfort zones, but not leaving our window of tolerance.  

        1. So three levels of listening -- listening to the story, attuned listening to ourselves and if we can, if we are abler, compassionate listening to the persons in the story.   Some of them will be much easier to connect with than others.  

  4. Introducing the characters
    1. King David -- 
      1. born about 1035 BC in Bethlehem
      2. 1025 BC anointed by Samuel age 10-13
      3. 1020 BC David defeats Goliath -- 15-17 years old
      4. 1000 BC David assumes kingship of Judah, anointed king at Hebron reigns 7 years 6 monhts, marries Maacah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah 
      5. 982 Solidifies his empire after 7-10 years of war
      6. 980 BC Adultery with Bathsheba  
        1. Arranges for Uriah slain in April  
        2. December Nathan confronts David 2 years before our story begins.  
        3. "the sword shall never depart from your house" 
        4. "I will raise up adversity against you from your own house" (parts of 2 Sam 12:10-11).

    1. Prince Amnon 
      1. Name means "faithful"
      2. born about 998 BC in Hebron 20 years old. 
      3. Oldest son of King David and Ahinoam, David's second wife 
      4. crown prince -- power and privileges 
      5. Favorite of King David

    1. Prince Absalom
      1. Name means "father of peace"
      1. born about 996 BC  18 years old 

      1. Third son of King David by Maacah.
      1. Younger half-brother of Amnon
      1. Most handsome man in the kingdom (2 Samuel 14:35)
        1. Now in all Israel there was no one so much to be praised for his beauty as Ab′salom; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 26 And when he cut the hair of his head (for at the end of every year he used to cut it; when it was heavy on him, he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the king’s weight. About 5 lbs of hair.  Very virile.  

    1. Princess Tamar
      1. Name means palm tree, symbol of justice
      1. born about 997 BC  

      1. 19 years old 

      1. Very beautiful
      1. Daughter of Maacah
      1. Half brother to Amnon -- crown prince
      1. Full brother to Absalom
      1. Virgin daughter to the king, wears a robe with sleeves -- ketoneth

    1. Jonadab
      1. The LORD is noble
      1. cousin and friend to Amnon as well as his friend. 

      1. He is "very crafty" "very subtle."   

    1. Amnon's servants -- with him at all times
    1. Tamar's handmaidens -- with her at all times
  7. The Timeline
    1. 978 BC  Amnon rapes Tamar -- David in his mid to late 50's
    1. 976 BC Absalom kills Amnon
    1. 976 BC - 974 BC Absalom courts favor with the people of Israel.  

    1. 969 BC Absalom declares himself king at Hebron and marches toward Jerusalem.
  11. Ready for active, attuned listening?  Ready to really engage now?  
    1. Listening to the story
    2. Listening to yourself -- body reactions, emotions, thoughts, memories, attitudes, beliefs, sayings, images the particulars of your internal experience
      1. To the degree that it feels safe enough, secure enough, let's be open, let's really allow space for parts of us to be heard, and see what comes up if we are accepting that we aren't always aware of everything in us.
      1. God knew before the beginning of time everything that you would experience in your life, all the attachment injuries, all the relational wounds, everything that would cause shame.
      1. And He has remedies for it all.  You can ask yourself, could this be part of your healing.  Could He make use of this episode and this exercise to show you something?  If so, are you willing to hear it, even if it is difficult
      1. Pencils and paper at the ready, can pause the episode to write down more.  

      1. And remember take what is helpful.  If you find yourself going into fight or flight or going down into freeze, stop the episode and take a break, and reground, take a walk, engage in an activity, reconnect with your surroundings.  Ok.  Here we go.  I will read this slowly.  

  12. Scripture 2 Samuel 13 1-22
    1. Now Ab′salom, David’s son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and after a time Amnon, David’s son, loved her. 2 And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jon′adab, the son of Shim′e-ah, David’s brother; and Jon′adab was a very crafty man. 4 And he said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Ab′salom’s sister.” 5 Jon′adab said to him, “Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be ill; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.’” 6 So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Pray let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”
    1. 7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, where he was lying down. And she took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 And she took the pan and emptied it out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, “Send out every one from me.” So every one went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the cakes she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11 But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me; for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this wanton folly. 13 As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the wanton fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he would not listen to her; and being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her.
    1. 15 Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred; so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone.” 16 But she said to him, “No, my brother; for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other which you did to me.”[b] But he would not listen to her. 17 He called the young man who served him and said, “Put this woman out of my presence, and bolt the door after her.” 18 Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves; for thus were the virgin daughters of the king clad of old.[c] So his servant put her out, and bolted the door after her. 19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent the long robe which she wore; and she laid her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went.
    1. 20 And her brother Ab′salom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar dwelt, a desolate woman, in her brother Ab′salom’s house. 21 When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 But Ab′salom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Ab′salom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
    1. That's the last we hear of Tamar.  Let's take a break.  Sit with this for a minute.  Notice.  Jot down a few things that you are experiencing.  

  17. Future -- much deeper dive.  We have all the preliminaries out of the way.  In the next episode, I will be walking you through this story with much more background and with my particular perspective on it through the eyes of a seasoned Catholic trauma psychologist,  Far more depth, much greater detail.  
  18. Call to Action
    1. Can start by sharing these podcast -- spotify, apple podcasts, google play, amazon.  Share it on social media -- buttons are on our website at  -- get your word out there, with your personal recommendation -- how these episodes have helped you.  Share them, let others know 

    1. Discuss what you experienced in engaging the Story of Tamar with another person who has listened -- if you are in the RCCD community, that is a great place to do in, on the boards if you want, or if you have someone who you've connected with and you both agree -- ask first -- there would be a good place.  

    1. If you're listening to this as it just comes out, you have one more day to join the RCCD community learning together
      1. Tough topics -- can work through this critical information yourself or with a friend, or you can join us in the RCCD community and we can do it together.  

      1. You can work through these themes on your own, you can think about these things and apply them to your life by yourself -- but you don't have to.  It's so much better and it's so much more relational to apply this podcast to your life with other serious Catholicss doing the same kind of work on their natural foundation -- Others likeminded Catholics in the Resilient Catholics Carpe Diem Community.  

      1. Experientially unique -- drawing from all kinds of fields and techniques to bring you transformative experiences that don't require you to be in therapy. 

      1. Great discussions -- real life examples.  Vulnerability on the discussion threads
      1. If you are in psychotherapy or counseling, so are many of our RCCD members -- membership and all the resources and the community support -- all that is a great supplement to your therapy work. 

      1. Not in therapy?   Great opportunity to take advantage of resources and the relationships and connections so you don't have to do all this on your own.
      1. Second Wednesdays November 11 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM Zoom meeting -- we will be discussing the Story of Tamar, trauma and shame, all grounded in a Catholic perspective.  I will be going into some areas in a deeper way than I can with the podcast.  Come and join us. 

  19. Patronness and Patron.

What is Interior Integration for Catholics?

In the Resilient Catholics podcast, together, we seek fundamental transformation in our lives through human formation. We look for God's providence in all that happens to us, in accord with Romans 8:28, grounded in an authentic Catholic worldview. Join us as we sail through uncharted waters, seizing the opportunities for psychological and spiritual growth and increasing resilience in the natural and spiritual realms. With a clear takeaway message and one action in each weekly episode, you can move from dreading what is happening to you to rising above it. Join us on Mondays for new episodes. You can also join our online community around this podcast at