Ep #227: Self-Assault
The definition of assault is an act of a violent physical, emotional, or verbal attack, or in others words, inflicting harm.
Most of us (except maybe on rare occasion) would never be found assaulting another human being. However, many of us regularly treat ourselves much worse than we treat other people. We emotionally assault ourselves when we don’t do what we planned, or missed the mark, and we chemically assault ourselves to suppress our negative emotions.
On this episode, I want to bring your awareness, from a different perspective, to how you treat yourself on a regular basis in order to help you uncover what ‘things’ you’re using on yourself to be the villain, or the predator, in your own life.
Join me to find out how you can identify the villain within you that treats you terribly; learn to love that part of you and, at the same time, set clear boundaries.
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What You will discover
- What self-assault is and why we do it.
- How we chemically assault ourselves.
- Why you absolutely must decide to stop treating yourself badly.
- How you can begin this process today.
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Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now, your host, master coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.
What's up, everyone? How are you, my friends? Oh my gosh. Is summer the best? I love summer! Did I tell you guys we bought jet skis? We bought the most pimped out, awesome jet skis that you can ... I almost wanted to say snowboard behind, and that is not the right term. My son would die right now. Wakeboard behind. You can wakeboard behind them.
We bought this other little disc thing that you can put behind them. It's like a tube, but you can stand on it. So funny. We went out my son who's like this amazing athlete. We got a thing called a wakeboard, and then we got another thing called ... Oh, I forgot the name of it, but it's like a board. It's like a skateboard for water, so it doesn't have any bindings or anything. It's just like a skateboard. You just stand on it. It's so wild. It's like you're on a skateboard on the water, and you just manage that thing.
Of course, my son Christian got up both times. No problem. Immediately. I drank half the lake and then didn't get up. I grew up water skiing, so I don't really have the skateboard feel yet, but I am determined. I'm going to get up on that thing, and I'm definitely going to be playing on that disc thing, so I'm totally excited. We're going to be Tahoe with my parents, and all of our friends from California are going to come up and visit us. It's going to be an amazing summer. I love, love, love summer. You know I love the heat too. Love it.
Let's talk today about self-assault. You guys know what I mean. Assault is inflicting harm. Most of us, most of my students and clients, it's not all, but most of us would never be found assaulting another human being. We wouldn't be hitting someone else in the face or saying horrible, awful, out loud things to other people. Yelling and screaming and swearing in their face.
Now, some people are like, "Yeah I would." I get it. But most of the time, what we need to worry about is self-assault. Most of us will treat ourselves so much more terribly than we treat other people. Now, by the way, when you're treating other people terribly, you are also treating yourself terribly. It's not like one or the other. When you are treating other people from a place of hate, you are the one feeling that hate. It is an assault on yourself, as well as the other person.
But in this podcast, what I want to talk about is self-assault. I want to talk about the assault that we inflict on ourselves. I'm also going to touch on a concept called "chemical assault," because I think so many of us use chemicals and substances to assault ourselves. We justify the self-assault.
And so I want to bring your awareness to it, maybe from a different paradigm, a different perspective. A lot of the storylines that we create in our head are about the villain and the victim. We often walk through the world identifying villains and identifying victims. We either identify ourselves as, in every story, as the villain, the victim, or the protector of the victim.
I think a lot of times, it's easier to identify villains and to justify us as we would never act that way. For example, when we see someone treating someone in a rude manner, we think to ourselves, "I would never talk to someone that way." And then we go home, and we beat the crap out of ourselves verbally in our own minds. We would never criticize someone or tell someone that they were fat or ugly, and yet then we go and we do that to ourselves. And we say we would never criticize someone for the way that they choose to live their lives, and then we go home and criticize ourselves. We don't just criticize ourselves gently. It is a full-on, self-assault.
I think there's different ways to assault ourselves. I think there's way where we assault ourselves verbally in what we allow or not allow ourselves to do. In the way that we treat our environment that we live in. In what we put into our bodies to assault ourselves, is so powerful. And so one of the things that I want you to become more aware of, is I want you to look at how you treat yourself, and I want you to ask yourself for each one of those things that you do to you, would you do those same things to someone that you loved?
Most of you wouldn't even do it to someone you don't like. But think about that. Would you do that to someone that you loved? And so people will say to me, "Well, I want to get to the place where I love myself, and then I'll decide not to do those things." But it can't work that way, right? Because if you love yourself, you would never do those things to you. The love has to come at the same time. It's not like one before the other.
I was researching and looking on the internet to understand what the word "assault" really means, and it's to inflict harm. Self-assault is to inflict harm on one's self. Often, we will look at the severe, more seemingly violent acts of self-assault as being outliers, right? So when people cut themselves or when people get in a car and drive drunk, or when people use really hardcore, dangerous drugs, or people attempt suicide, we can more easily call that self-assault. And we kind of keep our over-eating and our over-drinking and our over-medicating separate from that. We kind of call that, "Well, that's not really self-assault, when is say mean things to myself, which is the equivalent of punching myself emotionally in the face, that's not really self-assault." But I'd like you to consider that it is. And I'd like you to consider that any time you inflict any kind of emotional harm on yourself, that it is assault.
I was thinking about the drugs, the roofies. How do you pronounce it, Rohypnol? It's spelled really weird. R-O-H-Y-P-N-O-L. Rohypnol. I was thinking about this drug. It's the date rape drug, right? And so basically, the way that the predators use this drug is they give it to someone that they want to be incapacitated, and so they can't make a decision for themselves. And this drug is completely illegal in this country. If you are caught in possession of this drug, you can get up to three years in prison. But in all of the research that I was reading, it has very, very similar qualities to alcohol, this drug. Right?
Oftentimes, the predators don't even need the roofie drug to drop in the drink, because they can just utilize the alcohol as that drug. They use alcohol as a drug to assault by encouraging someone to drink too much alcohol. And it makes them so they're incapacitated and they can't make the decision, and then it's easier for them to rape them, is the philosophy. And yet so many of us willingly chemically assault ourselves with alcohol and put ourselves in positions where we are unable to make good decisions ourselves. We do that to ourselves, and there is no consequence. We're not put in jail for three years. We're put in a mental jail, but we're not held accountable externally legally. We are allowed to do those things to ourselves. We are allowed to punch ourselves in the face with no legal consequence. And many of us do. All day every day. I want you to think about how terrifying that is, and how you can decide and you can make these rules for yourself that it is punishable to do those things to yourself.
I want you to imagine that within your own self, that you do have your own villain and your own victim. And so how do we justify being our own villain in our life? Right? We're so identified as the protector, we would never let anyone, "People are bullies, and people shouldn't talk this way to each other, and we shouldn't allow people to be that way." And then we are that way to ourselves. How do we allow that internal violence to happen unchecked?
What I learned is that you can just decide that it is no longer legal in your world to do such things. I've told you guys so many times there just was a day where I just decided, never ever again will I ever criticize myself or beat myself up or treat myself horribly because of my body. That will never happen again. Ever. Period. Doesn't matter how overweight I get. Doesn't matter what my body looks like. Doesn't matter how my body ages. I will not and cannot allow myself any more assault on me. Period. And I commit to that for the rest of my life. I will not do it.
And so when I do that, I have to identify as my own protector against my own villain within my mind. That villain, it's kind of like when you decide to leave a relationship where someone's not treating you well, you decide, "I no longer want to be in this relationship," whether it's physical or emotional or however it's happening. It's almost like you make that decision with yourself. You put up a boundary with yourself. "I will no longer listen when you speak. I will no longer participate in the self-assault." I promise you guys, I made that decision, and that was the end of it. It may try and come through. It may try and come over to the house and knock and come in. I do not let it in. It is a "No," and it is an emphatic "No." I've also made that decision with how I treat my body with food and chemicals. There will be no more of me roofie-ing myself. There will be no more of chemical assault on myself. I will not allow myself to anesthetize myself.
I want you to imagine that a friend comes over, and you're like, "Hey, you feel terrible? Let's get drunk! That'll make everything better." But you know it won't. You know that they're going to still wake up. That thing that's bothering them is still going to be bothering them, and they're going to be hungover, and they're going to feel terrible. It's that momentary escape, so when you really care about someone, when they come over, do you say, "Let's get drunk?" or do you say, "Let's talk about it? Let's cry about it. Let's process it. Let's go through this." And how do you treat yourself? Do you just say, "Oh, this is painful? Let's take a roofie. Let's drink. Let's eat. Let's cover this up. Let's assault ourselves in some way, and call it seeking pleasure?" It's so fascinating, right? The parallels in those examples. So I want you to think about what things you're using on yourself and to yourself to be the villain. To be the predator in your own life. And what are you willing to accept from yourself. What are your standards for you?
So many of you have such high standards in every other area of your life that you would never allow yourself to go a week without a shower. You would never allow yourself to drive on the wrong side of the road. Whatever it is. You have very clear standards for taking care of yourself. Putting your seatbelt on. Protecting yourself. And then there are these areas of your life where you allow the assaults. You allow yourself to be beaten up by you. You just stand idly by while you do it. I want to invite you to see it that way. I want to invite you to see it as violent, as assault. And to put your foot down with you.
Now, here's the thing that I think's the magical piece, and it's the work that I do that I think my students have the hardest time with. And it's working on the unconditional love because here's the thing. If you love someone, you will not treat them that way, if you love them unconditionally. And yet if you see and identify yourself as the villain who is doing that to you, and you have no villain in compassion, you won't be able to treat yourself better. So for example, think about the villain that you have in your life. Maybe for you, it's your boss. Maybe it's the president. Maybe it's your dad. Whoever it is. The villain in your life. And when you can't find compassion and understanding for them, it makes it much harder for you to find compassion and love and understanding for the villain that is within you. And I want to suggest that we all have that villain within us. Most of us don't project that villain out onto assaulting other people. We project it inward, into assaulting ourselves.
My brother, who died of a cocaine overdose, was the nicest person to the people around. He would never hurt anyone around him, but he was so violent those last years of his life. He wasn't harming anyone around him purposefully, he was just constantly assaulting and beating the crap out of himself with drugs. It was so painful for him that it became that perpetual cycle, that chemical assault seemed to be saving him, but it was also killing him.
And in your life, what is preventing you from having a violent-free life? A lot of us go out and fight, which makes no sense, right? We fight for peace. I hear people say this all the time. I'm like, "That doesn't seem to be a good plan. Fighting for peace, right? Doesn't peace beget peace? Not fighting. Fighting doesn't create peace." But what if you could find a way to just simply say no to violence within your own internal experience? Within your relationship with yourself? To put boundaries up with yourself and say, "There will be no more assault. There will be no violence."
Think about if you're in a relationship with someone and they were constantly violent with you, and they said, "I don't want to be violent with you anymore," and you'll say, "Well, you're going to have to make a commitment not to be violent, and you might have to get some help with that. But I'll no longer tolerate it." And you can love that person and still no longer tolerate it. And you can have compassion for that person, and that is the magic of having that for yourself. To be able to identify and understand that you have a villain within you that treats you terribly sometimes and that you can love that part of you and also have clear boundaries with that part of you. It is no longer okay to treat yourself that way. Ever.
And I want to tell you something. That when we talk about loving yourself, when we talk about finding a way to really have a wonderful relationship with yourself, you have to ask yourself, "How are you treating you?" How are you treating you when you make a mistake? How are you treating you when you don't do it right? Are you treating yourself with violence and hate and anger and giving up on yourself? Or are you treating yourself with love and compassion? Are you understanding what assault is versus care? Are you locking yourself up in your own prison and throwing away the key, or are you helping yourself through the recovery part of this, to understand that you've been hurting you, and that's okay, and you can change it?
So do this work on yourselves, my friends. Ask yourselves, "Where are the areas in my life where I am inducing a roofie on myself so I can do what I want to do? Where in my own life am I assaulting myself with words or with chemicals, with food? And who do I really want to be when it comes to me? How do I want to treat myself? How do I want to care for myself?" And here's the thing, my friends. When you treat yourself with the utmost respect and care and love and tenderness, that is when it is so much easier to do it for those around you. And when you have compassion for your villain inside, that's when you can have compassion for villains outside. Compassion and love is what we all need more of, not less of. We need less assault and more love and more care and more understanding.
I hope that you will take this idea and this concept seriously and just consider it. Play with it in your mind and see. Can you live a peaceful life? Can you live a life within your own relationship with yourself without violence? I think the answer is, "Most definitely, yes."
Have a beautiful week everybody. I'll talk to you next week. Buh-bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level, and we study it. Join me over at TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the, thelifecoachschool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self Coaching Scholars. See you there.