On today’s episode of The Addicted Mind Podcast, Duane talks Georgia-based counselor Eddie Capparucci about his personal experience with addiction and how to fight off sex and porn addiction. He also talks about the impact of fears of abandonment and how that drives sexually destructive behavior.
Jumping into the idea of the inner child, Eddie explains that children make up for not being seen by creating new realities in their minds. Playing out fantasies in their heads is part of how they cope with abandonment. He never realized that because of that pain, he was using women.
After you get through the period of regret, Eddie says, you experience a kind of euphoria in understanding what the problem is. Eddie walked away from two marriages because he felt that his infidelity couldn’t be fixed. Soon after, he sought therapy and began to understand his abandonment issues.
Eddie also discusses his idea of the “inner child.” It provides insight into why people engage in addictive behaviors. By identifying the core emotional triggers, you can take control. He names nine different kinds in his Inner Child model:
- The Bored Child
- The Unaffirmed Child
- The Unnoticed Child
- The Emotionally Void Child
- The Lack-of-Control Child
- The Entitled Child
- The Inferior-Weak Child
- The Stressed Child
- The Early Sexually Stimulated/Abused Child
Most people identify with three of four of these kids. Some people identify with all nine of them. The goal here is to identify the triggers associated with your inner child.
Moving onto treatment, Eddie talks about how you need to produce mindfulness. Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can start to apply them to situations moving forward that activate your inner child.
People with sex and porn addictions are trying to comfort the inner child. It’s easier to feel sexual arousal, Duane says than to feel depression or isolation.
Eddie is concerned about how the ease of access to porn will affect the next generation. He believes that young boys are going to be taught that objectification is normalized and even encouraged.
When you understand your own trauma, you can move forward. You’re no longer stuck as a “bad person.” But people have to hit the point where they do want change in their lives. And someone actually interested in the sex industry only gets there because their self worth has already been eroded. It’s tough because most people don’t really want to look back and look their pain in the face. They don’t want to spend time thinking about how they were hurt in their childhood. But ultimately — there’s a benefit to doing this work. You can change your life. There are a ton of resources you can tap into and you can finish strong.
06:15 — “Abandonment fear is that people who love you will leave you.”
15:11 — “It’s painful to think that you’ve created scorched earth in your life.”
16:54 — “You don’t realize how much trauma is driving the bus.”
21:10 — “We try to understand the triggers that set off the whole process.”
24:11 — “Talking with the kid is about sitting with the pain…the kid only wants comfort.”
29:29 — “People begin to see themselves as broken and not bad.”
32:15 — “No woman who has a very secure attachment enters into pornography.”
Click here to listen: The Addicted Mind Interview