Gonzales - COLUMN OF THE AMERICAS By Roberto Rodriguez &...

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COLUMN OF THE AMERICAS By Roberto Rodriguez & Patrisia Gonzales RELEASE DATE: Oct. 3, 2005 Diagnosing Internalized Oppression Patzin -- a special monthly edition on traditional medicine First person By Patrisia Gonzales For more than five hundred years, indigenous peoples have survived various oppressions: land theft, genocide, rape, the killing of our ancestors, forced religious conversion, boarding schools, the demise of many of our traditional ways of governance, languages, and cultural and spiritual teachings. This legacy is called "historical trauma" or intergenerational trauma. History has left many of us wounded and it has been passed from generation to generation. One need only look at the impact of alcoholism on families, the disproportionate rate of alcohol-related problems on future generations and codependent behavior among some loved ones who are related to alcoholics. The disproportionate rates of suicide on the reservations, diabetes, and men of color in prison are not solely because of poverty and racism. "Those disproportionate rates point to internalized oppression as part of the cause," says mediator and peacemaker Roberto Chene. "It's a form of internalized oppression to see so many of your own hurting. It hurts you. The daily expression (of injustice) forces you to shut down and numb yourself. If not, the daily anger would eat you up." Many indigenous psychiatrists and community healers agree that "internalized oppression" is a result of historical trauma passed across generations that continues to actively wound people. "Internalized oppression is when we take on the attributes (psychological, spiritual) of the perpetrator and use these energies against our families, communities, ourselves," says psychologist Eduardo Duran, who wrote Native American Post Colonial Psychology with native scholar Bonnie Duran. The oppression can be internalized in the form of self-hatred, or we may believe our power comes from oppressing or hurting others. "Internalized oppression affects domestic violence in that the self-hatred is projected onto someone who looks the most like us, i.e. family member. In trying to kill the family member, we are attempting to kill the internalized shame and injury we carry," says Duran. Internalized oppression has numerous manifestations. Symptoms include: o Judgment and criticism of people. o Gossip, envy, intolerance of others. o Using victimization to make excuses for inappropriate actions. o Needing to create crisis and enjoying the rush of the crisis, or feeling that this is the normal state of life. o Fear-based reactions - someone in our environment needs to pay for wronging us.
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o Feeling detached from our own feelings or detached from others. o
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course MAS 215 at San Jose State.

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Gonzales - COLUMN OF THE AMERICAS By Roberto Rodriguez &...

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