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Childhood trauma and its consequences
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:28 pm 
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Phil wrote:
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I hope that you have things that help.

Yes I do. Although it arrives obliquely, it comes. It comes in many forms. Help comes from my interactions with others, from their views and insights. It comes from forums such as this one. It comes from books; books on therapy, science and fun reading. It comes from music, drawing, my guitar and keyboard. It comes from the knowledge and awareness that I gain. My life style is also conducive to producing results to my healing. I live alone (not by choice) but still have the company of many beautiful animals. I am free to explore all of my thoughts and feelings without interference. I am surrounded by nature; this is very advantageous to growth. It is a huge learning experience for me. As I go thru my healing process I get more confident about facing my dark feelings. Of course, a few times I thought that I would loose it but still got thru it. I am learning to listen (connect) to my body and knowing how much to open the valve of pain. As I go thru it I am gaining knowledge and understanding about different approaches and the varied 'imperceptible' realities to my healing. I have formulated some theories about my healing process and have increased in writing about them. One day I will share my experiences and findings.

Thanks for your post Phil.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:30 pm 
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Hi D.R.B., Cesar,

The following writing brought to mind more thoughts about confronting parents with respect to power and control.

D.R.B. wrote:
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'After I became involved, that was replaced with mind-f*cking.
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? My parents were the ones who turned me into a sucker for bogus philosophies.

Confronting parents, this is replicating the abuse- control and power of our parents. This is major act out. As children, we were powerless. S. Forward gives regressed adults the opportunity to act out abusive power and control - what their parents did to them as children. Parents confront children abusively and S. Forward gives the adults a chance for revenge by confronting the parents and vying for power and control of a past that remains unchanged and unhealed. Isn't S. Forward's therapy a way for her to get back at her own parents and gaining power and control of her past by having others confront their parents? Is it possible that she has not practiced her own therapy? I don?t think that if she believed that confronting parents would bring healing and used the therapy on herself that she would have concluded that her theory was correct and instead was nothing more than a defense that her grownup self was using to avoid facing the horror that she experienced at the hands of her abusive and aggressive parents.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:42 pm 
CC:
My parents are deceased now. My father wasn't an aggressive man. On the few occasions when when I did try to talk over the way he treated me he gave me the silent treatment: he sulked and walked away. Does Susan Forward recommend taking a lasso?

With so many different prescriptions for healing on offer from members of therapy industry (confronting, forgiving, thinking new thoughts, etc.), I think it's a sign of healthy progress to question all types of prescriptive advice. Apart from Hollywood actors -- and showbiz in general -- I doubt that any other profession attracts as many narcissists as the therapy industry ("I have more psychological wisdom than almost anyone else. My advice is good for people!").

Sociopathic parents aren't going to change fundamentally just because someone gave them "A good talking to." Maybe there's a small percentage of parents on 'autopilot' who unintentionally mistreated their kids because they never questioned the way they were treated themselves. Maybe bringing up the subject gently at a well chosen moment might open their eyes a little bit. But I wouldn't advise anyone to place their hopes on it.

I get the impression from Alice Miller's replies to readers' email that she's in favor of confronting parents too. I still think it's pointless in most cases. A way to widen the rift.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:29 pm 
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D.R.B. wrote:
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With so many different prescriptions for healing on offer from members of therapy industry (confronting, forgiving, thinking new thoughts, etc.) I think it's a sign of healthy progress to question all types of prescriptive advice.

I agree. I would call this individuation, identity, freedom and self-governance. Repression keeps society unconscious and unable to question anything so they continue with a herd mentality.

Here is another version of confronting your parents. 'Get real with your parents', yeah, let's sit and have a cup of tea and discuss the abomination of my life daddy, just trying to be real.

Therapists like Sam Kirschner, Richard L. Rappaport, Diana Adile Kirschner ask their patients, in their book 'Working with Adult Incest Survivors: The Healing Journey':

Quote:
?How can you expect a genuine relationship with anyone if you can't be real with your parents??


As if though being real (confronting) with your parents will deal with the transgression of the past? Why do they preach - be real with your parents? This is parent rescue fantasy (in disguise), which leads to parent protection. Why do you need validation from your parents to know that something horrible was done to you? Are they the one's to say and interpret what was done? Are they the moral authority? Where is the integrity of self? What about the truth from self? You can only be 'real' with parents or aggressors if you understand that their crime is wrong and painful. And this can only be done by understanding and integrating the past and the original crime that was perpetrated. Connection to the trauma is the key. Repression hides the trauma. Repression of the trauma is what we should seek to heal. Repression of the truth is the cause of our blight. Becoming 'real' is a deception that asks the patient to politely blame the parents and not take responsibility for their own resolution and growth. It is an unconscious hope to be understood by the parents.

Why is it that people who confront their parents still remain empty, unhappy, and angry and still allow others to hurt them? They don't understand what was done to them. It is too painful to perceive, they only want to know and accept who did it. They can't go further. They don't want to know the content of the abuse. They disconnect with the crime itself because it is painful. Confronting the parents does not help the victim realize the crime. And it is easier to blame the perpetrator than to feel the pain of what has been done to you. Blame is an unconscious escape from the truth. It allows you to repress the painful truth. You blame with the hope that the perpetrator will feel the pain, which you were not able to bear.

I would guess that those who confront their parents will still allow others to cross boundaries and will not be able to confront others (relations other than parents) aggression towards them because they don't integrate the past traumatic experience. Their awareness only extends to the identity of the perpetrator. They disconnect with the crime itself because it is painful. Confronting the parents does not help the victim realize the crime; it does not 'confront' the crime. Confronting the parents does not integrate the crime. Confronting the parents is a cop out for facing the real painful truth.

D.R.B. wrote:
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I get the impression from Alice Miller's replies to readers' email that she's in favor of confronting parents too. I still think it's pointless in most cases. A way to widen the rift.

Yep!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:18 pm 
I think your insights are sound. I hope you don't mind me widening the topic a bit, CC. Look at it this way. If every time parents were confronted by their grown up offspring it transformed them into ideal parents that's not going to change the world by much. In most cases parents of grown ups won't be raising more kids. What the world needs is influential people who can change cultural attitudes to child rearing so that future parents won't make the same mistakes. It's too bad that only a few therapists are trying to raise a public outcry about poisonous pedagogy. On a parenting blog I found an item about a petition to a UK newspaper which was signed by prominent people, including some therapists. Although it's about how the pressures of modern life impact kids, it concludes by saying:

Quote:
We therefore propose as a matter of urgency that:

* public debate be initiated on child-rearing in the 21st century

* this issue should be central to public policy-making in coming decades.

See:
http://www.letsengage.co.uk/templates/p ... page:COO20

Or you can go to the original ad-infested, 15 page version:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... unk112.xml


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:02 pm 
[edited to fix apostrophes]

cc:

I liked your post. In other words: psychotherapy is quackery.

Since I became a post-Jeffrey Masson, post-Miller guy I've always thought that our trauma problems don't belong to the mental health professions at all. That's poisonous pedagogy; siding with the perp and stigmatizing the victim. Our problems belong to law enforcement and the rule of law.

Oh boy, we don't have laws to put our parents in the right place (see the picture of Nikolaj A. Jaroschenko in Tretjakow-Galerie I posted on page 1 of this thread).

cc wrote:
Why do you need validation from your parents to know that something horrible was done to you?

Because we are mammals, CC. We are programmed to attach to our parents like David with Monica in Spielberg's A.I. --the damned problem of attachment to the perp. It¿s biologically hardwired and we cannot do anything to change it. While confronting parents in pop therapies is still infantile, I don't see anything wrong to have your dad in solitary confinement, with machines to see his past, until he makes contact with his early traumas and sees his sin: for example what he did to you when you were nine years old.


Last edited by Cesar Tort on Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:43 pm 
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D.R.B. wrote:
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I hope you don't mind me widening the topic a bit, CC.


Nope, don't mind at all. I very much like reading your views. Although I agree with you, I would like to approach this from another angle.

D.R.B. wrote:
Quote:
What the world needs is influential people who can change cultural attitudes to child rearing so that future parents won't make the same mistakes.


I am with you. This helps. The word needs to get out. It's just that I am getting into the habit of questioning all things in general. Sometimes influential people don't have the answers. At first their concepts may appear well founded or their intentions appear to be true but after some time, we find that their reasoning lacked wisdom and depth and in other cases we find that it was contrived and unrealistic or just plain dissociated blurbs. Although I join with ideas that will help us to evolve towards a progressive society, I still like to challenge their precepts for the sake of flushing out errors and misconceptions. This is the healthiest and most responsible thing I can do, I think.

Even when 'do gooders' say that:
Quote:
'Our society rightly takes great pains to protect children from physical harm, but seems to have lost sight of their emotional and social needs.'

I still think that they don't understand emotions. It sounds good on the surface but it's mostly pretense, although it is a step in the right direction.

The reason why I take a skeptical stance is that when you have an influential group dictating the 'new norm' it keeps the followers of that 'new way' from deciding it for them selves. They follow without conviction and no one ever grows or FEELS why this new awareness is important. Religion has survived in this manner, come up with new and nice wholesome value and let's build some rules around it. They (the followers) let someone with authority and influence take responsibility for the 'new direction'.

Those preaching social reform are in pain. But they are not willing to face it. So in their conceit they address the symptoms of society with new 'neurotic social thought' disguised with pseudo empathy and guru awareness. But under all of their pontificating is the projection of their own unmet needs. They seek short term solutions to immemorial repression.

In another thread (sorry, I don't know how to link in a nice neat way - I know how the screen gets too big when I do it), a letter to A. Miller was discussed. The person who wrote to Miller wrote a glowing thank you letter. She was grateful for her new found 'awareness' but in the letter (among other evidence of her dissociation) she communicated how still abusive she remained to her children. Preaching awareness of a symptom (abusive child rearing methods) is far from causing real enduring, sustainable healthy changes in our society.

Also, In another thread their was a discussion about Anders Kompass from the United Nations branch on human rights recommending a list of drugs that should be made cheaper in Mexico. I am sure that this official is looked upon as a 'well intentioned and aware' type of guy by the dissociated influential crusaders promoting change in cultural attitudes to child rearing so that future parents won't make the same mistakes. The reason that A. Kompass can do this is because he has no feelings. He lacks empathy. He is 'aware' but blind to the core.

from article:
Quote:
They also need time. In a fast-moving hyper-competitive culture, today's children are expected to cope with an ever-earlier start to formal schoolwork and an overly academic test-driven primary curriculum. They are pushed by market forces to act and dress like mini-adults and exposed via the electronic media to material which would have been considered unsuitable for children even in the very recent past.


This paragraph is pure projection on the part of the authors although it is a true condition that the children are in. This assessment is intellectual and lacks substance. It's more like lip service. I hear parents talk about these same issues but they never talk about what they are doing to understand their children or how this knowledge has changed the way they interact with their child. This cultural condition is a symptom. This is the result of repression. Like I said elsewhere, repression is the mainstay of society.

You cannot change this condition because it is too powerful. It is built by repression. Repression is its cornerstone. The only way to overcome this condition is to destroy the pain that produced it. Children are smart. They are less repressed than adults. A child that is loved does not buy into this somnambulistic condition that society is in. The authors of this article are fighting against themselves unconsciously. Their repression produced it and now they project it on the children.

What we need is ideas to help people think and FEEL for themselves in a real way. If parents were to feel their pain and have empathy for themselves they would not need influential people telling them that the way that they are raising children is abusive. Society lacks empathy. Society is in pain. Pain produces repression. Repression produces superficial remedies that appear to be the elixir that society has been waiting for but only designed to hide the pain. Repression breeds dissociated, well meaning philosophies on the surface but sick decaying intentions underneath, producing an evermore repressive condition in our culture.

D.R.B. wrote:
Quote:
It's too bad that only a few therapists are trying to raise a public outcry about poisonous pedagogy
.

That is why I like Alice Miller. She mostly just tells it like it is and then lets the reader decide for themselves.

It is all so complex D.R.B.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:47 pm 
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Cesar wrote:
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In other words: psychotherapy is quackery.


To some extent I believe so. If society is repressed, what makes therapists immune to this? I think that most therapist practice therapy unconsciously to hide their own demons. If a therapist claims to be 'healed' or qualified to dispense their help, how did their healing come about, thru another therapist? If this is so, was the other therapist healed? If they healed themselves thru self therapy then why can't others do it and why do they feel that they should heal the sick instead of teaching others how to heal themselves? Wouldn't empathy motivate this? Or is it power that they seek? Is therapy a monopoly? Is it a commercial business? If so, whose interest do they serve?

I believe that the best (real) therapy is democratic by nature. Teach me how to do it and I will take it from there. I have enough mysteries of my own. Why should I complicate matters by having to deal with someone else's projections of their unconscious self?

Cesar wrote:
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Because we are mammals, CC. We are programmed to attach to our parents like David with Monica in Spielberg's A.I. - the damned problem of attachment to the perp.

Ever since you introduced me to this concept, it has helped me to go deeper into things. Thanks Cesar.

Cesar wrote:
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It's biologically hardwired and we cannot do anything to change it.


I hope this is not true and that there is complete healing from this.

Cesar wrote:
Quote:
While confronting parents in pop therapies is still infantile, I don't see anything wrong to have your dad in solitary confinement, with machines to see his past, until he makes contact with his early traumas and sees his sin: for example what he did to you when you were nine years old.

Even if my daddy was sorry for his sins and understood and empathized with my hurt feelings would not bring me healing. This could only help my dad. I cannot heal unless I face my terrible past and the subsequent painful realities.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:58 pm 
[edited to fix apostrophes]

cc wrote:
sorry, I don't know how to link in a nice neat way. I know how the screen gets too big when I do it)

Just write:

Code:
[url=http://url]here you can write anything you please[/url]


cc wrote:
The reason that A. Kompass can do this is because he has no feelings. He lacks empathy.

Yes! I discussed about ten minutes with him in private and he just seemed like a bureaucrat trying to advance his career. There're lots of these kind of guys in so-called human rights agencies, even in the United Nations. The sad truth is that they're doing nothing about the scandal of making billions with medicating sane and healthy children. Nothing.

cc wrote:
Repression breeds dissociated, well meaning philosophies on the surface but sick decaying intentions underneath

What shocked me the most is that all of those who I considered my mentors rejected my article on psychiatry because of their willing repression: in Breggin's journal because they didn't want to hear anything about Miller, and deMause and CSICOP editor Ken Frazier because they didn't want to hear anything about the pseudoscience in bio-psychiatry. One of the definitions of psychoclass is the development of the level of empathy. Well, we guys are more developed than them and therefore belong to a superior psychoclass.

Cesar wrote:
It's biologically hardwired and we cannot do anything to change it.

cc wrote:
I hope this is not true and that there is complete healing from this.

Unfortunately, that birds and mammals are destined to attach to our parents is a fact. Have you read something about attachment theory, or the horrible Harlow experiments with monkeys? This is my main difference with Daniel's philosophy. New Age philosophies promise total enlightenment thru self-work. I don't think this is realistic. While there's a lot of truth in the Solzhenitsyn quotation I posted in the first page of this thread, my favorite passages of The Gulag Archipelago actually, full happiness can only be achieved if the perps recognize their sins against us.

cc wrote:
Even if my daddy was sorry for his sins and understood and empathized with my hurt feelings would not bring me healing. This could only help my dad.

Not full healing, CC, but part of it. The other half of the healing is your own, Gulag-like work.


Last edited by Cesar Tort on Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:26 pm 
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Cesar Wrote:
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Have you read something about attachment theory, or the horrible Harlow experiments with monkeys?

I have read only what you have shared with me. These are compelling theories. I believe them but they are not complete I feel. The behavior they study is only part of the story. Most of this behavior is part of the limbic system of the brain and their study center around 'damaged goods'. Their study is limited by their own sample data. They cannot study beyond the reptilian or mammalian brain because they don't have a healthy brain to study. Primates do not have frontal lobes as we do. I think that dolphins do - I may be wrong. But my point is Bowlby and Harlow are experimenting on a limited model. Their findings are huge but there is more to the story I think. Even John Eccles' model of the triune brain, Dean Wooldridge and Richard Restak's findings only scratch the surface of the potential of our hugely dormant brain.

Cesar, don't think that I want to be disagreeable. The more I learn the more I realize that I don't know. Every time I find my self joining a bandwagon of theories something is right around the corner waiting to correct and alter those theories. Thanks to your sharing I have decided to learn things outside of my comfort zone.

Quote:
cc wrote:
Even if my daddy was sorry for his sins and understood and empathized with my hurt feelings would not bring me healing. This could only help my dad.

Cesar Wrote:
Not full healing, CC, but part of it. The other half of the healing is your own, Gulag-like work.


No Cesar, not even part healing. I think that those feelings of being understood are a temporary delusion. Empathy is a very strong force. We are so deprived of it. It is like a drug when you get it. The best empathy is self empathy. If you believe that half healing is determined by outside forces then one is half resolved I think.

Thanks for the help with linking threads!!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:59 pm 
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I think confronting parents is painful for the parents and for the adult children. If you feel the hurt and anger and fear you have because of them you will begin to change and make your own decisions and as you become more and more an adult you will stand up for yourself automaticaly. If I remember correctly, Susan Forward wanted to force people who were not ready to face their parents to confront them and set boundries when in reality they were still young children and incapable of real adult confrontation. I remember when I stopped sending glowing mothers day cards to my mother she called and demanded that I send her birthday and mothers day cards like I always had. I refused because they werent real and I couldnt do it anymore. I started to say no to her also and she became very abusive and I stopped all contact with her. This was very painful for me to admit that I had no mother and no family but what I was letting go of was the myth or fantasy. In reality I never had a mother but always told myself that she really did love me. She just didnt know how to show it The hardest thing Ive ever felt is how she hated me and abused me just for the fun of it. Sandy


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:46 pm 
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Hello. This is a very interesting topic. I got into orgonomy about 3 years ago and something that’s come up again and again for me is blame. I want someone to blame, but its impossible isn’t it? Parents are only so blind and damaging because they were damaged by their parents, and so on, and on, and on, back to when the first human(s) became sick. There is no end to it, which is annoying because it means I have no one I can go and punch for making me suffer unnecessarily! I want revenge, but I think the only way I could possible get some is to sort my life out and then some how change those parts of society that damage children. That’s obviously a lot more rational and productive that punching someone anyway..
All I wanted as a kid was some sane, healthy and rational adult to spring out of somewhere and rescue me from my idiotic family home. I needed back up! Badly! You are defenceless against parents when you are a kid; unfortunately there is no army of rational human beings that bursts in to houses and forces parents to be healthy and rational.

Quote:
And it is easier to blame the perpetrator than to feel the pain of what has been done to you. Blame is an unconscious escape from the truth. It allows you to repress the painful truth. You blame with the hope that the perpetrator will feel the pain, which you were not able to bear.


I think you blame with the hope that someone will accept the blame. Parents get away with murder and there is no part of society that will say "look here, your parents were wrong to treat you like that, and you have no reason on Earth to feel guilty about being pissed off about it."

But, If you had the sort of parents that were likely to accept what you said to them and would be very sorry ect, ect, they wouldn’t be the sort of people to mess you up in the first place! I think its probably an exercise in futility to confront your parents but then again maybe I’m just making excuses for myself not confronting my parents?... I don’t really see the point at the moment though because I cant blame them for anything seeing as they were obviously made to be blind to emotional suffering by someone else. It’s a vicious circle, one that needs to be broken somehow! We need laws to protect people from the moment they’re born from neurotic humans! There should be laws that make it illegal to cause neurosis.
I think there does need to be some blame or accountability though; else nothing is going to change is it??...
My beef is with the sickness of the human race as a whole. I would really like to be able to be that rational healthy person I desperately needed when I was a kid. I don’t know if that can or will ever happen, but it'd be very satisfying to me if it did.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:48 am 
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Hi Sandy and welcome to the forum. It's good to see that you jumped right in and shared your comments. So, if I understood it right, the confrontation you had with your mom, by telling her how ridiculous it was that you kept her sending mothers day cards while you felt the opposite, was the beginning of liberating yourself from your mom? Only a parent without any empathy would turn her own daughter away, without trying to understand why. It must have been very painful to realize this.

I've confronted my parents my entire childhood, being the rebellious black sheep. I always wondered where in hell these people took the energy from to engage themselves in these battles. For me the big turn-around came when I realized in my early twenties that the hatred I felt was to cover up the fact that I needed love and care from these people. I wanted them to see my hurt so I put myself in hurting situations. Once the hatred was lived through, it turned into mourning, and I felt I could move on with my life, with other relationships.

Lloyd, I recognize a lot of what you wrote here. Abusive parents are protected by society but slowly things are improving. I live in Sweden where last year the government decided that children who witnessed their parents fighting with each other are considered victims of a crime. This comes after Sweden has already installed a long list of child abuse laws.

Lloyd wrote:
If you had the sort of parents that were likely to accept what you said to them and would be very sorry ect, ect, they wouldn’t be the sort of people to mess you up in the first place!


This is very true! If you realized this, you already have come a long way. I think a person who decides to confront his or her parents can only decide so for him/herself. I know people who didn't and regretted it when their parents died. The lurking hope that your parents would have finally realized how they had hurt you and give you the understanding that you needed. I know people who have confronting their parents and it helped them to realize that such a hope was in vain and that it was just a fantasy that they had to cling to as a child. This is extremely painful but necessary to break the vicious circle.

I don't see blame as an end, but a beginning. It can even start in a letter. So many of our emotions were suppressed while growing up, and it's your full right to express those, any way you can.

The topics in this forum are controversial and often evoke strong emotions, but I think it's important to keep the debate open on plain and subtle child abuse and the consequences of it.

Dennis

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:03 am 
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What is the expeirment with the Harlow monkeys? Sandy


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:30 am 
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I havent read many of Alice Millers books does she ever tell you how to feel the pain? In Primal Scream he says nurotics need to primal and my take on it all was he felt all people he had ever met needed to primal Alice Miller and Susan Forward seem to know a lot about child abuse and pain and how it is caused but do they ever say this is how you get rid of it? I read the gifted child and toxic parents and I never noticed a cure for all the agony children go through Did I miss something? Sandy


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