Friday, September 27, 2013

Real Love Faces and Feels the Truth no Matter How Much it Hurts

If we can’t face and feel our own truth we can’t genuinely love and this is why I am alone, because I will not get involved intimately with anyone that is not living with his own truth, most people can't face and feel their own painful truths and I don't settle, I never have and never will. I want people on my side that can face up to their own personal truth and can genuinely love and no longer looking unconscious and compulsively for scapegoats to alleviate their disassociated repressed feelings.   
 
“Turning away from the truth will never help us preserve love, and the love we have for our parents is no exception. The fact of forgiveness will not help as long as it serves to disguise the facts. For love and self-delusion are mutually exclusive. The disavowal of truth, the denial of the suffering we have been through, is the breeding ground for the kind of hatred that gets deflected onto innocent victims. It is an act of self-deception and an impasse from which there is no way out. Genuine love can face up to the truth.” Alice Miller ~Paths of Life, Page, 186

 “In the recent past, young people have gone into the streets to demonstrate for all kinds of good causes, against war, for protection of the environment, and above all for more humanity. But there have never been any demonstrations supporting the rights of children not to be beaten by their caregivers. Why not? I wonder. Why have we been so slow to realize that many of the instances of violence that we campaign have their sources in the cradle and the playroom? And that we can prevent further acts of violence only by condemning that first devastating experience of violence right at the beginning of a child’s life?” Alice Miller ~ Paths of Life, page, 185

  “Like any other form of exploitation practiced on children, sexual abuse may be accepted by the child as a kind of surrogate emotional nourishment if it has been starved of any other kind of affection. A child craving love, warmth, and protection may even avidly accept not only sexual interference but also blows, vilifications, and exaggerated demands if the only alternative is being rejected and abandoned altogether. I feel it is important for us not only to recognize and understand the illusion of infancy but also as adults to learn from the consequences of them. The denial of childhood suffering has far-reaching effects which are not limited to private life but also play an operative role in major political upheavals and crises.” Alice Miller ~ Paths of Life, page, 152

 "For political leaders in the Hitler mold, the jubilation of the masses is as indispensable to still their effective craving as a drug is for an addict. The millions of cheering supporters do not realize that they are needed for the purpose and that purpose alone." Alice Miller ~ Paths of Life, page, 146

  “but the unconscious memories drives them to reproduce those repressed scenes over and over again in the vain attempt to liberate themselves from the fears that cruelty and abuse have left with them. Some victims create situations in which they can assume the active role in order to master the feelings of helplessness and escape the unconscious anxieties. But this liberation is a specious one because the effects of the past don’t change as long as they remain unnoticed. Repeatedly the perpetrator will go in search of new victims. As long as one projects hatred and fear onto scapegoats, there is no way of coming to terms with these feelings. Not until the cause has been recognized and the natural reaction to wrongdoing understood can the blind hatred wreaked on innocent victims be dissipated. The function it performs, that of masking the truth, is no longer necessary. There is evidence, as I cite in my preface, that sex criminals who have worked through their lives in therapy may no longer run the risk of destructive reenactment of their traumas.
But what is hatred? As I see it, it is a possible consequence of rage and despair that cannot be consciously felt by a child who has been neglected and maltreated even before he or she has learned to speak. As long the anger directed at a parent or other first caregiver remains unconscious or disavowed, it cannot be dissipated. It can be taken out only on oneself or stand-ins, on scapegoats such as one’s own children or alleged enemies. The variety of hatred that masquerades as righteous ideological zeal is particularly dangerous because its imperviousness to moral categories makes it unassailable. Sympathetic observations of the cries of an infant brings home forcibly to the onlooker how intense feelings involved must be. The hatred can finally work as a life-saving defense against the life-threatening powerlessness.
An animal will respond to attack with “fight or flight.” Neither course is open to an infant exposed to aggression from immediate family members. Thus the natural reaction remain pent up, sometimes for decades, until it can be taken out on a weaker object.” Alice Miller ~ Paths of Life, page 156 and 157   

 

 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Pain of a Mother

Any person that has truly face and felt her/his own repression is genuinely compassionate and understanding towards others, even if we have to walk away from people that can’t bear to face and feel their own repression to protect ourselves from being used as their scapegoat or poisons container to unconsciously alleviate their own repression. In the excerpt below from the preface of Paths of Life you get a window to see the pain of Alice Miller from not having come into her insights in time to make a difference in the life of her older child and how she felt the need to share with prospective young parents the insights she discover later in life and wished she had when she was a younger mother, so they don’t make the same mistake she did. 

Of course I have compassion for her son that is in the same boat as most of the people in the rest of the world of having to find the courage to face and feel his own repression, if he truly wants to break free and I have compassion for Alice Miller that suffer in her childhood like most people in the world and the terrible pain she suffers as an adult when she realized that she had hurt her own child by not standing up to her husband and defend her child from his abusive father. 

I am not a mother, but I feel this has to be one of the worst pain for a mother or father to feel that we hurt our own child and that he is stuck in an emotional prison or time capsule because of what we did or not did when they were defenseless little infants and this is why most parents deny the truth to protect themselves from feeling this intense pain, and this is why I never had children, because I could feel I did not have what was needed to raise a conscious human being and that I would not be able to bear the pain of hurting a child I brought into the world, but I am very grateful Alice found the courage and strength to feel her pain and became honest with herself and owned up to her mistakes as a young mother and worked very hard to write her books to warn the rest of the world of the consequences of childhood repression, most parents can never own up to their mistakes towards their children no matter how much evidence we put in front of them and go on blaming the children and unconsciously and compulsively use them and others endless to alleviate their own repression.
   
As Alice Miller says: “As I’ve aged, I’ve grown more tolerant and patient; I find it easier to wait and let people take the time they need to follow my trains of thought. What helped me to become accommodating was the fact that in contrast to twenty years ago, I no longer feel alone in what I know. Since then both experts and lay people have been able to confirm my conclusions by their own experiences. I no longer have to prove anything.

And yet I still feel a need to share with others things that came to me only late in life. The result does not claim to be literature, we are not dealing here with “art for art.” For my stories are actually based on simple, conscious intentions to inform people and encourage them to think. For me, as for many women, it was very painful to realize that as a young mother I had missed so much, not only for my child but also for myself, simply because I did not know enough. It hurts to see how with more information many things could have turned out better and that much cannot be made good again. My stories arose from the wish to spare other people what I have suffered myself.” Alice Miller ~ Paths of Life, preface

The quote by Marshall Rosenberg in the link below is so true. 

Also, read The Courage of Alice Miller Was Astonishing

The Courage of Alice Miller Was Astonishing


P: I just read the first article and I think the whole debate whether she failed on her son is absurd because when he was small his mother was not fully aware of how abusive education can be. She was a traditional mother as anybody else, and as a therapist she followed the traditional Freudian psychoanalysis of her time....only when she found out that this type of therapy does not really solve the problem but intensifies it, she started developing her own, very different theory....but by that was not until the 1970, resulting in her first book, the drama, in 1979...by that time her son was about 30 years old, so how could she protect him from a violent father??? So this criticism is bloody BS!!”
Hi P,
Thank you for writing. I completely agree with everything you wrote. This comment made by Makus Roth on the article you sent me, says also almost the same thing you just said above: “Alice Miller's life cycle is comparable to the conversion of Sau to Paul, from the unconscious to the conscious mother. when she wrote the first of her 13 books (drama dbk= Das Drama de begabten Kiindes, The drama of the gifted child), 1979, when her son was already 29 years old and she kept on developing every time clearer and clearer. Already years ago she apologized to her son for her misbehavior in his childhood, whereas her son had and still has trouble with it.” Makus Roth

I feel Alice Miller’s experience is very similar to mine. My love for my ex and my desire to help him made me look for help so we could save our relationship and in the process I freed myself. 

Alice Miller too saw that her son had problems, and how ironic they both have the same name, my ex’s name is also Martin! Alice Miller like me started lifting every stone to look for clues to help her son and in the process resolved her own repression and freed herself, just like me that I went out looking for clues how to help my Ex and I end up liberating myself in the process. 

And at the end, I had to let my ex-go, and Alice too had to let her son go because once a person is an adult, no one, not even the mother, can make up for what we need as children and we didn’t get. 

Once we are adults only we can save ourselves and anyone that tells us otherwise are fooling us with false hopes and promises. 

Alice Miller was driven to write her books to warn society of the dangers of childhood repression to save the children of the future and help us to face and resolve our own repression. 

This is why it’s so important for people to face their own repression before having children or at least become aware of their own childhood repression before their children become teenagers and adults, because it’s not the trauma itself that causes long term damage, but the repressed emotions caused by trauma that causes long term damage and if parents became aware of the damage done before their children became teenagers or adults, then they can help their children express their true feelings of anger, fear and hurt, because the children are still emotionally dependent on their parents, but once the children become teenagers or adults the defense mechanisms and walls have been built and it’s out of the parents hands, they can become the most conscious parents, but it will be too late, because they can’t force the teenagers and adult children remove the walls to face and feel their childhood repression, if they don’t wish to do so.  She made herself very vulnerable to all the psychopaths in the world to warn us, her courage is astonishing

Psychopaths/sociopaths always feed on people weakness to advance themselves and don’t care who they hurt, step on and destroy in the process as long they get what they want. 

In the interview Martin Miller is giving in the link you sent me, he is speaking in German and of course I don’t understand what he is saying, but the body never lies and the language of the body is universal, his body is telling his truth and you can see how this man has been repressing all of his life with the aid of food and probably also with all kinds of medications, and never allowed himself to consciously feel the full range of the repressed feelings of the child he once was within the context of his own childhood. 

And as long we go on repressing our feelings the compulsion to abuse ourselves, others or both will go on endless overtly or covertly and you can see he has been abusing himself by overeating to numb his feelings when present situations trigger him because he is extremely overweight.  

The title of his book is “The true drama of the gifted child- the tragedy of Alice Miller” but the title of his book should have been: “The Drama of the gifted child - the tragedy of my life” because his life is the real tragedy and sad beyond words, because he still stuck in his childhood and probably will never break free, because he is already 63 and the older we get hard it gets to resolve our repression. 

Alice Millers’ life is not a tragedy, because she broke free and died free, the beginning of her life was a tragedy, but not the end of her life, she became honest with herself and others and that is the most important achievement anyone can reach in this lifetime, not like most people in our society that are stuck in their childhood pretending and acting as if personality their whole lives, fooling themselves and others. 

As Alice says in her book The Body Never Lies, page, 86: ““… For how can I prove to someone that freedom is within reach if all his life he has clung to the constraints that were necessary for his survival and if he cannot imagine life without those constraints? I can say that I myself have achieved such freedom by getting to the bottom of my own story, but I have to admit that I am not a good example. After all, it took me over forty years to arrive at the stage I have reached now. But there are others. I know people who have succeeded in unearthing their memories in a much shorter space of time, and the discovery of their own truth has enabled them to emerge from the autistic hiding place that used to be their only refuge. In my case, the reason the journey took so long was that I was on my own for most of it.”

Me too, just like Alice Miller it took me over forty years to break free because I was alone in my journey most of it.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Very insightful and compassionate comments about Daniel Mackler’s critic of Alice Miller

“Reading through I wanted to add some ideas that I didn’t see in other comments.

I mainly want to say that I think it’s totally reasonable of Alice Miller to be unresponsive to your [Daniel Mackler’s] essay and even dismissive.

Here is a woman who has spent much of her life swimming upstream, going against the flow, fighting against the going paradigm. Simultaneously, she is trying to heal her own wounds; she must feel awfully vulnerable much of the time. So here she is trying to stand up to constant criticism while at the same time carrying around all these unhealed wounds.

And here you come along and attack her, yet again. It’s true that you also say how much you have learned from her, how influential she has been for you. But your primary purpose with the essay seems to be to harp on how she’s NOT PERFECT.

Sorry for the all caps shouting, but I want to make a point that by writing your essay with this accusatory tone, you are practicing exactly the same sort of critical, judgmental behavior that you say is so damaging. Somehow you expect this wounded, damaged soul, Alice Miller, to be immune to your criticism; for her not to be sensitive to your attacks.

In my experience, people go deaf when they feel attacked. They don’t respond with an open-minded desire to learn. I imagine, given her life history and the fact that her theories are probably subject to constant criticism—at the same time that they are also praised by many—, she’s sensitive. Who wouldn’t be?

If I were you, I’d go back and try to read your essay with a mind to how it might feel to be Alice Miller and read your words.

Given the feelings that your essay might invoke in her, imagine her trying to remain detached and un-triggered by old wounds. No matter how successful you might be in remaining detached when people make comments, this doesn’t mean she should be able to be equally detached. She’s under constant fire, from all sides; she’s getting old, and probably worn out from the battle. Despite all her efforts, and all her insights, she hasn’t been able to truly get the healing she needs. She’s also a woman in a field where most of the heavy hitters have been men. Getting recognition and not being heard as “shrill” is a battle women have to face on top of everything else.

And you might think here about the fine line between detachment and dissociation, which you’ve mentioned elsewhere on other topics. I think there might be a little bit of a disconnect inside you about your ability to remain “dispassionate” and take on criticism, and recognizing that others (such as Alice Miller) may be still so painfully connected to the old wounds that they cannot be dispassionate.

Can you cut her some slack? Not be so hard on her? She’s done amazing things. No one is perfect. Life is a series of course corrections.

And perhaps you might even consider what parts of your own unhealed wounds you are projecting onto her in your demands for perfection. Are you insisting that she be the perfect mother you never had? I would perhaps question your motives in writing your essay as a “critique,” rather than simply saying “Here’s what I learned from Alice Miller’s amazing work. And here are some ways that I think maybe we could go even further.”

Can you imagine writing what you did, extending her theories, going beyond where she went without attacking her in the process? If you were able to do this, I think she would feel validated, appreciated. You would be building on what she did do, what she did accomplish, rather than focusing on the areas where she was human and failed to be perfect.

If you choose to re-read your essay with an eye toward greater compassion toward Alice Miller, you might notice that using “Limits” in the title started off on the wrong foot to get her to listen to you with an open mind. You might do some word counts to see how often you use language that most people would perceive as critical if they were on the receiving end. Try to put yourself in her shoes.

And I realize you didn’t write the essay as a direct letter to her, and maybe never thought about whether she’d ever read it. You were processing your own needs, which is cool.

I think it’d be an interesting, and revealing, exercise for you to try to say what you think about her in a non-judgmental way.” Mimsy

“Daniel-

I enjoy most things you have to say and I am forever grateful that I was sent to Alice Miller after watching your YouTube videos. I do however find most of your great work to precisely that- Alice Millers. And that parts where you disagree you seem to be making broad over-generalizations and sticky conclusions.

The two reviews I have read on here also don't give any substance to the books of which you reviewed- I think Cesar has a point. You seem to use this discussion to attack Miller, and not the points made in the book. You seem to be making a review on her integrity.

I also am unsure how you determine that you are completely enlightened. How can you know you are not making the same "hubris" assumption as Miller? Can anyone be fully enlightened? How can one determine when they are fully enlightened? And if you aren't enlightened, then by your own words aren't you abusing your readers? And you abused your past patients before your enlightenment?
As for the fact that Alice Miller has disclosed her whole life makes her easy to attack from someone that hasn't to near the extent. Also your attacks on procreation and whether or not parents can have children is rather mute, considering you don't plan to have any and your stance on homosexuality.” Mark Twain

Friday, September 20, 2013

Honest comments about Daniel Mackler’s critic of Alice Miller


 “Rhetoric without a purpose. Alice Miler's books exposed the psychoanalytic bias against taking adult or children’s' stories of early life abuse literally and as real history, and the pervasive and very traumatic child rearing practices of a culture dominated by the "Proverbs" mentality, "if you beat him with a rod, he will not die." This mentality reigns supreme even today. Anyone who has read even a few of Dr. Miller's books will know why these works are hated and a target of disinformation by the adherents of "children as property" and "children as sinners" ideology (or theology). Alice Miller learning from her child is no different than a therapist learning from their patient. It is not unethical or immoral, but the way an aware and sensitive person grows. I really can't understand Mackler's reasoning or even the factual basis for any of this depiction of Alice Miller and I hope it will in no way discourage anyone from reading as many of Dr. Miller's books they can find. She is on the right side of parental pedagogy for all time and most therapists consider her the guiding light in understanding violence against children and the adult residuals of parental narcissism and sadism.” Z. St. John

“I am a mother and a neglected child.  In the course of time, I realized many situations I would have liked to do more to protect my children but often the damage is already done as many parents are unaware or the circumstances presented us with different priorities which often the children succumbed together with the parents.  Alice Miller confirmed to me the dynamic of how child abuse in it multifaceted forms is perpetuated, she too learned her lesson which led to the insight she so capably was able to communicate to the world through her books.  The lesson is reflected in those very words the article quotes and I repeated it below:

The spontaneity with which my daughter expressed her childlike, innocent, affectionate nature at whatever age she happened to be, and her sensitivity to insincerity and disingenuousness in whatever form, gave my life new dimensions and new objectives. [Breaking Down the Wall of Silence, 1996 revised edition, p. xiii]

I believe the above was not a need for Dr. Miller to justify her 'blind spots' for not for having protected her daughter or even being the cause unswervingly for that matter, but instead I see the above statement as an act of generosity in sharing with the world her own family story which certainly gave the insight particularly on the subtleties of abuse hidden cultural practices.   

Those that have benefitted from her insight and all we can do is make our contributions to her work for the good of humanity. I am skeptical on criticisms that tend to destroy or create doubt on such monumental insights as Alice Miller and others are doing.
I could more for my own children, but I had reached a good level of awareness and important priorities for survival prevented me from doing more.  My own children may not have serious problems thanks to the awareness I had reached at a certain point of their development.

Thank you for your attention and hope the above contributes to further reflection.” Marcella


New poster here.
Reading through I wanted to add some ideas that I didn’t see in other comments.
I mainly want to say that I think it’s totally reasonable of Alice Miller to be unresponsive to your [Daniel Mackler’s] essay and even dismissive.
Here is a woman who has spent much of her life swimming upstream, going against the flow, fighting against the going paradigm. Simultaneously, she is trying to heal her own wounds; she must feel awfully vulnerable much of the time. So here she is trying to stand up to constant criticism while at the same time carrying around all these unhealed wounds.
And here you come along and attack her, yet again. It’s true that you also say how much you have learned from her, how influential she has been for you. But your primary purpose with the essay seems to be to harp on how she’s NOT PERFECT.
Sorry for the all caps shouting, but I want to make a point that by writing your essay with this accusatory tone, you are practicing exactly the same sort of critical, judgmental behavior that you say is so damaging. Somehow you expect this wounded, damaged soul, Alice Miller, to be immune to your criticism; for her not to be sensitive to your attacks.
In my experience, people go deaf when they feel attacked. They don’t respond with an open-minded desire to learn. I imagine, given her life history and the fact that her theories are probably subject to constant criticism—at the same time that they are also praised by many—, she’s sensitive. Who wouldn’t be?
If I were you, I’d go back and try to read your essay with a mind to how it might feel to be Alice Miller and read your words.
Given the feelings that your essay might invoke in her, imagine her trying to remain detached and un-triggered by old wounds. No matter how successful you might be in remaining detached when people make comments, this doesn’t mean she should be able to be equally detached. She’s under constant fire, from all sides; she’s getting old, and probably worn out from the battle. Despite all her efforts, and all her insights, she hasn’t been able to truly get the healing she needs. She’s also a woman in a field where most of the heavy hitters have been men. Getting recognition and not being heard as “shrill” is a battle women have to face on top of everything else.
And you might think here about the fine line between detachment and dissociation, which you’ve mentioned elsewhere on other topics. I think there might be a little bit of a disconnect inside you about your ability to remain “dispassionate” and take on criticism, and recognizing that others (such as Alice Miller) may be still so painfully connected to the old wounds that they cannot be dispassionate.
Can you cut her some slack? Not be so hard on her? She’s done amazing things. No one is perfect. Life is a series of course corrections.
And perhaps you might even consider what parts of your own unhealed wounds you are projecting onto her in your demands for perfection. Are you insisting that she be the perfect mother you never had? I would perhaps question your motives in writing your essay as a “critique,” rather than simply saying “Here’s what I learned from Alice Miller’s amazing work. And here are some ways that I think maybe we could go even further.”
Can you imagine writing what you did, extending her theories, going beyond where she went without attacking her in the process? If you were able to do this, I think she would feel validated, appreciated. You would be building on what she did do, what she did accomplish, rather than focusing on the areas where she was human and failed to be perfect.
If you choose to re-read your essay with an eye toward greater compassion toward Alice Miller, you might notice that using “Limits” in the title started off on the wrong foot to get her to listen to you with an open mind. You might do some word counts to see how often you use language that most people would perceive as critical if they were on the receiving end. Try to put yourself in her shoes.
And I realize you didn’t write the essay as a direct letter to her, and maybe never thought about whether she’d ever read it. You were processing your own needs, which is cool.
I think it’d be an interesting, and revealing, exercise for you to try to say what you think about her in a non-judgmental way.
Mimsy
 
 

 

My Letter to P about Martin Miller’s book

Hi P,

Have you seen this? It’s in German! You don’t have to use Google translate like I had to, I am jealous you can read German, because you lose a lot in translation, but I think it was enough for me to see where Martin Miller comes from.  I guess Martin Miller has finished his book! I feel so sad that this 63 years old man still stuck in his childhood and never found his own way in the world and got trapped in the labyrinth of psychoanalysis. It took his mother most of her adult life to free herself from the labyrinth of psychoanalysis. Just like his mother wrote below. With his book he is transferring his childhood confusion into many people that still, like him, are stuck in the confusion of their own childhood and they too, like him, have fell victims of the labyrinth or traps of many seductive therapies that keeps them stuck endless reenacting their own childhood dramas, where they either play the active role of mother/father to others or are endless stuck in the role of the child.
“, is not an accusation. But an attempt to understand deep-seated trauma.” I have learned that when people deny something that’s exactly what they are. The fact he is saying is not an accusation that’s exactly what it is, disguised of wanting to understand deep seated trauma. Anyone that has read all his mother’s books and work through their own repression understands deep seated trauma and how hard it is to resolve it. He is being a great example how difficult it is to resolve deep seated trauma. He is still stuck in his childhood fighting and competing with his mother to make a name for himself by unconsciously attempting to destroy the great discovers and accomplishments his mother made late in life by stepping on his mother’s head to satisfy his own childhood narcissists needs and letting the unresolved repressed emotions of the child he once was take revenge on his mother for the wrongs she did to him when he was a small child by attempting to kill his mother in a symbolic way in the public arena with his book, creating a smoke screen confusing many people already confused looking for a way out of their own labyrinths.

He mentions that his mother’s first three books are the most value, of course he likes his mother’s first books, because when his mother wrote her first books, she had not broken free completely from the labyrinth psychoanalysis, a labyrinth he still trapped in. Alice’s first books she was still writing with the precepts of the labyrinth of psychoanalysis and still had hopes or the illusion psychoanalysis could help people break free. His mother’s last books are much clear and are the books that helped me understand and feel my own feelings within the context of my own childhood and finally break free from my emotional prison no longer be lost in projections reenacting my childhood drama with people symbolizing my parents or my parents substitutes, in my own case my older sisters, and prevented me from being trapped in the labyrinth of many seductive therapies out there.

As Alice Miller said: “…On the other hand, what has radically changed is my hopeful attitude towards psychoanalysis, from which, in 1988, I officially broke away by resigning from the Swiss as well as the International Psychoanalytical Association. I was forced to take this step when I realized that psychoanalytical theory and practice obscure—i.e., render unrecognizable—the cause and consequences of child abuse, by (among other things) labeling facts as fantasies, and furthermore, that such treatments can be dangerous, as in my own case, [and obviously in the case of her own son] because they cement the confusion deriving from childhood instead of resolving it. Ten years ago I was not yet so clear about this, my study of philosophy as well as my training in and practice of psychoanalysis having long prevented me from recognizing many facts. Only when I was prepared to end my repression, to liberate my childhood from the prison of pedagogic notions and psychoanalytical theories; when I reject the ideology of forgetting and forgiving, allied myself with the abused child, and, thanks to my therapy, learned to feel: only then did I gradually discover my hitherto concealed history.” From the book Banished Knowledge, from the edition 1990, vintage point 
“This book [the drama] was written sixteen years ago in keeping with the precepts of psychoanalysis, precepts that I have long since moved beyond and today regard as misleading. I therefore have had to revise the text thoroughly, salvaging those parts I still regard as valid and useful while clarifying certain points more than I was able to in 1978” From the Drama of the Gifted Child, edition 1994, introduction, page,1

Also read my blogs in the links below:

The Courage of Alice Miller Was Astonishing 
Then Pain of a Mother
In Most Cases is a Lie
Don’t let Others Exploit your Repressed Anger to do Harm