Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Quotes from the Book The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self

“Many people who can tolerate the loss of beauty, health, youth, or loved ones and, although they grieve, do so without depression. In contrast, there are those with great gifts, often precisely the most gifted, who do suffer from severe depression. For one is free from it only when self-esteem is based on the authenticity of one ‘own feelings and not on the possession of certain qualities.” Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 34

 “If the repression stays unresolved, the parents’ childhood tragedy is unconsciously continued on in their children”Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 23

"The grandiose person is never really free; first because he is excessively dependent on admiration from others, and second, because his self-respect is dependent on qualities, functions, and achievements that can suddenly fail." Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 36

“We cannot really love if we are forbidden to know our truth, the truth about our parents and caregivers as well as about ourselves. We can only try to behave as if we were loving, but this hypocritical behavior is the opposite of love. It is confusing and deceptive, and it produces much helpless rage in the deceived person. This rage must be repressed in the presence of the pretended “love,” especially if one is dependent, as a child is, on the person who is masquerading in this illusion of love.” Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 23

“It is precisely because a child’s feelings are so strong that they cannot be repressed without serious consequences. The stronger a prisoner is, the thicker the prison walls have to be, and unfortunately these walls also impede or completely prevent later emotional growth. “Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 58

“No one can heal by maintaining or fostering illusion. The paradise of preambivalent harmony, for which so many patients hope, is unattainable. But the experience of one’s own truth, and the postambivalent knowledge of it, make it possible to return to one’s own world of feeling at the adult level---without paradise, but with the ability to mourn. And this ability does, indeed, give us back our vitality.” Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 14

“Several mechanisms can be recognized in the defense against early feelings of abandonment. In addition to simple denial, we usually find the exhausting struggle to fulfill the old, repressed, and by now often perverted needs with the help of symbols (cults, sexual perversions, groups of all kinds, alcohol, or drugs). Intellectualization is very commonly encountered as well, since it is a defense mechanism of great power.” Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 11

“A child can only experience her feelings only when there is somebody there who accepts her fully, understands her, and supports her. If that person is missing, if the child must risk losing the mother’s love or the love of her substitute in order to feel, then she will repress her emotions. She cannot even experience them secretly, “just for herself”;she will fail to experience them at all. But they will nevertheless stay in her body, in her cells, stored up as information that can be triggered by a later event. “Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 9

Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the individual and the unique history of our childhood.” Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 1

 “As adults we don’t need unconditional love, not even from our therapist. This is a childhood need, one can never be fulfilled later in life, and we are playing with illusions if we have never mourned this lost opportunity. But there are others things we can get from good therapist: reliability, honesty, respect, trust, empathy, understanding, and an ability to clarify their emotions so that they need not bother us with them. If a therapist promises unconditional love, we must protect ourselves from him, from his hypocrisy and lack of awareness” Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The search for the True Self) Page 45