“The greater the risk the greater the proof of manhood. ‘We’ve all got scars,’ one boy proudly said as he rolled up his sleeves to show off his symbols of manhood.” This behavior is baffling to girls: “The girls could not understand what drove the boys to bruise their bodies on the playground so that they could acquire scars to prove their manhood.” But in “playing war” boys as often “fall down dead” as they “kill others.”
Reenacting abuse is very much a masochistic self-destructive activity; wars are fought as much to die and to be mutilated—to be a hero for the Motherland—as they are to kill Bad Self enemies.
Anything is better than being seen as weak, abandoned, unloved; better to take risks and court death.
Taking unnecessary risks is why boys have four times as many “accidental” deaths as girls.
Whereas girls who were unloved as children become depressed and sometimes cut themselves, unloved boys jump off dangerous barriers on their skateboards or become the bully of the neighborhood and get beat up by gangs.
In analyzing violent men,Toch found they all had “been flooded all their life with strong feelings of being weak and insignificant, helpless and fearful.”
James Gilligan found the violent criminals he spent his life analyzing as a prison psychiatrist told him they didn’t do it because they wanted to hurt people or to get money, but rather said, “I never got so much respect before in my life as I did when I first pointed a gun at somebody.”
The same motivations apply to warriors: kill others rather than be seen as weak, fearful and unloved, even if—in fact, because—it is provocative and self-destructive, a re-enactment of the death fears of being a helpless, abandoned, misused child.
Wars are in truth self-destructive activities, both in being a dead hero yourself and in killing a Bad Self enemy. Wars—like homicides and suicides—are extremely serious emotional disorders, inner emotional states rooted in the neurobiological consequences of child abuse and neglect.
As Miedzien demonstrates, the reason why males rob, steal and kill with ten times the frequency as females is “I had to prove that I was a man,” and “involvement in war is a proof of manhood.” -- Lloyd deMause www.psychohistory.com above excerpt from The Origins of War in Child Abuse by Lloyd deMause Chapter 2: Why Males Are More Violent http://www.psychohistory.com/
Comments on Facebook from the sharing of this post:
Steve Thomas And yet, it seems that mothers are much more likely to physically abuse children than fathers. Boys are "punished" at much higher rates than girls, which I think provides at least most of the explanation for their behavior down the road.
Also, the rate of domestic violence in lesbian relationships appears to be maybe twice that of heterosexual ones, maybe even three times as much as in male gay relationships.
Women may be more likely, too, to employ psychological techniques to hurt people, but paraphrasing Andrew Vachss: the only difference between physical, sexual and psychological abuse is the abuser's choice of weapon.
Jonatan Hansson And the fact is that when men argue we either resolve it by fighting or we talk it out after generally. Women are more clever (if it is more clever to be more passive aggressive and anonymous). When men are hateful towards each other we seem to be less anonymous so everyone can see it.
No one is talking about this. When I was a kid we didn't have access to all of this technology that makes us connected to the internet all the time. I can't imagine how it is for young women today. Women seem to freeze out each other all the time and it takes years to resolve simple stuff.
Sylvie Imelda Shene I totally agree with you, Steve. And I could not agree more with Andrew Vachs: "the only difference between physical, sexual and psychological abuse is the abuser's choice of weapon." It also comes to mind the words below by Alice Miller::
"Are women Less Aggressive than Men?
In my view, women are by no means less aggressive than men. Of course, they are victimized and disadvantaged by men avenging themselves for the beating they received from their mothers. But women avenge themselves for such victimization and physical cruelty by taking it out on their little children, thus breeding new generations of avengers who consciously love and honor their parents.
I see no real difference between the cruelty of women and that of men, because both sexes have learned such sadism at the hands of their parents and caregivers at the time when their brains were still in the process of formation. As children, they were subjected to cruelty and even perversion, but they not allowed to defend themselves. So later take out their repressed anger on other defenseless people, frequently in the same way their parents treated them when they were small. Women frequently vent this acquired sadism on their children. While men also give free rein to it by victimizing employees at work or lower military ranks, or else participating in orgies of violence like genocide or terrorist attacks. The causes invariable lie in the repressed and totally denied suffering of their childhood (though most of them will insist that they had wonderful parents). People who were not humiliated, tormented, or beaten in their early years are incapable of sadism.
Women can live out all kinds of covert perversion on their children and torment them impunity as long as they call this behavior “good parenting.” Society idealizes mothers because people have never consciously realized that their own mothers treated them cruelly when they were small. Accordingly, women normally enjoy total immunity.
I see no sex-specific differences in the suicide bombers. I understand terrorism as an attempt to compensate for the humiliations these people were subjected to , but have never consciously perceived as such, by means of a “magnificent deed” (such as sacrificing their own lives for the sake of a group).
Though it is not difficult to understand this dynamic, there are not many people who would allow themselves to give up their denial and look the truth in the face. The fear felt by the tormented children they once were can prevent this all their lives."
From the book “Free from Lies: Discovering your true needs” By Alice Miller Page 140
Sylvie Imelda Shene Jonatan's comment also brought to mind the words I wrote in my blog about the property manager, a woman, how she used psychological techniques to recruit others on the plot to destroy me: The quote below also articulates exactly what the property manager did. Totally she wanted to destroy me! And she got the new guy and the Security Company to finished the job she started, she is talented!!!
Sylvie Imelda Shene Also these words Dr. Marie-France Hirigoyen from her book "Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion of Identity come to mind "Physical violence can be testified to be outside evidence: eyewitness, police, and medical reports. With emotional abuse, there is no proof. It's a clean violence. Nobody sees anything."
Steve Thomas It's terrible you had to go through that, Sylvie. Can't find anything to disagree with in anything you posted. (Though I'm amazed you're able to find appropriate Miller references so apparently easily. Do you happen to know where she discussed Joseph Stalin's childhood? I spent hours trying to find that once, came up dry.) Cruelty sucks. Life's sad sometimes, sadder than it needs to be than it should be.
Jonatan Hansson Women dislike having a female boss in the workplace MORE than men do, study finds
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2797279/women-dislike-having-female-boss-workplace-men-study-finds.html#ixzz4is7A1Zbu
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Women don't even want other women to succeed.
They think. ''We need more women in boss positions as long as it is not my boss'''
Steve Thomas Sylvie, I thought you might just know. Don't go to any trouble. I just remember her account of a violent alcoholic father and an unprotective, religious mother whose funeral he refused to attend. Not a big deal, just that it would be nice to have a source for that if I'm ever in a discussion. Sometimes it seems like you have Miller completely indexed.
Sylvie Imelda Shene Steve Thomas I just found the link to Alice Miller's readers' mail where she discusses Joseph Stalin's childhood.
"AM: Thank you so much for your important letter. The short report of the Independent explains FULLY the behavior of Joseph Fritzl. In aneerily precise way, he has staged what happened to him as a child: His mother was his SOLE RULER, because his father was not there for balance. She has beaten him daily, she owned him completely so that he did not have helping witnesses where he could have noticed how badly off he was, the more so as she obviously provided conscientiously for his food. He was forced into total obedience and had to bear daily the constant violations through his mother, had to be grateful, too, for the provision of clothes and food, could maybe fulfill small wishes in secret and was proud of his slyness and inventive zest for lying and disguise. His life happened hidden in secret, like it does now in the power of the police force. In the same manner, he has organized his daughter’s situation in order to hold up the denial of the suffering of his childhood. His lawyer talks about his “good sides,” just as Fritzl would probably talk about the “good sides” of his mother that enslaved him as completely as he now has demonstrated it to the whole world. Fritzl has shown the world what can happen later to a child who was TOTALLY deprived of his freedom by his single mother “educating” him wih fists by herself, a child who has no witness, who has to be grateful to his, who may never contradict her and who for years impounds secretly wishes of revenge until he can satisfy them years later in a series of rapes of women without ever getting enough. Because revenge does not grant satisfaction and demands, again and again, new restagings. Even vacations in Thailand were necessary for this purpose. If one would ask Fritzl now, what his childhood was like, he would probably praise his mother and her care and not yet have realized that he grew up in a prison where his muscles, to be sure, were obviously well nourished, but where his brain was confused and poisoned through the contempt of his dignity. I can hardly imagine that this single, power-hungry and brutal mother did NOT use her small son for her sexual wishes and thus only increased the confusion (what is love and what is meanness?) in his brain. In this way, perversions develop, which pose riddles for us if we don’t have the courage to take seriously the childhood histories.
The deduction of the crimes from the denied childhood-situation is in no way meant to alleviate Joseph Fritzl’s guilt and to invoke pity. As an adult, he is fully responsible for all his crimes and deserves the greatest punishments for committing them. His masterful skillfulness in deceiving and manipulating the police and other authorities as well as his extreme sadism show that he proceeded methodically. So he exhibits strong psychopathic traits. There are hardly any signs for a positive prognosis through effective psychotherapy by acknowledging the truth about his childhood because he is, like every psychopath, not at all interested in understanding himself, only in controlling, misleading and manipulating others. Obviously, he was also successful in deceiving his lawyer when they talked who now believes, as an inexperienced layperson, that Fritzl belongs into a psychiatric clinic but not into jail. It would be very naïve and calamitous to follow this idea because it would mean to deliver Fritzl a giant stage where he could masterfully deceive the stuff and fellow patients and thus harm them.". Read more here
Steve Thomas Nice to have a chance to say hey, Sylvie. I *really* appreciate you remembering about that request I made. I'd forgotten myself. But that letter deals with Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who kept his daughter in a basement for 24 years.
Sylvie Imelda Shene Oh yeah! That's Josef Fritz and you want Joseph Stalin! Sorry for the mistake. I will keep you in mind.
Sylvie Imelda Shene Steve Thomas you are right Alice Miller discusses Stalin in her book: Breaking Down the Wall of Silence, pages 81, 82, 106, 109, 141, 146, 166-67. I remembered now that I published an excerpt on my blog where she discusses a little bit Stalin if you like to read it: "The horror of Hitler and Stalin, and the way in which their deed and ideologies spread across the continent of Europe like a grotesque plague when I was young, taught me what price human being pay ---or make others pay---for their blindness. It also taught me that this blindness cannot be allowed to continue. Young people can today learn the same lessons from Ceausescu’s example and others---above all, that dictators, once they have established themselves, can, with the help of the technical means available to them today, hold in to power far longer than they could before and are more difficult to topple without the loss of many lives. Only under the favorable conditions created by Gorbachev’s courage to face the facts the Rumanian people manage to free themselves from the maniacal and destructive political machine one madman, attempting---and failing---to save himself from the fears rooted in his childhood, had created." Read more here
Steve Thomas Sylvie Imelda Shene Thank you! I've saved the page numbers, will check them out when I get the chance. My copy was either mislaid or borrowed and not returned but I bet you've found what I was thinking of.
Sylvie Imelda Shene Steve Thomas You are very welcome! The pages numbers are from the revised edition in the attached picture.
Sylvie Imelda Shene Hi Steve, this morning the top 10 most read blogs was a blog that a niece triggered, so I reread it!
Anyway in this blog I shared a little excerpt from the book review of The Untouched Key by Alice Miller: “Why did Hitler and Stalin become tyrannical mass murderers? Alice Miller investigates these and other questions thoroughly in this book. She draws from her discoveries the conclusion that human beings are not "innately" destructive, that they are made that way by ignorance, abuse, and neglect, particularly if no sympathetic witness comes to their aid. She also shows why some mistreated children do not become criminals but instead bear witness as artists to the truth about their childhoods, even though in purely intuitive and unconscious ways.
It is Dr. Miller's goal to encourage these sympathetic witnesses, to lend them support, and to inform them about the worldwide and ignored plight of children, for she thinks that only by confronting the truth that has been avoided from time immemorial can human beings be saved from blind destruction and self-destruction. This discovery is eloquently illustrated in the last section of "The Untouched Key", wherein the story of Abraham and Isaac and the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes" are retold to reveal their profound meaning.”
Here is a little excerpt from the chapter The Emperor’s New Clothes in the book The Untouched Key. “When punishment is held up as proof of love, children are filled with confusion, which bears bitter fruit later in life. If these children become involved in politics, they continue the work of destruction initiated with them in childhood, and they camouflage it by taking on the role of savior just as their parents did before them. Both Stalin and Hitler claimed that they wanted only to do good. Murder was simply the necessary means to good. This ideology was passed on them by both parents. If this had not been so, if one parent had served as a helping witness and shielded the child from the other parent’s brutality and coldness, the children would not have become criminals in later life.
Although it is men who make preparations for war, the confusion in their heads is the product of child-rearing practices and ways of treating children that are attributable to men and women of past generations. The absolute power a mother has over her little child knows no limits, and yet no qualifications are required of her. It is therefore of the utmost urgency to examine more closely the effects of such unchecked power. To recognize parental power for what it is, and, through this awareness, to reduce its danger for the future.”
Steve Thomas Sylvie Thanks