Interview given to Ms Noreen Taylor, The Times, London 1999
with some additions of 2004
When I became 55 years old I wrote The Drama of Being a Child where I described survival strategies similar to my own ones, and many people have written since that they found their own history in this publication. Thanks to these thousands of letters I came to recognize that I was not alone to undergo such a treatment, that it was more or less common and normal to our society and that most people seem completely unaware of its danger. I was amazed. I wanted to understand more about our educational system and, above all, about the reasons of our lack of sensitivity toward the suffering of children. Then I finished practicing in 1980 and devoted myself to the research on childhood and to writing. In For Your Own Good I described the cruelty of the so-called normal upbringing and - again - so many people wrote: how did it come that you knew my family and the way I have been treated? I didn't know their families but once your sensitivity is awakened you grasp connections that for many yet remain in darkness.
Both of my parents were already dead when I began to grasp what had happened in my past. Thus I couldn't share with them my newly gained knowledge. It was too late.
Addition of 2004: The link between the specific maltreatments endured in childhood and the destructive adult behaviour is still denied by the media. They often report on both, but refuse to show the connection. This avoidance can be clearly observed in all reports about the torturers in Iraq. The actual causes of the perverse behaviour were never discussed.
Addition of 2004: In the whole discussion concerning the scandalous behaviour US-Soldiers displayed in Iraq nobody ever used the word sexual abuse though it was more than clear that the torturers used the same way of humiliating the victims as they themselves once had experienced as helpless children on the mercy of their perverse
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