Sunday, July 19, 2015

Body and Ethics

We can't change our parents or others. We can only change ourselves.

"We may not always be able to give ourselves everything we have missed as children, but as adults we can certainly learn to give ourselves the respect, which our parents should have given us. Thus we can learn to understand ourselves better. With respecting ourselves starts the repair of the consequences of mistreatment. We can rebuilt the dignity that was stolen from us by not being treated as feeling human beings, but being used as obedient, lifeless objects. Regaining our ...own dignity and realising our individual truth we desist from idealising our parents, as we needed to do as children. Today we know: Even if our parents should change, nothing can heal the early trauma unless WE have changed.
It does not make sense to want to change our parents. Only they themselves could change their attitude and their behaviour. Our symptoms are the child's unheard language. The child knows the full truth and is yearning for our respect. If we at last intend not to abandon the child within anymore but to give him the respect he has been longing for such a long time, the body does not need any symptoms in the future. The child inside needs to experience our unambiguous rebellion without ifs and buts. Therefore we require a companion, an enlightened witness, who is able to share our rebellion against our parents, who gives us support and does not have to turn to analytical neutrality for fear of his own parents' punishments.

...A child has no other choice than to idealize and to love his persecutors, to hope they will eventually change and to cling to them, because there is nobody else. Especially the most seriously abused children cling a lifetime to their parents if they have not experienced a successful therapy. The adult however, whose health is suffering as a consequence of the early mistreatment, does have the choice. Adults can get rid of their expectations as well as of their idealisations and attachments to their parents, they call love. Otherwise they remain in the position of a dependent child and pay for it not only with illnesses but also very often with a reduced sensibility for their own children. If successful, they will be able to give their children the authentic love they never could feel for their own parents." -- Alice Miller
above excerpt from the article Body and Ethics by Alice Mille
Alice Miller Index nospank

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