Friday, May 25, 2018

Sylvie Shene Big Brother Audition Tapes

I thought going on Big Brother would be a great opportunity for people to see me, and see for themselves that I'm real and not that harsh because I think in my writings I come across as being a little too harsh.

I think is because I'm dyslexic and writing being one of the hardest things for me to do in life and it's the most time-consuming for me.

But now that I'm starting to get the hang of making videos and upload them on YouTube -- I think I will do and publish more videos soon.

The video above that I published on YouTube is the original one and the one below is the edited version that I submitted to Big Brother producers. 

Below is what I wrote on on their question Self Biography (Up to 70 words): "I’ve lived in many countries, including Portugal, Spain, England, France, and the U.S. In 1985 I moved to Phoenix, Arizona and worked for 18 years as an exotic dancer. In 2014, I wrote a book called A Dance to Freedom to help people break free from their emotional prisons. I love spending time with my cats, being in nature, hiking, bicycling, having meaningful discussions, laughing, and joking around."

“…Watched your vid. You are such a super cool and taking person, honestly!!!!! I loved to meet you this way. Wow...  not any kind of pretension or trying to be something.  Just 100% authentic, which is so rare... wow... why don't you do videos, where you read passages from your book, or give an interview about you and your life and your insights?  And put it on your blog??? Aside from the bb vid??? There is so much light and love and inspiration shining from you.  Sorry, this sounds esoteric, but I don't mean it like this... maybe this could be an add-on to your words. Really, your appearance and the way you talk, this is, I have to say that again, taking, in a good way... sorry, lacking a  bit of the right words in English... in German, I would say: du bist (you are)  mega sympathisch :-)))
Really, you are such a super person, which shines through so strongly, if one can see you live!”
[Thank you! But making the BB video was a little difficult for me because I would keep mispronouncing my words and I would have to start over. It was very tiring to shoot the video.  Remember I’m dyslexic! And it doesn’t only affect my writing. It also affects my speech.  But I think I’m going to take your suggestion and try to do more videos.  Below are my answers to some of the questions they have asked past contestants. I am trying to be prepared just in case they call me:
Occupation: Author, Gate attendant manager
Three adjectives that describe you: Persistent, understanding and generous.
Favorite activities: Relaxing at home with my cats, taking long walks in the park by my house and hiking. 
What do you think will be the most difficult part of living inside the Big Brother house? Being away from my cats and close friends. I like my own space and privacy, so not having any privacy and sharing space with strangers will be difficult for me.
What moment in your career do you think prepared you to live in the Big Brother house?
My whole life has been a preparation for the Big Brother house. I've been through many challenges in my life and always intuitively knew how to turn them into opportunities to move forward. I have to say that the turning point in my life was when I discovered the books of Alice Miller. Her insights literally saved my life, and I wrote a book called A Dance to Freedom to help others break free from their emotional prisons like I did. Writing the book gave me a lot of confidence, and I think I can help a lot of my housemates if they’ll listen to me.
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most?
I like Shannon Elizabeth, but I don't particularly have a favorite.
What are you afraid of? I don’t let fears stop me or control me. I prepare the best I can and I hold my nose and jump. My motto is: face your fears or they will just keep biting you in the butt.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Leaving Portugal and facing and resolving my own childhood repression, and of course, writing a book on how to resolve childhood repression, and finding peace and becoming free to really love and live my own life.
Do you have a strategy for winning the game?
I just plan to be myself. People always underestimate me, so I have a feeling I’ll be off everyone’s radar early on. That will give me time to learn about everyone in the house and get a sense of the repressed traumas in their lives that they take out on others unconsciously and compulsively. I’ve learned how to deal with malignant narcissists and sociopaths, so if there are any in the group I think I’ll surprise them.
My life's motto is... Keep it simple, love and have fun
What would you take into the house and why? One of my cats for company and comfort and my book that is my baby and my gift to the world so I like to share it with as many people as possible that might be in the same place I once was, and hopefully be a support to them and not feel alone like I once did.
Fun facts about yourself:  - I love cats 
                                               - I am a goofball 
                                               -I read people very well and I’m a great judge of character 
                                               -Outspoken and not afraid of controversy
What would you do if “Big Brother” made you famous?  If Big Brother made me famous, I would use it to raise awareness of the dangers of childhood repression in our society.
“I like your application. Again smoothly and nicely put, really, you do so well, expressing yourself!!!” [It’s hard for me to believe someone saying something to me like you wrote above! 1995 when I read for the first time one of Alice Miller’s books I barely could write a full sentence. And look where I’m now?! I wrote a book with a lot of help, but I wrote a book and I have a blog. It’s amazing how far I have come?! Thanks to Alice Miller I broke free from my autistic state and now no one can stop me from talking and writing.]
“In this context, I especially like the adjectives, which you chose to describe you, and your life’s motto, your life with your cats etc. :-))) it has the lightness, which the readers at BB might need to read/ hear?  Otherwise, they might be triggered, by mentioning childhood and Alice Miller and so on??? We know both, how fast people run if they are confronted with their pain and are not ready to face it... I am the best example for this...of course, this is how you are and what you think about life and there is no need to hide anyway.
Maybe you could mention, that you have learned to be a "public" person (on stage) at your time as a dancer, including the fact, that you managed to keep your boundaries even in this special situation... ??? but you mentioned that a little in your vid anyway...  is there a timeline, when you will be informed, if you are in the next round??? I keep my fingers crossed! Keep on rocking, H”
[Thank you! I'm glad you liked my BB application. I think tomorrow is the deadline so if I don’t get a call by tomorrow it means I didn’t make the cut. Maybe I don’t fit in with this year’s theme. I will try again next year, but if what Sarah Benitez wrote below on Facebook: 

“So I was listening to my local morning radio show today and one of the young, recent college graduate assistant producers came on the air to tell a story about how yesterday someone from CBS slid into her Instagram DM’s and asked if she’d be interested in going on Big Brother. They’re looking for young, competitive, fun, SINGLE contestants. So..that’s what they’re looking for. Casting isn’t going to change.” 

So if this is true I will be too old in their eyes and I will never fit in in their show. Or maybe like you wrote they are just too afraid of me because I trigger their own repressed fears.]
"WOW, I just reread your exposition for Big Brother... 
you did amazing work. this is super clear and has the perfect mix of ease and depth...

and what an astonishing idea to apply for big brother... here in Germany, they copied this show, so I know at least a little about it. 

of course, it would a be huge challenge to finally really be there
anyway, you application sound really great, and maybe, how unlikely this might seem, they give you a chance. 
that would be great, even concerning all the risks, such a exposition to public might bring.
but i trust 100% in your integrity :-))))

you wrote so many thoughtful things about the emotional life of cult members...

i can relate very much.. it is true, that I hadn't had the chance to gather... about who I am and what I want... I realized that ..."

[Not being able to make a decision might be a trigger for people, but leaving people hanging waiting for too long might be even a bigger trigger and is understandable that eventually they give up and feel disappointed and stop waiting for you to make a decision and move on. 

Another possible question is: did people leave you hanging as a child and would not give you an answer either way too?! And now you treat others the same way.

I remember you mentioning before about the cult leader you got involved with and this could explain a lot why you don’t trust yourself to make the right decision for yourself because you made such a bad judgment about a person before.

I have read that people that have been involved with gurus or cults leaders have a hard time making decisions for themselves. “Trust -- Former cult members find themselves feeling phobic in many social situations. They tend to withdraw and to stay away from crowds and gatherings of more than several people. Feeling badly ripped off by the cult experience, they don't trust their own judgment, and they don't trust other people. Additionally, they lack self-esteem and self-confidence; they feel incompetent, clumsy, and undesirable as a consequence of their cult training. Former members' inability to trust is one of their most frequent and vivid problems. Not only do they realize that they trusted too much, but also they often end up blaming themselves forever joining the cult and for feeling inadequate about their decision-making abilities and judgment.”  

I never joined a cult, but I don’t trust anyone much and I’m always waiting when they will let me down, because eventually everyone due to their own unresolved repression will eventually let me down, it’s always a matter of time,  but it does not stop me from taking a risk with people and give them a chance --- I trust myself that I will be able to handle it when and if they let me down and move on if necessary.

Like you said there is no life without risks and we have to learn to take risks in life. 

I’m ready to retire and let go of everything, but if something crosses my path that I see it might give me a chance at exposing the work of Alice Miller to the masses I will jump into it and take the risk. 

I don’t watch much T.V., but I watched for the first time The Big Brother show and I thought to myself: I’m going to audition for the show that would be a good opportunity for people to get to know me and expose the work of Alice Miller to the masses! 

I really don’t want to be locked up for three months in a house with a bunch of strangers and have a camera follow my every move and listening to every word I say!  

Most likely they will not call me, because my story and Alice Miller scares most people, but if they call me I will go because that would be a great opportunity for people to see me and introduce Alice Miller’s work to the masses.  I’m going to have a few days off in the second week of April and I’m going to make my audition tape and send it to them.

Below is what I wrote for the Self Biography (Up to 70 words) question:

"I’ve lived in many countries, including Portugal, Spain, England, France, and the U.S. In 1985 I moved to Phoenix, Arizona and worked for 18 years as an exotic dancer. In 2014, I wrote a book called A Dance to Freedom to help people break free from their emotional prisons. I love spending time with my cats, being in nature, hiking, bicycling, having meaningful discussions, laughing, and joking around."

What do you think?!]

This guy AL made comments on my YouTube BB video offering to help me make more videos and help me promote my YouTube channel, but of course, like most people out there, he was not real and when I told him that reading my book was a prerequisite, he deleted all his comments with my replies, but today going through my old notes I found a few of my replies to him and one of his comments that I will share below.

I need to confess that when I said in the BB video audition tape I had become a big fan of the show I was trying to get on the good side of the producers because I thought was a great way for people to see I'm real and share with the world the truth that can set one free.

I used to think if people got the right information at the right time it could make all the difference, but now I don’t think it matters much, because most people rather be distracted than face and consciously feel their own painful truths.

Just like happened at my job of nine and half years that as long they thought or had the illusion I was inferior to them, they acted like very nice people, using me as a pawn to fool me and others into think, they are nice people with their illusion of love, but after they read my book they knew I knew and their illusion of love and kindness ended overnight and they started the very well psychological warfare to try to regress me into the state of the wounded child and hoping I would self-destruct, they wanted me dead, in jail or mental hospital. To them, my destruction was better than looking in the mirror to face their painful truths and feel the pain to become real. 

After I published my book I was treated like I had committed a crime! But exactly a year later we saw who was the true criminal, but now is a big cover-up by the FBI, US Marshals, and the Media.  

It took me almost a lifetime to liberate myself from all the lies and illusions of our society and now that I am 60 years old! I just want to be left alone to enjoy my freedom and not deal with phony people anymore.

I wanted to believe in people and thinking they were many people like me out there that really want the real truth no matter how painful. But thanks to publishing my memoir I came to see the real face of humanity and for that, I’m glad I went through all the trouble to publish my book! Because now really know the truth about most people that they rather kill you and be killed than face their own painful truth.

People love to talk about the importance of mental health and removing the stigma, but it’s all a lie. If it was true I would not had become the target of a mob of sociopaths after I published my memoir A Dance to Freedom, especially by those proclaiming to be in the mental health industry, that have tried so hard to regress me to the state of the wounded child and bring me back into an emotional prison. Most people are born, live and die in an emotional prison. 

I really feel for anyone that their childhood has left them so wounded that an enlightened witness in the book form is not enough and they literarily need to lean on someone or institution for help.

Because the chances of finding a true enlightened witness in the health care field are very slim. Most “helpers” are helping themselves looking for followers to endless stay depend or in the state of the child and are not one bit interested in encouraging your autonomy or your growth -- into a mature conscious adult. And if you cannot create a safe space for yourself and the strength and courage to stand alone to face your childhood repression to consciously face and feel the repressed feelings of the child you once were -- and allow old wounds to heal -- if you are dependent on others to help you -- you might wait all of your life and never able to break free and endless stay trapped in the emotional prison of your childhood.

What was I think that Big Brother producers would be interested in real liberated people like me for the show, they want repressed people unconsciously and compulsively reenacting their childhood dramas to exploit. People like me triggers their repressed fears and the fears of being exposed. It was interesting to see Julie Chen and Les Moonves this last season become the reality show themselves!

Al, thank you for your comment. It's constantly in my mind that I need to do at least one more video because I like to keep my promises -- so I will do at least one more video one of these days.

Making the BB video was a little difficult for me because I would keep mispronouncing my words and I would have to start over. It was very tiring to shoot the video.  I’m extremely dyslexic and it doesn’t only affect my writing. It also affects my speech. Sometimes I think about getting a teleprompter to help me with the making of videos. But to tell you the truth I think humanity has passed the point of no return and I have given up on humanity. I don't think it matters what anyone does -- it will not make much difference in our world.

These words by Leo Tolstoy could not be truer: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” This is the problem with our society. No one wants to look in the mirror and face themselves.

I would like to reach people that are in the same place I once was -- searching for the truth -- that can set us free - waiting to hear the naked truth from someone else -- and validate their perceptions that they are not crazy! No one should have to wait as long as I did to hear the truth from someone else.

Alice Miller was such a witness for me and now I have written a book sharing my journey of how I liberated myself with Alice Miller books as my enlightened witness and if people want to find the truth that can set us free, they need to dig hard for it as I did -- because the liars of this world will work very hard day and night to block the truth and keep in the dark the real state of affairs.

I'm glad Big Brother didn't call me because I didn't really want to be locked up in a house full of repressed people telling their true stories with their unconscious and compulsive reenactments. To tell you the truth NOW I'm at the point in my life that I just want to be left alone to enjoy my freedom. It has been a long journey! 

Yes, most therapists keep themselves and others stuck in an emotional prison -- the therapist playing the role of the parent and their patients endlessly stuck in the role of the child.

Most therapists have mastered the art of manipulation to perfection -- to regress people to the state of the defenseless child -- and keep them in an emotional prison to use and exploit for transference effect to temporally alleviate their own repression.

if he was real and really wanted to help me he would not have deleted his comments! And if he had read my book first -- he would never -- have written these words: "If I could take all the pain away I would, but if it makes you stronger"

He would know I'm no longer in pain and I don't agree with society's slogan: what doesn't kill you make you stronger, because those of us that have worked through our childhood repression knows what doesn't kill us make us weaker and until we have resolved our childhood repression --  we will be endlessly chuckled into the chains of compulsion repetition. 

just like I wrote in my book A Dance to Freedom: Your Guide to Liberation from Lies and Illusions page 107 and 108:

"The typical methods people use to search for answers — which are really ways to run away from the truth — are futile because our real, repressed story continues to attempt to make itself heard no matter what we do. Alice Miller believed that our true plight, the root cause of all our repeated problems, will keep trying to gain our attention in more extreme ways until we finally take notice. Alice Miller describes addiction, for example, as a way for someone in despair to get rid of his or her memory. But this method of self-medication is unsustainable. “This ‘solution’ is no longer needed if the goal is exactly the opposite, if you want to remember, if you want to feel your plight and to understand its reasons, if you slowly become aware of why you were so afraid of acknowledging the reasons,” she writes. “This can happen once you decide to stop running away, to stop betraying yourself, to allow the truth to enter your consciousness. You decide to do so because you finally understand that everything else is useless and because you no longer want to watch your life go by before having even begun to live. You decide to stop betraying yourself because you understand that only you can give yourself the love and care you never received and that you can’t do that as long as you deny the truth.”59 They say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I think they have it all wrong. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you weaker, more repressed and more vulnerable to illness and disease.”
AL: If I could take all the pain away I would, but if it makes you stronger then it's still a positive outcome and then as a friend, I'd offer a promise to share it with you so you don't have to face everything all alone. There is no law that says you have to struggle alone and definitely nothing that forces you to carry the weight on your shoulders, the real crime here is third parties (parasites and vultures) extorting money from people in need of this help and support in guise of caring and compassion when they clearly have none and no heart. So I'd create a bubble in my heart just for you to be safe and well... knowing I expect nothing in return and I do it here for you when/if you need it without any reservations. đź’• Sylvie: Thank you for writing. I don’t like to tell people to read my book, but it's a prerequisite…

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Take a risk or live the rest of our lives in solitude

Dear H,
Thank you for writing. 
I’m so sorry to hear you are not in a good place.
If you can’t show your true feelings towards L or K, maybe is because the little girl within you doesn’t trust them fully and you need to accept that at this time, but most important can the little girl within you trust the adult in you to show you and express to you her authentic feelings? 
I have learned most, if not all people out there are not safe to express our authentic feelings with, because of their unresolved repression, they will most like will turn against you sooner or later in one form or another.  Some are passive-aggressive standing on the sidelines witnessing and hoping that another malignant narcissist or sociopath succeeds in breaking you down.  This has been my experience since I published my book, if I didn’t have truly resolved my repression, I would have been broken down by now, especially with the sociopaths in the “mental health field” how come none have congratulated me in my amazing journey to  liberation, but I feel, they all stand on the side lines silently hoping a sociopath eventually succeeds in regressing me to the emotional prison of my childhood and finish the job to break my spirit or murder my soul that my childhood abusers started and were not able to finish.
I think Alice Miller was the only one real, honest and authentic person out there because I’m pretty sure if they were more out there, I would have found them or they would have found me by NOW! And this is why Alice Miller was constantly persecuted and deceived by people pretending to be real like her, just like I’m experiencing, her experience is my experience. She was alone just like I’m. Even those that worked closely with her are not real. I would never have discovered how fake they are if I had not written and published my book! And just for that, I'm very glad I wrote and published my book. What the public sees and the reality behind the scenes are two completely different things and I would never have gotten behind the scenes if I had not written and published my book. 
Alice took a risk with them, just like me, I have been taking a risk with people and hoping they don’t turn on me, but I know no matter who I get involved with there is the chance they might turn on me at any time, but there is no other choice, we either take a risk or live the rest of our lives in solitude and never get involved with anyone again, that I’m totally okay with. For now, I choose to take a risk.

But the silence of those sitting on side lines is the most hurtful than the ones that dare to come after me, because those that come after me then I can shine the light on them and they expose themselves, but the ones sitting on the side lines, they stay hiding in the dark like cockroaches praying and hoping someone eventually succeeds in breaking me and declare me mentally instable to discredit me and my book, so their own fears of being exposed for the fraud that they are can be put to rest, they are a bunch of cowards hoping someone else does their dirty work, so they hands stay clean.
It’s impossible to have honest personal relationships with people that have not face or are not willing to look in the mirror to face their own repression. And those that appear to be good at personal relationships just have mastered the art of faking it to perfection. 
…but if I say, that I carry a lot of hate towards her… [well most of this hate most like belong towards your parents or childhood caregivers and once understood and felt in the right context  this hate should start to subside, and some of this hate might be caused by k because she might not be there the way you need her to be] is hate I bear towards myself… [here you making yourself the scapegoat and this is one major reason you stay stuck because you blame yourself and not the real culprits that hurt you when you were defenseless and powerless little girl.]  sylvie, the more I write, the more I feel the pain and the invasiveness of my writings... [this is good keep on writing]  life is not about thoughts, it is about emotions. and I am not there. [just try to feel a little bit at the time, you can’t do it all at once, be patient with the little girl within yourself the more it starts trusting you the more will express and reveal to you]
I don't want to lose you, even if I think, all this Alice Miller stuff has ruined my life. this sounds crazy and weird. [You can’t lose me! But what would be really tragic is if you lose yourself. And blaming Alice Miller for ruining your life is again making someone else your scapegoat and letting the real culprits go Scot free and this is why you stay stuck and can’t move on because you have a hard time understanding and putting all your feelings in the right context. Once we understand and consciously feel all of our feelings in the right context, they start to diminish pretty quickly and like a little child that is allowed to express her/his authentic feelings will get through her/his hurt feelings pretty quickly and will go back to playing freely and enjoy life.] 
with L I have the feeling, that she touches me very deep inside. she wants me to be honest. this is a chance to change my life, … she wants to know if I want to spend time with her or not. it is a general question, not a thing of timetable... she deserves an answer. and I don't know, what to say... and this is what irritates her...[Being honest with ourselves and others is always good and a must; because only with honesty and the truth then can we make a consciously informed decision otherwise our relationships are a lie. I witness most relationships out there are a lie glued by fear of being alone.]
I don't want to be the bad person, to say no, but she would stand this,  one should be able to say yes or no, or not at the moment or something and why so... " I don't know", is not a grown-up answer. I run away, from something with her. " I can't tell" is the only answer I can give her.  I rather want to kill myself than say yes or no.”[if you don’t know then you are giving her an honest answer -- don’t be afraid of being seen as a bad person, if people sees you as a bad person for speaking your truth, it’s their problem, not yours and will be liberating to you. How others see me it’s not my problem and not of my concern. It doesn’t mean I like it when someone doesn’t see me and only sees their own reflection of themselves in me and the bad person they accuse me of being it’s really them, but I have no control over people’s reflections and I just walk away and let them go find another mirror and scapegoat. Free at last!]
Remember Liliane Rombout the therapist from the Netherlands that wrote to me in 2014 and I thought maybe she was real and I asked her if she would like to sign the foreword of my book and in the end, she ends up being a big nightmare, she became very critical and accused me of protecting my mother.  Anyway, her nightmare just keeps on going, she sat with the critique of my book all these years and now she decided to change her name and published her critique of my book under her new name! She never predicted that I would figure out that Liliane Rombout and Olane Roos was one and the same. Isn’t this the calculated move of a malignant narcissist or sociopath?! All it blew up in her face because I made it all public in my blogs in the links below and now people have all the facts and evidence and draw their own conclusions based on facts and evidence.
I hope you find a more peaceful place soon.
Hung in there,

Thursday, May 10, 2018

What does it take to overcome life’s adversities? The secrets of resilience

What does it take to overcome life’s adversities? The secrets of resilience

A friend sent me the article in the link above about resilience.

Every day I get amazed by the degree of misleading information spread by the established media to the masses that creates so much confusion to already very confused public. 

They just measure success by how far a person advances in their careers and how much money they make. They forget that success and money alone can be the best tools to master the art of repression, transference, manipulation, and projection.
"If a person is especially gifted, they can use that gift to reinforce the refusal of the truth and keep it away from themselves and others. ...The reason why I believe resilience theory is dangerous is that it is liable to reduce rather than increase the number of Enlightened Witnesses. If innate resilience were enough to resolve the severe consequences of traumatization, the empathy of Enlightened Witnesses would be unnecessary. Indifference to child abuse is already widespread enough, there is certainly no need to reinforce it.." Alice Miller

"Many world-famous stars who are envied and idolized are in fact profoundly lonely people. As the example of Dalida indicates, they were misunderstood precisely because they could not understand themselves. And they were not able to understand themselves because their environment responded to them with admiration rather than understanding. Finally, they took their own lives. This vortex tells us a lot about the mechanisms of depression. People seek understanding by pinning their hopes to success, they take endless trouble to achieve such success and to arouse the admiration of an ever-larger audience. But this admiration cannot provide any real sustenance as long as understanding is absent. Despite the success they have made of their careers, life is meaningless because they remain strangers to themselves. And this self-alienation persists because they want to completely forget what happened to them in their early lives and to deny the sufferings of childhood. As this is the way society functions, these stars were bound to remain misunderstood and suffered the torments of chronic loneliness.

The categorical denial of the pain we suffered at the beginning of our lives is harmful in the extreme. Suppose someone setting out on a long walk sprains an ankle right at the outset. That person may decide to ignore the pain and to soldier on because he/she has been looking forward to the outing, but sooner or later others will notice that they are limping and will ask what has happened. When they hear the whole story they will understand why this person is limping and advise him/her to go for treatment. But in connection with the sufferings of childhood, which play a similar role in our lives to a sprained ankle at the beginning of a long hike, then things are different. Those sufferings cannot be “played down,” they will leave their mark on the whole enterprise. The crucial difference, in this case, is that normally no one will take any notice. The whole of society is, as it were, in unison with the sufferer, who cannot say what has happened. It may well be that, despite the violation of their integrity, people who have been injured in this way really have no memories. If they have to spend their whole lives with people who play down the traumas of childhood, then they have no choice but to connive in this self-delusion. Their lives will progress in much the same way as the outing of the hiker who has sprained his ankle but pretends that nothing has happened. Should they, however, encounter people who know about the long-term effects of childhood traumas, then they will have the chance to abandon their denial and good prospects of healing the wounds they have been carrying around with them.

Most people are not so fortunate. The celebrities among them are surrounded by hosts of unsuspecting admirers, none of whom recognize the distress afflicting the stars they idolize. This is, in fact, the last thing they want to know about. Examples are legion. We may recall the fate of the enchanting Marilyn Monroe, who was put in a home by her mother, was raped at the age of nine and was sexually harassed by her stepfather when she returned to her family. Right to the end, she trusted in her charm, and finally, she was killed by depression and drugs. Her own account of her childhood is frequently quoted on the internet:
“I was not an orphan. An orphan has no parents. All the other children in the orphanage had lost their parents. I still had a mother. But she didn’t want me. I was ashamed to explain this to the other children…”
Some may wish for similar success in their lives and cannot understand why celebrities cannot simply enjoy their stardom. If a person is especially gifted, they can use that gift to reinforce the refusal of the truth and keep it away from themselves and others.
Exceptions in this context are people who suffered childhood traumas that were not caused by their parents. These people are more likely to encounter empathy in society because everyone can at least imagine what it must be like to grow up in a concentration camp or to spend horrifying days at the mercy of terrorists. The former victims of such traumas can expect understanding and sympathy, say from foster-parents, or from friends and relatives.
One such example is the French author Boris Cyrulnik, a well-known advocate of the theory of resilience. Apparently, he was deported to a concentration camp at the age of seven, but after his liberation, he was looked after by many caring people and thanks to their knowledge of the horrors he had been through he was able to come to terms with those appalling experiences. In his books, he now insists that every child has the strength to overcome a traumatic childhood without falling ill. He calls this strength “innate resilience.”
In my eyes, this theory contains a dangerous fallacy. It is true that as children we have many resources we can draw upon to survive even severe harm. But to heal the consequences of this harm we need Enlightened Witnesses in society. Such witness are usually conspicuous by their absence when the injuries in question were inflicted on the child by its parents. As adults, children abused by their parents are without witnesses and remain isolated, not only from others but also from themselves, because they have repressed the truth and there is no one to help them perceive the reality of their childhood. Society is always on the parents’ side. Everyone knows that this is so, so they will hardly venture to seek out their own truth. But if successful therapy helps them to experience and express their anger and resentment, they may well be confronted by the hostility of their families and friends. The readiness to attack them for violating this social taboo has to do with the fact that the violation of that taboo is a source of major alarm for others too. These people will sometimes mobilize all the forces at their command to discredit the former victim and thus keep their own repressions intact.
There are very few survivors of childhood abuse who are able to withstand such aggression and have the fortitude to accept the isolation involved in refusing to betray their own truth. But as knowledge of the emotional dynamics involved in these processes increases, things may hopefully change, and the formation of more enlightened groups will mean that total isolation is not the only possible consequence. The reason why I believe resilience theory is dangerous is that it is liable to reduce rather than increase the number of Enlightened Witnesses. If innate resilience were enough to resolve the severe consequences of traumatization, the empathy of Enlightened Witnesses would be unnecessary. Indifference to child abuse is already widespread enough, there is certainly no need to reinforce it.
But enlightened individuals are still rare, even among the experts. Anyone seeking information about Virginia Woolf on the internet will be told by renowned psychiatrists that she was “mentally ill” and that this had nothing to do with the sexual violence inflicted on her for years by her half-brothers when she was young. Although Virginia Woolf’s autobiographical writings give a harrowing account of the horrors of her childhood, the connections between these severe traumas and her later depression are still roundly denied in the year 2004.
During her lifetime there was of course even less chance of their being recognized. Although Virginia read these texts to a circle of artistic friends, she was still doomed to her lonely fate because neither she nor her environment, not even her husband Leonard (as his memories of his wife reveal) possessed the key to the significance of her early experiences. She was surrounded by people who shared and encouraged her artistic ambitions, but she was unable to understand the subjective experience of total isolation that kept on assailing her. Such an experience can ultimately pave the way to suicide because the present sense of isolation constantly recalls the potentially lethal abandonment we experienced as little children.
So-called mental illnesses leading to suicide are almost invariably traced back to genetic causes. Biographers provide us with the minutest details of the later lives of their protagonists, but their childhood rarely finds the interest it so richly deserves. 
...The lives (and deaths) of all these successful stars indicate that depression is not a form of suffering that relates to the present, which after all has bestowed on them the fulfillment of all their dreams. Instead, it is the suffering caused by the separation from one’s own self, abandoned early on, never mourned for, and accordingly doomed to despair and death. It is as if the body used depression as a form of protest against this self-betrayal, against the lies and the dissociation of genuine feelings, because authentic feelings are something it cannot live without. It needs the free flow of emotions in constant flux: rage, grief, joy. If these are blocked by denial the body cannot function normally.
People resort to all kinds of “remedies” to compel the body to function normally all the same: drugs, alcohol, nicotine, tablets, immersion in work. It is an attempt to avoid understanding the revolt of the body, to prevent ourselves from experiencing the fact that feelings will not kill us but, on the contrary, can free us from the prison we call depression. Depression may reassert itself once we revert to ignoring our feelings and needs, but in time we can learn to deal with it more effectively. As our feelings tell us what happened to us in childhood, we can learn to understand them, we no longer need to fear them as we did before, the anxiety recedes, and we are better equipped to face the next depressive phase. But we can only admit those feelings if we no longer fear our internalized parents.
The assumption I proceed from is this: for most people the idea that they were not loved by their parents is unbearable. The more evidence there is for this deprivation, the more strongly these people cling to the illusion of having been loved. They also cling to their feelings of guilt, which provide misleading confirmation that if their parents did not treat them lovingly then it was all their own fault, the fault of their mistakes and failings. Depression is the body’s rebellion against this lie. Many people would prefer to die (either literally or symbolically by killing off their feelings), rather than experience the helplessness of the little child exploited by the parents for their own ambitions or used as a projection screen for their pent-up feelings of hatred.
The fact that depression is one of the most widespread disorders of the present day is well known to experts. The media also address the problem regularly, with discussions on the causes and the various kinds of treatment available. In most cases, the sole concern appears to be finding the best psychoactive agents for individual patients. Today, psychiatrists assert that at last medicines have been developed that are not addictive and have no side-effects. So the problem would appear to have been solved. But if the solution is so simple why are there so many people complaining about recurrent depression? Naturally, some simply refuse to take tablets on principle, but even among those who do there are many who are repeatedly afflicted by bouts of depression and are apparently unable to free themselves of this disorder, even after decades of psychoanalysis, other kinds of psychotherapeutic care, or recurrent hospitalization.
What does depression involve? In the first place hopelessness, loss of energy, extreme fatigue, anxiety, lack of impetus and interest. Access to one’s own feelings is blocked. These symptoms may materialize in unison or in isolation, and they can afflict a person otherwise functioning normally, doing well at work, sometimes even taking an active interest in therapy and attempting to help others. But these people cannot help themselves. Why?
In my book The Drama of the Gifted Child (1979) I describe how some people manage to fend off depression with the aid of grandiose fantasies or extraordinary achievements. This applies very conspicuously to psychoanalysts and other therapists who in their training have learned to understand others but not themselves. In the book I trace this phenomenon back to the childhood histories of those who elect to go in for this line of work and indicate that they were forced at a very early stage to feel the distress of their mothers and fathers, to empathize with it, and to abandon their own feelings and needs in the process. Depression is the price the adult pays for this early self-abandonment. These are people who have always asked themselves what others need from them, thus not only neglecting their own feelings and needs but never even making contact with them. But the body is aware of them and insists that the individual should be allowed to live out his/her authentic feelings and to claim the right to express them. This is anything but easy for people who in infancy were used exclusively to satisfy the needs of their parents.
In this way, many lose contact in the course of their lives with the children they once were. In fact, this contact was never established in the first place, and access becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on. In the later stages, the increasing helplessness of old age becomes a searing physical reminder of the situation they found themselves in as children. This is referred to as old-age depression and regarded as something inevitable that we simply have to live with.
But this is not true. There is no reason why people who are aware of their own stories should lapse into depression in old age. And if they do experience depressive phases, it suffices for them to admit their true feelings and the depression will be resolved. At any age, depression is nothing other than the escape from all those feelings that might bring the injuries of childhood back to mind. This leaves a vacuum inside us. If we have to avoid mental pain at all costs, then there is basically not much left to sustain our vitality. Though we may distinguish ourselves with unusual intellectual achievements, our inner life will still be that of an emotionally underdeveloped child. This is true whatever age we may be.
As we have seen, the depression reflecting this inner vacuum results from the avoidance of all the emotions bound up with the injuries inflicted on us in early life. The upshot is that a depressive person can hardly experience conscious feelings of any kind. The only exception is the case where external events may overwhelm us with feelings that remain completely incomprehensible because we have no knowledge of the true, un-idealized story of our childhood years. We may experience such a sudden outburst of feeling as an inexplicable catastrophe.
Patients turning to a psychotherapeutic hospital for help are repeatedly told that they must not think back to their childhood, that they will not find any answers there, that they should forget everything else and concentrate on coming to terms with their present situation. Highly significant is the care taken to ensure that these patients do not get upset and to prohibit visits from their relatives. Precisely because they act like an emotional charge for the patient, such encounters can have a revitalizing effect. The point is that the emotions thus triggered off are not harmful but in fact beneficial. But in the hospitals, this view finds little response. Reading the correspondence between the poet Paul Celan and his wife, we sense the tragedy that such categorical directives can cause in the lives of individuals. Celan was categorically denied visits from his wife in hospital, which only served to exacerbate his loneliness and the severity of his illness. 
...Personally speaking, I owe my own awakening to spontaneous painting more than anything else. But this is not to suggest that painting can be recommended as a sure-fire remedy for depression. One painter I once greatly admired, Nicolas de Stael, painted 354 large pictures in the last six months of his life. He went to Antibes to work on his paintings, devoting himself to them with searing intensity and forsaking his family for the purpose. Then “he plunged to his death from the terrace that had been his studio in those last six months.” (Nicolas de Stael, Edition Centre Pompidou, 2003). At the time he was only 40 years old. The skill that so many painters envied him for did not save him from depression. Perhaps a few questions might have sufficed to set off a train of reflection in him. His father, a general in the years prior to the Russian Revolution, never acknowledged his gifts as a painter. It may well be that in his despair de Stael hoped that one day he might paint the decisive picture that would earn him his father’s respect and love. Conceivably there is a connection between his gargantuan efforts at the end of his life and this personal distress. Only de Stael himself could have found this out if he had not been forbidden to ask the decisive questions. Then he might have realized that his father’s lack of esteem had nothing to do with his son’s accomplishments but merely with his own inability to appreciate the qualities of a picture.
In my own case, the decisive breakthrough came because I insisted on asking myself such questions. I let my pictures tell me my own submerged story. More precisely, it was my hand that did this, as it obviously knew the whole story and was only waiting until I was ready to feel with the little child I once was. Then I kept on seeing that little child, used by her parents but never perceived, respected, or encouraged, a little child forced to hide her creativity so as not to be punished for living it out.
We do not need to analyze paintings from the outside. This would be of little help for the painter. But pictures can stir up feelings in their creators. If they are allowed to experience those feelings and take them seriously, then they can get closer to themselves and overcome the barriers of morality. They can face up to their past and their internalized parents and can engage with these things differently – on the basis of their growing awareness, not of their infant fear.
If I allow myself to feel what pains or gladdens me, what annoys or enrages me, and why this is the case, if I know what I need and what I do not want at all costs, then I will know myself well enough to love my life and find it interesting, regardless of age or social status. Then I will hardly feel the need to terminate my life, unless the process of aging and the increasing frailty of the body should set off such thoughts in me. But even then I will know that I have lived my own, true life."                 
"The excellent picture of the iceberg, introduced by Olivier Maurel, has opened my eyes for the fact that the groups that so enthusiastically speak of the child’s resilience seem to take care solely of the visibly mistreated and neglected children. It is true, to those children society offers today several ways to overcome even the most terrible effects of their traumas undergone before and to become resilient, thanks to the confidence that they could develop since. The legal system that often (if not always) sides with them, enlightened witnesses, some empathetic attorneys, well-informed therapists, all these people help a mistreated child to become a conscious survivor who, later, won’t want to repeat with his/her children what has been done to him or 
But for us, the group that is concerned with the problem of educational violence, we talk of something else. We talk of the 90% of the world population that underwent an ” educative ” madness without ever becoming aware that it was connected to humiliation and other serious traumas. Victims of this kind of violence cannot count on the empathy of society, because the whole society denies their suffering, as it denies its own. To victims of these  kind of traumas don’t exist any courthouses, nor enlightened witnesses, nor compassion of anybody – at least as long as almost everybody repeats without a second thought: “Being spanked didn’t do any harm to me, it made me strong”. For that reason victims of educational violence can’t develop resilience, they will say instead: “What was good for me will not harm my children.” In this way, they create what we call the “repetition transgĂ©nĂ©rationnelle”. Children beaten for “educational” reasons will be nearly inevitably tomorrow’s beaters if we don’t begin to give attention to this dynamics.
Thanks to the clarification of Olivier Maurel, I understood that partisans of resilience take care of the summit of the iceberg and neglect the hidden part. It is necessary that media understand this distinction so that serious misunderstandings can be avoided in the current discussions on this topic. It is necessary to know that without enlightened witnesses, without the help of a conscious and well-informed society, the usually beaten children remain alone with their repressed suffering, and it is why, all their life, they will be convinced that they have been beaten for their own good. They cannot develop any awareness of this injustice, hence no resilience either."

"Miller writes about a “helping witness”—someone who acts (routinely, or even once at a critical time) with kindness toward the child and who somehow, by looking into the child’s eyes, shows the child another way to live and be. This helper may have no idea of his or her role but nonetheless acts as a counterweight to the cruelty or neglect a child experiences. DR Miller says that a critical prerequisite for normal survival is that at least once in their lives, mistreated children come into contact with a person who understands that the environment, not the child, is at fault. This helping witness teaches the child that he or she is worthy of kindness. This lesson is the basis for resilience."