Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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The hidden key
Friday July 20, 2007

Dear Alice,
Yesterday while riding my bicycle around town and witnessing the "normal" amount of alcoholism,passivity,cruelty to animals and children,un-friendliness and despondant dissatisfaction with life and living, I was struck once again by the thought that the REAL cause of all this travesty is completely hidden,locked away,forgotten...like a key that had long ago been discarted as being useless,not important,"a long time ago".
How effective this has been in my own life also.Not until I was 35 did I dare to look at my childhood as being the possible source of my discontent,my depressions,my unhappy relationships.
And what did I find?
THE answer(s) I had been seeking.
Especially after having read you books,do I know to look no further than my childhood to explain "funky" days,dark moods,and also,ever-increasingly,the joy of life.
How widespread is this?
The press,the culture always seems all-too-ready to "explain" people΄s maladies as being about "unemployment",or "social conditions", like with the "as though we want to know" attitude that you have written about extensively.
In the Americans (illegal) invasion of Iraq in 2003,the term for the (air) assaulton Bagdhad was called "Shock and Awe".
Last night while I was considering this, I realized that this idea of being both SHOCKED and AWED by extreme violence,(from above), is EXACTLY how a small child sees and experiences a violent,abusive,unpredictable parent.
Shocked by the sudden violence,and at the same time in AWE of the power of it!
How do I know that?
Because I myself was such a child.
Small,defenseless,(excepting surpression),totally at the mercy of my raging parents.
This MUST be (also) the plight of those caught on the ground of these attacks, I thought. Terrified,helpless,with nowhere to go to be safe,no refuge except for "faith in God".
Yesterday in a radio broadcast,a young soldier was eulogized for his "sacrifice" in Iraq, stating in his letters that he had boundless "faith in his equiptment,his men,his training,and his leaders",as he put it.
He is now dead.
Quite a sad ending for (another) person who did n΄t seem to have ever experienced any REAL love any REAL protection,any REAL "armor".
AS I have learned and seen MANY times, and as you have written, the "key" to understanding war,violence,drug-addiction,even simple "unhappiness" seems to ALWAYS lie in one΄s childhood,and we,both individually AND collective,ignore this only at own own peril.
s

AM: Yes, among other things it might be the AWE that hinders so many people to realize the shock. By getting rid of this awe, they gain the liberty to eventually face their truth.

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