Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Dangerous parents
Saturday October 13, 2007

Thank you for your answer.

I have some trouble of truely grasping the essence of what you're saying. I really want to understand because I belive you and others here when it is said that one has to take one's true feelings seriously in order to become free.

If I'm not wrong,in psychoanalytic understanding one belives that the internalized parents are REAL and that they have REAL power so that the person can experience revenge if her inner parent is provoked. Therefore this approach will be carefully paying attention to the dangerous inner parents' movements.

My question for you is do you not belive that internalized dangerous parents are "real"? Are you not afraid of provoking the person's inner parents and in worst case endanger the persons life?
Doesn't your approach imply that the person already has distanced herself from her parents and no longer is in their power?

You say that it WAS dangerous for the child, but it no longer is.
I would really like to belive this.
Should I just ignore the psycoanalytic theories on this and regard it as fabricated "facts" that tends to preserve the early fear of the parents? Is it not nessesary to belive that there will be revenge?
Will the child, when truely supported , automatically start to belive in herself to the point that she will be able to turn her back on her parents?(that would be miraculous!)

I would be most grateful to have your answer.

Many many thanks again. N. P.

AM: Why do you want me to believe in psychoanalytical constructions that I have criticized for more than the last 25 years? Your first letter was so confused that neither could I understand your question, nor could you understand mine. But now I feel that you COULD understand me, didn't you? The real parents of the child WERE dangerous; but as adults we can learn to free ourselves from the dependency on those parents so that they no longer have any power over us. The analytical construction of dangerous internal parents is only a sign of the fact that analytical therapists still live in a state of the child's fear as long as they deny the cruelty of their REAL parents. Unfortunately, most of them deny this fact, accuse the child (above all Melanie Klein and her followers like Kernberg and others) and make it thus impossible for their patients to recognize the torture they were submitted to in childhood. So their patients also stay caught within these fears for decades. Why do you go to psychoanalysts?

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