Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Transference
Monday February 16, 2009




It must be enraging for you to see from time to time your views presented in a superficial and distorted way. In my moderation of my forum I can see that some readers do not understand the importance of recognizing their DEPENDENCE on their parents if there is to be a resolution of their agony and anger. For me, the discussion of the issue of the dependence on the parents in "Thou Shalt Not Be Aware" was the most helpful. If I understand you correctly, without giving up the false hopes that the mother will change there is indeed no resolution for the infantile anger and no mourning, the access to the pain becomes blocked. This, I think, is what happened to me and blocked me for a long time and I think this is what happened to other people who refuse to confront the full tragedy of their childhood that can only be grasped when it is experienced how much the little children in us NEEDED the parents and sometimes feel this way again as adults. When we are afraid to confront this dependency we can become "stuck" with our impotent rage, and in our effort to stop the pain we may be tempted to think that the anger is the REASON of our inability to mourn and to feel the pain of everything lost (when in fact the prolongation of the anger is the CONSEQUENCE of the false hopes!). This is for example what Ingeborg Bosch says, and also some others who attack you. The result is that these people's anger again becomes unconscious and it is directed at scapegoats with full force and total blindness. I was also the victim of such scapegoating as a moderator by particiapants that could not grasp how they transferred their childhood need for total acceptance and their infantile dependence onto the moderator. I assume this also happens a lot in therapy, although I do not have so much experience with giving individual therapy. It seems this problem presents real difficulties, as the letter of the Dutch moderator examplifies.

AM: This mailbox is open for all people who read my books and are interested in discovering their childhood and its effects on their lives, as well as in becoming conscious when dealing with themselves, with their partners and - above all - with their children. I am happy of course if some of them report about changes in their lives due to reading my books. But I am not surprised and not at all enraged when I am misunderstood because I know its reason. This happens above all by therapists. If they spent decades of learning exactly the opposite of what I am explainng (notably denying the importance of the tragic early dependency on cruel parents) they can't understand me. What you describe is only ONE of the consequences of this denial of the cruel reality of early childhood. On the page "Articles" can be found my text about "Transference". Maybe it can help to understand what happens if a moderator or a therapist is attacked by some people and maybe it can help him to react in a respectful and reveiling way. But sometimes this may be impossible, especially if you have to deal with individuals who don't want to change, who don't want to work on their healing, who only want you to take care of them because you MUST be the parent they are looking for their whole life.

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