It is true that parents can humiliate, hit and emotionally abuse and neglect their children…. and people are not allowed to say this is wrong…. and if we do, we get accused of ‘shaming parents’, or ‘judging parents’.
Yet, the effects of abuse and neglect are considerable and this should be the priority. Not the egos of parents, who don’t want to self reflect or be honest with themselves.
I do speak up about parenting styles and I do advocate for children being treated with the same respect and dignity, adults want for themselves.
I will always be an advocate for treating children appropriately, and I am unpopular with some parents as a result. But, that is of no interest to me.
Children need people to speak up for them, so I am one voice who does.
I received feedback, that my insight aligns with Alice Miller. Alice Miller is a psychologist (doctorate), who is famous for her work on child abuse and the fuller consequences of being raised by toxic parents.
To have my insight, compared to hers, is well…. wow!
I have one of her books – The Drama Of The Gifted Child – on my book recommendation list.
Alice Miller does have profound insight into psychological and emotional abuse caused by toxic parents who have disturbed characters.
This is especially relevant to me, my childhood and the consequences of it…
Alice Miller writes…………..
There was a mother who at the core was emotionally insecure, and who depended for her narcissistic equilibrium on the child behaving, or acting, in a particular way. This mother was able to hide her insecurity from the child and from everyone else behind a hard, authoritarian and even totalitarian facade.
This child had an amazing ability to perceive and respond intuitively, that is, unconsciously, to this need of the mother or of both parents, for him to take on the role that had unconsciously been assigned to him.
This role secured “love” for the child—that is, his parents’ exploitation. He could sense that he was needed, and this need, guaranteed him a measure of existential security.
This ability is then extended and perfected. Later, these children not only become mothers of their own mothers, but also take over the responsibility for their siblings and eventually develop a special sensitivity to unconscious signals manifesting the needs of others.
I realise this parentification abuse and my toxic childhood, is how I formed my empathic capacity. My intuition. My depth of thinking capacity. My capacity to see past the masks people wear – to the real issues, motivations and needs beyond the mask. And my deep fear driven need, to work people out. Because I learned this young, to survive.
Alice Miller, was herself a child abuse survivor. It is always those who have survived lived experience of horror and heinous abuse by their own parents – that understand it to a greater depth.
Alice Miller also wrote….
“I betrayed that little girl. Only in recent years, with the help of therapy, which enabled me to lift the veil on this repression bit by bit, could I allow myself to experience the pain and desperation, the powerlessness and justified fury of that abused child. Only then did the dimensions of this crime against the child I once was, become clear to me.”
Feedback I received today, which keeps encouraging me to write, reach out and bring darkness into the light.
Lilly–although you went through all kinds of Hell(s) to get here, YOU are a gift to all of us…an Angel. Thank you seems so inadequate. Almost immediately after I was diagnosed CPTSD (about 6 mos. ago–I am 61🙀), I dug for helpful information. I was led to your website…a treasure trove, a fountain of information! WOW, just wow…I’m just one of MANY who are blessed by your ability to rise above, survive, and then some (!) and putting all of your experience & pain to use as a vessel to help others…yep! You’re a gift 😇❣
I’m not going to invalidate this feedback, minimize it in someway, or dilute the power of what I write and the depths of how meaningful my work is to others. And I continually receive comments and messages like this.
I have always dismissed all the positive feedback – because it’s hard for me to really believe good things about myself. As is typical of how many complex trauma survivors feel. Those deep down shame and ‘not good enough’ issues, are still there, but I am working on them
It has taken me several years of work and therapy, to know when people say these lovely things, they mean them and I should not dismiss it. It’s their opinion and they are entitled to that opinion and I should not just ignore it. Continue reading →