Apr 082017
 

3-23-17

Mr. R.,

How are you?

I hope you, Mrs. R. and A. are doing well.

I’m sorry to bother you, but I thought you might be interested in my story now that part of it is in the public record. I filed a lawsuit against my former employer, Securitas, for discrimination and emotional harassment after I published my book.

You can see details about the court proceedings in the link below: https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/20679413/Shene_v_Securitas_Security_Services_USA_et_al

It’s kind of interesting how this all came about. Your neighbor at C., M. P., hired me to watch his home when he’s away on business, and we’ve actually become great friends. He couldn’t believe what happened to me at S, and he encouraged me to file a complaint of wrongful termination with the EEOC. Unfortunately, by the time I contacted them I had already missed their deadline, but they issued me a letter of my rights to sue and told me that I had 90 days to file the lawsuit. I don’t know how it will end, but I hope it will help raise awareness about emotional harassment in the workplace, especially towards women.

M. has also become a huge fan of my book, and has great respect for its truthfulness, authenticity and honesty. These are the things I value most in life, and I know that my book is a valuable contribution for anyone else who wants to see things more clearly.

I heard journalist Christiane Amanpour give a speech recently and these words really resonated with me: “I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth.”

This is why I’m so eager to get my story out. The people at Securitas and at S. wanted to destroy me, because they couldn’t handle the truth. As it turns out, my ex-boss, K. W., killed himself in a standoff with the Police over a bank robbery in Chandler. You can learn more about this incident by following the links below:

http://www.azfamily.com/story/31447486/chandler-bank-robbery-suspect-kills-self-inside-his-vehicle

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/kyle-wilson-obituary?pid=1000000178092771

The last time we spoke, you mentioned that my book spooks people. I believe that it only spooks people who are living a lie and are threatened by the truth, and that makes it all the more important to get my story out there.

My book is slowly finding an audience, which includes friends like M. P. and Mrs. W., who also lives in C., as well as strangers across the country and around the world who contact me on a regular basis and write great reviews on my amazon page.

I hope you can help me share my story with the general public. Not because it’s my book or my story, but because it’s urgent for society to understand the damaging effects of childhood repression and how it turns people into sociopaths who do everything from intimidate women in the workplace to use the political system to prop themselves up and keep others down. Alice Miller knew what she was talking about when she recognized the damage parents can do to their children, and the world is in dire need for a conversation about what we can do to stop the madness.

Maybe you can help start this conversation by creating a little segment on the evening news, or on a morning show, that highlights these concepts in light of current events, and explains how people must work through their repression if they want to free themselves from lies and illusions.

I’d love to discuss this with you in more detail if you’d like to meet for coffee one day soon.

Thank you for your attention,

Sylvie Shene

Hi E,

Thank you for editing for me the letter to the local news producer.

I have not heard, yet from M. R.. The silence from the media is deafening, they are so afraid of the truth of connected stories and are all about protecting the status quo.

Yes, people can be very weird, especially in the media. These words by Alice Miller are so true: “… Rather than take the risk, they prefer to forgo information that might be of life-death importance for coming generations. So in order not to have to call their own parents into question for a single moment, they cling to outdated, destructive opinions.Clearly, the prospect of confronting one’s own personal history in this case is an alarming experience. And, as always, the fear of facts is stilled by a fascination with intellectual terms and abstractions aimed at concealing and masking the truth—the truth of facts that appear so threatening… At every attempt to share the new discoveries I made with the public, I ran up against the most determined resistance on the part of the media. It is true I can go on publishing these discoveries in my books, because my publishers are already aware of the growing interest in this topic. But there are other people who have important things to say, and they are dependent on the press. They and their readers rely on essential information not being torpedoed. All too often, however, the media buttress the wall of silence against which all those who have begun to confront their own childhood rebound.”

I have to figure out a way of how to break through the media’s very thick wall of silence. It seems the media only pays attention when there is violence and spilled blood, in our society most people feed on violence and are like vultures looking for dead bodies, especially those in the media. The media only pays attention to violence for pure sensationalism and ratings. It seems violence is the only language they understand and pay attention to, so it going to be hard to penetrate through the media’s wall of silence.

Also read the Open Letter to the Media of June 27, 2015

I got a response from the producer
“Dear Sylvie,

I apologize for the delayed to your letter. While we appreciate the offer to tell your story, as a matter of editorial policy we do not cover individual employment disputes.

Thanks for thinking of us. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

M. R.”

Below is my response to the producer’s dismissal letter:

Dear Mark,

Thank you for replying to my letter, but I don’t think you understood what I was asking you for.
I’m not looking for coverage to get back at a particular company for firing me unjustly—my message goes way beyond that.

My goal is to raise awareness of the dangers unresolved childhood trauma inflicts on our whole society. The sooner people understand that if they work through their deep repression—and the resulting compulsion to repeat the damage that was done to them by hurting others—the less likely we’ll have to live and work with sociopaths. Our world will be less consumed by the awful things that make news every day, from celebrity sexual harassment charges and ideological fighting to terrorist attacks and nuclear threats from the world’s dictators.

Alice Miller was a courageous thinker who understood what it takes to heal humanity. Her teachings healed me, and my goal is to spread her message to as many people courageous enough to listen.

Maybe what I have to offer isn’t a hard news story, but I’m hoping you can help me find an appropriate lifestyle platform at your station. Or perhaps you know some journalists who want to explore a proven way to change human behavior for the better.

Alice Miller ran into great resistance from the media, so it’s no surprise that I’m running into the same problems. All I need is one champion, who will understand the power of her incredible message of hope. If you can’t be that person for me, perhaps you can introduce me to someone who will.

I’d love to discuss this with you further at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Sylvie Shene

 Posted by at 5:21 pm  Comments Off on The Silence from the Media is Deafening
Nov 292015
 

Since writing the letter to the media below, a new wrinkle in my story unfolded last March 11, that by odd coincidence was my birthday, it came to my attention that my old boss, a branch manager for the security company that employed me, robbed a bank in Chandler and killed himself in a standoff with the local police. Here is proof I was dealing with sociopaths of the worse type! They treated me like a criminal, but look who are the criminals! And isn’t interesting that the media never revealed the bank robber’s name! I’m sure they are protecting the security company he worked for, it would not look good for a security company that one of his top managers was robbing banks on the side! Read more here

My name is Sylvie Imelda Shene and I think I have a story for you.

For nine and a half years, I worked as a gate attendant manager for a wealthy community in Scottsdale. I was a hard worker and an easygoing supervisor, and I always had a smile on my face. In fact, I got along so well with some of the residents that they often invited me to parties and hired me to watch their homes and pets whenever they went away, sometimes for six months at a time. I always handled myself with integrity and a great attitude, and it was greatly appreciated by many of the residents.

Last summer, I published a book about how to recover from childhood trauma, using my own experiences growing up poor in rural Portugal, working as a topless dancer and discovering the groundbreaking works of psychologist Alice Miller. My book, A Dance to Freedom, is part memoir and part self-help book and I’m proud to say that it’s touched many people around the world.

Working on this book was a labor of love for me. I’m not a wealthy person, but I managed to save and raise (through the crowd funding site Indiegogo) the money I needed to get the book out into the world. It took me five years and four ghostwriters to get it right, but it’s all been worth it.

Many of the residents in the community where I worked supported me in this endeavor, and I’m sincerely grateful for their love and support. Others, however — including the property manager of the community and the security company that employed me — weren’t as enthusiastic about the project. They all started treating me differently after I published my book. They couldn’t stand the fact that someone who they considered inferior — a guard gate manager — could get a real book out into the world and understand the human condition so much that their own lies and illusions were exposed.

It was this combination of jealousy and fear that led a group of sociopaths to begin a campaign of emotional harassment against me. One resident returned the book she bought from me with toilet paper in it. The property manager started a campaign to get rid of me and, with the help of some board members, created a messy package receiving procedure they hoped would frustrate me into quitting. And a new employee who wanted my job called other guards at their homes to see if they had anything bad to say against me. The sociopathic behavior ramped up almost daily, and after six months they decided to fire me without cause.

It saddens me that someone can actually lose their job for exercising their right to freedom of speech. I think what my former employer and co-workers did was a disgrace, and I want as many people to know about it as possible.

If you think you can help me get my story told, I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks so much for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Sylvie Imelda Shene

Thank you, Jekaterina. Connected stories like mine need to be told, but sadly most people in the media are only interested in disconnected stories of victims without resolution they can exploit for pure sensationalism, they are like vultures. And they feel threatened by connected stories like mine, because stories like mine makes people look in the mirror to question themselves, their own parents and people in power position standing in symbolizing their parents. AND WHO WANTS TO DO THAT? Most people are still scared little children afraid of being punished if they dare to speak the naked truth and expose the real state of affairs.

David Lynch, thank you for your comment, but the reason people in the community read my book was because they all knew I used to be a topless dancer!!! They didn’t have a problem with that!!! They thought it was cool!!! Some used to be customers and they knew me from the club! I was treated like I was a star!!! I was very well known in this town! I had a good reputation of being honest and a clean dancer. They thought they were getting a disconnected story, like many out there, but my story is connected with true liberation at the end. My book is a mirror and they didn’t like their own reflections!!! They rather destroy me than face their own painful truths. They were uncomfortable with my knowledge and my understanding of the human mind that I could see through their masks and facades. Just like Donald Warner Parker wrote in his review of my book: “What more can you give a person and this world, for that matter, than sharing your own hard earned wisdom, experience and truth through telling your own story and holding up a mirror for others to capture their own reflection in it, while at the same timeproviding the vital information of Alice Miller’s body of work to free themselves from their denial and repression and the illusions that keep it intact. It is so true what you wrote in your Chapter False Hope on page 126, “Ultimately I realized that self-help books and 12-step programs offer a false hope at best. I’m convinced that people who put their faith in these types of things — or in psychologists, psychiatrists or any other cult leader for that matter — are avoiding the real causes of their problems and are just masking their symptoms instead. The seductiveness of the quick fixes offered by traditional treatments and therapies is very powerful and even if they don’t work they offer at least temporary relief from the fear and pain of our abused younger selves.” You make it crystal clear in your book how Ed Sweet played such an important role in the development of it and how grateful you are to him. Once again my Best Wishes to you and Congratulations to you as well on your accomplishment of your passionate mission to get to people the vital and lifesaving information, guidance and companionship they need to free themselves of lies and illusions.”

You are right they rather replace me with someone that is emotionally blind and mindless shill/crony they can feel superior to and they can fool.

David Lynch: Sylvie, you got set up to fail. This is a common tactic employed by power-hungry narcissists for getting rid of employees that they no longer want around by creating a “no-win situation” where everything you do right is ignored and minimized and everything you supposedly do wrong is magnified, exaggerated and maximized. You were unlucky enough to get targeted by a lying sociopath who saw an opportunity to get rid of you once he learned from your book that you had a history of working as a stripper. Armed with that knowledge it would then have been very easy for him to rally up an army of mindless supporters by telling lies that you were also involved in prostitution/porn etc. He character-assassinates you by painting you as a deadly threat to the morality and good name of their supposedly perfect little community and all his sheeple follow along like the mindless hypocrites that they are cos they want to please Big Daddy. He gets rid of you because you are independent and he has no control over you and replaces you with a mindless shill/crony who will be loyal to him and thereby increase his power-base. The moral is always be very careful about who you share your story with because there are vicious narcs everywhere just waiting for any opportunity they can get to do harm to other people. I don’t see your story getting any media attention though because it is so depressingly common. However if you felt strongly enough about it then you could use (or misuse) social media to anonymously let the world know about what this man is really like.

Read David Lynch’s original comment here.

Also read more comments here and here

Also you might find interesting the letters I wrote to Bill Maher in the link below:

Free Speech in America is an Illusion

Also read open letter to  Open Letter to Felicia Cabrita 

 Posted by at 4:06 am  Comments Off on Open Letter to the Media
May 142015
 

There is still a widespread belief that children are incapable of feeling: either the things done to them will have no consequences at all, or those consequences will be different from what they would be in an adult. The simple reason advanced for this belief is that they are “still children.” Only a short while ago it was permissible to operate on children without giving them an anesthetic. Above all, the costume of circumcising boys and girls and subjecting them to sadistic initiation rituals is still quite normal practice in many countries. Blows inflicted on adults count as grievous bodily harm or torture; those inflicted on children go by the name of upbringing. Is this not in itself sufficient and inconvertible proof that most people have suffered serious brain damage, a “lesion” or a gaping void where we would expect to find empathy, particularly for children? Effectively, this observation is evidence in favor of the theory that all those beaten in childhood must have sustained subsequent damage to the brain, as almost all adults are more or less impervious to the violence done to children!

In my quest for an explanation of this fact, I decided in 2002 to find out at what age parents thought they might begin impressing the necessary of good behavior on their children by giving them “little” smacks and slaps. As there were no statistics available on this point, I instructed a survey institute to ask one hundred mothers from different strata of society how old their children were when they first decided it was necessary to make them behave better by administering slaps to their hands or bottoms. The responses were extremely enlightening. Eighty-nine of the women were almost unanimous in saying that children were about eighteen months old when they first inflicted physical “correction” on them. Eleven mothers were unable to recall the exact age, but not one of them said that she had never stuck her child.

These findings were published in the French journal Psychologies the same year. But they aroused no reactions of any kind, neither incredulity or indignation. My conclusion from this is that such treatment is widespread and its justification hardly ever challenged. The question it posted for me was what actually happens in the brain of a child exposed to smacking at such an early age. Through the pain inflicted may not be severe (at least we assume this to be the case), children will surely register the fact that they have been attacked by the very person they instinctively expect to protect them from attacks by others. This is bound to cause ineradicable confusion in the infant brain, which at this stage is not fully formed. Such children will inevitable wonder whether their mother is there to protect them from danger or is in fact a source of danger herself. Accordingly, they will adjust to the situation by registering violence as something normal and integrating it as such into their learning process. What remains is fear (of the next bow), distrust, and denial of the pain inflicted on them.

What also remains is something I refer to in my book The Truth Will Set You Free as mental blockages. Later, in adulthood, the combination of infant confusion and denial of suffering obviously instills reluctance or downright refusal to reflect on the problem posed by inflicting physical punishment on small children. Mental blockages (and the fear underlying them) prevent us from asking ourselves how this confusion originated in the first place. Accordingly, we fend off everything that would lead to such reflection.

As far as I know, what infants feel when they are psychically attacked and the effects that the suppression of these feelings have on life of individual adults and the whole fabric of society are issues that have never been addressed by philosophers, sociologists, or theologians. The lengths to which the evasion of these issues has gone struck me with full force recently when I was reading a superbly written and highly informative book on the subject of anger. The book describes with minute precision the disastrous effects of anger directed at scapegoats in the course of history. But nowhere in these hundred pages is there any reference to the origins of such anger. At no point does the author indicate that the anger felt by every individual person stems from the primary, justified anger of the small child at the blows inflicted on it by the parents. The immediate expression of that anger is suppressed, but at a later stage this suppressed fury will be directed at innocent victims with uninhibited savagery.

As the torture of children and the suppression and denial of that torture are so widespread, one might assume that this protective mechanism is part of human nature, that it is designed to spare us pain and hence plays a salutary role. But there are at least two facts that militate against this interpretation:

First, the fact that suppressed abuse is passed on to the next generation so that the progression of violence cannot be halted; and second, the fact that remembrance of abuse we have been subjected to causes the symptoms of illness to disappear.

The established fact that the discovery of our own childhood sufferings in the company of an empathic witness (see pages 26-27 and 51) leads to relief from physical and mental symptoms (such as depression) forces us to look for an entirely new form of therapy. Unlike the denial of these sufferings—a recourse typically advocated by therapists—it is in fact the confrontation with our own painful truth that leads to liberation.

To my mind, this realization applies equally to therapy for children. Like most of us, I believed for a long time that children are in need of illusion and denial of unpleasant facts in order to survive, simple because the painful truth would be too much for them to bear. But today I am convinced that, as in the case of adults, conscious knowledge of their own truth and the actual story of their lives will protect them from illness and the disorders. But for that they require the help of their parents.

In our day and age there are very many behaviorally disturbed children and also very many therapeutic programs designed to help them. Unfortunately, most of these are based on the pedagogical conviction that it is both desirable and feasible to induce “difficult” children to become well adapted, obedient, and docile. What we are confronted with here is a more or less successful form of behavioral therapy designed to “repair” the disturbed child. Approaches of this kind willfully ignore the fact that problem children have invariably suffered a series of injuries to their integral personality dating back to the period between birth and fourth year of life, the period in which the brain becomes fully formed. The history of those injuries is usually suppressed.

But we cannot genuinely help an injured person to heal their wounds by refusing to acknowledge them as such. Luckily, youthful organisms have better prospects of healing, and the same is true of mental lesions. Accordingly, the first step must be to look closely at those wounds, take them seriously, and refrain from denying their existence. The task in hand is not to “repair” a ‘disturbed” child but to minister to his or her wounds, something which can only be achieved by empathy and the conveyance of correct information.

Children need more than well-adjusted behavior for their emotional development and genuine maturity. They need access to their own history if they are not to fall victim to depression, eating disorders, or drug dependency at a later stage. It is my firm belief that, in the case of children with a history of physical abuse, even well-intentional parental or therapeutic efforts are doomed to fail in the long term if the humiliations these children have been subjected to are never addressed, in other words if they are left alone with their experiences. To free them from this isolation—the feeling of being the sole guardian of a guilty secret—parents would need to summon up the courage to admit their errors to their children. This would change the whole situation. In calm and collected conversation with their children they might say something like this:

“when you were small, we hit you because we were brought up that way and believed that this was the right thing to do. Only now have we realized that we should never have done it, and we want to apologize. We are truly sorry that we humiliated you and inflicted pain on you. We shall never do this again. If we should ever be tempted to break this promise, we want you to remind us of this conversation. In twenty-three such behavior is a punishable offense; it is against the law. In the last few decades people have realized that beaten children live in constant apprehension. They grow up fearing the next blow. This interferes with many of their normal functions. Later they may be unable to defend themselves when they are attacked, or they may retaliate excessively in a state of shock caused by limited fear. Anxious children find it hard to concentrate, both at home and at school. Their attention is directed less at things they have to do than at the behavior of their teachers and parents, as they can never be sure when the next blow may be inflicted on them. Adult behavior appears totally unpredictable to them, so they constantly have to be on their guard. These children lose all trust in their parents, whose task it is to protect them from attacks by others and not turn into aggressors themselves. Loss of trust in their parents makes children anxious and isolated because society takes sides with parents and not with children.”

This information divulged by parents is no revelation to the children because their bodies already know this. But the parents’ courage and their decision to look in the face will certainly have a lasting beneficial and liberating effect. Also, this behavior will act as an important model for children, demonstrating personal courage and respect for truth and the dignity of their children, rather than violence and lack of self-control. As children learn from their parents’ behavior and not from what they say, the effect of such a confession can only be beneficial. The secret the children have been left alone with has given a name and explicitly into the relationship, which from then on can be based on mutual respect instead of the authoritarian exercise of power. The unspoken injuries can heal if they are not left to fester in the unconscious. When children given this kind of information later become parents themselves, they will no longer compulsively repeat the sometimes brutal or perverted behavior of their parents, as the suppression of their injuries will not drive them to do so. The regret expressed by parents has expunged the tragic events and deprived them of their malevolent after effects.

Children beaten by their parents learn from such behavior to regard violence as a viable expedient. This can hardly be denied. Nursery-school teachers would readily corroborate this view if they allowed themselves to see things as they are. Children beaten at home will take it out on their weaker classmates or siblings. In the family they are punished for such behavior, which leaves them completely at a loss. Isn’t this what they have learned from their parents? In this way confusion sets in at an early age, later manifesting itself as a “disturbance.” These children are then sent to a therapist. But no one dares to get down to the roots of the problem, although this would seem to be such an obvious course.

Play therapy under the guidance of an empathic therapist can help children express themselves and develop trust in the framework of a protected, consistent environment. But as such therapy hardly ever addresses the early injuries inflicted on the children, they are normally left alone with these experiences. Even the most gifted therapists cannot break down this isolation if, for the sake of their parents, they hesitate to include the injuries of the early years in their considerations. But their task is not to address these injuries themselves, as the frightened children would then expect punishment from their parents. Instead, therapist should work with parents and explain to them why such exchanges could be liberating both for themselves and for their children.

Naturally, not all parents will respond to such a suggestion, even if it is recommended to them by a therapist. Many of them will scorn such an idea, accusing the therapist of naiveté, insisting that he or she has no idea of how devious children can be, and fearing that if they were foolish enough to fall in with this proposal their children would merely take advantage of them. Such reactions are anything but unexpected. Most parents see their own parents in their children. They are afraid of admitting an error because severe penalties were inflicted on them every time they made a mistake when they were children. They cling desperately to the mask of infallibility, and it is this that makes it so hard for them to respond.

But I am happy to concede that not all parents are such incorrigible know-it-alls. I believe that despite these fears there are many parents who would gladly desist from such power play, parents who would be prepared to help their children if their fear of a frank and open exchange had not prevented them from doing so. Such parents will presumably find it easier to address the “secret” that has been tormenting their children, and they will be rewarded for their efforts by witnessing the salutary effect that the revelation of the truth will have on their children. They will realize how futile the authoritarian preaching of values is in comparison with the honest confession of the errors they have made, a confession that gives adults the genuine authority that is born of credibility. Children require such authority because it helps them to find their beatings in the world. Children who are told the truth and are not brought up to tolerate lies and cruelty can develop as freely as plant whose roots have not been attacked by pests (in our case, lies)

I have tested these ideas on my friends, and I have asked parents and children for their opinions. Frequently, I found that I had been misunderstood. My listeners assumed that I was talking about an apology on the part of the parents; the children replied that it must be possible to forgive their parents, etc. But this has very little to do with what I am getting at. If parents apologize, then their children may easily get the idea that forgiveness is expected of them, that it is their job to “let the parents off the hook” and free them of their feeling of guilt.

This is not the point at issue. What I have in mind is information that confirms the bodily knowledge of the children and focuses on their subjective experience. The children themselves are the essential factor, their feeling and legitimate needs. When children realize that their parents are actively interested in the feelings aroused by their physical attacks, they will experience a major sense of relief and also something like justice. The operative factor here is not forgiveness but the removal of secrets that have a devise effect. The aim is to establish a new relationship based on mutual trust and to achieve the breakdown of the isolation from which these maltreated children have been suffering.

Acknowledgment by parents of the injuries they have inflicted on their children dismantles many barriers, and the effect is similar to a spontaneous healing process. This is something one normally expects of therapists, but they cannot achieve this without the help of parents. When parents display empathy for their children feelings and own up to their mistakes without saying “your behavior drove us to it,” then a great deal will change. The children then have something they can model themselves on. There is no attempt to evade realities, no attempt to “repair” them in line with the parents’ ideas. They have been shown that truth can be put into words and, once expressed, has the power to heal. Above all, when parents admit their feelings, their children no longer need to feel guilty for the mistakes their parents have made. Such feelings of guilt are the breeding ground for countless attacks of depression in later life.

Children who have sensed in such exchanges that their injuries and their feelings are taken seriously by their parents and that their dignity is respected are also more immune to the detrimental effects of television than those who harbor unconscious, suppressed desires for revenge on their parents and for that reason identify with scenes of violence on the screen. Politicians may envisage the prohibition of violence on television as a remedy, but this is unlikely to unlikely to have much effect.

By contrast, children who have been informed about the early injuries inflicted on them will be much more critical of brutal movies or quickly lose interest in them altogether. They may even find it easier to see through the dissociated sadism of the moviemakers than do the many adults who are unwilling to face up to the suffering of the maltreated children they once were. Such adults may be fascinated by scenes of violence without suspecting that they are being forced to consume the emotional trash peddled as “art” by filmmakers who are unaware that they are in fact parading their own histories.

This was forcibly brought home to me by an interview with a respected American film directed fond of including repulsive monsters and sadistic sex scenes in his movies. He said that modern film technology had made it possible for him to demonstrate that love has many faces and that sadistic sex is one of them. He appeared completely oblivious of where, when, and from whom he was forced to adopt this confusing philosophy as a small child, and this ignorance is quite likely to accompany him to the end of his days. His self-styled “art” enables him both to tell his own story and to erase it from his memory at the same time. Naturally, such blindness has severe social consequences.

The best time for conversation with one’s children about the injuries inflicted on them is probably between the ages of four and twelve, at all events before the onset of puberty. In adolescence the interest in this topic will probably wane. At this stage defense mechanisms militating against the remembrance of early sufferings may already be firmly cemented, particularly as adolescent children will soon have children of their own and as parents can then experience a position of strength enabling them to completely forget how helpless they once were. But there are exceptions, and in adult life there are also times when, despite considerable success in their present-day careers, some physical illness may force people to face up to the questions posed by their childhood. Almost all the letters I find in mailbox tell similar stories.  “I was not abused, but frequently beaten and tormented. Despite this, I have managed to start a family of my own. I have children, a good job, etc. But now I have started suffering from depression, pain, and insomnia, and I don’t know why. Could it have something to do with my childhood? But that was such a long time ago, and I can hardly remember anything about it.”

It is by no means rare for people looking for answers to questions like this to discover their true selves, the story of a maltreated child and the pain he or she has been forced to deny. They start to live with their own genuine feelings instead of running away from them, and frequently they are astonished at the liberation they experience by pursuing this path. They give the child they once were what their parents were never able to give to them: permission to know their own truth, to live with it, to identify with it instead of fearing it. Because they know the truth about themselves they no longer need to lie to their bodies or to pacify them with drugs, medicines, alcohol, or ingenious theories. In this way they save the energy they once had invest in fleeing from themselves.

THE LATER CHAPTERS of this book are made up of texts I have devoted over the last few years to the subject of inner liberation (through the reawakening of emotions such as fear, anger, and grief) and the issues connected with therapy. Some of them have already been published on my Web site. They are not chronological but are grouped according to the subjects they address, thus making it easier for readers to find their way around.

They consist of articles, interviews, and responses to readers’ letters, ending with a narrative describing the liberation of a mother from the prison of her childhood and the constraints of social convention.

As the collection contains various articles designed as independent entities rather than parts of a book, the reader will come across a number of repetitions that I could not remove without jeopardizing the argumentation of the article in question. In the context of the present compilation, this means that some issues are addressed on variety of different occasions. This was necessary to preserve the internal logic of the respective text.

Preface of the book Free from Lies by Alice Miller

www.alice-miller.com

 Posted by at 7:00 pm  Comments Off on Telling Children the Truth
Jan 082015
 

The Roots of Violence

12 points

For some years now, there has been proof that the devastating effects of the traumatization of children take their inevitable toll on society – a fact that we are still forbidden to recognize. This knowledge concerns every single one of us and – if disseminated widely enough – should lead to fundamental changes in society; above all, to a halt in the blind escalation of violence. The following points are intended to amplify my meaning:

  1. All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self-protection.
  2. For their development, children need the respect and protection of adults who take them seriously, love them, and honestly help them to become oriented in the world.
  3. When these vital needs are frustrated and children are, instead, abused for the sake of adults’ needs by being exploited, beaten, punished, taken advantage of, manipulated, neglected, or deceived without the intervention of any witness, then their integrity will be lastingly impaired.
  4. The normal reactions to such injury should be anger and pain. Since children in this hurtful kind of environment are forbidden to express their anger, however, and since it would be unbearable to experience their pain all alone, they are compelled to suppress their feelings, repress all memory of the trauma, and idealize those guilty of the abuse. Later they will have no memory of what was done to them.
  5. Disassociated from the original cause, their feelings of anger, helplessness, despair, longing, anxiety, and pain will find expression in destructive acts against others (criminal behavior, mass murder) or against themselves (drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, psychic disorders, suicide).
  6. If these people become parents, they will then often direct acts of revenge for their mistreatment in childhood against their own children, whom they use as scapegoats. Child abuse is still sanctioned – indeed, held in high regard – in our society as long as it is defined as child-rearing. It is a tragic fact that parents beat their children in order to escape the emotions stemming from how they were treated by their own parents.
  7. If mistreated children are not to become criminals or mentally ill, it is essential that at least once in their life they come in contact with a person who knows without any doubt that the environment, not the helpless, battered child, is at fault. In this regard, knowledge or ignorance on the part of society can be instrumental in either saving or destroying a life. Here lies the great opportunity for relatives, social workers, therapists, teachers, doctors, psychiatrists, officials, and nurses to support the child and to believe her or him.
  8. Till now, society has protected the adult and blamed the victim. It has been abetted in its blindness by theories, still in keeping with the pedagogical principles of our great-grandparents, according to which children are viewed as crafty creatures, dominated by wicked drives, who invent stories and attack their innocent parents or desire them sexually. In reality, children tend to blame themselves for their parents’ cruelty and to absolve the parents, whom they invariably love, of all responsibility.
  9. For some years now, it has been possible to prove, through new therapeutic methods, that repressed traumatic experiences of childhood are stored up in the body and, though unconscious, exert an influence even in adulthood. In addition, electronic testing of the fetus has revealed a fact previously unknown to most adults-that a child responds to and learns both tenderness and cruelty from the very beginning.
  10. In the light of this new knowledge, even the most absurd behavior reveals its formerly hidden logic once the traumatic experiences of childhood need no longer remain shrouded in darkness.
  11. Our sensitization to the cruelty with which children are treated, until now commonly denied, and to the consequences of such treatment will as a matter of course bring to an end the perpetuation of violence from generation to generation.
  12. People whose integrity bas not been damaged in childhood, who were protected, respected, and treated with honesty by their parents, will be – both in their youth and in adulthood – intelligent, responsive, empathic, and highly sensitive. They will take pleasure in life and will not feel any need to kill or even hurt others or themselves. They will use their power to defend themselves, not to attack others. They will not be able to do otherwise than respect and protect those weaker than themselves, including their children, because this is what they have learned from their own experience, and because it is this knowledge (and not the experience of cruelty) that has been stored up inside them from the beginning. It will be inconceivable to such people that earlier generations had to build up a gigantic war industry in order to feel comfortable and safe in this world. Since it will not be their unconscious drive in life to ward off intimidation experienced at a very early age, they will be able to deal with attempts at intimidation in their adult life more rationally and more creatively. Alice Miller

 Posted by at 8:53 pm  Comments Off on The Roots of Violence 12 points
Jan 082015
 

The misled brain and the banned emotions

The Facts:

1. The development of the human brain is use-dependent. The brain develops its structure in the first four years of life, depending on the experiences the environment offers the child. The brain of a child who has mostly loving experiences will develop differently from the brain of a child who has been treated cruelly.

2. Almost all children on our planet are beaten in the first years of their lives. They learn from the start violence, and this lesson is wired into their developing brains. No child is ever born violent. Violence is NOT genetic, it exists because beaten children use, in their adult lives, the lesson that their brains have learned.

3. As beaten children are not allowed to defend themselves, they must suppress their anger and rage against their parents who have humiliated them, killed their inborn empathy, and insulted their dignity. They will take out this rage later, as adults, on scapegoats, mostly on their own children. Deprived of empathy, some of them will direct their anger against themselves (in eating disorders, drug addiction, depression etc.), or against other adults (in wars, terrorism, delinquency etc.)

Questions and Answers:

Q: Parents beat their children without a second thought, to make them obedient. Nobody, except a very small minority, protests against this dangerous habit. Why is the logical sequence (from being a misled victim to becoming a misleading perpetrator) totally ignored world-wide? Why have even the Popes, responsible for the moral behaviour of many millions of believers, until now never informed them that beating children is a crime?

A: Because almost ALL of us were beaten, and we had to learn very early that these cruel acts were normal, harmless, and even good for us. Nobody ever told us that they were crimes against humanity. The wrong, immoral, and absurd lesson was wired into our developing brains, and this explains the emotional blindness governing our world.

Q: Can we free ourselves from the emotional blindness we developed in childhood?

A: We can – at least to some degree – liberate ourselves from this blindness by daring to feel our repressed emotions, including our fear and forbidden rage against our parents who had often scared us to death for periods of many years, which should have been the most beautiful years of our lives. We can’t retrieve those years. But thanks to facing our truth we can transform ourselves from the children who still live in us full of fear and denial into responsible, well informed adults who regained their empathy, so early stolen from them. By becoming feeling persons we can no longer deny that beating children is a criminal act that should be forbidden on the whole planet.

Conclusion:

Caring for the emotional needs of our children means more than giving them a happy childhood. It means to enable the brains of the future adults to function in a healthy, rational way, free from perversion and madness. Being forced to learn in childhood that hitting children is a blessing for them is a most absurd, confusing lesson, one with the most dangerous consequences: This lesson as such, together with being cut off from the true emotions, creates the roots of violence. Alice Miller

 Posted by at 8:34 pm  Comments Off on The Roots of Violence are NOT Unknown