The wall of silence in our society is very hard to break through, especially in the media!
In the year 2003, I traveled to Portugal and tried to contact the media there. I wanted to go public with my experiences and to bring awareness about all forms of child abuse, dyslexia, and the untreated professional. I never got a response. Portugal is a very secretive country, and the media is afraid to talk about secrets, especially if it involves a famous doctor. The media in Portugal protects people in power. As Alice Miller in her book Breaking Down the Walls of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth says: “… 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 So in order not to have to call their own parents into question for a single moment, they cling to outdated, destructive opinions.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.”
In 1998 through 2000 I tried to help by volunteering at the Perryville Women’s Prison in Goodyear, AZ, visiting inmates in prison for alcohol and drug violations. As Alice Miller said in her book The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self, “Every criminal was humiliated, neglected, or abused in childhood, but few of them can admit to it.”
I have also been a sponsor for a Twelve Step meeting for teens. I was forced to quit because of the other sponsor, who was very controlling and domineering. Being with this sponsor was just like being with my family of origin. I was there really trying to be helpful to the teens.
The other sponsor had a hidden agenda, which seemed to be all about wanting to make herself look good. She had also a teen daughter who went to these meetings. She was there to see what her daughter had to say and what she would share at the meetings. Interestingly enough, her daughter would only share in the meetings if her mother for some reason could not attend. One of the reasons for two sponsors was in case one sponsor couldn’t attend, the teens would still have a meeting.
One day after I shared some of my experiences about being a teen, a teen in the group identified with me and started to open up. The other sponsor interrupted him because he broke the rule that, we were supposed to go around and wait for our turn to share, I said, “its okay, let him share,” but she insisted on following the rules. I let it go. Of course, when the turn came for him to be able to share, he passed.
After the meeting I talked to the other sponsor and let her know that by enforcing the rules by interrupting the teen when he was sharing, she blocked that teen’s expression of his feelings, only resulting in him being more repressed. I explained that rules are created to help create order when there is chaos and that is important to know when it’s okay and even important to break the rules. Otherwise, the rules created to help us will keep us, prisoners. I also told her that probably we should look for another sponsor to take her place because the Twelve Steps Program suggests that mother and daughter should not attend the same meeting. She said that a Twelve Steps meeting is just a program of suggestions.
At this, I pointed out that when it’s convenient to her, she says it’s a program of suggestions; but when she wants to be controlling, she calls it rules. The next meeting she came with some of her friends from the program to give her support against me. I felt alone like I used to feel in my family of origin.
The next meeting I let everyone know that because of personal reasons I no longer was going to be a Twelve Steps teen sponsor. I also communicated that if any teen wanted to talk to me they could call me at home. Some of them did call and told me the only reason they were going to our meeting was because of me and said they no longer were going to the meeting. I heard soon after I left, the meeting died.
That’s the last time I went to Twelve Steps meetings. The Twelve Steps refuse to look at the real causes, putting only focus in changing people behavior and what I have witnessed in Twelve Steps meetings is that People change one addiction for another. Just as C.G. JUNG and ALICE MILLER says:
“Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.” – C.G. JUNG
“Problems cannot be solved with words, but only through experience, not merely corrective experience, but through a reliving of early fear (sadness, anger).” – ALICE MILLER
This article by Dr. Alice Miller “The Longest Journey” articulates very well the traps of Spirituality/Religion/Morality. My experience it has been the same as Dr. Alice Miller’s, it has been a very long Journey, it has taken me also all of my life to finally free myself of all the crutches and get two healthy legs to stand on.
If we want to free ourselves we have to face, acknowledge, articulate and feel our painful truth.