Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Man during this whole fire ordeal I felt like drinking a few times. I thought the drinking desires had slowly diminished because of my time in the program. It takes something like this to totally get the thoughts of escaping back to in my mind. Wow, I need to pick up a meeting badly. I will make an effort to get to one tomorrow.


dAAve said...

Thanks for sharing. Try to remain vigilant about H.A.L.T.

MICKY said...

By Alice Miller
Tuesday June 01, 1999

As long as they are loved, children can recover from abuse and even the horror of war.

June 4, 1999 | We do not arrive in this world as a clean slate. Every new baby comes with a history of its own, the history of the nine months between conception and birth. In addition, children have the genetic blueprint they inherit from their parents. These factors may help determine what kind of a temperament a child will have, what inclinations, gifts and predispositions.
But character depends crucially upon whether a person is given love, protection, tenderness and understanding or exposed to rejection, coldness, indifference and cruelty in the early formative years. The stimulus indispensable for developing the capacity for empathy, say, is the experience of loving care. In the absence of such care, when a child is forced to grow up neglected, emotionally starved and subjected to physical abuse, he or she will forfeit this innate capacity. While I ascribe immense significance to the experiences of infants in the first days, weeks and months of their lives to explain their later behavior, I do not wish to assert that later influences are completely ineffectual. Rather, if a traumatized or neglected child can later come to know what I call an "enlightened" or "knowing witness," he or she can deal positively with the effects of that childhood trauma.
We know today that the brain we are born with is not the finished product it was once thought to be. The structuring of the brain depends very much on the experiences of the first hours, days and weeks of a person's life. In the last few years, scientific studies led by neurologist and child psychiatrist Dr. Bruce D. Perry have further established that traumatized and neglected children display severe lesions affecting up to 30 percent of those areas of the brain that control our emotions. Severe traumas inflicted on infants lead to an increase in the release of stress hormones that destroy the existing, newly formed neurons and their interconnections.
These latest revelations about the human brain might have been expected to bring about a radical change in our thinking about children and the way we treat them. But old habits die hard. Many people now believe that it takes at least two generations for young parents to free themselves of the burden of inherited "wisdom" and stop beating their own children, two generations until it has become sheerly impossible to give one's child a slap "inadvertently," two generations before the weight of newly acquired knowledge gets in the way of the hand raised to deal the "unthinking" blow.
We are often confronted with the belief that the effects of corporal punishment are salutary rather than detrimental. But the only thing beaten children learn is to fear their parents, not to drive carefully or stay out of trouble. They will also feel guilty and learn to play down their own pain. Being subjected to physical attacks they are defenseless to fend off merely instills in children a "gut" conviction that they obviously merit neither protection nor respect. This false message is then stored in the children's bodies as information and will influence their view of the world and their later attitude toward their own children. Such children will be unable to defend their right to human dignity, unable to recognize physical pain as a danger signal and act accordingly. Even their immune system may be affected.
In the absence of other persons to model their behavior on -- enlightened or knowing witnesses -- these children will see the language of violence and hypocrisy as the only really effective means of communication. Naturally enough, they will avail themselves of that language themselves when they grow up because adults normally will elect to keep already-suppressed feelings of powerlessness in a state of suppression.
The trauma experienced by Kosovar children can be overcome if these children receive the proper attention of their parents, or, in the absence of parents, from another adult. These children need to know that they are loved and that someone understands their fears. War -- a trauma that is shared by an entire community -- doesn't drive a child to destructiveness if he can share his feelings with somebody. What makes a person dangerous in later life is the isolation of pain and fear, the failure of parents or other caregivers to see and understand how badly a child feels. With the Kosovar children, the parents perfectly understand the distress of their children and can try to help them because they are experiencing the same pain themselves. In fact, the whole world seems to be eager to help; everybody is aware of the traumas. On the other hand, the isolation of an infant in pain within a family can leave traces in the brain that are linked to violent or aggressive behavior later.
Protection and respect for the needs of a child are surely things we ought to be able to take for granted. But this is far from being the case. We live in a world peopled by individuals who have grown up deprived of their rights, deprived of respect. As adults they then attempt to regain those rights by force (blackmail, threats, the use of weapons). Society seems to regard hatred as innate, that is to say, God-given. It is a society that refuses to see that we keep on producing hatred by inculcating models of violence into our children, behavior patterns that can prove stronger than anything they may learn at a later stage.
The United Nations has been called upon to declare the years 2000-2010 the decade for the culture of nonviolence. This cannot be achieved by fine words alone. We need to set an example for our children -- those who will decide what the next generation will look like -- and show them that coexistence and communication without violence are actually possible. I believe there are a great number of parents who are already aware of the far-reaching implications of their own behavior. It is realistic to hope that this knowledge will lead to an increase in the number of knowing witnesses and hence to a swift improvement in the treatment of children everywhere.
Peace Be With You

Alcoholic Brain said...

Wow the previous comment is huge-mongous. Anyway, hang in there and hit a meeting. You're in my prayers...

MICKY said...

Dear Alcoholic Brain
Hear LUMPY, tell the world's longest DRUNK-A-LOG!

I know how difficult it is to find the right therapist but I still believe that it is possible if you know what you need. So I try to answer here to some questions that may encourage you to check the attitude of the candidate for your therapist but please take this text as a draft and don't hesitate to make comments or additions. (I decided to speak on the therapist as a "she" but of course both genders are here meant.)

1. What do I need to overcome my plight? You need an empathic, honest person who would help you to take seriously the knowledge of your body, a person who already succeeded to do the same for herself because she had the chance to have found this kind of help that you are looking for.
2. How can I know if a therapist is this kind of person?
By asking many questions.
3. This idea scares me. Why don't I dare to ask questions?
As a child you were probably punished for asking questions because they might have shaken your parents' position of power. Your questions were often ignored or you were given lies instead of true answers. This was very painful. Now, you are afraid that this might happen again. It CAN happen that you will not be understood or that your questions trigger the fears and defences of a therapist but you are no longer the helpless child without any options. You can leave and look for another therapist. The child could not leave, so it tried to change its parents, some people do it (symbolically) their whole life. But as an adult you have options. You can, with the support of the forum, recognize the lies, the poisonous pedagogy and the defences. You must only take seriously what you hear, not deny your uneasiness, and not hope that you will be able to change this person (the parent) later. You will not. She will need therapy herself, and this shouldn't be your job as long as YOU pay the honorary.
4. I feel guilty because of my mistrust. If I can't trust I will never find what is good for me.
Your mistrust has a history and your need for SPECIAL understanding too. Your caregiver didn't deserve your trust and the child felt this very strongly because its body knew the truth. It couldn't develop trust. Now, trust your body signals, it is the silenced child who is speaking, who starts to talk and needs your truthfulness. If you don't feel well with a person, take your feelings seriously, don't push them away, try to understand these feelings. Once you feel really, deeply understood by someone your body will let you know this immediately and very clearly, it will be relaxed without any special exercises.
5. What do I risk by asking questions from the beginning? Nothing. You can only win. If the answer is hostile or very incomplete or defensive you can gain much money and time by leaving. On the other hand, if the answer you got is satisfying you will feel encouraged to ask more. And this is what you should do.
6. Which kind of questions am I allowed to ask?
Whatever you need to know. But above all don't forget to ask the candidate for your therapist about her childhood and her experiences during her training. Where did she got her training, what was helpful to her, what was not? How does she feel about the defeats, does she have the freedom to see what was wrong or does she protect people who damaged her? Does she minimize the damage? Was she beaten as a child? How does she value this experience? Is she really aware of its consequences on her later life or is she denying its importance? Does she avoid the confrontation with her own pain? In the last case she will do everything to silence you, not always visibly.
7. Is it a good sign if she tells me that she has read Alice Miller's Drama ?
It doesn't say anything. Ask you how she FELT about For Your Own Good and the other books, ask also about her critics. What helped her personally, what didn't? What is in her opinion the main healing factor? Is she capable of deep feelings or does she prefer an intellectual analysis to keep distance? This you may even find with primal therapists who make you feel the helpless child for years and years so that they can "help" you but without being themselves able to feel on a deeper level. Then you may end up in a dependence on them and on your feelings of a helpless, unchangeable rage against your parents without being able to free yourself for what YOU really need. A good therapist must help you to find and fulfil YOUR OWN needs, neglected for such a long time, needs for free expression, for being understood, respected and taken seriously. When you begin to look for fulfilment and protect the child the rage and hatred will leave you, they will fade. They are alarm signals of your repetition of parental neglect and contempt, they have not the therapeutic quality we are so often told they have.
8. Am I not intrusive when I ask so many questions?
Not at all. You have the right to be sufficiently informed and she must have the courage, the awareness and the honesty to answer you in a proper way. Otherwise she is not the right person for you.
9. With this position, am I then looking for an ideal that doesn't exist?
I don't think so. You see on the forum that honesty, awareness, compassion, courage, and openness DO EXIST. Why should these qualities not be expected from your therapist?
Peace Be With You

JJ said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you my friend.

Syd said...

Hang in there Lash. Hope that you are able to get back home and that the fires will subside near you. I've been watching the whole thing on the news.