Connected to myself
Thursday July 26, 2007
Alice Miller, I love you. The minute I read your reply I felt a wave of joy flowing through my body. During the day that passed, I could feel the rage building up inside, and it felt so good; after a long time, I felt connected to myself, I feel I am coming back to life. It amazes me every time: the effect of your insight is immediate, it can be felt in a matter of hours. I wrote a letter to my brother, confronting him with what he has done to me and with my feelings. Surprisingly, I could suddenly answer his questions about our parents without difficulty, so I wrote to him about that as well. Re-reading my letter after I sent it, I realize that it was still too gentle – I still protected him somewhat from my rage; but it is still a step forward for me.
Alice, I am still depressed, two years after I started to face the reality of my childhood and to feel my pain and anger. My father died 7 months ago after two years he suffered from cancer and dementia (which I KNOW were a result of his own terrible childhood). It is still hard for me to be angry at him, and I have dreams of him, sick and miserable. My sister, who stands on my side when it concerns my mother and has been an enlightened witness for me, is very ambivalent when it comes to my father. She never denies what I feel or my reality, and she tries to empathize with my anger toward my father, but she can’t really do so, because she herself has only intellectual insight to her own history with my father. My sister also abused me but she can admit it and apologize for it. My relationship with her is ambivalent; she is the person that supported me most of all people, but this makes it hard for me to feel the rage toward her.
I think maybe this depression of mine reflects the fact I could only face the truth about my mother; in fact, I can now discuss my childhood with my mother, who tries to understand what she has done (she started psychotherapy after I confronted her with her neglect and abuse 2 years ago). The issue with my father is still unresolved, like the issue with my siblings. Although I feel better than in the past, I still rarely get out of my house, I don’t work and I feel empty and weak most of the time. I try not to be hard on myself since I am still grieving over my father, but I must admit I feel stuck, and I can’t find a therapist that will really help. Two therapists I went to caused me damage and confused me. There are almost no primal therapists in Israel, and none of them has any qualification in matters of trauma and abuse. I try to work it out by myself, with the help of friends. I hope things will get better for me gradually, but the process is more difficult than I expected and I’m afraid I’ll never get out of this depression. There are days like today when I am more optimistic.
Alice, thank you again for your help and support. Without it, I would be completely lost.
AM: Your optimistic reaction to my answer shows your healthy potential and also what your depression tries to tell you: “You are protecting your family from your rage so you can feel generous and can hope to be eventually loved by them for your generosity”. This “strategy” is dictated by the agonizing fear of the small boy, fully dependent on his parents and siblings. But now, you are no longer emotionally dependent on them if you don’t want to. Once you have realized this you CAN (and you have the right to) refuse playing the role of an easy scapegoat, the role they have imposed upon you when you were totally defenseless. Then the depression will leave you for good, you will be free to show your true feelings without needing to protect anybody from them. Because your feelings of rage and contempt are justified after all, they should NO LONGER neither POISON your body nor confuse your mind.