the avoided rage
Monday October 19, 2009
Dear Alice Miller,
Thank you very much for your prompt and insightful response to my letter. When I read it, I knew you were right about the need for me to “allow myself to feel this rage and to FULLY recognize that it is indeed understandable and justified.” But my next thought was: how do I gain access to those repressed feelings? And I was going to ask you that very question. Before I went to write you this letter, I began discussing your response to my letter with my wife, who I mentioned has been my “enlightened witness,” as I also try to be for her. In the course of our conversation–which included thoughts about my relations with my parents and brothers in childhood and current symptoms and what the link might be between the symptoms and repressed childhood emotions–I mentioned to my wife that I felt a strange sensation of emotion welling up in me. As we continued to talk, the sensation finally surfaced in a kind of embarrassed laughter and then tears and a feeling of sadness. Although I was not able to identify a clear connection to a specific childhood experience, it seemed that for the first time I had felt some of the powerful emotions that have been repressed since I was a child. Your letter was a great help in keeping me pointed in the right direction. My intention is to keep looking in that direction–in my conversations with my wife and in my efforts to understand my dreams and symptoms–with more confidence. And my hope is that as these conscious efforts to confront my childhood feelings about my parents continue, my adult self will, more and more, know that I am ready to welcome and face my repressed childhood feelings, enabling me to become conscious of those repressed feelings.
AM: Yes, feeling the suppressed rage and understanding where and why it came from will open you the doors you were looking for in your long analyses.