How is Emotional Blindness Created?
- The newborn child is always innocent.
- Each child needs among other things: care, protection, security, warmth, skin contact, touching, caressing, and tenderness.
- These needs are seldom sufficiently fulfilled; in fact, they are often exploited by adults for their own ends (trauma of child abuse).
- Child abuse has lifelong effects.
- Society takes the side of the adult and blames the child for what has been done to him or her.
- The victimization of the child has historically been denied and is still being denied, even today.
- This denial has made it possible for society to ignore the devastating effects of the victimization of the child for such a long time.
- The child, when betrayed by society, has no choice but to repress the trauma and to idealize the abuser.
- Repression leads to neuroses, psychoses, psychosomatic disorders, and delinquency.
- In neuroses, the child’s needs are repressed and/or denied; instead, feelings of guilt are experienced.
- In psychoses, the mistreatment is transformed into a disguised illusory version (madness).
- In psychosomatic disorders, the pain of mistreatment is felt but the actual origins are concealed.
- In delinquency, the confusion, seduction, and mistreatment of childhood are acted out again and again.
- The therapeutic process can be successful only if it is based on uncovering the truth about the patient’s childhood instead of denying that reality.
- The psychoanalytic theory of “infantile sexuality” actually protects the parent and reinforces society’s blindness.
- Fantasies always serve to conceal or minimize unbearable childhood reality for the sake of the child’s survival; therefore, the so-called invented trauma is a less harmful version of the real, repressed one.
- The fantasies expressed in literature, art, fairy tales, and dreams often unconsciously convey early childhood experiences in a symbolic way.
- This symbolic testimony is tolerated in our culture thanks to society’s chronic ignorance of the truth concerning childhood; if the import of these fantasies were understood, they would be rejected.
- A past crime cannot be undone by our understanding of the perpetrator’s blindness and unfulfilled needs.
- New crimes, however, can be prevented, if the victims begin to see and be aware of what has been done to them.
- Therefore, the reports of victims will be able to bring about more awareness, consciousness, and sense of responsibility in society at large.
© 2015 Alice Miller