A need for power and control…
September 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
“The childhood years were marked by the mother’s emotional absence and – more or less – imagined illnesses.
‘If you grow up all the time convinced that your mother is going to die, that’s no good start of life. She used her illnesses as a kind of control mechanism. It was a way for her to get her will through. And, yes, it worked.'”
No wonder, threatening the child that if you aren’t obedient maybe I will die and disappear. This man came from a working class family, thus relatively poor conditions, and worked himself up. He has had problems with drinking too much during periods.
When he was around 60 he got a stroke and has to medicate with “a lot of pills” as he says.
Another reflection from my side: If you don’t have power as a woman in the society, and/or just feel that you have no power, because of your early history; where can you take this out? And those who don’t have anybody to fill this need through, how are they coping? This is no excuse, only an explanation.
And men feeling they have no power, what do they do?
But I think Alice Miller is right: you will not succeed with trying to settle accounts with your parent(s) unless they are willing to confront their own history to a certain degree. Such disputes will get very small results.
It’s a waste of energy and time to try doing this I think. Instead you should try to do this work somewhere else, preferably with the help of somebody that isn’t in denial, and who has no (or very, very small) needs to protect her/his own parents.And who is prepared to question her/himself.
We would all benefit if more people did this work, were capable of doing it.
At last I think therapists like Ingeborg Bosch and Jean Jenson for instance are right: the powerlessness you feel now as an adult can well be false even if the feeling is very real. And nobody is helped by other people moralizing over your inabilities dealing with your problems or pulling yourself together. People moralizing probably suffer from empathy deficit rooted in THEIR childhood experiences, which THEY should deal with and by this they would be more capable of really helping other people who are in need of help.
I react very strongly at people asserting (more or less overtly) that…
“I’ve made it [and you ought to too]!”
If they had really dealt with their own stuff they would understand the difficulties and not blow their own trumpet. Are they making it because the conditions in which they live (and maye have been living) actually allow them to “make it”, despite their history? I can’t help but wonder ironically.