The stored rage

Stockholm syndrome begins at home. — Where epics fail by yahia lab

When one learns to swallow horror at an early age, the seed of repressed rage grows within the little body. Both physical and psychological symptoms would possibly appear at later stage of life, where one might get confused about the origin of the problem.

Alice Miller’s always challenging the authority. In terms of psychoanalysis, she challenges Freud’s analysis where he attributes patients’ painful memories to their fantasy, sex drive, rather than something that might really happened. Without an Enlightened Witness (Alice Miller’s words), the patient might get confused even more, dare not to confirm the real pain that his or her body tried to tell. Alice Miller wrote about Virginia Woolf to elaborate her case in Body Never Lies Chapter “The Betrayal of Memory Virginia Woolf” —

“DeSalvo assumed that Freud’s writings plunged Woolf into total confusion. On the one hand, she knew exactly what had happened; on the other, she wished, like almost all victims of sexual abuse, that it had never been the case. Finally she gladly accepted Freud’s theories and sacrificed her memories in the service of this denial. She began to idealize her parents even more and to describe her whole family in a roseate light, something she had never done before. After conceding that Freud was right, she became uncertain of herself, and confused, and she finally believed herself to be insane.”

Not only Woolf, Alice Miller also delved into Proust’s suffocating mother, the denied love for Yukio Mashima, Kafka, Nietzsche etc., these famous writers, philosophers or whatever achievers all have fallen into the same rabbit hole — the awe of their parents. There is nothing wrong with the awe of parents, however, it should not be based on repressed feelings, especially rage under injustice, cruel treatment to children.

In her From Rage to Courage — a collection of readers’ letters, Alice Miller goes on challenge authorities, such as religion, authoritarian figures in psychoanalysis and alike. Her analysis and reasoning have always been enlightening and inspiring. People can be running away from something all their lives, at the same time, living in denial of the force that chased us away. Reading Alice Miller helps me to realise the cause, ease the pain, and look at myself.

Nations are like families, too, in that if we felt emotionally safe and had space to grow, we’d never have run away in the first place. — Where epics fail by yahia lababidi

Alice Miller’s books are written in a fashion like a therapist who would like to take her time to listen to the patient, to believe what the patient remembers, tells and struggles with, however, with tremendous support to help the patient to feel the pain, trace the cause, let go of the illusion, and move on. She never persuades patients to get over their painful experience with overrated “forgiveness”, never reasoning or speaking from the perspective of the authoritarian figures, usually parents in early stage of our lives. Blinded belief to authority has been ingrained since the creation of religion, the awe of every ancestors’ parents. however, the pain and scars that are left in their children’s bodies will carry on when not treated, to the next generation, and it is wrong. Life certainly contains endless tragedies, but if feel ourselves and face the authorities could change just a little bit, it could be worth it.

Those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it—hence, the tragedy of families. –where epics fail by yahia lababidi