Sorry this is a bit of a rant and I am sure there are some good psychiatrists out there who do not only medicate people, and yet I think it is not right for someone to dictate our reality and if they are not looking into helping us to work with the challenging chemistry and brain changes that occur due to Complex PTSD or early attachment wounding disorder, even just naming dis-orders or responses to trauma as such, and not looking deeper it really upsets me.
Only we live our history but sadly the history of childhood can be obscured.. Alice Miller has written extensively on this subject and her book The Drama of Being A Child clearly articulates the struggle of a sensitive child to be loved, valued, noticed, helped and recognised by parents often oblivious as they had to shut down so much of themselves. Some kids become abusers or bullies out of this situation, they continue pass the wounding down.. Others internalise it as a bad me or set up an inner persecutor/protector, they isolate to survive and that is the indication THAT NO ONE WAS THERE FOR THEM and that THEY FELT UNSAFE BEING THEIR TRUE SELVES. Even worse is when they get told by the parents its their fault, : “if you were not such a naughty child, I would not have to ; scream/hit you/send you to your room/abuse you.” Parents who do this though only show the limits of their resources to help their kids and a comprehensive failure of empathy.. And if we were not showing love even when acting out of true needs for understanding and connection then we often do not learn how to show it to ourselves. Alice Miller expresses it thus:
..a little reflection soon shows how inconceivable it is really to love others (not merely to need them), if one cannot love oneself as one really is. And how could a person do that if, from the very beginning, he has had no chance to experience his true feelings and to learn to know himself?…How can you love something you do not know, something that has never been loved?
Its taken a long time for the impact of childhood trauma, abuse and neglect to be recognised and come out of hiding and even longer for many in the psychiatric community to show necessary empathy in the case of so called “borderline” or “bi polar” conditions. The former is notorious for misunderstanding (and many an aborted therapy) arising as it does out of a child being consistently invalidated and then shamed or gaslighted for what they experience and then further blamed by trying to call attention to the distress by such intense means as rages, cutting, addiction, self harm and suicide. In many ways the impulse to suicide is still shamed and not fully understood in our society. A child left alone in her mind and body with big feelings (for a child all feelings are huge) and given no help to understand and process (and get angry or sad) about what she endures only ends up forming wrong conclusions and may turn against the Self in shame, fear and self hatred…..
Childhood Emotional Neglect expert Jonice Webb sites suicidal feelings as one of the primary symptoms of emotional neglect. Parents of such kids may be good parents in some ways but for the sensitive child they are not attentive enough and so that child suffers more in the family.
I understand the need for medication to take the edge off some of the anxiety which can be unbearable but the tangled deeply hidden legacy of childhood trauma can be intense and intensely buried. An attempt should be at least made to understand what a person has suffered if they present with intense symptoms or try to take their life. Many empathic people suffer more too as we take on so easily the buried emotions of those in the family who surround us and then when we react it may seem that we are the ‘problem’ but its not that we are just acting as a release valve or a conductor or conduit of buried energies that belong to the family and may have deep roots leading into the multi-generational past. This is what I endured.. Trauma is multi-generational. As Mark Wolynn says and even titled his book on ancestral healing IT DID NOT START WITH YOU so why are we blamed/do we blame ourselves or each other? Yes parents do the wrong thing BECAUSE THEY KNOW NO BETTER WAY.. Yes we may have to protect ourselves from their invalidation and cutting us down a long way along the path, but they are the ones suffering too, even as they chose to turn a blind eye. But for the ‘experts’ they should be trying their level best to help those coming to them in distress, and not taking kick backs from pharmaceutical companies that profit in the multi-billions from the hidden trauma of innocent victims. That said we must take back our power.. the psychiatrist cannot do that for us if we continue to choose numbing over a real encounter with our body and soul’s buried truth.