Thursday, August 19, 2010

Processing Emotional Pain Brings Relief to the Body

From Alice Miller's

"The Body Never Lies":

Children have no choice.  They must repress their true feelings if they have no "helping witness" to turn to and are helplessly exposed to their persecutors.

Later, as adults lucky enough to encounter an "enlightened witness," they do have a choice.  Then they can admit the truth, they can stop pitying and "understanding" their persecutors, stop trying to feel their unsustainable, dissociated emotions, and roundly denounce the things that have been done to them.

This step brings immense relief for the body.  It no longer has to forcibly remind the adult self of the tragic history it went through as a child.  Once the adult self has decided to find out the whole truth about itself, the body feels understood, respected, and protected.   (pg 27)

Excerpt from
Alice Miller
The Body Never Lies:  The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting
WW Norton, New York, NY (2004)