Whether I haven’t felt the emotions that were required, at the time where the agression was inflicted on my nervous system during my teenage years, is a question that remains not clearly answered.
A child cannot not love parents that have loved them, whatever the psychological violence and toxic chaos in the family.
So I haven’t felt the anger that would probably have extricated me out of the emotional mess of a situation for which I was in no way responsible…
With the following obvious consequences :
– an extreme and numbed sensitivity, accompanied by shame, a sense of deep inadequacy and an erratical anger, more self-agressive than not, provoked too easily and much too violent in the personal affective field, for as long as a decade after those teenage years.
– a powerlessness to close properly a conflictual event without extreme measures,
– a deeply ingrained sadness and dark distrust in any natural entitlement to a happy life – underlying eternal hidden depression ?
– the sacrifice of deep needs on the altar of eternal fears in a masochistic commission.
Not a hardliner in fact as has always remained the hope to make a happy life.
I agree that the borderline tendancies that result from childhood wounds can be treated, especially when they were experienced at a late period of childhood. Rather than treated : curbed, tamed, put to sleep, forgotten etc by a continuous series of strokes of luck or rewards. I consider myself to have been lucky. Everyone is lucky at times whether he wants it or not.
As I understand one of Dalaï Lama’s suggestion, a positive emotion to counter the negative one, like using an antidote to neutralize the poison. Positive emotions from positive events or well thought out actions.
I believe that reasoning skills (and surely other skills as well) also help to understand the dark mecanisms and out of the mud of these child night terrors. Practicing cognitive behavioral therapy without knowing it…
Can the path from there on be made practical ? Should we be able to manage better and better situations of this sort from then on ? I don’t believe so. My humble experience has showed me that I would ever react to such situations with overwhelming emotions, tamed externally but burning inside. Encounters with the cluster B type will always tend to activate an oversized and self-detrimental defense system, even if in an reduced way.
Nobody stays forever the same with a petrified mind, safe the pathological ones. But what doesn’t kill us doesn’t make us stronger there. It changes us, that’s all.
Let’s ensure hope remains. The best impulse.
Jose Maria Mijares