Wednesday, December 05, 2007

If You Had Controlling Parents Part 2

By Dan Neuharth, PhD.

This is a personal review of this book and its conceptual ideas as they relate to my own experiences with others including; relatives, cult trained protagonists and psychiatry. I see this as three versions of the same problem. Patricia Lefave, Labelled, D.D. (P)

Sorting It Out

“Anger is often misunderstood in society and particularly in controlling families…Anger is a valuable message from yourself that your boundaries have been violated or are in danger of being violated….

“..Brainwashing, whether by a cult or a controlling family, is designed to hide responsibility and distort accountability- to keep anyone form daring to announce, “The emperor has no clothes.”

(Those of us who dare to say so are often the ones who receive the psychiatric labels for doing so since we ‘think’ we se and hear something that no one else I the family group can see or here. ‘Reality’ in such groups, tends to gt defined by group consensus. PL)

“As a child (Patient) you may have tried to distance yourself from the pain of being controlled by complying, rebelling, distracting, dissociating, or trying to outdo your parents.”
(Many of us also tried to get them to think, reason with them about it, or get through to them on an emotional level PL)

“You may never achieve a true dialogue with your parents. As controllers, they probably have little interest in your views, especially if they are negative. It’s maddening when controlling parents deny responsibility for their actions.”

(To hear the concepts in this clearly, try replacing the word ‘parents’ with psychiatrists and see if it fits your own situation.PL)
“Speaking out, regardless of the outcome, balances the distortions of so many years. They may ignore your message, but at the very least, you’ve offered them an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and make amends.”

(However, if it is psychiatrists or family members being supported BY the thin king of psychiatrists, don’t expect too much. They rarely seem to practice what they preach.PL)

Client states:
“Sometimes it’s better to oppose and be angry, especially when a view of yourself is being imposed on you.”
(The psychiatrized get our personal identities imposed on us MORE than anyone else. This is why we are ‘resistant’ to the attempts to invalidate our perceptions of our own experiences.PL)

“I believe forgiveness is optional.”

(Me too. The choice so often offered to us is to ‘forgive’ (the deniers and liars) OR live with bitterness as the only alternative. That is not really the choice. The choice is really to stay enmeshed with or detach from, the others imposed view of us. Of course, when we are dealing with psychiatry that is not so easy since this profession has been given the concrete power to impose it’s belief system on us whether we like it or not. That is not true of family members though. Anyone who cannot see that very vital difference is not paying attention to the reality of the situation.PL)

“Many myths surround our conceptions of forgiveness… For some, forgiveness is unwise or impossible.”

Quoting Susan Forward, Dan states:
“Forgiveness often does not enhance healing and can even be a form of denial…suggests forgiving only if the person who wronged you does something to earn forgiveness such as acknowledging what happened and seeking to make amends.”
(In other words psychiatrists involved in my own case, let’s see you put your money where your mouth is. Seek to make amends to me and lead us by your example. I’m waiting. Let’s see some behaviour ownership on your parts instead of the abuse of power used to attempt to silence me about it.PL)

Client states regarding her father:
“I can’t give him the tiniest piece of information about myself without a critique coming back.”

(For some of us it is a tiny bit of information abut anything at all. Usually the critique is an ‘interpretation’ of what we have said and not taken at face value. For the psychiatrized this is a preliminary experience which will be repeated by the experience with psychiatry, often reinforcing and exacerbating our original problem, which remains unseen and not understood by the profession. PL)

“If a sibling loyal to your parents gets mad at you fro ‘making trouble’ or tries to convince you to deny your reality, it can exacerbate your wounding…They may not want to give up illusions about the family. They may be afraid of one or both parents…It’s also important to honour your sensitivity, especially if it was squashed or ridiculed by a controlling family. Controllers tend to be uncomfortable with others sensitivity and send messages that sensitivity is a flaw or a sin.”

(Sound familiar to many of your psychiatrized people? How many times have most of us been ‘corrected’ on this point: “You’re just too sensitive!” PL)

“Ironically, controlling parents tend to see their own behaviour as just the reverse.”

(There are a couple of sections I this book which promote the idea that brain chemistry should be changed with drugs. Neuharth also suggests a psychiatrist may be necessary. I suspect of course that Neuharth has never actually experienced being on the receiving end of psychiatry’s help. Many who promote this as a good idea have not. I tend to disagree with this suggestion though I also believe that the rest of this book explains well what happens to a lot of people who end up getting labelled ‘schizophrenic’ for their awareness about the REALITY of their own lives and the people in them. For them, this book is very valuable in explaining much of this chaotic, confusing, bewildering experience with others who then deny the whole thing.

At a later spot in this book Dan uses the DSM-IV to list a group of ‘disorders’ which he claims develop as a result of control over people who then become controllers themselves as ids manifested in these labels/ He included ‘Schizophrenia’ in this. I disagree in part. The people labeled as ‘schizophrenic’ sometimes excluding those who actually triggered themselves into psychosis with drug and alcohol abuse and were labeled for that, are usually those who have been most controlled and pressured by others and then were not believed about it. They are the ones labeled ‘complainers and whiners” etc. and who try to ‘blame’ all those ‘blameless others.’ In my own experience of this, it is more often the kind of people who never GET a psychiatric label and who often will not go near a counselor of any kind since they do not consider themselves to have any problem who are the controllers of the world. In fact, these ones are very often admired for their over controlling attitudes and power over others. Other controller wannabes often try to emulate them. Those who have sent the most energy over periods of time trying to force control and correction of my perceptions onto me and trying to drug my reactions to them are, in fact, the psychiatrists who don’t see this at all.

“Spirituality is about faith and trust. Control is about fear and mistrust…Making meaning includes synthesizing both the helpful and the hurtful from your upbringing…It’s helpful to see yourself as both victim and survivor, as innocent wounded child and courageous resourceful warrior, because you were all of them.”

Making Meaning
(As Suggested for others PL)

“If your friends or partners grew up controlled, minimizing or discounting their feelings may re-open childhood wounds. Since people who grew up controlled rarely felt seen or heard, simply listening to them can bring tremendous healing.”

(How many people who have been psychiatrized have told you they feel ‘invisible’ only to have that ‘interpreted’ as a ‘sign’ of a ‘mental illness’ or chemical imbalance in our brains? “We” can hear what you are doing with your reductionism. Why can’t you who are IN psychiatry, hear yourselves? PL)

“Bill of Rights for Those Who Grew Up Controlled (And Everyone Else)

We hold these truths to be self-evident. All people have the right to:

1.Ask questions.
3.Confront, prevent, or remove themselves from others’ abuse and unhealthy control
4.Feel all their feelings and express them appropriately
5.Develop their own values, thoughts and goals
6.Learn, grow and connect with others
7.Make mistakes, experiment and be uncertain
8.Choose whom they associate with.
9.Pursue happiness, success and health
10.Love and be loved, trust and earn others’ trust
11.Self respect and to earn others’ respect.
12.Pursue their spirituality
13.Be here

“Ultimately, most people seemed relieved by being able to talk. One fifty three year old woman said,…”I know I’ve talked non stop but I as never ever allowed to say anything growing up.”

(This is what most of us really need. It is also what we rarely get. Either give us what we need or leave us the hell alone. The LAST thing we need is to have our perceptions and feelings about our own life experiences invalidated. When psychiatrists start dictating to us what we are going to be ‘allowed’ to think, feel, say or do, all WE hear most often is a repeat performance of the same old crap which we are trying to escape. Decide if you really want to help or if you just want to indulge your own mystifying fantasies about events or relationships YOU can’t handle by calling emotional/psychological oppression ‘help.’
Making us swallow mood altering drugs we don’t want may help YOU feel better about what you are doing, from your position of power and control, especially if it dulls the appearance of distress on our faces for you, but it just makes most of us feel sick, hopeless and helpless. It causes us to feel we are now permanently trapped inside an infinite loop of other peoples’ denial, invalidation and contempt.
If you don’t believe us then just leave us alone but don’t con us or try to manipulate us ‘covertly.’ These traits of yours do nothing to create trust; quite the opposite. We can do better without you and with the support of others who can really hear us because they have shared a similar experience. PL)

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Anonymous said...

This is the best article I have ever read (and I have read many hundreds) The author has it right on and I only wish this author would write a book so that many fragile invalidated victims would not get further damaged by the mental health professionals. Thank you for this and I admire your effort.

Patricia said...

Just wanted to leave a message for the one leaving the above comment. I was not sure WHO you meant by 'the author'as these are excerpts from the book by Dan Neuharth with commentary added in darker wrting by me. If it was Dan though, this book is availaable in paperback and he also has his own website which can be found in the title of this post Just click on it. Thanks for the comments