I will have to end this book at a point that I must have anticipated reaching, even though I don’t think I knew exactly where this point was. I am at the point where I need the latest laser light surgery capacities so that I can make the most precise cut between who is “damaged” and who is not.
This is most necessary when trying to define how to address the problems any form of infant abuse creates in our society. The only surgery tool I know of that might qualify to do this distinguishing job is the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). And yet I cannot even right about this tool, for to do so would disqualify its possible effectiveness. It is an assessment tool that a person must know nothing about in order for it to work right! It can not do what it is designed to do, cannot give the information that is its potential if a person knows ahead of time how it is designed to work. We have to go at this one blind.
I am realizing that even though my particular passion, my eros, my love might be in the area of preventing these insecure attachment patterns from being passed down the generations from this point forward, there is no way to PREVENT infant abuse without working on the ends of both INTERVENTION and TREATMENT. One therefore has to look at treatment modalities that might be effectively working to change the people who are or will be parenting these infants – parents that are at risk of passing down these “empathy pathologies” because these same pathologies were given to them.
Here again I am hampered by not being an “externally qualified expert” in the field I am writing about. I am, however, qualified by having survived the unsurvivable peritrauma of the infant abuse that was done to me. I have also spent many thousands of hours researching and studying what went so very wrong in my own childhood. To spend even an equal amount of time researching how to truly “fix” what went wrong, or even to be able to state with some assurance that “fixing it” is possible, would no doubt deplete the chances that THIS current book would ever get completely written or published.
My hope would be that if I write this book “well enough” that I can shake some trees in the forest hard enough that a NEW discussion will arise about what is really WRONG with those of us living at the center of the onion. From that cooperative discussion can arise a realistic look at what all of us can do to make things better.
We have to let down our rigid boundaries between mental health disciplines and between each other. We have to risk what we are evidently afraid of, losing territory that we like to think is ours, BELONGS to us, justifies our “professional” value and existence. Nobody wants to give an inch. Everybody wants to think they know more than the next person, are better than the next person, are more right than the next person, have a better answer, better information, better solutions, better theories than their neighbors. But perhaps by retaining these beliefs and attitudes we are participating in the creation and maintenance of a war that is costing us lives – the lives of our own people who live among us daily, who are our countrywomen and our countrymen, even if at this moment they are residing in the bodies of newborn infants. We ALL started out there!
But if we insist on maintaining our infantile, out dated and inadequate professional attitudes, we are no healthier or no more whole than the supposed “flawed” individuals we take money to treat in any kind of mental health setting. Ignorance is never bliss. And in today’s world of enlightened scientific discoveries and relatively easily accessed information, such maintained ignorance is not only unethical, it is WRONG!
Clients seek mental health services because they are hurting. They are asking for help (even if someone is MAKING them ask) because they desperately need it. They are coming for help because they don’t know what is wrong and they don’t know how to fix it. They are “ignorant.” But if the very professionals they are paying money to for services are really equally ignorant of the new advances in neuroscientific brain and mind development, their ignorance is wrong, and two wrongs, as we have been told since our childhoods, never make a right.
It is time to stop playing hide-and-seek therapy. It is time to quit playing the therapy game by outmoded rules. It is time to quit making diagnosis by guesswork. It is time to quit pretending that we know what happened to these suffering people when we don’t. And we do not know because we are not paying attention to the new information that is at our fingertips! We are choosing to keep our blinders on, and by golly, if we say we are right then we are right!
I don’t want a soapbox. I want to scream this from the rooftops, from the mountaintops. If you do not know the exact early relationship and attachment history of your clients you are practicing your “medicine” in the dark. And you are doing so unethically. No matter what good you may think you are doing, what you are really accomplishing is sending your clients off on a dead end detour into a dark tunnel without an opening at the other end. You are dancing a dance with them that will keep them in the dark and you are killing their hope for ever being able to participate fully in a life that they were born into to enjoy. Those people that suffer from “emotional dysregulation,” and that evidently includes about 45% of our population, were robbed through infant abuse and neglect from fulfilling their brain development potential in the first place. And do you want to be the one that is robbing them of their chance to repair this damage in the second place?
Not to be grandiose, you can discover the facts for yourself. But if you DO NOT take a new look at what you think mental illness is in light of the new brain science developments, you are in the dark dishing out darkness, no matter how much you might think of yourself, your education, your background, your experience, your knowledge, or of your skills. WAKE UP!
Do you remember that concept from addiction recovery literature, “the merry-go-round of denial?” Is that your best choice, to stay on it? Many professionals evidently seem to think that as long as THEY know what is wrong with their clients, and therefore have a clear conscience about accepting payment to FIX the symptoms, they don’t need to know themselves what caused the problems and they certainly don’t believe there is any benefit in telling the clients what happened to them to cause the problems, either. It seems to be enough for most of the mental health professionals to simply believe that their clients are genetically “flawed” or they would never have developed their symptoms in reaction to anything that happened to them in the past – in the first place!
This is LUDICROUS thinking! There is no nicer way to phrase this and still be anywhere within the parameters of the truth as I sense, feel and know it. If mental health, including parenting professionals, are not operating with all of the available truth about their practice, they are not operating with the truth at all. Part of a lie makes all of it a lie in my book. And as you’ve guessed so far, this IS my book.