Tuesday, September 16, 2014. I used to have a lot of tolerance for the truthful stuff about what early abuse and neglect does to change the physiological development of infants and children. There are thousands and thousands of background pages on this blog about this kind of Trauma Altered Development processes. Yet during the years I spent post 2004 studying neuroscientific development along these lines not one of the experts’ writings I pored through ever had the emotional impact on me that Dr. Bruce Perry’s does. (see previous post)
There are dry scientific facts. Then there are damp, moist, earthy facts that belong to the body itself. To its emotions. To its storehouses of memories. To its blood and to its tears. These kinds of facts, the kind that Perry works with and writes about, lie at the heart of matters of infant and child neglect and abuse and cannot be denied although they can be ignored.
Yet Perry himself did not live through the levels of life-changing early traumas he writes about. I did. Truth is, I hate that fact. I hate harm to defenseless little ones. Does hate ever heal?
My guess? No, not by itself. I have previously written about denial as a kind of immature childish magical thinking that allows humans to bypass the truth of circumstances they are not ready to face. And certainly not ready to change. Not ready to accept response-ability for. “Somebody else’s problem. Too messy for me.” These patterns allow the taboos cultures hold about harming little ones to find their way into higher-level taboos against KNOWING the truths that tear apart the heart once they find their way — home.
Some things are too painful to contemplate. So culturally we maintain taboos against accepting upon ourselves what adults need to care about because little ones are totally powerless to change what needs to be changed. By vastly ignoring the truth about terrible harms done to the youngest among us we are showing our ignorance by ignoring what we don’t want to face.
I am finding that process operating within myself as I struggle to read Perry’s words. The difference for me and for many of this blog’s readers is that I/we already know about this subject from the inside out. Perry’s words hot-wire my reality between traumatic past and current “better” present. Any hope of a buffer against the pain of abuse and neglect evaporates.
That kind of pain little ones being harmed feel is too big for them. That kind of trauma is supposed to be healed by a whole society that HATES harm to young ones and stops it. We don’t live in that kind of world.
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