of people, he'll want to protect himself and that's why his reaction too
ordinary things will be rude. Many have also been lucky enough to find
"enlightened" and courageous "witnesses", people who helped them to recognise the injustices they suffered, the significance the hurtful treatment had for them, and its influences on their whole life. They may even suffer much in their life, may become drug addicted, and have relationship problems, but thanks to the few good experience in their childhood usually do not become criminals. "The criminal outcome seems to be connected with a childhood that didn't provide any helping witness, that was a place of constant threat and fear,"- 8Miller thought.
The parents attitude to the kid finds its mirroring in his future personality and behaviour. It has been observed again and again that parents who tend to maltreat and neglect their children do it in ways which resemble the treatment they endured in their own childhood, without any conscious memory of their early experiences. Fathers who sexually abuse their children are usually unaware of the fact that they had themselves suffered the same abuse. It is rather in therapy, even if ordered by the courts, that they can discover, sometimes stupefied, their own history. And realise thereby that for years they have attempted to act out their own scenario, just to get rid of it. The majority of psychologists believe that the explanation of this fact is that "information about the cruelty suffered during childhood remains stored in the brain in the form of unconscious memories. For a child, conscious experience of such treatment is impossible. If children are not to break down completely under the pain and the fear, they must repress that knowledge.9" But the unconscious memories of the child who has been neglected and maltreated, even before he has learned to speak, drive the adult to reproduce those repressed scenes over and over again in the attempt to liberate himself from the fears that cruelty has left with him. For example, The German reformer Martin Luther was an intelligent and educated man, but he hated all Jews and he encouraged parents to beat their children. He was no perverted sadist like Hitler's executioners. But 400 years before Hitler he was disseminating this kind of destructive counsel. According to Eric Ericson's biography, Luther's mother beat him severely even before he was treated this way by his father and his teacher. He believed this punishment had "done him good" and was therefore justified. The conviction stored in his body that if parents do it then it must be right. This example shows, nothing that a child learns later about morality at home, in school or in church will ever have the same strong and long lasting effect as the treatment inflicted on his or her body in the first few days, weeks and months. "The lesson learned in the first three years cannot be expunged," –10 said Freud. So we can see that if a child learns from birth that tormenting and punishing an innocent creature is the right thing to do, and that the child's suffering must not be acknowledged, that message will always be stronger than intellectual knowledge acquired at a later stage. Alice Miller made really great research work and her conclusions give us, at last, the hole picture of this situation:" Usually away from home either praying in church or running the priest's household. Stalin idealized his parents right up to the end of his life and was constantly haunted by the fear of dangers, dangers that had long since ceased to exist In the lives of all the tyrants I analyzed, I also found without exception paranoid trains of thought bound up with their biographies in early childhood and the repression of the experiences they had been through. Mao had been regularly whipped by his father and later sent 30 million people to their deaths but he hardly ever admitted the full extent of the rage he must have felt for his own father, a very severe teacher who had tried through beatings to "make a man" out of his son. Stalin caused millions to suffer and die because even at the height of his power his actions were determined by unconscious, infantile fear of powerlessness. Apparently his father, a poor cobbler from Georgia, attempted to drown his frustration with liquor and whipped his son almost every day. His mother displayed psychotic traits, was completely incapable of defending her son and was but were still present in his deranged mind. His fear didn't even stop after he had been loved and admired by millions." 11
But, what happen with people who were loved in their childhood? They have a better live without violent and horror. There are people who grow up with loving and protecting parents who "can later find a kind, sympathetic partner, can organize their life and become good parents", even "if they have to go through the horror of a concentration camp during their adolescence" 12after learning about Pablo Picasso we can mention the severe trauma that the child Pablo Picasso underwent at the age of three: the earthquake in Malaga in 1884, the flight from the family's apartment into a cave that seemed to be more safe, and eventually witnessing the birth of his sister in the same cave under these very scary circumstances. However, Picasso survived these traumas without later becoming psychotic or criminal because he was protected by his very loving parents. They were able to give him what he most needed in this chaotic situation: empathy, compassion, protection and the feeling of being safe in their arms.
Thanks to the presence of his parents, the two enlightened witnesses of his fear and pain, not only during the earthquake but also throughout his whole childhood, he was later able to express his early, frightening experiences in a creative way. In Picasso's famous painting "Guernica" we can see what might have happened in the mind of the three-year-old child while he was watching the dying people and horses and listening to the children screaming for help on the long walk to the shelter. Small children can go unscared even through bomb-raids if they feel safe in the arms of their parents.
It is much more difficult for a child to overcome early traumatizations if they are caused by their own parents. Here we have an another example. I analysed the childhood of the writer Franz Kafka. I'll try to show that the nightmares he describes in his stories recount exactly what might have happened to the small, severely neglected infant Kafka. He was born into a family in which he must have felt like the hero of The Castle (ordered about but not needed and constantly misled) or like K. in The Trial (charged with incomprehensible guilt) or like The Hunger Artist who never found the food he was so strongly longing for. Thanks to the love and the deep comprehension of his sister Otla in his puberty, his late "helping witness," Kafka could eventually give expression to his suffering in writing. Does it mean that he therefore overcame his traumatic childhood? He could indeed write his work, full of knowledge and wisdom, but why did he die so early—in his thirties—of tuberculosis? It happened in a time when he knew many people who loved and admired him. However, these good experiences could not erase the unconscious emotions and memories stored in his body.
Kafka was hardly aware of the fact that the main sources of his imagination were deeply hidden in his early childhood. Most writers aren't. But the amnesia of an artist or writer, though sometimes a burden for their body, doesn't have any negative consequences for society. The readers simply admire the work and are rarely interested in the writers' infancy . However, the amnesia of politicians or leaders of sects does afflict countless people, and will continue to do so, as long as society remains blind to the important connections between the denial of traumatic experiences in early childhood and the destructive, criminal actions of individuals.