Oh no! Not another media medical correspondent saying what Catherine Zeta-Jones is dealing with – bipolar two – is not curable, but can only be managed and controlled. Not only did one more medical editor say this about Zeta-Jones, but he said it about mental illness in general: “When it comes to mental illness, you talk about it more as controlled and managed*…“
There are those adults in this world who are aware and understand that true healing is possible…who have not given up, and who have been working to help bring true healing to our world. There are those adults in our world who try everything they know, who have not given up, but who just haven’t been able to find the help they need. But there are many more adults in our world who, unconsciously or consciously, collude in the lie that we cannot heal our emotional wounds but can only manage them. It is the actions and inactions of those last adults that have stirred in my heart an apology to the children of our world.
My deep apologies that we, the adults of the world – however consciously or unconsciously – have colluded in the lie that being wounded, experiencing deep pain, suffering in some way and experiencing the profound effects of that woundedness, pain, and suffering…means you are “mentally ill.”
I am so sorry…we, your elders, have closed the doors for you to true, deep healing. That we have, out of our own wounds, created a society in which only quick fixes are welcomed. In which the goal is to get people functional again, never mind the wound at the core. Never mind the need to heal to the root. Never mind the effect on us, on you, and on our world.
I am so sorry …that instead of continuing our own searches within ourselves to find and heal our own wounds, we have once again normalized denial. Once again we have created stigma, this time making anyone who cannot be “functional” mentally ill, creating a society of automatons, who deal with the surface of the outer world, but stay miles and miles away from their inner worlds. We have yet again normalized destructive defenses against our wounds, our pain, our suffering …and those of others.
We have yet again created horrors for you, our children, in your young lives – like bullying – and consider it a children’s issue, blaming you…instead of looking inside ourselves at the bully in each of us from which the bullying in our children has emerged. My heart’s response: Don’t you dare blame it on our children. No child comes out of the womb a bully! Look at yourself!
But no, we “adults” – too, too many of us – have refused to look inside ourselves, have refused to discover our wounds and meet them face to face, have refused to work through the pain we have experienced in our families and in our societies, in order to heal ourselves and our world and to cause you less suffering. We would diminish your suffering if we would tend to our own. We would prevent your suffering if we revealed what is happening in our families, our communities, our countries, our world – the abuse of children physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally, spiritually…sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, at times straight out in the open and at others under the guise of something supposedly “good.”
I am so sorry we have let the pharmaceutical companies and the managed care insurance companies, with their hunger for money hook into the places within us where we preferred to hide from our experiences, our feelings, our own woundedness. That we let them, encouraged them with our consumption, provide the quick fixes and the limitations and constraints to control us and “make us feel better”…enough to function. And I’m so sorry that we have let them seduce us, where we wanted to be seduced, into settling.
I’m so sorry we became afraid and instead of going through our fear put down the sword of self responsibility that was becoming more common, more welcome, more cultivated through depth psychotherapy beginning in the 1950’s…for that was one of the threads at the heart of the growth of depth psychotherapy – self responsibility.** I’m so sorry we allowed the forces within us and the forces in the world outside us to sway us…so that the inner revolution – which was actually a profound evolution – was stopped in its tracks.
I am so sorry for all that came from that serious, destructive interruption…including new forms of purported “healing” that were, in themselves, quick fixes, seductions, misuses of power, avoidances of consciousness and self responsibility. No wonder the New Age has such a bad reputation! How is a claim to cure depression in one evening any better than a claim that that you should take a pill and learn the signs of an on-coming episode that you’ve been told you need to control and nothing more?
I am so sorry we have hidden the truth…that there is a way to heal to the root. That we create our world – our inner and outer world – from that which lives within us, whether we’re conscious of that or not! That we need to take responsibility for what we are creating in our world – from the inside out – or we will never be able to create what we so long to create. A conscious, self-responsible, compassionate, connected, feeling world that is truly at peace within and without.
It’s true. There is a way to heal to the root. We do create our world from that which lives within us. We do need to take responsibility for what we are creating. It is possible to create what we most deeply long for. I have never given up on the process or the possibilities that come through depth psychotherapy. I have experienced it, witnessed it, been a midwife and guide to it. I have never given up on healing to the root! Not for myself, not for my clients, not for those who read my book, subscribe to my newsletter, read my articles and my blog posts, listen to my interviews and web conferences, not for those who attend my workshops and talks. Not for anyone who is willing to say ‘yes’ to it!
I am so sorry that too many of us adults gave up our attempts to truly change the world from the depths of our being and instead, out of fear, hid the truth from ourselves, and our wounds from ourselves. And instead, began to settle for and accept pseudo efforts at change on the outside only. I am so sorry that because so many of us are still defending against the truth of our own wounds and abuse, there are too many who would rather you don’t know the truth of your wounds, your families, your countries and world…and the terrible abuses you have suffered.
Because if you did know…you would change things. You would wrestle with the temptation within you to settle. You would struggle against your own dismissal and hiding of pain beneath functionality. You would fight against the normalization of child abuse – within and without – either outright or under the guise of anything. You would stand up firmly against the suppression and repression of feeling within you and in our world. You would pick up where we left off and gave up out of our own fear and the collusion of so much of the rest of society…bringing yourselves to the deep work of conscious healing within.
You would discover for yourselves that it is absolutely possible to heal to the root. And then you would be able to, from your own personal experience, refute medical experts who consider woundedness “mental illness” and claim it is not heal-able but only manageable and controllable. And then you, too, like those of us, your elders who haven’t given up, would be able to know and say that we are all wounded and we all need to do our own deep inner healing work…for our own sakes, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our world.
If you knew the truth…you would change things not just on the outer level, on the surface, but from the inside out.
** To read more about true self responsibility . . . please see Chapter Five (”You are Responsible for Everything – Here and Now”) on pages 45-46 of my book, Power Abused, Power Healed.
© Copyright 2011 by Judith Barr, MS, LMHC. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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