Monday, January 28, 2013

The Wire Parents Experiment

I've wanted to write this post for a long time, but things get in the way. Like not finding a good link to the Wire Mother experiment. This is not a really good one, either, but more accurate ones are also more disturbing.

I feel like my therapist gave me "permission" not to have felt attached to my parents enough to truly feel hurt when their lack of love for me was demonstrated, because I've always felt this on some level.

And then I felt like one of Harlow's monkeys, one raised by a wire surrogate. (These rhesus monkeys were isolated and put in a room with a wire contraption which held a bottle of milk.) I was fed and taken care of, just not loved in any vital, living, animal or human way.

These monkeys were physically healthy. They were just emotionally and socially stunted.

And they didn't attach to the wire mother.

There were other monkeys in the experiment, ones that had a cloth mother too. They cuddled with her and ran to her for comfort. They were inconsolable if she was removed from the room.

These fared better afterwards.

I was raised by wire parents. It's not my fault I never felt much for them. It's not my fault I went to them for food and the went away and never cared if they were removed.

They weren't even fucking cloth surrogates.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

At the core

I have people in my life that accept me and love me now. But I still can't accept and love myself. I don't trust them to actually accept and love the real me. They accept and love the adult me that developed after years of being molded by my parents.

I don't know any other me. I can try my hardest to be the real me, but I can't re-raise myself from scratch.

When I was a child, I wasn't accepted or loved. That was the core me, the one that could have developed differently.

So, I'm bad at the core. There's something fundamentally wrong with me. I hate and loathe this child at the core of me.

Sure, now that I'm a decent, articulate, generally well-behaved adult, people can accept what they see on the surface. But if they saw through to the faulty unlovable core, they'd hate the real me - the whiny, boring, annoying, weak, loud, pathetic, sensitive brat at the core - just as much as I do.

(I know this is irrational rubbish, but I've just realized after therapy that this is how I feel deep down).

Friday, January 4, 2013

No, not armor. Painkillers.

What my therapist asked of me - to express having been hurt by my parents when I insisted I wasn't, I couldn't have been, they never had the power to hurt my feelings for as long as I can remember - made me rethink my metaphor.

Intellectually, I'm now aware a child cannot put on an armor against her parents, preventing hurt. What we as children could have done was, at best, to start sedating ourselves, numbing all feelings, never experiencing any hurt at all.


An armor would have prevented injuries. The painkillers leave us unfeeling, but still mangled and bleeding, unaware of these still very acute problems.

This is still a merely intellectual insight.

I'm afraid to feel it because I'm impervious to my parents and what they did and do and said and say.

It is perhaps not a well-known fact that soldiers in wars often go into fighting drunk or on drugs. They have to feel like they can't really feel hurt even if they actually get hurt, or they won't be as brave. It's fake, but it's a necessary survival mechanism. The other option is becoming a deserter, I guess. And I don't want to be a deserter. I want to fight.

I need to keep finding better metaphors. Ones that might actually help me get healthy.