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Home > Blog > Today's Thought: A Bad Childhood Reconsidered
Out of Our Minds
Saturday, January 29, 2005 4:07 PM
Today's Thought: A Bad Childhood Reconsidered
Anita Sharpe on Life

'Eleanor Roosevelt declared herself an 'unhappy child,' whose early years were 'gray days:' 'I grew up with a fear of insanity.' She lost a mother who never liked her, a younger brother, and a playboy father, all before she was nine.

'She could not read at seven, could not cook or sew, as was expected in her circles at that period. She lied; she stole; she threw antisocial tantrums in company.

'Today, 'the case of Eleanor R.' would require therapy. Today, even if the family system were addressed, the child would almost certainly be treated by biopsychiatry's armamentarium of drugs, which would confirm with all the power of biology the child's feelings of being 'a bad child.'' -- James Hillman (from The Soul's Code)


2 comments

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Evelyn Rodriguez - 1/31/2005 3:56:25 PM
I've grown quite fascinated by the concept of phoenix rising from ashes. My sister is a child pscyhologist and studies resiliency - the fact is that similar circumstances are often responded to in diametrically opposite ways: one person slides into depression, while another finds it a catalyst. Today, post-traumatic growth is burgeoning field of study as compared to post-traumatic stress disorder - not all trauma leads downhill, it sometimes the turning point to courage and growth.

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