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  •  Judith Herman said it in 1992 so well: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lisa

    From Trauma and Recover, by Judith Herman, 1992 Basic Books.

    To study psychological trauma means bearing witness to horrible events. When the events are natural disasters or “acts of God," those who bear witness sympathize readily with the victim. But when the traumatic events are of human design, those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. It is morally impossible to re-main neutral in this conflict. The bystander is forced to take sides. It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator.

    All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering. .... We find the two sides face to face; on one side the victims who perhaps wish to forget but cannot, and on the other all those with strong, often unconscious motives who very intensely both wish to forget and succeed in doing so. The contrast. . . is frequently very painful for both sides. The weakest one . . . remains the losing party in this silent and unequal dialogue.

    This is still an extraordinary book I highly recommend.

    Insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world... -R D Laing

    by crazyamerican on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 07:26:14 AM PST

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