Friday, January 03, 2014

Comfort Contact - to Suicide in 5 easy steps

Terry Cloth and Rhesus Monkeys
Harry Israel Harlow

In the mid 20th century, a scientist named Harry Israel Harlow, did experiments with Rhesus monkeys involving surrogate mothers. He gave young Rhesus babies 2 mothers to choose from; a terry clothed mother with no food and a Wire mother with a feeding bottle. Overwhelmingly, the babies clung to the terry cloth mother. They would go to the nipple to feed off of the wire mother, then hurry back to the soft and fuzzy terry cloth mother.

Harlow concluded that the monkeys had an inherent desire for "Contact Comfort". Even after the monkeys were old enough to eat solid foods, they still "clung" to the soft terry cloth mother.

Does this give you a deeper understanding for the parentless children in this country? Can you imagine the impact it has when divorce separates parents when a child is at a young age, and the mother has to go to work leaving the child in "day care"?   All FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM OF 2 CARS and A HOUSE IN THE BURBS.

My mom died when I was 11. She was an olympic alcoholic that drank herself to death in a very short period. In addition to painfully abandoning her children (me being the youngest) She slammed the door on any chance of reasoning with her. Not only did alcohol end her miseries, but it created a whole batch of new ones for the living she left behind. Me in particular. Do you know what denial is? "My mom is dead" is not something you want to share with the kids on the monkey bars. I remember being sent to the office for "acting out", only to have the secratery ask me "Is your mom at home? Wait til she hears about this." I was demoralized.  It was worse than the spanking I got from the principle.

9 years later my dad died of natural causes. So before I was old enough to drink alcohol, I was already orphaned. Nobody to hold me. No "comfort contact". No warmth. No one to say it'll be better or the typical parental rhetoric: "Tomorrow is another day".  No one to kiss it and make it feel better. No one to tell me "That's a stupid Idea".  Not even a damn piece of Terry Cloth. 

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross developed the now famous 5 stages of grief.

1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
This explains why many of the young who can not deal with the loss of a parent end up in the correctional system after denial turns to Anger. 

In John Lennon's song: "Tell Me Why", (A song he says he wrote for children of broken families)The late former Beatle asks: "If it's something that I've said or done; Tell me what and I'll apologize". ~ Bargaining.

The Depression stage can often go unnoticed.  It eats you up from the inside.  It's easy to conceal for many.

Acceptance- We can file the loss in our historical file cabinet and move forward, or we can externalize the depression and make the headlines with an AK-47.  It all depends on the state of our emotional bank account.

I need to add that Harlow discovered that the experimental Monkeys had shorter life spans than Monkeys raised with two biological parents.


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