On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

You have no idea what you're talking about. Bustillos has no idea what she's talking about. Miller didn't write self-help books about parenting styles. She did not "blame the mother." She wrote how people mistreat their children because of unresolved issues that stem from childhood. She wrote how people have to stop making excuses for the abusive actions of their parents because they still want their parents' unconditional love. She wrote that one must accept the truth for what it is and stop seeking love from a toxic parent. When one does that, there are no longer any excuses for blaming anyone else for one's actions. That matter has been settled and must be left in the past where it belongs. From then on you must let go of your feelings of self-hatred and anger and resentment for what has happened to you. You stop blaming your parents because you realize that they couldn't help themselves, they are damaged people who were incapable of moving beyond their own pain, so they took it out on you. When you forgive yourself for being a victim you forgive those who victimized you as well. They were children once too.

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

I have no idea where others found this article; I came across it by chance.

Posted on April 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm 1

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Repetition is not a response.

Posted on April 9, 2011 at 10:51 am 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

We are speaking of behavior, the choices we make and the way we interact in the world. Our behaviors are affected by our interactions with other people, most especially those who raise us, when we are most young, vulnerable and impressionable. Miller tells us that children whose parents withhold love grow up to crave unconditional love, that people who were belittled grow up angry, and children who were abused grow up to abuse others. If people do not care to acknowledge those rather simple facts there's not much one can do, but they could have the grace to refrain from slap-happy moralizing.

Miller is speaking of letting a child have his own opinions, not too much sugar. Letting him have his own preference, his own goals and dreams. Not letting him run around a restaurant. Respect his feeling by not using insults, digs, put-downs or arbitrary commands. It has nothing to do with "never saying no to a behavior" and the example is ludicrous.

Posted on April 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

If you indulge a child too much, "respect his feelings" too much, then you become one of those doormats who lives in a nightmare where the child is a tyrant over the house, and if you discipline him too much, he will feel sad, lonely and unloved.


Just please back away from the mirror now, because it is all bullshit in there, nothing but illusions, illusions all the way down. Sometimes I think that the principal difference between those who are in general cheerfully-inclined and those who are not is that the former know better than to even countenance their own bullshit for one instant.

Plus the general tone of the remainder of the article.

Posted on April 8, 2011 at 10:31 am 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Ms. Bustillos has written a lovely piece that completely misunderstands depression and therefore is fated to completely misunderstand her subject matter. What she sees as navel-gazing is an attempt to discover the source of great inner pain, and what she sees as mother-blaming (something no mother wants to read) is the need to separate reality from the confused fictions that unhappy parents inflict on their children to ease their own pain. Wallace needed to acknowledge that he was loved for his genius (if that was indeed the case) and not for himself, with all his normal human flaws, and accept that he would never have the unconditional love that children need, and that adults need to have had.

Most revealingly, Ms. Bustillos expresses her own worries about parenting in this article, further confusing her assessment of Wallace. She believes introspection is self-indulgent and paying attention to the feelings, wants and needs of one's child is indulging them. Her own insecurities as a parent come pouring out of this article. She has no idea of Miller's theories, which state that we all all individuals and need to be treated as such, not as extensions of our parents, here to provide them with unconditional love and self-esteem.

Posted on April 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm 0