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Liliane Zylbersztejn

Itinerary of an Abused Child Hate, love, and life

Liliane Zylbersztejn is a psychoanalyst based in Paris.
After the war, Lydia, a young girl who escaped Nazi persecution in a desperate flight to Switzerland, experiences abuse within her own family. She exercises her freedom to resist. Her capacity for defiance leads her to develop a feeling of hatred towards her abusive parents: an attitude that allows her to stand firm and later lead a fulfilling life.
How can we defend ourselves against abusive parents? How can we avoid locking ourselves into a psychological protection mechanism that is based on hatred? How can we overcome that, and some day live in love?
Working through memories of her own story, and through patient cases, Liliane Zylbersztejn has explored this means of psychological defence which she calls “haine salvatrice” (salvific hatred).
This system of protection, which enables escape from a position of victim subjugated to an adult, is typically found among abused children. Awareness of it can help a number of adults to come to terms with, and free themselves of, a painful past.