Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

Paths of Life - Seven Scenarios

Virago, 1999

How do our first experiences of pain and love affect our future adult lives and our relationships with others? This is the key question which runs through the seven 'life stories' collected here. Each scenario is a fictional account of a damaged past and the repercussions it has in later life. The narratives explore the suffering and loneliness felt in the individual's formative years. For some, the pain and inner isolation has dominated their adulthood and prevented them from enjoying fulfilling relationships despite the desire and need for contact and communication. For others, old fears and defensive patterns have been conquered, enabling them to enter into healthy relationships and find contentment.

By creating these 'case histories', Alice Miller's intention is to encourage us towards an awareness of the need to learn from experience, adapt to change and regain trust in order to break free of the negative effects of childhood trauma.

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