Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Breaking the cycle
Wednesday February 07, 2007

Dear Dr. Miller,
I have just discovered your work. I am a 50 year old mother of two teenagers (girl 16, boy 14), whom my husband and I have raised lovingly and with no violence ever. I am immensely proud that I broke the cycle of abuse I suffered as a child, which I did by reading everything I could find on childrearing before I even became pregnant.

My children are loving and wise and absolutely marvelous.

I write to you now because I realize that despite my achievement in breaking the cycle, I have much to learn about my own childhood. I take antidepressants and have social anxiety which I know is hard-wired from my past (tyrannical father, mother in denial, even now after father is dead.) I have three brothers, all of whom have great difficulties with life. None of them has children.

I need a therapist who has dealt with his/her own childhood pain. Do you have any suggestions for how I can find such a doctor? For me and my brothers, who live in different states? And maybe - this is wishful thinking - my 76-year-old mother? How does one find such a therapist/enlightened witness? I have been my own enlightened witness. I am a strong person, but I would like to get help.

Thank you so very much for your books, and for your answer, Rebecca

AM: As you honestly want to explore the pain of your childhood, you should know that antidepressants may hinder you to do so. I hope you can find in my FAQ list (on the article page) the help you need for finding a therapist who could become your enlightened witness. As you succeeded in breaking the cycle of violence, you will certainly succeed in finding the right therapist. You have my best wishes.

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