Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Feedback for the truth will set you free
Monday February 26, 2007

Dear Alice Miller

I have just finished reading 'The Truth Will Set You Free'. It is a valuable book to anyone who has the courage to find their own truth and know that there are many others who have done so too.

6yrs ago I was given 'Thou Shalt Not Be Aware'. It helped me to break my 48yr silence about my childhood sexual,physical and emotional abuse. I found an enlightened therapist to help me through this process of self reclaimation.

This book was given to me by my half brother, whom I had recently discovered 6yrs ago and is the only surviving birth family I have. He was trained as a psychodynamic counsellor and has to some great degree resolved his hatred of women and emotional abandonment by our mother. We have worked together to each gain more insight into each other and have an honest but painful relationship at times. We both wanted to shout STOP very loudly to our family's pain. His tiny children, my niece and nephew, grow with love, protection and respect. They do not bear the abuse of the past.

I decided to find the truth about my birth and if I had any real family still alive. I was motivated to do this because I was not expected to live for very long due to a neurological illness ...similar to Multiple Sclerosis...called Neuro Behcet's disease.

I was forcibly taken, 'disappeared' and given up for adoption at 6months old through religious fundamentalism, bigotry and shame. Subsequently, I was told by my adoptive parents on my 5th birthday that my mother had died giving birth to me. This was not true, my mother was still alive until 6months before I made contact with my birth family.

During the last 6yrs I have read The Paths of Life, The Drama of Being a Child and The Body Never Lies. My body certainly held all my martyred anger. My old testament fire and brimstone upbringing taught me to always turn the other cheek. My anger and pain was held in my illness for all these years. It is not lost on me the reasons that by the time I turned 40yrs old I could'nt walk anymore and was totally confined to a wheelchair and also had multiple epileptic fits every day, my genitals consistently covered in terrible sores too.

Gisela and Anita's story in Thou Salt Not Be Aware echoed very deeply within me. My story of violent sexual abuse, which carried on into adulthood somehow didn't seem to be so shameful. I found that I had the courage to say what had happened to me and know I would be believed.

I was disgnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. 6yrs on, my health is very good, although I do bear some scars. I am proof that if we have the courage to speak out and claim our truth about our childhood trauma and subsequent reenactment throughout life, we no longer need be imprisoned by it because we are not in denial of it.

As a consequence of my experience I am now approaching my final year of training as a clinical psychotherapist and will obtain an Msc in Clinical Psychotherapy and Psychology as well as UKCP accreditation. At some point I would like to teach psychotherapy as well as working with clients.

It is no surprise to my tutors that my intended client group is working with adults who have been very abused. I intend to work with acute mental health patients within the NHS and despite much criticism from many of my professional colleagues, I also intend to work in a sex offenders unit.

All children who were abused in childhood bear terrible pain. As adults, we have a choice to find our truth...and stop repeating the endless cycle of abuse either to ourselves or acting it out onto others. I am an intergrative therapist and therefore have no strict adherence to any one dogma. My intention is to help my clients by being an enlightened witness to their truth. Having faced my own darkness and pain and survived to tell the tale, I hope to facilitate the same process in the service of my own clients.

Your books have been a source of strength and support for me along the way.
Thanks for making it easier to add my voice to all the others, including yours.

Best wishes for the future.
M. C.

AM: Yes, you seem to be the living proof that “if we have the courage to speak out and claim our truth about our childhood trauma and subsequent reenactment throughout life, we no longer need be imprisoned by it because we are not in denial of it.” For that reason your body recovered and you will be able to do the work you so much want to do.

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