Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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A question from Texas
Wednesday March 07, 2007

Alice like others i was severely wounded in childhood and have spent 23 yrs in therapy (mostly bad) trying to untangle this nightmare of a childhood. My current therapist i have seen for almost 5 yrs and about 1 1/2 yrs ago she gave me your book "For Your Own Good" to read. When i read it i was convinced i had an ally in what you said. Its not been an easy path relieving at times what happened and making changes to the way i think in order to feel but thru a lot of work i am getting there. I saw my therapist today and was talking about hitting a child and she said she thought it was ok to pop a child on the butt in certain situations. The example she gave was if a child was going after a frog in the road that might be an ok time to do that in order to get his attention. Coming from being hit and hurt almost everyday of my childhood i disagreed. I replied if your close enough to give the child a swat why not grab the child and pick him up and furthermore DONT let your child get in that position, its ones responsibilty as a parent to make sure that doesnt happen She said that made sense to her and i asked her if she would do that today and she replied no. I asked her if she did that to her kids before she underwent therapy and she said yes so maybe she truly wouldnt do it in the same way if she had it to do over again. ( i'm not sure about that because she had just said that its ok 5 minutes before) What bothers me is a therapist and human being who i think a lot of (from day one i felt her alliance with me and im the better person for it) saying such a thing. Lately i am filled with rage about all the stuff that happened to me as a child and thats helping me to stand up for a lot of issues that i believe strongly in. Anyway the question that i wanted to ask was ....is there any situation where a pop on the butt could be warranted and if so what would that be? I respect your opinions but unless you can give me a valid reason for such actions my mind is made up and i think there are other ways to handle situations like the one described without hitting. On a more personal note your work pointed me in the right direction and no telling where i would be today without your insight its made a real difference in my life. Its very hard right now because I'm becoming more and more estranged from most of my family and friends but i am standing by my convinctions at all costs thanks from my heart

AM: Your observations are absolutely correct; you grew up further than your therapist. Why don't you look for another one if you still need a therapist? Don't let yourself be made blind again, you did it enough in your childhood. It is never, never, never right to spank a child. People do it ONLY because they were beaten and protect their parents.

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