Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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The stolen life
Saturday April 21, 2007

Dear Alice Miller,

I am a 36 year old woman and I have recently come across your books. It was an extremely powerful discovery that took place in the middle of a painful journey at the origins of my desperation and inability to live. This inability has been very pervasive: I have never had a relationship (I am not even sure I know what love is), I am slowly withdrawing from working and from society, At the age of 18 I already knew that there was something dramatically wrong in my way of going about life. But nobody took me seriously - my family continued along the line: 'what a disgrace, you are so worse than any other daughter, you are unable to live, to take decisions, to be happy and make us happy'. I knew that the way I was brought up, not only amidst violence but also neglect and humiliation, made me unable to take any decision, to know what I wanted, etc. I placed all my efforts on professional achievements, but without ever really achieving anything. I have such a crave for love, for building my own family, but cannot even have intimacy with a man. What a contradiction. So deep is the discomfort that I lost any hope that even the therapy you suggested can bring any improvement. I started one, but I do not have hope. It is not the first time I start a therapy. The scariest thing is that time passes by and my life most likely will never be the way I would like it to be. I did not list what I allege were child abuses, but they are all too common to many other situations: I was not wanted, I was not liked, I was not loved, but slowly was shaped into the only person my family could bear. I have detached from my family since my mid 20s, but yet things have not gone any better. Forgive the darkness of my reasoning.

J.

AM: I want to repeat here, in a different way, what I just wrote to somebody else in another response: Not to be listened to in childhood teaches us not to listen to ourselves in adulthood. But your depressive mood speaks a very clear language and you seem to be willing to listen now. When you once dare to do it, you will feel the rage about what you had to endure, and it is this rage and the knowledge that it brings that will make the difference.

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