Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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pain and consciousness
Monday April 23, 2007

dear alice

i was wondering what your views on this were. i wrote to you last year on the subject of pain, the terrible body-emotional pain brought about during therapy that since visits for hours or days at a time during the last 2-3 years.

however this pain does not seem to be going away, and seems as unbearable now as it was 2 years ago when i started therapy (have had to change therapists twice through no fault of my own). i would say the woundings show even deeper levels of abandonment as my therapy continues. as a child i was not abused in the active sense. i was simply unloved and unheard (possible hated and envied as you allude to in your book The Drama partly because i was a sensitive and lovely child. I have seen episodes of spectacular hatred expressed by my mother to me since i was an adult so i can only assume that this hatred was alive if suppressed during my childhood too).

My question is does this pain ever stop? Is this the price for consciousness? Do many people successfully repress it? OR is it just that I was so wounded by my the lack of love in my childhood that I feel the pain so intensely? Other people seem to cope with it or suppress it, even people who on the face of it have much physically worse childhoods, beatings, general abuse. perhaps they experienced love from at least one quarter, though my guess is probably not in many cases. Perhaps this is why people intuitively don't want to have therapy; they are aware of the pain that will surface, and who could blame them?

Also, like other letters on your website, i too feel very unheard in my life generally. it often seems most people are very busy avoiding feeling anything important and this seems to intensify my original pain even more, as i have no-one really i can share feelings with. 50 minutes once a week with my therapist just doesn't feel enough.

thanks for listening. k.

AM: I suggest that you read my answers to the last letters concerning pain, sadness, rage, anger.

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