Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Motherday
Wednesday May 09, 2007

Dear Mrs. Miller,

In my letter from 18 December 2006, I tried to tell you something about my childhood.
In contrary to what I wrote you then that I was never beaten, now I remember a spanking by my mother with a hairbrush when I was a child.
But I still find it difficult to see that event as a serious thing.
I remember that I had no feeling of pain during that spanking and that I laughed about it provocating her to beat me again.
She called me "a nail to her coffin", which often was repeated later.
When as a child, I started a sentece with the words "I will.......", a regular saying of her was "Your will is standing behind the door" which meant that I did not had to expect that my wish should be respecterd by her.
So the experience of really being listened to by her is totally strange to me.
Because of lack of room, as the first and still only child, I had to sleep in the same room as my parents during the fist years of my life.
In the room next to us, separated by a wooden wall, was living the landlord of the house who did not accept too much noise.
So I wonder how my mother succeeded in silencing me. I do not know how she did it. She tells me that she did it by letting me suck my thumb, but I guess that had she also had to use some violence to make me silent.
Besides that there was no dialogue in our family. As children we were not allowed to be really present.We were not allowed to make too much noise. The best was when we were not heard.
So it is not strange that even now , 59 years old, I am still a man who does not speak much. I only say the most necessary things and I have the great dfficulties expressing my feelings
An impressing event of emotional abuse happened when I was aroud 19 years old.
Coming back at night from a dance-evening, I was sitting and talking with a friend in the livingroom downstairs, not knowing that my mother could hear our conversation.
We were talking about masturbating. Only a harmless conversation as boys of that age sometimes have.
The next morning my mother said to me: "When you were born dead that shuold have been bad, but what yhou have done to me now is worsλ".
My reaction was the same as after the hairbrush-spanking: Laughing in myself about what she had said to me and not taking her serious.
This reaction of her shows the sick expression of her need to control me.
But at the same time she gave and still gives pefect material nursing and caring.
I write you because of my desperate feelings which swing from anger to compassion.
Coming Sunday we have in Holland "moederdag" ( motherday).
I was planning not to go but when she called to invite me for dinner with my brother and sisters, I changed my mind and decided to go.
It is so difficult for me to handle my feelings.
She is 83 years old now and I do not want to disturb her peace of mind during the short time she still hes to go.
Anyway I know that discussung with her will lead to nothing. Never in my life I heard her offer her apology to anyone.
Now and then I hope she dies soon, so I am rid of her and can finally start with my own life.
Sunday, as a good boy, I am sitting there having dinner with her....

W.

AM: You want me to answer your questions that your body tries to answer you. Maybe it tries to do it as long as your mother is still alive so you can see how far your memories are correct. Some months ago you wrote that you were never beaten and now you have a new memory. That is not unusual when we are ready to give up our denial. So you can benefit now from being able to ask your mother questions and by listening to her answers to become more compassionate with the small boy who was forced to laugh when he needed to cry. Take now the liberty to FEEL your truth.

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