Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Awakening
Friday May 18, 2007

Hi Alice..... I recently told my parents how they hurt me and the experience was loud and ugly but liberating. This was my rage, and what has happened since that moment is truly remarkable, it is my awakening. I suffered from severe abuse as a child with all the accompaning symptoms. Up until this moment I always tried to forgive my parents and unknowingly I paid a high price for that in terms of pschological and physical pain. This forgiveness is gone now. Thru my rage, and its understanding, I experienced the most painful feelings that I have ever felt. I realized that I was never loved and this old unremembered feeling of childhood was almost more than I could bear, that was the reality of my inner child. I had several people in my life who acted the role of an enlightened witness. Even though these people had not fully achieved their own full awakening I was able to use their collective empathy to bear my extraordinarily painful insights. Today I'm able to consciously feel and understand those once unconscious and terrifying feelings and how they have affected my life. Occasionaly I slip into the old denial and the confusion that it brings, but I quickly regain my balance as I re-focus on the pain and its rage in order to right myself. Slowly I am integrating into my life this new awareness and today its becoming easier to live with. I can see how most of my present life has been affected by this fear. For example (a small but pain producing incident) my neighbor had a dog that barked all night long for months and kept me awake for hours and I was afraid to confront him. (it was the old unconscious fear of my parents) Now its easy to get my needs met for peace and quite. I just tell the owner (without anxiety) that he has to take care of the problem and if he doesn't there are laws requiring him too. In the past I agonized over almost ANYTHING that required assertion on my part in order to get my needs met. All this agony because I was unaware of my very old and unconscious fear of my parents. The actual incident with my father/mom occured when my father, being the cruel man that he is, tried his old way of berating and humilating me and instantly I let my rage out, without thinking, and it kept coming and coming....a whole life time of pain and mistreatment was exposed. I had the nerve to overcome my fear and openly tell him about all the horrible things he did and how it made me feel. I really didnt know what to expect but it just happened and when it did I realized that there was nothing for me to feel shame/guilt about. If anyone was to own these feelings it should have been him but never me. It was so painful but yet so liberating. Little did I know that this single "rage" action on my part would bring all the insights that I am experiencing now. As an infant I had no way to fight back, I was at their mercy for survival, so the emotion of rage that my child rightfully experienced was frozen with fear and thats the way I lived my entire life, IN FEAR and never felt loved. With hindsight I realize that as an adult I haven't protected myself very well and when I tried those actions were usually accompanied by a lot of fear and confusion. Now I relish my newfound abilities and don't hesitate for a moment letting another person know that I don't like something they're doing and won't put up with it and when i do this I no longer feel and act like a helpless victim to life's circumstances. With this comes an increasing ability to articulate my needs and get them met without a lot of anxiety. I used to be very depressed, angry and oftentimes suicidal but now thats all changing for the better and for the first time I have experienced a deep joy. Without being too philosophical it feels like a joy that comes from the deepest level of my body's memory. A joy that seems to come from my body's stored knowledge of creation itself and it feels so good. Being able to re-experience and live with my painful early history has finally given me access to my real feelings, and I now have the very clear knowledge that I possess what it takes to begin building the type life that I used to only dream about. My regret (very small) is that I wish I had taken this step earlier because it cost me years of a better life by running in circles from the inevitable pain rather than facing it. Thank You

AM: Thank you so much for your letter. I hope that many people will read and reread it because it tells so clearly what a good therapy is all about. There is nothing I could add to your text, every sentence speaks the truth of your own experience and this is more valuable than books could be. Congratulations!

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