Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Your book really touched me
Thursday June 14, 2007

I just read your book, For Your Own Good, and at 43 years old, it made a lot of sense about my childhood. My parents were, and are, narcissistic and self-centered. My mother is highly aggressive and controlling, with no ability to truly love or care for me in a healthy manner. Everything is about her. My father is a grown-up abuse victim, who has tolerated her unstable, manic, self-centered ways. He is Passive-Aggressive and an introvert. Both are highly intelligent professionals.

As for me, I have fought hypervigilance, serious depression and anxiety my entire life but am high-functioning. I knew my mother was a tyrant from 12, and have sought therapy whenever I could afford it. I am alone, with no children or husband. Love has evaded me, and I don't fully know what it is. Anyone I've let into my life was handsome and cruel. The last one nearly killed me so I gave up on romance altogether. The idea of it makes me tremble and sweat. I have become a workaholic, like my father, to keep myself from being homeless. It is hard to work, being as sensitive as I am. I am very fragile in some ways and very strong in others. Your books made sense to me. From a young age I could draw like an adult. I was gifted and put on display. Now, I am a nobody but I am a good artist. I have failed to make a name for myself, but have had some successes here and there. Sorry this was so long. I admire you and your work. Nobody fully understands me, but your books prove that you do.

C. M.

AM: You describe yourself as high functioning and this might have been your "successful" way of escaping depression. But also escaping your history and your understandable pain. I can thus imagine that my books can touch you and inspire you to feel emotions you have never dared to feel before. And they may make you aware of having these emotions since your early days, but deeply hidden. Try to trust them, they will tell you the story of the very little girl that needs your compassion and understanding for her plight and loneliness. And maybe you will no longer want to escape her because meanwhile you learned to love and protect her. I wish you the courage you need to meet her.

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