Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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To open the eyes
Tuesday June 26, 2007

Dear Alice,

I have almost finished reading ‘The Drama of Being a Child’ which has been an amazing journey for me, You write about such complex matters with unbelievable clarity, and in so few pages! You must be extremely proud of your work!

I personally didn’t suffer child abuse but I married a man who verbally and emotionally absued him entire family. They have trodden on egg shells around him all of their lives. As an outsider, over time, I could see the distress he caused all of them and most of his wife, the ‘over understanding peace keeper’, but none of them could face it. Your book has helped me to understand why. I tried to get my husband to see it, and failed. Your book had helped me understand why. He became an alcoholic and verbally/physically abusive toward me. Your book had helped me understand why. THANK YOU! We are no longer married, I got out early, and I’m proud of myself for moving on but I can see now why some women stay on – sometimes it’s almost easier (in a paradoxical way).

It has inspired me and opened up my world in so many ways.

• I have 2 very successful friends, men, in their 40s who were abandoned as children, I’ve told them all about the book as I know it will help them.
• A colleague’s mother resembles one of the examples in the book. I shared it with him and he was enlightened.
• I have another friend with whom I will share this. His mother and father spent his childhood telling him how he should act and what image he should portray. He says that in relationships he always tries to change a woman. Now I understand why!
• I want to write a play or a documentary about child abuse and the knock-on effects in adulthood – if you ever had the time I would love to get your input along the way.
• One of my goals this year is to do some charity work. A friend of a friend works on ChildLine in the UK so I’m going to look into volunteering for it. It would be great research for my play/documentary. I have some good contacts to get this started and am doing a theatre writing course tonight.
• I’m going to send a copy to my mum in Australia – whose father was heartless and domineering, dressed up as fatherly care! Her mother always told her to be quiet and not cause trouble. Also, she was raped at 12 by the father of friend. My poor mum. She only really started to grow up in her 40s. No wonder! Your book has helped me see why! Thank you.
• Of course I will be reading more of your books.
• I even find myself contemplating a career change into this area!!!

As a result of reading your book I am coming to the conclusion that I have one or two small emotional cages that I still need to work on – nothing horrific. I may need some help finding out more. Can you recommend someone in London with whom I could visit to work on this? I particularly like your techniques and would like to find someone similar.

Many, many thanks. You have a gift! M. B.

AM: If you could benefit so much from the DRAMA you may find much more information in my more recent books. And maybe you will find the therapist you are looking for when you at first use my FAQ list to prepare your questions for the first interview. We have no lists of therapists, not in London, nor elsewhere. In any case, today I no longer recommend psychoanalysts because I feel that unfortunately they side with the adult and not with the child, as Freud did in his theories and his treatments. To recover from the tragic effects of child abuse, we need a well-informed witness who is not protecting the abusive parents.

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