Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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"Diary?"
Thursday July 05, 2007

Dear Alice,

Unfortunately, only recently I found out about you, but it is still not too late to start my healing (I'm 42), I think (and hope!).

What a relief to be allowed to acknowledge the feelings we are supposed to be ashamed of - to hate our parents - in the first place. It's a relief to not to have to forgive them, and to just let ourselves feel what we really feel. Obviously, the other side of the coin is much heavier - stop avoiding painful memories, let the pain and tears come out, try to start building a person we could have been...
It is all hard enough with an enlightened whitness, but what can one do if there's no one like that in their country?

I live in a small country where there are no therapists who even come close to what you describe an EW should be. I tried a couple of therapists, thinking, perhaps any quality input could bring about some positive changes in me, but those people only irritated me with their narrowmindedness and ways set in stone. Then I thought of asking some of my girlfriends to try to fill an EW role, but I had to give that idea up, for various reasons. In fact, I did try it out with one of them ('unofficially'), and it was clear it wouldn't work.

So, here comes my question. The one thing I'm left with, it seems to me, is writing about my childhood experiences; putting it all on paper, everything I can remember, the events, my feelings, etc., and see if it helps. In fact, I'm quite confident that it would help to a certain degree, but I wonder to what extent could it really be considered an effective therapy? Comprehensive, deep enough, long lasting... Or would it just be a temporary, insufficient measure? Or perhaps even harmful? Open Pandora's box, and then what?

And the other thing; I was able to totally relate to your "Drama...". There is one other book in which I could find quite a lot of points to relate to (mainly in the description of the pattern of one's behaviour - in my case, it is feeling worthless, looking for love I never got from my parents, totally devoting to an undeserving person(s), suffering and hoping he would change, etc.), and that book is "Women Who Love Too Much" by Robin Norwood.
I can see the connection and correspondences in the identification of the causes of my problem, but therapy-wise there are quite a few differences between these two books (by the way, 'funily' enough, even RN's recommendations are impossible to implement here).
I just wonder if you are familiar with that book, and what you think of it. I wonder if your relating to men was 'healthy', or you were also one of us 'who love too much'? I know it's personal, and I don't expect you to answer this.

Anyhow, thank you for your time and consideration, and above everything else, thank you for your courage and honesty. My gratitude cannot be expressed, neither in words nor in things, perhaps only in love that I send you this way.

F.P.

AM: It is NEVER too late to come in touch with your history and your true feelings. The diary is a good idea to start. It can be also helpful to write letters to your parents and to tell them how you are still suffering from what they did. You must not send them these letters at the moment. But writing to them may release your feelings and the rage that is a normal reaction to abuse, but was withheld for such a long time at the cost of your health, I suppose. Try to read my book The Body Never Lies.

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