Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Psychogenic hearing loss
Saturday July 14, 2007

Dear Alice Miller,

I have read most of your books and wish I could have talked with you personally so this is a wonderful opportunity. Over 20 years ago I had gone to a female doctor for a PAP smear and routine pelvic exam, etc. Immediately afterwards I had my hearing tested by an otolaryngologist because I am totally deaf in my right ear and have been for as long as I can remember. After the hearing test, the doctor had me come into his office to explain the results. He asked me what made me think I couldn't hear in that ear? According to the tests I could hear just fine. I was shocked and almost in tears. He said I must have some sort of psychological block and practically accused me of lying. I have had my hearing tested several times since then and all those tests show almost total hearing loss in the right ear. I had read of cases where hearing loss in just one ear was linked to sexual abuse. Our family has a history of sexual abuse especially on my father's side. All of his brothers molested sisters and nieces, including my own youngest sister. If this happened to me, I have no conscious memory of it. I just know I feel shame attached to the hearing loss. During a Spanish class in High School, I panicked when we had to put on head sets to listen to Spanish dialogue because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to hear it and the rest of the class would find out. If you have any information on this, I would be grateful. Also, I have suffered from bulemia since I was 16 years old - I am now 51 and have almost lost hope of ever being free from this.

Thank you. mch

AM: I know that many women suffering from bulimia report that they were sexually abused (70% who know it!), but I never heard about hearing loss as a result.

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