Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Emotional honesty - overcoming brain damage
Friday July 20, 2007

Dear Mrs Miller,

At some places in your writings you refer to the influence of the beating of children early in there life on the development of their brain structure.
For example in your latest flyer in which you define child mistreatment and child abuse.(2007).
Here you mention the fact that almost all children are smacked during the first three years of life when they begin to walk and to touch objects which may not be touched and that this happens during a period in which a very important development of the brain structure finds place.
So on one hand you say (which is confirmed by scientific neurological research) that substantial damage in the brain structure is a result of this kind of (mis)treatment of the very little child.
On the other hand your work is based on the idea that we can recover from the damage that is done to us when we were a helpless little child.
To me this is somewhat confusing because I want to believe in our capacity to overcome the destruction caused to me by our parents. But at the same time I also wonder to what extent recovery maybe is hindered by (or maybe is impossible) by damage in brain structure.
May I ask you you view about this?

Kind regards. W.

AM: If you read and understand my book “The Truth Will Set You Free, Overcoming emotional blindness,” you will see why there is no contradiction, and how the adult can get rid of his brain damage. We have empirical proofs, and you can find them often on this page, that people can experience the rage they have withheld their whole lives and suppressed in their bodies, and THEN get rid of their symptoms and become AWARE of what has been done to them. This happens when they succeed to overcome their fear of losing their parents’ “love” if they are true to themselves, if they are emotionally honest and show their legitimate rage or criticism. Most people don’t take this risk and stay their whole life in the fear of their childhood that produced the “barriers in the mind.” If children are forbidden to show their strongest emotion like rage, they may (wrongly) believe their whole lives that withholding the rage guarantees them the love of their parents.
In one of your postings you have also written that you can’t criticize your mother because you don’t want to lose her love. This conviction may be the result of the early brain damage, which can however be undone by people who take the advantage of being adults and take the liberty to express their authentic feelings.

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