Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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I didn't know who I was
Thursday July 26, 2007

Dear Alice,

I have wanted to write to you for about 2 years now since I was introduced to your books by college ( I am a student of counselling and psychotherapy ), the first book I read was The Drama of the Gifted Child, The search for the True Self. I remember having to put it down several times because I guess I lived in the dark as to how I was and who I was. How I acted and more importantly for me why I acted the way I did. The reasons behind it.

For many years I was so confused. I would do one thing, yet I'd think another. As a child I suffered sexual abuse from a very young age until my teens, not always and by three different men. I received many years of psychical and emotional abuse from my mother. My father left us when I was a baby. So I learned rejection at a very young age. While I am at college I am beginning to understand why I am the way I am. I am also learning who I am. But I feel compelled to say that your book changed me however big or small it may have been. It opened doors for me to understand and to be more open. It made me realise I am not alone and I'm not the only one, it's so hard to find someone to understand, to truly have empathy for how you spent your early years.

I was always so ashamed of the feeling, numb, for years I couldn't cry, I couldn't feel anything actually, but when I read your book, it made sense to me. I have since given and recommended your books to many people. Because just maybe they can get what I did from it.

I don't know how many years it will take me to heal but I am surely trying. And you may not want to hear this but you are a very special person to me. You opened my eyes and my heart and I needed to say it to you because without reading your book who knows how long it would have taken me.

Thank you Alice, you gave me back apart of myself.

Love always, G. M. (Ireland)

P.S. I did a college report on your book and I got a B plus!!!!!!!

AM: It is impossible for a child to endure so much abuse and rape, to be constantly USED for the pleasure of others without being respected and without being allowed to show her feelings of rage and disgust, to know WHO SHE IS. She was constantly forced to suppress her feelings, how can she come to know herself? I am glad that my books "opened you your eyes and your heart", as you write, that they could bring you in touch with your feelings. Because without them you can't be an effective psychotherapist; you can't understand others if you don't know yourself. I wish you much courage to continue this work.

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