Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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So how do I feel what my body is telling me?
Friday July 27, 2007

Dear Alice Miller,

I have just finished reading your book, The Body Never Lies. I see the truth that you speak, though I feel somewhat useless in my own ability to listen to my body, remember large parts of my childhood and express how I feel.

Since my teens, I have had a chronic digestive disease and I get allergy rashes, especially where my clothes touch my body. I have had a couple of periods of depression (subsequent to bereavements) in my twenties, though they only lasted about six-months each time and with the help of drugs I was able to pull myself together.

I was physically and emotionally abused as a child, though I think the emotional abuse has left its deepest mark on me. I have problems making friendships which are meaningful to me, I think because I am unable to connect with people on an emotional level. I don’t do trust and I don’t do touch either, though inside of me sometimes I want nothing more than a big long hug.

I have been seeing a TA therapist for a year now and we have been doing a lot of work on feelings, but ultimately I keep drawing a blank. I cannot express anger and I cannot express my sadness. More specifically, anger frightens me so much; I was so fraught just by talking about anger after one session I had an accident on my way home. Though I believe I do have anger hidden inside of me as I abuse my own body. I am annoyed with myself that I lack control towards myself.

And as for sadness, isn’t the ultimate expression crying, which I am unable to do. My therapist says be patient, it is tricky work, but I just now have so many doubts whether this area of my life is a vault that will never be opened.

From your book, I hear that it is about having an enlightened witness, who is my therapist I guess. But I just can’t find my voice and say what is going on within me. I find it so hard to speak for fear of rejection.

And I also wonder whether I should stop seeing my parents. I feel oppressed and suppressed in their presence, but I can’t articulate why. And I know what it will do to them if I don’t see them, and I am so worried the terrible guilt that I will feel will weigh heavy on me. I wonder if I will be being unfair to them.

What are your thoughts?

Thank-you.

AM: Your body is telling you: FEAR, FEAR, FEAR. There must be a good reason for that. What would happen if you DID express your anger? How would you be punished?

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