Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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An incredible pain
Sunday October 07, 2007

Dear Alice,
I did write three email to you in August and I really appreciated your response to those.
I'm writing again now to share new feelings and "problems" with you. Let me just say to you in advance that I do not expect to be healed by our occasional mail "conversations", even though you don't know how I would love to find a way to cure myself. I'm talking about healing and curing myself as I am still in pain. Very much so. The reason why is that my childwhood suffering has conditioned every aspect of my life.
My relationships with friends and partners (even though I've been single for the last three and a half years). My work activity. My thoughts and opinions. Since I've been reading your books and approached your work I have started to appreciate the paramount importance of validating one's rage. Believe me, up until this summer I'd never, ever met anybody who seriously told me I am right in being outraged towards my parents. On the contrary I've always met people who invited me to forgive. I have noticed lately that when I allow my rage to be, I can do things
correctly. Work, negotiate, be in the company of others. But when the rage goes (for reasons I yet have to understand) it isn't replaced by serenity. On the contrary, it's replaced by a deep melancholy which almost glues me to the ground and doesn't allow me to interact with the life out there.
The point is that it's a very hard task to keep the rage healthy and going (this may sound really strange, but the rage I'm talking about isn't an unhealthy one, as you know). Sometimes it fades away. And instead of feeling better I do feel much worse. And I don't know how to solve this first problem.
Then, I guess one of my biggest issues in my life has always been the fact that I "instinctively" do not trust myself. Let me explain: my opinion about myself as a man has always been that I am not worthy and I don't deserve any good thing. With regard to this thing let me quickly add that during my August holidays in my home town I had a chance to meet some very old friends. One of them told me a story I had removed completely. He told me that after a very important sailing race (which I had lost in that occasion) I came back from sea to the yacht club very upset about the result and my father, who was waiting for me ashore, started to insult and yell at me in front of everybody, humiliating me in a terrible way. I said ironically to that friend of mine that my father had his own very strong ways. "No", he replied... "he was a bastard in that occasion". This really made me
think...
Like this one, there have been millions of other occasions in which I have been sistematically told that I am not worth a single penny and I don't deserve anything. Humiliated, basically. Now, if I calmly sit down and analyse my life I can say that if I've managed to get a Master Degree in Law, sail in the Italian Team all over Europe, tour worldwide with my band playing guitar, become an accomplished sound engineer in London, teach premiere schools in London and get a Diploma in Sound Engineering, and many more things...I CANNOT BE WORTH OF NOTHING. I MUST have some talent and value. I made myself. Going through an incredible pain (and I've talket to you about this in my previous mails). Yet...my mind doesn't accept this reality. It still is unconsciously convinced I'm nothing. And this makes me still struggle today. Financially. Emotionally. And more.
Every time I have to negotiate my work I end up being exploited. And I suffer very much for this. Very much. I have wondered why I'm still in this destroying pattern. Well, not so destroying in reality. As it served the purpose for me to survive with my parents when I was a kid. I have learnt the "art" of being submissive as it was the only way to receive some "love". The horrendous thing is that I survived, yes, but I never ever received the love I needed. And today I repeat the same thing: I become submissive and I accept to be exploited because I'm terrorized to lose the "love" of others. Actually this is just a mind pattern as in reality I cannot expect to receive love from everybody. Yet it's a pattern. And I haven't managed to overcome it. I know I'm one step from doing it. But this very one step has become a Giant one in my life.
I'm getting desperate. To the point I get attracted to NLP and easy self help ways. I don't know what your opinion of NLP is. But I see it (and all it's derivations) as "weird" psychological help (without being too technical).
I still haven't found an enlightened witness and this makes me feel very lonely too.
I hope I will find my way.
Thanks a million for your work and help.
All the best, M.

AM: I realize now that my answer to you didn't come through and am sorry about this. I wrote to you that it is very very painful to FEEL that you were not loved, not seen, not understood and were so alone with this pain. To show you that also many well-known people suffered the same destiny, I sent you a quote from the famous composer Igor Stravinsky. You can find this quote in my book “The Drama of Being a Child,” page 38, footnote. I wrote also to you that the pain of your childhood must have been so strong that you were forced to repress it, but your body kept it for you all the time so you can EVENTUALLY fully FEEL it as adult and with time get rid of it. The consciously felt pain doesn't last forever. Once you know it, it will leave you and make you free for other feelings because you will no longer need your energies for suppressing your truth. And you will become stronger because you will not be afraid of painful memories coming up. They will become their CONTEXT and be no longer so scary.

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