Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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questions
Tuesday October 09, 2007

Oh my God! I am so happy to get in touch with you. Your book The Drama of a Gifted Child is a blessing to me. And it is because after my seminar on Hierarchy of Values or Values Technology (which totally transformed my life), I had soooo many questions, right ones now at least. And I’ve been struggling with the horrors of my past. They have been like colliding planets and meteors clogging my vision and brain and since then it has been a lonely journey. I don’t mind the loneliness in mourning and in dealing with the groans of my soul but I wished I had someone to discuss them with or more, answer my questions. Your views are highly unpopular or, to correctly put it, unconventional. People cling devotedly to their illusions and stand unyieldingly against the need for therapy or psychology, esp in the Philippines where I am. I do understand why but in the process, my journey has been a grope in seamless dark.

Anyway, I plan to read more of your books.

Here are my questions.

1) Is being able to forgive your mother necessary in healing? And does admission of mother necessary? How should we think of our mothers? Do we blame them? Of course they are also victims themselves but in order to search for the truth, in order to admit our woundedness, in order to face our damages, what role do they play if we shouldn’t idealize them? Are they our perpetrators when they themselves are also victims? In the process of facing our mothers, should we keep in mind their own woundedness? I know this is too technical but I am so aware of what my own mother has gone through. Are they to blame for not having “fixed” themselves for their children? What are they in the process of my mourning if should wipe the mirror of illusion? In your book, you have said so many things about children being victims of the past but you never quite attached a role to them in the victimization process. When we talk about our mothers, are they the criminals—no matter how wounded they themselves are? When we recount our lives, after healing, who do we say they are in our woundedness?
2) How do you know you are healed? Are spontaneous responses mirroring childhood wounds a sign of incomplete healing? A complete healing can’t surely trigger unguarded moments, can it? Does healing start and end only in a conscious effort or it can eradicate all chances of spurt-of-the-moment responses resembling our illusions and denials?
3) If words are not going to help people and only the experience or the mourning of wounds would free people, how can I help then? I mean, people are not open to therapy. Insisting will just have a negative effect towards therapy. How can I help then? I gathered that I should just respect their feelings, listen and not use them. But in relation to their issues, is there anything else I can do or say other than wait till they want to face their past?
4) A catholic priest in our church, during homily or the sermon part of the mass, hurts my ears. I just can identify so many issues in his statements. What can I do? Also, I mean I don’t listen anymore and my son will surely not also because the manners in our home are of respect and peace and non-judgment. What will I tell him about other people? How will I protect him from other abuses without criticizing other people or negating these society figures? He’s three, by the way.
5) I believe we all have wounds. Is the point of life healing wounds and help heal? If we don’t heal them, is that the tragedy? With ideologies such as communism and the likes that you have said to be manifestations of childhood issues and therefore are not real, can our life, efforts and moments only be worthwhile or meaningful or effective if we have gone the path of healing?


Thanks so much for your time. I hope to finally be able to discuss my thoughts. Thank you for sharing with the world what you wrote in your books.

c.

AM: I can imagine that you feel lonely with the knowledge you found on this website. Maybe it will be different in ten years. Meanwhile I can only offer you the last articles and interviews as well as the reader's mail. You will find in them all the answers to the questions you are asking here.

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