Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Finding myself again 2
Friday October 12, 2007

Dear Alice and Barbara, I just wanted to respond to the last letter, ”Aftermath”, since that story coincides so well with my own experiences. I was in a very bad shape when I entered adulthood around eighteen (as I wrote on the 6th of March, ”finding myself again”), and I am now forty-one. I was a rebellious teenager, but I felt better before I started to adapt to my parents expectations and above all when I started to seek for my parents love. I guess the reason why I felt ”better” as a teenager was that being ”difficult” gave my parents a reason not to love me, but when I started adapting and the love still failed to appear I almost lost my senses. I wanted confirmation from boys and, from having had quite sound relationships as a teen, I now entered into one unhealthy relationship after another, always addicts or abusers of all kind. Recently, after fifteen years of marriage, I left my alcohol-addicted husband.

What strikes me again is the total absence of my parents. They divorced when I was eighteen so they both must know what it's like to divorce, a nightmare, but they never even call me, they quit doing so when I entered this divorce about one and a half years ago. I am fully conscious about the fact that they are not capable of loving me (or anyone for that matter) so I obviously don’t expect them to help me in any way. They simply don’t have it in them. As the person who wrote ”Aftermath”, I feel that people get very uneasy and sometimes even edgy when you say bad things (true things) about your parents – or when you say that you don’t love them, that’s downright shocking! But, despite these reactions, I must say that I'm glad that I'm able to handle this issue and that I'm more than willing to listen, and that I would never judge. It's true that I sometimes feel (but not for long) that if I was a little bit shallower I'd be more easygoing and I would be able, like many people I meet and see every day, to smile and chat, without saying anything offensive, perfectly adapted. But, for crying out loud, how boring wouldn't that be in the end? When you're open and attentive to your true feelings and follow them you're being honest, and as an honest person you have better chances to meet other honest people with whom you can connect on a deeper level and that is extraordinary, and definitely worth living for.

Thank you ever so much Alice for your tremendous work!
Yours sincerely, a

AM: You wrote: “When you're open and attentive to your true feelings and follow them you're being honest, and as an honest person you have better chances to meet other honest people with whom you can connect on a deeper level and that is extraordinary, and definitely worth living for.”
Exactly! I am so glad for you and wish for you to keep your courage; it is worthwhile.

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