Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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not giving up
Monday October 15, 2007

Dear Alice,
I too, like many of your readers, re-read all of your books – particularly Drama and The Body Never Lies. I find something new every time…going deeper and deeper into my past, my feelings, and searching for the little girl lost back there. From my hazy recollection I recall slaps and smacks. I try not to minimize these, especially upon reading the devastating traumas of others’ abuse. Mostly though, I believe my mother’s projecting of her fears and anxieties on me, and my father’s stoic demeanour, left me desperate to please and to be perfect.
Though I have a wonderful enlightened witness in my therapist, I still find the going very much a solitary venture. This website offers me some respite for sure, and I appreciate your visitors sharing of their most tragic stories and hard-won victories.
I wrote a while back and you asked me to continue to have courage and not give up. How this sincere, kind encouragement has comforted me and given me strength. Thank you.
I continue to stay in touch with my 81-year-old mother. I still see her, partly because I have forged a relationship that is a bit more real. I basically demand that she see me as an adult and call her on things she says that interfere with that. She is persistent in trying to get me to join in family functions with my brother and sister. My brother stopped speaking to me almost three years ago. My sister has no interest in my life or who I am. She believes me to be a drama queen and says I “get off” on causing trouble in the family. She and my mom play the guilt card, but I feel less and less impacted by their methods.
I have been working towards healing myself for many years now, with the greatest success in the last three or so, with your help and that of my therapist. Nonetheless, I have the most difficulty remembering my past. Anything before the age of thirteen or so seems almost irretrievable.
I need to tell you that I have found the little girl in me. When I “see” her, in the landscape of my mind, I look just as I did at about the age of two. She seems to be playing happily when I feel most myself. However, in my mind’s eye, her back is always to me – she seems to be playing in the sand, quite content. When she feels threatened, I cannot feel her presence or find her.
I often wake at 2 am many nights. I believe this is when my 18 months younger brother awakened and I would get up also. My mom described me as a “holy terror”, running around, trying to get her attention. This is my best guess.
I have no question, just wanted to share and to say that I am not giving up.

Thank you again Alice, and to the people who have shared their stories here.

All the best, E.

AM: Congratulations! You didn't give up and now you found the small girl playing in the sand. You will learn a lot from her, I am sure. Good luck for both of you!

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