Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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I don't want to give up!
Sunday October 28, 2007

I have read The Drama of The Gifted Child, For Your Own Good and Thou Shalt Not Be Aware. They helped me come to grips psychologically and intellectually with what I was put through as a child, and for that I thank you. But what of a person who cannot, literally, trust her own perceptions because she was raised in an extremely filtered environment so as to have her character molded to some ideal of her mother's, and therefore her perceptions probably are unreliable even if she had the self-esteem and confidence to trust them? My father died when I was nine, after that my mother had total control. At 13 I began cutting (before I knew what that was) and at 16 had a nervous breakdown that led to a severe case of OCD which I've managed to overcome entirely on my own, I'm now 39. What is someone to do when they can't validate their own perceptions, can't validate *anything* for themselves, not even what they plainly hear and see because it was made clear to them through their upbringing that they're evil, devious, untrustworthy, selfish, and they also know their perceptions are probably skewed anyway due to the artificial "reality" imposed on them for most of their childhood?
I would seek therapy again but I've seen three psychologists who only made things worse. The first actually sided with my mother when she asked if my nervous breakdown was her fault and when the psychologist said no, my mother used that against me for years, to bully and humiliate me with in front of people. All three psychologists were passive, they only listened, they just let me talk and while the third asked a few questions from time to time, this "therapy" left me feeling like a reject, a freak, as one of your books mentioned that such therapy would, I could identify with that. In addition to those psychologists, last year my husband and I went to a marriage counselor because my husband projects all his mother issues onto me and I can't take it anymore, I didn't know she physically abused (beat) him as a child or I wouldn't have gotten involved with him, to be put through this. That marriage counselor only wanted to dwell on the fact that we decided not to have children (I do chinchilla rescue work, to help the weak and defenseless), he was mysogynistic (actually accused me of being some overbearing bitch because I happened to do most of the talking for this one session) and I didn't want to go back to him. Also, our health insurance arrangement at this time is currently prohibitive of seeking mental health help.
So my question then is, is there some way to self-validate when one is isolated, some way to lead oneself through the mourning and recovery process so that one can choose to live rather than to give up? Thanks, this isn't a priority, so if you can only respond to some emails then don't feel obligated here, really. Thanks for your time, S. B.

AM: You write: “So my question then is, is there some way to self-validate when one is isolated, some way to lead oneself through the mourning and recovery process so that one can choose to live rather than to give up?” In my opinion you made it clear that you understand enough to not want to destroy your memory and to GIVE UP. You know your history and are on the best path to become free of its effects if you DON'T give up. So you do HAVE a choice. To make the right choice will give you the self-validation you are looking for.

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