Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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A note of gratitude
Friday November 30, 2007

Ms. Miller,

It is with love in my heart that I write to THANK you for putting into words what I have known and felt about childrearing practices from very early on.

From the time I was a little boy, I can remember being the target of my father's scorn and abuse. My father most definitely had his inner child die when he was a little boy himself. He was a hollow shell of a man and I knew this from a very early age. One of my most positive traits, sensitivity, which I, for so many years tried to bash and beat out of myself (I went through many, masochistic behaviours over the years including developing obssessive compulsive disorder, bulimia and suicidal tendencies) ended up being what finally gave me salvation.

I am seeing a wonderful counsellor who is helping me properly process my extreme rage, hate, anger and guilt, not only towards my sick, sadistic, evil and sad excuse for a father, who luckily for my psyche, I always regarded as a sick and twisted man, but also toward my mother, who worked SO hard throughout her marriage to "keep it all together for the sake of her kids" I now know only too well that my mother's choice to hide behind her "fear of failure" was a pathetic attempt at providing her with a constant stream of narcissistic supply.

I was basically the BUFFER and SHIELD between my "psycho" father and my poor, helpless mother who was suffering the role of martyr all for the world to see. I am nearing the end of coming to terms with the fact that my mother, whom I adored as a child is not all that she tried to portray. The difficulty that I am having is the fact that my mother is completely and utterly convinced that she had the perfect parents. Her father was a very strict, pedantic and dogmatic man from eastern europe who according to my mother "adored his family". I on the other hand, see him as a rigid, cold and difficult person. I truly believe that my mother is in complete denial about any harm that happened to her psychologically as a little girl).

I am frustrated by the raw reality that I continue to work out these very serious and complex emotions, not with the help of my mother but with a counsellor. Talking to my mother and knowing that she is not speaking to me from an authentic place inside of her is very difficult. I want, as I always did growing up to be protected by my parents. Instead I had to raise myself. My and thoughts of which I have been more or less conscious of at various times in my life and have chosen to go back into hiding, to only again go out into the world with the deep seated rage, fear, anger and hurt etc and just go and sabotage my life once again.

I would like you to know that you have acted as a validator of what I have felt and known all these years.
I have actually been considering a career switch to something more emotionally fulfilling, or at least something on the side such as working with adolescents who are at risk (for example the Big Brother, Little Brother organization).

I just want you to know that after SO many years of buying into my father's jealousy of and animosity toward me, where I ended up retreating into a shell of desperation, I have finally freed myself from the shackles and take very seriously my duty to humankind to live the way I feel, authentically.

With Love, D. C.

AM: Thank you for your letter, full of determination, consciousness and clarity. It is impossible to overcome the aggressions of your father and the lies of your mother, or both, without a lot of rage that you had to repress over such a long time at the cost of your body. Fortunately, you can feel and understand this rage now, thanks to the empathy of your counselor, so that you become more and more free to live your authentic feelings. Congratulations.

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