Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Continuation of The Journey Home to Our True Self
Sunday December 02, 2007

Dear Alice,

I first wrote to you in July 14, 2007 entitled "The Journey Home to Our True Self." Without your encouragement through your writings, books and website, this metamorphous could not have happened for me as it has. I searched for answers almost all my life. A part of me always knew something was very wrong with my mother's obsession with my very being since I was a child. She was jealous of my father's attachment and attention to me, the first born. Also my paternal grandmother, aunt and uncles who gave me tremendous love and attention. My paternal grandfather was deceased, so I never knew him directly. Was shown his picture and told some about his life.

I could never tell my father about my mother's cruelty or irrational behavior for fear of retribution while he was away at work. My mother would leave me alone in the apartment with younger siblings; my earliest recollection is around 4-5. She had gone somewhere, to the store I imagine, I climbed a chair and tried to wash the dishes in the sink. This was meant to surprise her when she returned. Instead of kind acknowledgment from my mother I was severely scolded for not changing the babies diaper! You can imagine my shock; I had no idea how to care for a baby.

In my 30's a distant relative told me my mother left me alone in the apt at age 2. He said I cried so hard my belly button popped out and he took me to the hospital. It seemed to me the person who told me that made it up. During the last few years doing this inner work it feels very possible such an event or something close to it did happen. My mother also tried to choke me in my sleep at age 13 while she was in a drunken state. She was capable of such gross endangerment.

My mother was completely ill equipped regarding motherhood. She was too much a narcissist and horribly impatient. Later when my father left, I was about 13 yrs old, a black cloud came over our lives. Five children subject to horrible neglect, her alcoholism, rages, continuous strange men, beating, interrogations and worst of all the constant unpredictable irrational, erratic behavior. She could not release her rage onto my father, so we were the targets instead, the surrogates for these rages to be unleashed: punches, blows, incrimination's, vile accusations. Then she would black out and not remember anything. If we even hinted at what occurred in her drunken state, she would fly into another uncontrollable rage. My siblings and I lived on pins and needles. My father was no where to be located to rescue or remove us from the madwoman. She used us to punish him, "they are mine and you will not get them." But we were hers to serve, to take care of the home and to release her demons out on us. At sixteen I was quite depressed. My half brother noticed so he suggested I move into the home of an aunt who raised him. By the time my mother was 18 years old, she had two infants. Her aunt offered to raise them so she would be free to find another sucker, that is another man! And my father was eager to rescue the maiden who turned out to be a witch.

A few weeks after my last email to you something totally unexpected happened. My therapist dropped the idea that I should find that part of me that was my mother as I made it clear that idea just made no sense to me. Yet interestingly enough what did occur was this HUGE weight dropped from my shoulders. The anxiety that was always present with me, this sense that something awful was going to happen, showed the source. I had been terrorized to feel I must love my mother! I realized that a part of me was trying to love her and that I did not feel love for her. I only felt fear my entire life, fear of my mother, not love. When I let this go from my body, this attempt to force the feeling of love, a major shift happened. Since that time my days are free from this undercurrent of anxiety.


This is truly an amazing thing Alice, and I have YOU to THANK WITH ALL MY HEART, SOUL AND BODY! Your words and the encouragement of my therapist allowed me to feel safe enough to stop demanding something I could not demand. Love is a Gift, not something to be commanded. No amount of will power could make me love my mother. And I had carried guilt for not loving her. I think my mother's obsession with me created an awful anxiety, it was as if her eyes were always watching me and accusing me of something. That is why I always preferred to spend time with my father and when he went to stay at my Grandmother's I went in tow! I felt safe at my Grandmother's and felt safe with my father though I could not tell him of my fear about my mother. What my mother did while he was away was to be kept secret. At age 5 or 6 my mother took me on her secret affair meeting with old man. They left me outside while they went into a room. This was a secret I had to keep too! But now I am free of her threats, her impositions, her harm and I feel it finally, at least to a MUCH greater extent!

I hope what has happened for me will encourage others to continue forward. It is easier to accept my feelings, to honor them, to share them. I feel lighter. Happier. And you dear Alice Miller happen to be one of the bravest women on this planet, for defending the innocent, for speaking for the voiceless children, for your immense integrity. May you be blessed beyond compare!!!

With heartfelt gratitude ~ S.

AM: Thank you so much for your letter, it is so true. You write: I had been terrorized to feel I must love my mother! I realized that a part of me was trying to love her and that I did not feel love for her. I only felt fear my entire life, fear of my mother, not love. When I let this go from my body, this attempt to force the feeling of love, a major shift happened. Since that time my days are free from this undercurrent of anxiety. With these few words you describe a situation that probably millions of people would have shared with you without having the courage to voice it. I am so glad that you could eventually feel this pressure and reject it and that you now can feel the liberation you can find when you decide to be true to your real, actual feelings without lying to yourself. All religions, however, demand from us the opposite. How can so many people believe in a God that wants us to lie to ourselves and call these lies a VIRTUE?

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