Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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How long will it take???
Monday December 31, 2007

Dear Alice Miller and Barbara Rogers,

Your response to M's 12/2/07 letter, Detachment from Parents, moved me. Let me first say that I appreciate the never-ending work, time, and effort you put into the child abuse crisis. It is such a crime to be robbed of a childhood. I do believe you help change the lives of so many.

A little history: I was severely physically and emotionally abused for the first 9 years of my life. My therapist labeled my abuse as torture. I asked her to rate the abuse I experienced from a scale of 1 to 10. She quickly and adamantly replied an 11. I have been detached from my mother my whole life. I detached from my narcissistic father when I first went through therapy 13 years ago. I reunited with him but was never happy with our relationship. I still felt insignificant to him. Our reuniting lasted for 5 years until I entered therapy again. I knew I still had unresolved issues. I confronted him for a 2nd time. I asked him why he stood by and let my mother 'torture' me. I was not happy with his response. It was something to the effect of 'she would make life hell for me if I intervened.' He feels he did the best he could under the circumstances. He has since detached from me stating that he is in his 70?s and can not deal with this and that I should get over it.

My question to you is how long it will take to feel and understand the pain of the small, abandoned and hurt child I once was.

A little therapy background: I saw two different therapists for three years but shed no tears or expressed any rage in the sessions. I expressed rage while under the influence of alcohol usually taking it out on myself. I still am afraid of social situations experiencing mild anxiety attacks. I most often keep myself isolated. I am extremely uncomfortable in the company of women. I am currently working with a therapist and our main focus is the trauma portion. I've been told that I used dissociation to survive the abuse. However, there is only one of me.

How long will it take to take for me not to long for the love that never existed? How long will it take for me to feel the need for rebelling against that loss and how long will it take to express this loss? How long will it take for me to finally reunite with the little girl inside who I know is dieing to come out and be seen and heard and loved. I have a feeling your answer will probably be to the effect that everybody is different and that that difference dictates the length of time. I would like a ball bark figure though. Will it be a few years or will it be a lifelong struggle??? Sometimes I want to just give up and live life the way I have been because I am so sick and tired of seeking happiness and I am quite use to living an isolated life. It almost seems more difficult to do this work then to just accept and live with the cards I have been dealt. Your thoughts would be so greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, PW

P.S. Unbelievably I am married for 10 years now with two beautiful children whom I unconditionally love and have never and hope never to lay a hand on. They absolutely adore me which I find so hard to accept as true. I never thought I was capable of being a mother who could love or be loved. I look at them and wonder when will they wake up and decide not to love me? When will they finally see my flaws?

AM: I think that you will suffer as long as the little girl in yourself will be waiting for your father to understand your torture, to take a risk, to love you and to save you instead of protecting HIMSELF, THE ADULT. But once you can rebel against him, the small girl will feel protected. Does this make sense to you? Try to SEE and FEEL how he betrayed you because of his cowardice.

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