Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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A letter from Greece
Thursday January 31, 2008

Dear Alice, my name is Z. and I am Greek.
I am very lucky because I read your book “Das Drama des begabten kindes”.
I’ve cried a lot while reading it, for days and days. Firstly, I was relieved because at last I could see myself, all the things I’ve lived where there, there was you describing exactly what I’ve been through and I realized that it wasn’t me the problem all these years. And then I was shocked but at least this time by the truth.
I feel closer to the truth but I don’t feel better.
I realized that I don’t like my psychoanalyst after reading your book. But, you see, sometimes I feel so bad, so confused that I don’t trust my instinct, I think that he is not the problem but me and that I am imagining things concerning his behavior that might not exist. That’s why I would like to ask for your help, or I should say just an opinion because I understand how difficult is for you to know.
I don’t like the fact that I have an appointment at two and when I arrive at five to two there are other people waiting with me and they will go inside first. I come from a small town (two hours away from Athens and I have to pay my tickets and I don’t have a job right now). I get inside at two fifteen (he only keeps them for five-seven minutes each?) and I finish fifteen or twenty minutes later. Now I know that it goes like that and every time I feel stressed to talk and discover something because I know I don’t have much time. Only the first two times I had almost an hour.
Is this normal? Is this a method that psychoanalysts have?
He never talks to me. I know, I saw it in your book, that I shouldn’t see him as a substitute but I really need somebody to talk to me sometimes. I have only one sister that is in the same situation trying to heal her wounds and have a normal life. I have nobody else to share these things with; I need to have a person to talk about all these things.
I also think that he hasn’t realized how sick I am because lately, although I have learned all these things thanks to your book mainly, my thoughts are very dark and I don’t feel comfortable at all with myself, especially all alone. There are moments I can’t really stand my existence and I know there is something wrong with my body, a traumatic experience or something like this.
Do you think I should look for another one with the patience left inside me? And how do we look for a psychoanalyst? Athens is a very big city I don’t know where to go. I have no criteria. Is there any school that you know and that you would recommend? I know that no school guarantees the person’s decency but I have to start from somewhere.
I really hope you answer me. There’s been too much confusion and darkness lately, you see, otherwise my e-mail would be more pleasant…
Z

AM: To travel for 2 hours to Athens to be received by somebody who doesn’t talk to you, who lets you talk for 20 minutes instead of an hour as it was agreed upon, is totally absurd. You are tolerating this extreme abuse like a small helpless child who has no other options. But now, as an adult, you are not forced to endure this arrogance. As you so strongly reacted to the DRAMA, you are able to help yourself. Try to read my interviews on my web-site and my other books, especially “Die Revolte des Kφrpers,” which is already available in Greek (if I am informed correctly). This book may wake up more feelings in you. Try to find in YOUR town a person with a heart who can listen to you. You can also try to write letters to the small boy you once where, who never had a helping witness. You can BECOME his witness. But traveling to Athens to be humiliated by this person who calls himself a therapist doesn't make sense at all - unless you go ONCE (but only once!) to tell him how you feel about his arrogance. THAT could help you indeed.

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