Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Clarification for The Body Never Lies
Friday February 01, 2008

Dear Mrs Miller,

I have just read your book "The body never lies" and I loved it like all your work. I Have a question about a statement you made (on page 155 in the English edition) in the chapter The Right to Awareness.
You say: "Of course people who were never beaten in childhood, who were never subjected to sexual abuse, do not need this work."
I am convinced that you think that more subtle cases of mistreatments exist and have also an effect (like in the fictional case of Anita Frank) and so I was puzzled by this sentence which reinforces the general idea that it is better to leave old demons alone unless one has been subjected to extreme violence in childhood.
I find that the most difficult part of the process is to figure out damaging parental behaviors when they are not as obvious as beating or sexual abuse. I find your writings are usually unique in pointing out the abuse in behaviors which are generally accepted by society (or at least go unnoticed), and so I was very surprised by the quoted sentence...

Best regards, C. H.

AM: You are right, perhaps it should be "maybe" instead of "of course", but actually the sentence was meant a bit ironically.

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