Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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The truth is a matter of choice
Tuesday February 05, 2008

Dear Alice Miller

I hope it is alright I write to you again.
I have just read the letter “Ending relationship with parents”. 4 February 2008.
The writer says that her parents are unaware of what they have done to her, and she feels guilty in her attempt to disconnect.
I have had the same feeling of guilt, and actually felt sorry for my parents because they are unaware of what they have done.
I almost got insane in my effort to understand their situation and told myself. It is not their fault. You can’t blame them. The price was depression. I became a cutter and in the end I could only lay in my bed being suicidal.
I asked my mother to read one of book. I really hope that your book could change our relationship, and I was ready to go far. She totally misunderstood the book, and my mother is not stupid.
I remember another event. The conversation is almost like this. My mother asks me why I am so angry. My reason: Because I did as you had suggested. Her argument: It was not an order. You didn’t have to do it. I say, yes because it was your wish, and I tried to fulfill your wish. By now she reads the newspaper and doesn’t answer and doesn’t look at me. I walk out of the kitchen. Angry, and wondering what I did wrong. I believe honesty is the basis of a relationship. I was honest. I didn’t want to be mean or hurt her. I had not read any of your books at this time. Maybe that’s why I started to study psychology. I wanted to know what was wrong with me. Why I am such a failure? This was the big question in my head. And she believes the books I read make me crazy.

I don’t feel sorry for my parents anymore. I have literally been screaming my feelings to their faces. I have stopped trying now. The truth is a matter of choice. They have chosen not to see, and I can’t change that. But I myself can choose. The truth is really a matter of choice. And I have made my choice.

Thank you for your wonderful work.

AM: Thank you for your moving letter. Yes, you made the choice and I want to congratulate you to your insight that THE TRUTH IS A MATTER OF CHOICE. We are unable to convince anybody who doesn't WANT to know. S/he will take the newspaper and avoid listening to us. But we CAN find the courage to take seriously what we are seeing, feel the pain and no longer wait that someday this person will understand. How could she if she doesn’t want to? You can NEVER EVER force anybody to understand the pain of their child if they refuse to understand their own pain.

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