Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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enjoying on's own painting
Wednesday February 25, 2009



Dear Ms. Miller,

I can’t tell you how much your work has meant to me. Every night before bed, I read 2 pages. I let the truth you speak of sink deep. I read Drama of the Gifted Child 20 years ago, but not until last year did I begin to fully understand. What really impressed me was how the child of narcissists can over love our own children for the same need of hoping to get the love we never had from our parents. This has helped me be aware how I “love” my son and question the root of that love. I realize now it is a generational problem for us baby boomers.

I am 57 years old now. For the past few months I have been reading For Your Own Good and Thou Shalt Not Be Aware. Before that I read many books on Narcissism and Shame. But it is your books that unify it all. Everything you have been saying about “poisonous pedagogy” I have called “shame” but without the “pedagogy”. Your concept makes perfect sense.

I was an elementary school teacher, then an English as a Second Language teacher in the Community Colleges. Now I paint full time. Because of your work and because of the psychological work I have been doing for many years, I am now ready to embrace my Self. In the past year, I have fallen in love with my small sketches. In all the years I have painted, I don’t think I have loved my artwork, until now. I feel a lightness, joy and hope.
What I wanted to say is thank you so very very much for all you have written, for the person you are and for your dedication to the truth.

Most Fondly,

AM: Thank you for your letter and the photos of your painting. I very much enjoyed looking at them. They are rich, full of life and hope. You write:
" For the first time in my life I truly feel excited when I look at my sketches without the need to have them be anything but themselves, without the need to show anyone. It is odd and wonderful that when I am going through such shifts of realization and grief for my own childhood trauma, I have these small precious sketches to carry me through". And one can feel that when one looks at them. Congratulations!


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