Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Exposing the wounds to heal
Monday October 19, 2009

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Dear Alice Miller:

I recently finished the book Free From Lies, and am now half way through Banished Knowledge, Facing Childhood Injuries. First of all, let me begin by saying what a great relief it has been to have accidently stumbled onto your books in a Chapter's Bookstore in my hometown. From the moment I opened up and read the first few pages of Free From Lies, I can not put into words just how wonderful it is to see that another human being sees the issue of child abuse in such a similar way.

As I have found the hardest part of dealing with that trail of tears was the sheer and utter frustration I have felt in trying to find people to not only listen to but take seriously my concerns. Not only about the abuse itself but the treatment they were giving me. Time and time again, I kept saying, "You're missing parts of the equation here! You are not taking a broad enough look at the problem to understand that you don't actually understand what it's like to heal from child abuse." That frustration led me to abandon traditional psychological therapies and to broaden my scope of knowledge to include integral spirituality, alchemy, buddhism, Taoism, cinema, literature, and walking to come up with a therapy that worked for me. You are so very right when you say that spirituality and religion do not have the capability of understanding that there are psychological roots that have systemically grown inside of the abuse victim. Roots that are long and varied. Roots that branch out into all areas of life. Roots that must be uncovered and brought to the light of reality and awareness. Roots that no amount of praying or meditation can ever fix. Therefore, I have used a wide ranging group of things to combat my problems with depression and recovery from what happened to me.

Perhaps the biggest problem I have faced is that society itself, although it wallows in the spectacle of child abuse stories still believes that it does not apply to their own lives. They don't see that child abuse is present throughout all levels of society with devastating effects. For a person such as myself it has taken every ounce of courage and strength I have to remain on this course. Especially when I run into my own insights, such as finding out that not only our inner critics subpersonalities can be working against us but also our supposed inner supporters can engage in defense mechanisms that run counter to our well being and overall psychological good health.

To make a long story very short, I ran into such an insight when I devised a ritualized visualization technique whereby I used the metaphor of a concentration camp to symbolize not only my abuse, but also the state of mind my post abuse mind had fallen into. I used this concentration camp metaphor as a way to visualize a way to invite the soul into the equation of healing and to oversee first the dismantling of the concentration camp of abuse and depression, but also the restoration to a lush geen forested garden for all to reside in. Needless to say there were things like barbed wired and electrified fences all symbolizing the various mental defence mechanisms. Guards symbolized inner critics and of course there were the scattered child sub personalities that existed within me, whom I referred to as The Children of the Light. What I found staggering was that my present day personality, Michael Present helped the Legion of Doom to work with The Children of the Light to uncover and purify cesspools and tarpits that contained old memories of abuse and housed long ago treasured parts of my childhood personality from harm and to lay dormant for recovery at a later date. What shocked me though, was not the actions of the Legion of Doom. They saw themselves not as prison guards but as protectors of the Children of the Light. The Children of the Light however, shocked me with their own one sided versions of life that were equally or more so destructive than anything the Legion of Doom could come up with. Thus making integration between both dark and light sides of my personality doubly difficult almost to the point of exasperation as I floundered about trying to break down the walls and establish trust amongst various fragments of my mind that existed within me. I should also admit that I am not a multiple personality or a D. I. D. I would say I came close to that at some point, but stopped short. I'm a cusper I suppose is a way to look at it.

Anyways, the importance of your books is that to somebody like myself that has found the loneliness of living outside of society almost crushing, it is a great relief to suddenly have another voice writing these things. As you can well imagine, it is very hard for abused children such as myself to believe anything that my mind comes up with. No matter how brilliant or spot on it might be, there is and perhaps always will be the soul crushing loss of self validation that comes with living through the rabbit hole of abuse and being looked upon as if you were the Madhatter. Nobody believed a word I said and rarely did I receive anything but verbal abuse for my musings. It is just such a relief to have an outside voice offer up insights that provide long needed validation.. Thank you and great big hugs, If you feel my letter is worth publishing then feel free to use it without alteration . MLG


AM: You say in the beginning of your letter that you were a victim of severe sexual child abuse that occurred in your first five years. This is a terrible experience. Than you continue to write but don't come back to this issue. I hope and wish you that you find sombody whom you can trust enough to talk about your history and find, thanks their empathy, the strength to expose your wounds and to FEEL them so that they can heal.

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