Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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To listen to the body
Monday November 23, 2009






Dear Ms. Miller,

At the age of 33, as the result of a break-up with my then fiance, I began to realize that my life was not so perfect. I was not working in a job that I had chosen, I did not really share my life with any friends or even my fiance, my health was far from robust, and I was really lonely, isolated, and depressed.

For the first time in my life I began to search for myself. I began to read, found a therapist from time to time, joined a self help group, and slowly and painfully found a few answers to my questions.

A few years later I was in a used book store in New Jersey, in America, and walked out confused, having purchased two books on childbirth. At this time I was not married, not dating, and did not even know anyone who was pregnant. Yet I had bought two books on birth, one of which was, "Birth Without Violence", by Frederick Leboyer. A couple of years later a friend recommended that I read "Magical Child", by Joseph Chilton Pearce, which is about child birth and child development. I wasn't sure at the time why I found myself purchasing these books. Thinking back, when I was in my late 20's, I had also purchased a book of color photographs of the different development stages of a fetus inside the womb.

As I re-read these books from time to time, I would feel a knot in my stomach, or a bit of panic. Slowly I began to understand that my body was trying to tell me that my birth was a violent experience, and that this has been a handicap to my life.

Four years ago I was married, and within a year my wife was pregnant. My wife and I learned as much as possible about the birth process and we were fortunate to find a practice in our hometown of Chicago that is very infant and mother-centered. Our daughter was born, at our home, without drugs, bright lights, craziness, or the need for artificial interventions, and with love and support from a few chosen family members.

This past weekend, I was on two long overseas flights, and I read "The Body Never Lies". It is absolutely true that our bodies will tell us where we need to go, and I am determined to listen to my body. It has been 17 years, since I first "awakened" and looked inward, but I still feel like I am carrying much of the stress from my birth trauma. For the sake of my life and for my daughter, I am commited to go wherever my body guides me.

Thanks for listening, M

Please use my note if appropriate

AM: It was a good idea to listen to your body and your intuition, hopefully you will be able to continue and maybe the presence of your small child will help you to understand the feeling of a child.

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