Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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My body asked: "Why don't you trust me?"
Saturday October 29, 2005

Dear Alice Miller,
You get many letters thanking you for your work and your books and this is
another such letter. However just as others have felt the need to write to
you personally I feel exactly the same need, as your work has and does, mean
so much to me.
Earlier this year I went to see my first ever therapist as I have had
depression and other stress related illnesses all of my adult life and I am
increasingly realising for much of my childhood too (I am 39). My therapist
refused to accept my view that all of this was completely my fault (which
was my view and the view that I held from a religious stand point). My
therapist suggested I read 'The Drama of Being a Child' and then we could
perhaps talk about what it meant to me and if it was useful.
The book and the weekly support of my therapist has completely changed my
life and I now realise that I have reached a new understanding through your
work and am very fortunate to have found a therapist who is an 'enlightened
witness' to support me on my journey.
My memories of my physical and sexual abuse(the latter of which I firmly
believed was my fault) are now slowly being addressed and my therapist
constantly reminds me that I must FEEL this as the small child that I was
not just as the adult that I am.
I have read several of your books and have more to read as I find them
challenging and comforting to read alongside my 'one to one' therapy. The
book that has been the most challenging for me is 'The body never lies'
which really opened my mind to the concept of self healing through listening
to yourself. Throughout reading this book my body was whispering and then
finally SHOUTING - "why don't you trust me!" I realised as I finally
listened to my body that my support network of prescription antidepressants
and daily alcohol was suppressing my healing and body was asking for the
chance to show me the way out. I took several weeks to decide, but with the
support of my therapist who is clear that I have made a rational decision
and against the advice of my Doctor I have come off my medication and am
reducing alcohol intake. This is still early days for me, but listening to
my body has given me the courage to try, and I want to FEEL my time as a
child not just understand that time intellectually which is where I am at
now. My therapist will go on that journey with me and help me stay off
medication with her support. I feel I don't need the medicine because I am
no longer so angry with myself and just just generally angry, I am beginning
to get very angry with my parents and another relative (now deceased) and
anger where it belongs is so much less harmful to me.

Thank you so much as your work, particularly the Body Never Lies which has
given me the courage to listen to myself and to take time to heal. I think
the view from the other side of depression is going to be good, if the
glimpses are anything to go by! It is scary to think that if I had not got a
therapist who was such an advocate of your work then things might have been
different - looks like I got lucky.

Happy for you to print this note on your website if it would be of interest
to other readers, I find the letters and responses useful.

Kindest regards,

LS

A.M.: thank you so much for your letter. it might indeed be very helpful for others, and we will publish it as soon as possible. your therapist seems not to be afraid of your emotions. she thus will be able to help you to come away from your medication. you are really lucky.

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