Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Your work for silenced children
Friday February 24, 2006

I am writing to you to thank you for saving my life on several occasions, and to express my deep respect for your courage in expressing the truth about childhood suffering in an era when most psychiatrists busy themselves mostly with drugs and sometimes deeply questionable therapies that may help to carve in stone those lies that pervade so many childhoods.
Like many others I has a childhood best NOT forgotten, and even though the struggle has been a long and ardous one I have now even reached the stage where I have actually given a lecture on the effects of childhood abuse - not, unfortunately, because I am an expert, but because I had to try to help in your work to tear down the wall of silence. After the lecture I was approached by several people who wanted to tell me about, and have me confirm the reality of, their childhood suffering. This was how I had decided to measure my success; if only one person in the audience was prepared to understand what I was saying, it was worth it. And more than one did, and I achieved my goal.
Without your clarifications and your love for the silenced children, I would never have been able to start working with what my own inner child was trying to tell me, and I would have become a dreadful mother.
When I read your first book, at the age of 26, I cried for a week - it was awfully painful, and awfully liberating. With the help of all the knowledge you have given me, I was even able to comfort my father when his demons had a stab at him on his death-bed.

I am not Totally Liberated and Everything is Smooth, I doubt that is the kind of life I was born to have, but I sure have a better and more real life than either of my parents. And what more can one ask? This is a struggle that will take generations. My daughter even managed to persuade her Ethics teacher (!) that beating/humiliating children was wrong. A rather grand achievement for a girl of sixteen!
My kindest regards, and all my respect!
Anonymous

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