Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Freedom
Thursday October 26, 2006

Dear Alice Miller,

I am writing this to you as I want to share with you how after a long painful awakening for the past few weeks I have started to experience
a new freedom.

I am 42 and I have had years of struggling with an unpredictable and emotionally abusive and narcissistic mother who wanted me only to be a certain way and never saw me or my talents but wanted to ignore (destroy) me. I have struggled with boyfriends who of course never loved me, and now I see why, I expected so little. I have had difficult relationships with friends. I sought spiritual solace but had problems with compassion at all times. It seemed too unrelated to the real challenges of life. And lastly, I have struggled with a couple of therapists (good and bad) who, despite their insights, also failed to see me. I now see my disquiet was justified as even the best one was more interested in their own psychoanalytical theories than my suffering. I struggled and suffered on and on, but I never gave up.

Last week my mother wrote me a letter telling, full of expletives and insults about how ungrateful and lazy I was, and telling me she never wanted to see me again. I knew this was coming somehow. As I stood up for myself others have felt threatened. Other people have shut up shop and I feel ok about that too. I feel both stronger and more vulnerable than I have for years. In fact I had a dream the other night where I woke up and actually believed I was 20 years younger! It was as if my body was saying lets wipe out 20 years of misery! Now I can just be me. I don?t have to live up to anything. I can take account of myself and my childhood and understand what was done to me, I don?t have to pretend any more. My existence is not about my attempts to appease the world. It is about my right to my own vitality, to be who I am, and to appreciate only people who have my best interests at heart. I can speak out when I want to and remain quiet as I wish. I can trust my instincts, celebrate my joy, and show my displeasure as I choose. Your books and your writings on this site are especially encouraging on this. I know its not over yet, I will have episodes and instances of the old craven me who always tried to do her best and please, whatever she was feeling inside. Now I have a first taste of real freedom and laughter, as you say in your writings, whatever my age or social position. Thank you for your help in this. It has been the most astounding experience of my life. k.t.

AM: Congratulations! Indeed, the true life begins when you stop to please others and start to take care of yourself.

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