Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Thank you
Tuesday November 14, 2006

Hello

I just wanted to say thank you so much for the journey I am just beginning. I recently read The Body Never Lies and I am so grateful to you for your courage and generosity in sharing your wisdom. All my life I have been bound to people (my family) in a very destructive way. Your writings speak to me so clearly and it feels like I've been given permission to break away. All my adult life (I'm 38) I have felt that the only reason I'm in touch with my family is for that reason alone, that they are my family. There's nothing genuine about my relationships with them. The reason I've been in contact with them is to try to stave of guilt, but it hasn't worked, I could never do enough for them to be satisfied. Since my mother died of cancer when I was 19, I believe my father gradually grew to realise that I was the one he could rely on (I'm the youngest of 5 children), although I believe that as a child he barely acknowledged me. I wasn't planned (an accident) and came along at a time when he was very disillusioned with life. He never hit me (it strangely feels like that would have been almost too intimate). I felt like he was a walking time-bomb whom every Sunday would get drunk and sometimes very destructive (putting his fist through doors and breaking windows, shouting) and argumentative with my mother. Often we'd go for a Sunday drive in the car, where he'd be drunk driving the car. He and my mother would argue and I used to be petrified. When I was pregnant with my son (6 years ago) my father became ill and needed to go to hospital. I was living in England at the time and as my siblings didn't attend to him, I went to Ireland to be with him. This was followed by very painful pelvic muscular spasms which I now believe was my body objecting to the hypocrisy of running to be by his side. To this day my muscular pain hasn't left me (he has grown older and more dependent). But I now feel that giving attention to that sensitive little girl who just wanted her Daddy to go away so that we could be left in peace, will help pave the way to a more free way of being. My father (who at 89 years now has senile dementia and resides in care) has on occasions said to me "Only for you, Sile, I don't know what I'd do." My mother always said that she wouldn't live long enough to reach age 60 and she (just like her mother) died when she was 59. Although we were close I'm starting to take a fresh look at our relationship - I was Mammy's little good girl who never caused trouble. She only ever hit me once, but looking back I was her little 'friend' whom she would confide in. I used to be very scared and wasn't free to just be me (I was a mini-adult).

I didn't mean to go on and on. This is just meant to be a hearty 'thank you' for the journey I'm about to take: my search for the 'truth'. The Body Never Lies is the first book of yours I've read and I'm eager to read the others.

Most gratefully yours, S.

AM: You wrote that you wanted to read my other books and I wonder what you will write us THEN. Your father might have enabled you to see how your mother has treated you and this was absolute important for your later life. Most children can't even see the injustice. But your father didn't save you from the maltreatment and he scared you terribly with his violence. I wish you the courage to see also how you suffered from him. Maybe my articles on this site can help.

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