Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Deadness in the body
Wednesday November 22, 2006

Dear Alice,

I have been working for several years now on the consequences of neglect in early childhood. Your books have been of tremendous help for me and once again I thank you for them.

I had sent a couple of emails to you before and your answers were extremely helpful for me. Today I wanted to ask for feedback on a poem that I wrote a few days ago. It came to me after working with deep memories of "deadness" in the body and it felt like a huge relief, but at the same time it puzzles me. I keep having the impression that it says more than I see, and I have found myself sending it to a few people I trust to see what their impressions are. Now I had the intuition of sending it to you, and as I'm writing this I remember what you wrote about the need of an enlightened witness. Maybe that's why I'm sending it to you. Maybe I'm asking for permission to say something that was denied to me for so many years. I can't see clearly yet.

With respect and gratitude, B. G. F.


Strip the veils
one by one
until you are naked
onto yourself.

Let the body
rub itself to death
against the hardened
naked thought.

And feel
how it felt
to be untouched.

Strip the feelings then,
strip the skin,
the hair, the organs, nails,
bones

until you are truly
naked onto yourself.

AM: Usually, we don't publish poems here, but your text is a moving description of a state that many readers of this page certainly know: the state of an abandoned - UNTOUCHED - child who can't feel because nobody is there. Thank you for this powerful poem.

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