Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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From Beijing again
Saturday December 16, 2006

Dear Alice:

I really appreciate you take a time to read this email.

I wrote to you a while ago and I got some answers for my problems. I'm a 35 years old spanish journalist living in Beijing for 4 years now. I’ve already read almost all your books.

I didn’t get any answer for my last email, sent last May. Anyway I have lots of trouble with my email since I’m in China.

Since September I’m doing a new therapy here in Beijing with an Austrian psychologist specialized in child abuse. She used to work for the police back in her country. I’m very happy with the progress that we are doing, which until now has been mostly a research about my own past, as I don’t have yet the strength or the ability to recover my own memories. We’ve got to a point were it is quite obvious that I was sexually abused by my uncle, an alcoholic man who used to live with my family for 10 years and later mistreated and abused his daughter as well. I’ve been in touch with my cousin for the last few months after 25 years without news about her. In our last conversation a week ago my cousin told me about some evidences of sexual abuse, although she cannot remember yet. It was the first time that she told me how his father mistreated her, and also the first time for me that anybody told me how evil was my uncle, who has always been protected by my mother. After this conversation I suffered a breakdown, cried in a deep grief followed by a rage stroke.

I would like to ask you if there is any kind of self-help measures to speed the recovery of these memories. My body is still deeply afraid of remembering as I was also mistreated and abandoned by my parents, but it is the only way for me to face my past. My current therapist told me that memories will come back alone from now on, as I now have evidences that I was somehow sexually abused. I might not be able yet to do it, as I still feel clogged up. I trust her and I think we are doing a lot of progress compared to the two other therapists I had here, and that she is respecting my rythm to remember. But also understand that not every therapist is perfect and you might recommend me some clues in order to unblock these memories.

I've been lately reading an article, "Biology of emotions", by Elnora Van Winkle (New York University), and I would like to know also your opinion about it.

I thank you very much for your advice. M. Z,

AM: It seems that you found the right therapist and you can also feel the rage about what happened to the small girl. If you can feel indignation about your parents and the uncle without wanting to protect them, you are on the best way to protect the child in you who suffered once so much without any witness. This process takes time, be patient and don't expect miracles from yourself. Van Winkle was also on the path to discover the important dynamic of child abuse and its effects but I have the impression that she could not go to the end of this path, looking for reconciliation. Unfortunately, this happens to many. Have you read The Body Never Lies?

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