Monday October 19, 2009
October 14, 2009
Dear Dr. Miller:
Before I tell you my story, I would like to thank you for the work that you do.
Twenty-two years ago when I was uncovering my painful past I read Drama of the Gifted Child. It brought me tremendous depth of understanding; and helped me reconnect with my wounded child.
Presently I rediscovered your work again and just read The Truth Will Set You Free, and The Body Never Lies. I was thrilled to find that now you can be reached through your website. For many years I wanted to write you but didn’t know where.
Twenty-two years ago my life fell apart. I divorced for the second time and ended up broke and alone. I had no idea how I was going to support myself financially without a college degree and worst of all at age 46. I had recently survived a bout of cancer and been told I was going blind. Needless to say, I was hanging by a thread.
Somehow, this crisis forced me to take a hard look at myself. I began a process of reflection, but had more questions than answers. There was only one thing I knew for sure, that I bore some of the responsibility for how things had turned out, It was clear to me I needed psychological help, but couldn’t afford it.
One day out of desperation, I asked whoever might be listening, to help me. From that moment on I began to listen to my inner voice and follow its dictates. The first command I received was to get healthy. With what little money I had I joined a gym and began to work out. I devoured books on health, psychology and personal growth. I recorded my dreams and studied dream interpretation.
With this holistic approach to healing, I began to understand my role in the creation of my chaotic life. Transformed and empowered, I began to believe in myself. Eventually I became a very successful fitness trainer, writer and speaker and have never to this day lacked clients or money.
Determined to not ever again fall into sickness, want and depression I continued to seek answers. I needed to know why I had been such a victim. How had my past affected the adult I became, who thought she was worthless, couldn’t support herself or live alone and would forever be dependent on men for her livelihood? Why had I been crippled with such chronic fear of everything and everyone? Why was I going blind? Why had I been afraid to face my childhood? What was I running from?
One day while I was driving, a sharp pain shot through my left eye. It felt like a knife slicing my cornea. The next day after examining my eye, my ophthalmologist told me I was going to need a corneal transplant if I wanted to save my sight. I was so shocked to hear for the second time that I was going blind, that all I could do was run out of his office. On my way home I decided there had to be another way to save my sight, and it was my responsibility to find it.
I began to read everything I could find on alternate eye healing methods. I discovered that there was a connection between mental and emotional stress and illness. It made perfect sense to me that I had contracted cancer and was going blind because of the repressed emotions from past traumas. I knew I could no longer run from my past.
One day I sat and wrote in vivid detail everything I remembered: the sexual, physical and emotional abuse, my father’s drunken rages, the beatings, the humiliation at the hands of my older siblings, the neglectful attitude of my mother towards me, father’s abandonment at the news of my mother’s cancer diagnosis, mother’s death at age 11, and my uprooting to the United States soon thereafter. Deeply resentful and angry, I never idealized my parents; instead I saw them as being very cruel.
As I wrote I felt tremendous sadness for the little girl I had been who had to live such a tormented life. How lonely and fearful she must have felt. A little girl who desperately wanted to be loved but instead found nothing but rejection and humiliation. I cried, sobbed what felt were rivers of tears I had held back for a lifetime. As I mourned my past a new appreciation of myself emerged. I vowed to love and protect the little girl within me above all else. She became my source of strength, resiliency, hope and determination to create the life I had always wanted; free of illness, want and turmoil.
I emerged from this process with such vigor and joy for life; I couldn’t understand why I had put it off for so long. All those years of pain and agony could have been shortened if only I had known the price was more than worth it.
Even though I didn’t have an enlightened witness to empathize and validate my process, I never felt alone or scared; angry and sad, yes, but never alone. I felt a protective and loving presence, call it God or Self, urging me on, because this purging of pent up emotions was necessary so I could restructure a new life for both my sons and myself. I knew this was the key to health of mind, heart, body and spirit.
When my sons read my story they understood where their mother had come from. Why she became a neglecting mother herself, why she couldn’t connect with them emotionally and why she was depressed. From that moment on my relationship with my sons changed. We began to connect truthfully, no longer avoiding, pretending and projecting.
My oldest son Daniel has written his own memoir. As a psychologist himself, he has described how his upbringing played a part in his alcohol addiction, now arrested through tremendous hard work.
I am thrilled to tell you that my three grandchildren, from inception, have been raised with all the love, attention, mirroring, compassion and respect any child could possibly want. The cycle of childhood abuse and neglect in our little family is over.
I am trying to get my memoir published, but it’s an upward battle. I have a dream, though, that one day all victims of childhood abuse will have access to a publishing house for their exclusive needs. Having one’s memoir published will be as easy as writing to you. If a tormented soul as I was could have easy access to other similar stories, it would very consoling and comforting. One of the reasons I refused to speak to anyone about my past is that I felt I was the only one that had lived these horrible experiences, making me somewhat of an ‘untouchable’. Everyone else I knew told funny or happy stories.
By the way, my alternate route to eye healing worked. I did not have a corneal transplant, and yet I can see. My cornea is still elongated, as it was then, but somehow my eyes found a way to see.
Thank you for reading my letter. And yes, you may print it if you wish.
AM: I can only congratulate you for your courage and the recovery of your eye!