Saturday April 18, 2009
Dear Ms. Miller
I have read several of your books and have found them very helpful, especially The Body Never Lies but I have a question regarding regaining vitality. I think you mentioned in the Drama of the Gifted Child that painting allowed you to regain your vitality and so your were able to connect with your lost childhood. You also say that with appropriate therapy using an enlightened witness that we can regain lost vitality but you have said in your later books, if I’m not mistaken, that you only received this therapy a long time after you wrote The Drama, so my question is how necessary is this therapy given that you regained your vitality without it? Or to put it another way what else did you gain from therapy in addition to the vitality that your painting gave you back? And is it not possible for anyone to regain their vitality through some kind of artistic expression?
Also do you think that artistic creativity is a need in itself for some individuals or simply a need to express one’s repressed emotions that, ultimately, would be better off being dealt with in therapy?
You can publish my email if you wish.
AM: The answer to your question is indeed very simple but for survivors of severe cruelty in childhood very scary. The once lost vitality may come back in adulthood when we eventually dare to feel the repressed emotions and needs that we were forbidden to feel in our childhood. Then depression disappears. However, if the fear of being punished again for feeling our needs and seeing the truth about our parents we may become again trapped in the depression.
Concerning “art” I can only say that TO ME painting was a path to finding my repressed memories but this is not a prescription to others. Everybody has his or her own way of coming to themselves if they want to. But most artists are not interested in doing that, they enjoy themselves in working on their painting or something else and don’t need to look at their chilldhood. I did need this.