The saved life
Wednesday April 04, 2007
Dear Alice Miller,
It is with some gratitude I write to you. I am a mother to a beautiful son aged 4, and also an artist/painter based in Australia. My life however was not always so creative and joyful. I am one of nine children who suffered long-term abuse of various kinds, from both parents throughout childhood. I went on to develop substance abuse and sexual and self-harm problems and ended up as a heroin addict and homeless prostitute who lived in refuges and in government housing. I landed in prison and also went before the judicial system on a fair number of occasions. (I was also dux of my later years and subjects at school, and suffered also from eating disorders.)
In the early 1990’s I was introduced to many of your writings by a therapist. I read your work avidly and voraciously, and, for the first time experienced a deep spiritual and emotional realignnment with my own childhood vantage point – so much so that I began the slow and steady transformative work that has led me to healing and rehabilitation and a joyful life, albeit at times with scarring from the past. The task of healing has been pain-staking and difficult at times. The process of true emotional and spiritual rejuvenation and reawakening as opposed to an intellectualized lip –service to the process, has been profound. You yourself write of this process – the rage, the psychic shattering and the revisiting of an almost unbearable pain – and then the outcome – the blossoming and the rejuvenation, the potentials for joy and freedom and compassion, and the capacity to live a creative life founded on service and self-reflection. I now work in a voluntary capacity as an ambassador for the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre I went through nine years ago, and also one of the homeless hostels I used when a street addict. And I am an artist who paints full time and is able to develop and honour my creative talents in a meaningful and wonderful way
The most important aspect of my journey has been this…….My four year old son Elliot, lives with two parents who honour and respect him, who allow him to have a voice and a very real and important place in the world. My son is not abused. He is joyful and beautiful and filled with the delights of life and love and humanity. he is respectful of self and others. And, as I write this email, he sits at our dining table and chats with my husband while they piece together a “Jungle Book” jigsaw. The intergenerational pattern has been interrupted. Thank you sincerely for being an integral part of that healing – for me and for my husband and our son. And for so many people I know.
I would also love to paint your portrait. Quite a request, but one I think that would be incredible. I attach a self-portrait I am currently working on to give you an indication of the work I do.
With sincere gratitude and thanks, and the knowledge that you are actually one of the great thinkers and humanitarians of the 20th and 21st Century.
Regards, C. C.
AM: Thank you so much for your letter, I felt very moved by your story and the powerful wonderful self-portrait you sent me. Your letter confirms that healing IS possible indeed if you have decided to live with your truth. And your child KNOWS it, his body knows that you are not lying. As I know it from your letter because everything you are saying here is coherent. I wish you and your family much luck.