The memory

The memory
Tuesday February 17, 2009

Dear Alice Miller,
My deepest regard and affection comes with this letter to you. I wrote more than a year ago because I had allowed myself to get sucked back into relating with my parents after many years of cutting off all relations. It was after the first cut off when my migraines of many years stopped. I wrote you when I was very frightened about my severely diminished health and need for support in deciding to cut off from my parents again. There are oceans of forces around me daily going in the opposite direction of my chosen path to have solidarity with the child I was. Your support was a hand in taking such a simple step. I broke off all connections with my parents and required my brothers not to mention them to me. My health steadily improved and I am improved in vigor and hope. Thank You.
The true aspects of my parents have slowly become more apparent to me and it is really a grim specter. One memory returned to me of an occurrence when I was 7 years old. This is the memory:
I can tell my uncle is getting angry about the baby’s unrelenting cries. I sense he is about to deal with the infant himself and I bolt toward the door and run through the livingroom and hall thinking maybe I can quell the crying before he reaches his son. I run fearfully up to the crib and begin patting the baby and using soothing sounds desperately hoping he will respond and feel comforted. But I barely have a moment when I see my uncle coming into the bedroom his face darkened with rage. He has his belt off and it is doubled in his hand. I back away from the crib because everything feels surreal, distorted and each movement seems not to be possible but still happening. My back is against the wall when I see my uncle raise his belt above his head and begin lashing the crying infant into shrieking agony. I am dumbfounded, ashamed. There is no adult trying to interfere. There is no mother angrily standing between him and the crib or throwing her body over her baby. No voice from my mother confronting this maniac. Where is my father, the tough guy. My uncle is muttering angry words at this shrieking infant while he beats him. I don’t remember how many times he lashed that agonized tiny being. I was frozen and the scene is frozen in my memory.
This degree of cold blooded insanity is unfathomable to me. I realize my parents were unfaithful to me, to their children and to all children. And they continue to be so. Why did I think I ever needed to be faithful to them?
I have experienced physically the terror from this memory, the horror and the rage for all the adults there. I have felt the pain and the grief of abandonment. I am still moving through this memory.
It is because of you that I have not been totally diverted from my path to restore in me what was lost in the vicious self alienation imposed by people who were like beasts to me when I was a child, my parents. In the years after that scene until I was a teen I harbored the conviction that my parents were huge dangerous bears hiding in human costume. I was so afraid that I was careful never to turn quickly in the house for fear I would catch sight of them partly out of costume and then they would have to destroy me. I use to see this as an amusing oddity. Now I see it as almost a psychosis forced on me by ruthless parents.
Your clarity has been my best resource. I am awed how you persevere. It has been an invaluable gift that you do.
with respect and appreciation, L

AM: Your memory is very painful but maybe fruitful: with this memory you will never again doubt about the extreme cruelty in your family. I am so glad that you eventually could see that there is no point in wanting to help them, they will never change and you would risk to lose the freedom you achieved with so much work. I hope you can resist if new doubts should come and wish you much love for yourself. You deserve it!.