too much respomsibility
Saturday October 11, 2008
Dear Alice Miller –
I am impressed by your work. It has changed my approach to my family and to parenting in a profound way. Indeed your work has given me the confidence to listen carefully to my feelings , to question long standing traditions in parenting, and faith that caring conscious parenting (where the child is treated with esteem and tenderness (any other parenting should be considered a crime) is tantamount to a healthier world. Your books made a huge impression on me. Your ability to speak a revolutionary truth with such accurate simplicity is amazing to me. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
My own birth and childhood was traumatic – rife with fear, violence and insidious blame. I and my five siblings were raised to believe that we were the cause of any problems in our home – my parent’s abdicated responsibility and decades later have complete amnesia about the violence and suffering they inflicted. Despite all of this, I prevailed – through anxiety, depression and anorexia – with the help of your excellent books and a fine therapist. Now, I am able give my children what I needed as a child – an honest, caring and a responsible atmosphere in which to grow up. I can also say with joy – I don’t care what my parents want, need or what they think of me anymore (well most of the time!).
Although I have thought to write to you before – I was particularly inspired today by your answer to posting titled Forum – Thursday October 09, 2008. To me your answer was beautiful in that you retracted in a quiet way your previous concerns and replaced the confusion with wisdom – I am impressed with your communication and positive resolution to this problem with the Forum. Again, thank you.
AM: I was very moved by your letter and thank you very much for your empathy. As I had to learn very early to take responsibility for others, and sometimes it was necessary, it became a habit that is not easy to unlearn. But sometimes I succeed as you see. I am so glad that a good therapist and my books helped you to liberate you from your abusive childhood (at least “most of the time) and to find the courage to SEE.