Saturday December 30, 2006
Dear Dr. Miller,
I cannot thank you enough for your work.
I have read several of your books, and I have purchased almost all of your books, with the intent of integrating your basic premise – to listen to, love, and be on “her” side. I have only recently begun to see her face – an innocent, gentle, vulnerable 3-year old.
The reason why I am writing you, is because of my adult symptoms, and my severe childhood anmensia. I have been a food & alcohol addict since I’m about 4 or 5 years old. As a 31 year old woman, I have what is coined “sexual anorexia”. I have not had any real intimacy/dating/love in an adult romantic relationship, & none at all with men. I could never figure out why, except to think there is simply something terribly wrong with me. As I write you, I can’t help being terrified that my mother or family, will find out that I wrote you, and that I “told on her”. This is definetly “old stuff”, and not rooted in her ability to actually find this out…..
As I read your writings and books, I have cried tears I have not cried, and I sometimes color, because I do not have words to express the severe deprivation & trauma.
I wanted to share with you what has come up for me. Today, I put a crayon in my hand and told my 3-year old, to tell me what the sexual trauma was, at that age. I drew in colors of black & red – pictures of murder weapons, and a small girl on a park bench. But what struck me, was not the actual sodomy by which accounts of my older siblings including a metal hanger, it was my mother’s betrayal of me. I remember coming home alone from the park bench/lunch table, and my mother’s rage, and refusal to look at me. I can only remember how terrified & disconnected I felt from this woman, who I literally did not know who she was, or why she was standing in my kitchen. That is all I can remember.
In my 1st year of recovery (I am sober for almost 10 years), I called my mother and I asked her why she beat me. Of course she denied everything, and as I was about to hang up, she told me to write her a letter with my feelings. I never did, but she did. In this letter that I destroyed immidiately after reading it, she detailed this incident, with an exact memory of my age, and mz brother’s age. I was 3, he was 7. She then said in this letter: “I had to hit you very hard, to teach you a lesson”. This was to a 3 year old girl, who came home with vaginal bleeding. No doctor. No examination. No affection. No comfort. But a beating. My father, a school principal & missionary to save other’s children, did nothing. For my entire life, I have suffered and still suffer with, chronic vaginal stabbing pains, around any emotion, thought, desire that is sexual or sensual in nature. I am not so much terrified of being penetrated, but of being betrayed. So I took time just before I started to write you, (as I have begun to entertain thoughts of calling my ex-girlfriends, which were relationships that were exact replicas of my mother’s emotional chaotic, abusive nature – to allow myself to re-experience my mother’s murderous betrayal of me 27 years ago.
I have been crying, and the words that have been coming out, was “why won’t you look at me? I am just 3, and so cute & innocent”….. All I can remember from that incident, was my mother’s angry refusal to look at me. As I allow that betrayal to be re-experienced, I am sobbing and grieving. I keep thinking how everyone in my life has consistently told me to “get over it”, and it is “bad to keep talking or thinking about this”, “you focus too much on your feelings”, etc etc. Indeed I have experienced society’s betrayal of me, the child, in numerous way.
This is just a very brief letter to you; but mostly to tell you that I cry when I think of you. I cry because you are the few on this planet, that BELIEVE in the child, you advocate for the child, want to hear it’s pain, and you insist she/he be heard.
Like one of your writers said in a letter, I wish I could come to your house, and hug you with all the love in the world. I hope you can feel my intense gratitude and love for you, Dr. Alice Miller. You are wholly responsible for a new journey I am on now.
You are welcome to publish this letter in its entirety.
Thanks for letting me share all this with you.
With Every Love & Respect for you, R. A. E.
AM: I do feel your gratitude and can understand it. How could it happen that you worked already 10 years ago on your “recovery” and nobody helped you to feel the rage toward your mother? Her crime is unfathomable to me. She wanted to “give a lesson to her three year old girl” who came bleeding because of being penetrated? I heard already much about cruelties that parents are able to perform but this one is beyond any limits. And how was it possible that you only now can feel compassion with this betrayed child? Fortunately, you can. I think that a mother without any compassion made your whole childhood a hell. Do you have a good friend who could give you company if you once decided to go to your mother and tell her how you feel about what she did? In any case you need to tell it to YOURSELF and to rebel against this enormous madness. I am sure that your symptoms will disappear because you feel already the empathy for the child you once were and you want to know the whole truth. You will thus certainly succeed.