Alice Miller (12 January 1923, Lwow, Poland – 14 April 2010, Saint-Rémy de Provence, France) gained her doctorate in philosophy, psychology and sociology at the University of Basel in Switzerland, in 1953. She had her own therapy practice and she was also a writer and a painter.
She is world famous because of her first book, published under the titles “Prisoners of Childhood” and “The Drama of the Gifted Child” (“Das Drama des Begabten Kindes”, “Het Drama van het Begaafde Kind” “Le Drame de l’Enfant Doué”), in which Miller defined and elaborated the personality manifestations of childhood trauma. She addressed certain reactions to the loss of love in childhood, depression and grandiosity; the inner prison, the vicious circle of contempt, repressed memories, the etiology of depression, and how childhood trauma manifests itself in the adult.
There can be physical but also psychological traumas, or both. The physical traumas can be registered, analyzed and recognized so much more easy than the psychological ones, and their deep impact. Doctors know how to treat, to cure the physical body on the physical level, but the normal healthcare where these doctors and therapists belong to, not even know enough about the healing of physical symptoms with an emotional, mental and/or spiritual cause such as heart illnesses, cancer, obesity, burnout, herpes zoster, herpes simplex, eczema and many many more. The normal healthcare does not know how to heal emotions, mental illnesses, and the healing of the wholeness we were once, at least not deeply enough. The normal healthcare thinks, acts, speaks, writes, teaches and treats in a materialistic way. We are just a physical, material body. Not more. Mostly the normal healthcare makes it even worse: they give you medicine to suppress your problems, not to get rid of them. The world is poisoned with painkillers, sleeping pills and antidepressants in the meantime.
Therefore alternative medicine is a must, as a complementary medicine and therapy form next to the normal healthcare. Alternative treatments, like holistic massages, art therapy, the Bach flower remedies, special medicinal herbs and homeopathic medicinal products can heal on the deepest levels, and heal also the auric field, the chakras. They will unveal what has been hidden, what has been sent away to the unconsciousness, unveil what has been suppressed, because of that what our brains learned: that white is black, that “truth” is a lie, that it is good to be violent, because of anxieties to be punished physically, mentally or emotionally, to be judged as bad, as different, not normal, crazy, because of the fear to be left alone, humiliated, to be rejected, to be a sinner against the law of churches: that we have to honour our parents….. or else!! For the fear for punishment by “God”, condemning to hell…..? I can guarantee you: “He”, will not!!
(Painting by Alice Miller)
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Child Mistreatment, Child Abuse
What is it? Humiliations, spankings and beatings, slaps in the face, betrayal, sexual exploitation, derision, neglect, etc. are all forms of mistreatment, because they injure the integrity and dignity of a child, even if their consequences are not visible right away.
However, as adults, most abused children will suffer, and let others suffer, from these injuries. This dynamic of violence can deform some victims into hangmen who take revenge even on whole nations and become willing executors to dictators as unutterably appalling as Hitler and other cruel leaders. Beaten children very early on assimilate the violence they endured, which they may glorify and apply later as parents, in believing that they deserved the punishment and were beaten out of love. They don’t know that the only reason for the punishments they have ( or in retrospect, had) to endure is the fact that their parents themselves endured and learned violence without being able to question it. Later, the adults, once abused children, beat their own children and often feel grateful to their parents who mistreated them when they were small and defenseless.
This is why society’s ignorance remains so immovable and parents continue to produce severe pain and destructivity – in all “good will”, in every generation.
Most people tolerate this blindly because the origins of human violence in childhood have been and are still being ignored worldwide. Almost all small children are smacked during the first three years of life when they begin to walk and to touch objects which may not be touched.
This happens at exactly the time when the human brain builds up its structure and should thus learn kindness, truthfulness, and love but never, never cruelty and lies. Fortunately, there are many mistreated children who find “helping witnesses” and can feel loved by them.