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The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting Hardcover – May 17, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In her latest vehement treatise, Swiss psychoanalyst Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child) reprises her classic critiques of filial duty. In her view, our culture systematically denies childhood abuse sufferers access to their true feelings. Repressed emotional responses to early humiliations and unfulfilled needs are inevitably transferred to the body, Miller believes, producing long-term illness. She also believes that the majority of therapists are bent on fostering an attitude of forgiveness. Miller instead urges the reader to reappraise the substance of the Fourth Commandment, which she construes as containing "a kind of moral blackmail" and, reflecting on her own unhappy childhood, argues that what survivors of parental cruelty need most is someone who shares their feelings of indignation. Miller traces the relationship between inadequate or tyrannical parenting and adult bodily illness, depression and suicide in pithy biographies of Dostoyevski, Chekhov, Kafka, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and many others. Yet Miller is more a subjective observer and a guru than a social scientist. Her highly personal, undertheorized and generalizing approach will strike some as simplistic, yet those who loyally follow her child-centered philosophy will probably find much to enjoy in the conviction with which she writes. (May)
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About the Author
Alice Miller (1923-2010) is the author of such classic works as The Drama of the Gifted Child, Prisoners of Childhood, The Body Never Lies, From Rage to Courage, and Free from Lies.
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Also, I think that there were a number of conclusions drawn or at least suggested, that had no evidence to support.
Do I believe abuse by parents harms children? Absolutely. Do I believe that when a person denies the abuse they suffered at the hands of their parent it is more harmful than working through it and acknowledging it? Absolutely. In fact, I believe that too many adults allow their parents to continue to abuse them. I also believe that sometimes, adults need to completely cut ties with an abusive parent who is unable to stop behaving ways that harm them.
I appreciate Alice Miller for sharing this perspective, helping to raise awareness and letting readers know it is okay to acknowledge the harm their parents have inflicted.
I officially resigned from my faith of more than 20 years about a year ago for a number of reasons. The demand that my continued pain was my fault because somehow I was not praying enough or correctly caused me to feel cursed with toxic shame. Then, there were the demands that I not only forgive my perpetrators but to pray for them was just beyond my ability to accept. The only means that I could maintain any sense of dignity was to resign from "all of that (religious) self-righteousness."
It was after this resignation that I then discovered this book. And, felt acknowledged as a noble being rather being forced to live in the shadows of the sins of my perpetrators. It was their sins & they did their best to convince me of that.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!