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The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting Paperback – August 17, 2006
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- Elaine Kendall, Los Angeles Times Book Review
About the Author
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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!!
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.
Top international reviews
It was an easy reading style and yet a challenging book to read because what it said has shaken my life up. An excellent complement to Bessel Van Der Kolk's The Body Keeps The Score if you are interested in reading about trauma and its effects on the body.
There are a few concerns I have with some of the ideas. But one in particular is the argument made that the forth commandment (honour thy parents) is the reason so many adult children stay in cruel relationships. I would like to say I think it's the miss-interpretation of the fourth commandment that keeps us bound. Honouring ones parents could look like recognising they are never going to change and so you choose to leave them to live in peace while you respect yourself and move away from them. Honouring your parents doesn't equal saying stuck in their web. I think we also stay stuck in our parents web because we don't know any different and have never been taught the tools to protect ourselves properly. We aren't even taught to recognise what cruelty is. So for any Christian who is contemplating reading this book, the author does have a few miss-understanding about proper Christian faith but don't let that stop you as there is also good understanding in this book regarding how to move on from a warped relationship with our parent/s.