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The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self Hardcover – July 22, 2008
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Rare and compelling in its compassion and its unassuming eloquence...her examples are so vivid and so ordinary they touch the hurt child in us all NEW YORK MAGAZINE --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Alice describes me and my life perfectly in this book. It was really amazing to read and identify with so much of what she said. Almost everything she talks about was something I hadn't thought of before--at least in the way she explains things. There was also one thing she explains that I have had a profound experience with, that I have never heard of anyone else experiencing. It was amazing to hear that what I had experienced and worked through is actually common.
One thing I could never understand about myself was why I still have low self-esteem. Intellectually, I can see why I (or anyone for that matter) should have self-esteem. I had read many books and done work in therapy specifically for this issue, but it still remained a complete mystery for me.
The ideas in this book have given me the tools to become my "true self" and get that self-esteem I have always lacked. I admit that I have only just finished reading the book and have yet to do most of the work involved in this, but I feel incredibly confident that this is what I have been missing (for me with these type of therapeutic and self-revelations, you know when something speaks to you like this). I now have a plan for working through this issue and I feel confident I now know what has been holding me back.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. I've already purchased another one of Alice's books and I hope it is as helpful for me as this one has been.
I like the condensed quality of the book. Written in the 80s, when each sentence is to be digested. Books published today generally have larger volumes of repetitive concepts. I'd much prefer to read and digest one inspirational sentence at a time, and revisit frequently.
Since Alice Miller has passed away, her website no longer gets updated with new emails from readers, I'll write down some of the awakenings I found reading the book. A lot of buried memories started to come back and a lot of my strange behaviors are starting to make sense. They all rooted in childhood.
- I have a life long yearning for freedom that I never could explain.
- I have impossibly high standards for myself in terms of achievements and strength. I can't stand to be anywhere near the weak or the stupid.
- I don't have non-productive hobbies. My activities are all "useful." e.g. I don't read fictions.
- I have an extraordinary high tolerance for pain starting from early childhood. I remember as a pre-teen I fell playing basketball and got a patch of bloody road rash on my knee. I vividly remember being terrified because I ripped my brand new jeans, not because of the blood and open wound. Also, I never understood why people are afraid of dentists.
- I don't express any emotions, and most of the time I don't experience any emotions. Even in extreme circumstances. I never thought much of it until somebody told me that it isn't normal.
- Everything I do is, at the most basic level, a defensive mechanism. I know for years that I'm a master defender, which means I can un-arm most people within a minute or two, with all sorts of tactics, charm, humor, charisma, etc, etc. But I stay away from making connections with people.
- My entire adult dating life has been plaque with fear and anger of women. and severe depression.
Memories are starting to come in. New dreams, too. I started to realize how unreasonable my mother was when she demanded me not to cough nor sneeze when I was sick as a child, or she would beat me up. I never had a sick day until I went to boarding school at 16. I remember how I was proud of my being able to control my body to not cough or sneeze. It never occurred to me until now that this was an inhumane demand from my mother. I also started to realize how unreasonable and irresponsible she was to blame me for her bad marriage.
More and more facts are starting to flow from my deep subconscious. I am very thankful that I found this book. Thank you, Alice Miller, wherever you are.
What a relief when Alice was describing feelings and experiences. It's like she was seeing through the eyes of my childhood! What a moment! I wept with tears of joy. The feeling of simply being seen, felt, and validated is one that cannot be put into words. This book gave me the hope and courage to press on. Thanks to Alice Miller, and her work upon the planet, I can happily move forward reconnecting with the lost self within. What a gift!
Please honor yourself by picking up this book. Anyone who struggles with their life and pain, this book could a real life changer!
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