Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience by Alice Miller

By Alice Miller

Publish yr note: First released in 1991

Miller comprises psycho-historical analyses of Hitler, Stalin, and Ceausescu to bare the hyperlinks among the horrors in their childhoods and the horrors they inflicted at the international. She pleads for an information of society’s function in baby abuse and for reputation of the sufferer.

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Extra resources for Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth (Revised Edition)

Sample text

As an adult I can live with that truth. The life of Friedrich Nietzsche tells us much about the powerlessness of a brilliant intellect, bent on using everything in his might to stop the knowledge of the first, searing experiences of his life from welling up into consciousness. Nietzsche created grandiose works in which he struggles against the simple truth of the cruelly abused and duped child that he had once been. Even as a school child he suffered from chronic rheumatism, headaches, and sore throats, without anyone’s understanding these distress signals.

I also studied close-ups of the children on video. What became clearer and clearer as the day went on was that all these children had a serious history of suffering behind them. This, however, was never referred to throughout the entirety of this purportedly successful therapy. qxd 10/13/08 11:41 AM Page 37 Blindman’s Buff 37 across confirmed my hunch. When I suggested that simply letting out anger could not, in the long run, resolve the effects of the children’s traumatization, so long as the traumas themselves were ignored, I met with fear and defensiveness.

Endowed with the experience of my own truth, I study the walls of silence surrounding us and describe them in my books. Many people breathe a sigh of relief. They, too, begin to look about them and ask, though timidly at first: Can I really trust my senses, my memories, and my body? You mean, I don’t have to go on believing that white is black and black, white? No longer to be compelled to betray one’s own feelings and senses, no longer to allow oneself to be deflected from the truth of facts by ideologies of any kind, is already to lend a hand in the demolition of the inhuman, destructive wall of silence—the wall that we were forced to respect as children and which has again and again resulted in fascist behavior.

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