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The Truth Will Set You Free

Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self
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Paperback Book
December, 2002
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Banyen's Description: 

In her now-classic book The Drama of the Gifted Child, Swiss psychoanalyst Alice Miller posed a simple question: Why are so many people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation, despite their successes? Her answer was profound in its resonance: Too many of us had to learn as children to hide our own feelings and needs to meet our parents’ expectations. Only by recognizing the repressed fear, sorrow and rage that this denial engendered can we be free to live fully.

The Truth Will Set You Free will speak deeply to many readers’ lives. Drawing on the latest research on brain development, Miller speaks out against the increasing popularity of childhood corporal punishment and demonstrates how spanking and other disciplinary traumas are encoded in the brain, stunting our ability to overcome them. Our bodies retain memories of humiliation, causing a panoply of physical ills and dangerous levels of denial. This denial, necessary for the child’s survival, leads to emotional blindness and finally to mental barriers that cut off awareness and the ability to learn new ways of acting. If this cycle repeats itself, the grown child will perpetrate the same abuse on later generations, warns Miller.

Only by knowing the truth can we be set free. Only in this way can we free ourselves from the fears and anxieties we knew as children, blamed and punished for sins we did not know we had committed, the fateful fear of the sin of disobedience, that crippling anxiety that has wrecked so many people’s lives and keeps them in thrall to their own childhood.

Given the right help, we as adults can free ourselves from that terrible spell. We can procure vital information and realize that we are no longer forced to stay the submissive child, searching for some profound logic in everything our educators and religious instruction teachers passed to us as the gospel truth—and which was nothing other than the product of their own anxieties. You will be amazed at the relief you will feel when you step out of that stifling role.

While inviting us to confront our own pasts, Miller also reveals how each of us can liberate our present as adults and as parents.

Among Alice Miller’s books are For Your Own Good and Thou Shalt Not Be Aware.

Publisher’s Description: 

More than twenty years ago, a little-known Swiss psychoanalyst wrote a book that changed the way many people viewed themselves and their world. In simple but powerful prose, the deeply moving Drama of the Gifted Child showed how parents unconsciously form and deform the emotional lives of their children. Alice Miller's stories about the roots of suffering in childhood resonated with readers, and her book soon became a backlist best seller.In The Truth Will Set You Free Miller returns to the intensely personal tone and themes of her best-loved work. Only by embracing the truth of our past histories can any of us hope to be free of pain in the present, she argues. Miller uses vivid true stories to reveal the perils of early-childhood mistreatment and the dangers of mindless obedience to parental will. Drawing on the latest research on brain development, she shows how spanking and humiliation produce dangerous levels of denial, which leads in turn to emotional blindness and to mental barriers that cut off awareness and the ability to learn new ways of acting. If this cycle repeats itself, the grown child will perpetrate the same abuse on later generations--a message vitally important, especially given the increasing popularity of programs like Tough Love and of "child disciplinarians" like James Dobson. The Truth Will Set You Free will provoke and inform all readers who want to know Alice Miller's latest thinking on this important subject.

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