letters to Barbara



letters to Barbara


escape from the fog of admiration



other responses to Alice Miller


Dear Barbara,
I have tonight been trying to get some resolve, further insight into some words that come to my head. . and though I've been working on it for years, today is the day I've tried to search for anything that may be similar in someone else. .  your therapy writing "getting to know my self-hatred – a moving inner conversation by Barbara Rogers" is what has come to my screen and I would just like to thank you for putting this on the web.

Thank you Barbara.

10 years ago I began to have the word rape go over and over in my head.  I didn't know why or where it came from. . but would pray and write in my journals of prayers to God- finding that I would write back to myself. I guess you would call it parts- though at that time I'd never been in therapy and had thought it was God talking/ inspiring me to write.

A year later though the word slut suddenly came when I would see a woman or anything "female" and the word "rape" when male. I eventually remembered the sexual abuse that had taken place with a family member in my childhood.  I had thought that the words were this memory coming up and a link to it as over the years it would continue to surface at times. . along with other words of a sexual nature- relating typically to prostitution.

Eventually I would try to replace the words by saying "love" after them.  They'd get so much for me. .as with breathing they would flow to me. .overwhelm. I tried to paint them out on to canvas. . change them- "Whore" become horticulture. .etc.

They would come and go and sometimes I'd get more peace from them than others.  But the last few weeks they've grown again.  I would tell myself, believe in myself that I am not mad- this is not some other voice I'm hearing etc.  it is my own voice- it is me. . but what is this- where is it coming from- why is this happening- I've been asking?
Your writing has been helpful for me to read and see there are others who relate in this way. Thank you.

I didn't know how to search for this on the internet- it is almost like name calling toward myself. .but when it is so overwhelming it is just said to about anything.  I've wanted it to stop. .to have peace. .to replace it with just "love".
I'm determined to find the way. .to see what it is about, what it is teaching me, uncovering.

Thank you for sharing what you discovered of you and your trauma affects.
Best to you,



Dear Paula,
when we have intrusive thoughts, it is as if our brain “bleeds” – trying to tell us about a wound that needs to heal. Traumatic experiences cause injuries to our psyche, which are not visible to our eye like a physical wound:
"The Unnoticed Injury"

But these injuries to our emotional, mental and relational realm show themselves in other ways, for example as intrusive thoughts or feelings, in flashbacks, nightmares or (self) destructive behaviors. In its attempt to find healing, the brain tries to bring hurtful memories to the surface to find empathetic witnessing. In therapy, through a supportive and respectful therapeutic relationship, we can reach our wounds, our parts, and get to know their traumatic experiences and painful memories. In his article "How We Remember," the researcher Bruce D. Perry has written about how humans are affected by enduring trauma in early childhood:

You have remembered that sexual abuse happened to you; you are aware that a memory tries to come up through certain words. Lately, the intrusive words have grown again, so I wonder if they, this part, need to share more; they are not a sign of madness but of pain and trauma that you endured. When you look at these words as a part of you that is in despair, lost, in pain, longing to communicate its history and suffering, then it is not your voice that is talking, or your self speaking up, but an agony of your past trying to reach your consciousness. The little girl was abandoned in her traumatic experience, and our parts feel abandoned and suffer as along as we don't listen to them and believe them what they need to communicate. When we can reach our parts, they can heal and change; they are relieved to leave the dungeons of the past, where they were imprisoned, behind to take on different roles in our inner world and join us in our present lives.

I am glad that you are determined to find a way to understand what these intrusive words/thoughts are trying to teach you. They ask you for a deeper and stronger connection with yourself. Maybe it supports you to read about the self as it is seen in IFS therapy:
"The Larger Self" by Richard Schwartz

Thank you for letting my know that it was helpful for you to read my talk with my self-hatred. We all want these kinds of intrusive thoughts, words, self-accusations and feelings to go away. But I have come to appreciate them as signals of my psyche that there is pain and unfinished business that I need attend to and care about. The human mind has the remarkable ability for mind sight, which helps us heal and grow:
“Mindsight is the ability for the human mind to see itself. It is a powerful lens through which we can understand our inner lives with more clarity, transform the brain, and enhance our relationships with others."
Dr. Dan Siegel

With my best wishes for you and for continuing to build a loving relationship with your inner world, or your inner family,