July 2012

For Your Own Good

“Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence.”

Is anyone else as heartbroken, as scared, as I am when you read a book by Alice Miller? Some of her commentary and evidence is absolutely chilling and it almost has to be digested in small doses. As a person who actively seeks out fictional thrillers and scary content, I must confess to being much more fearful of humanity, of my own impact on my child, by Miller’s works than anything else.

I have had a copy of For Your Own Good for about two months now, and I am having trouble making my way through it—not because it’s incomprehensible or boring or anything like that, but because I’m worried about what I will find. I think most people find that Miller’s works resonate within them deeply, and while I read her to help myself be a better parent, I also find things that make me, well, sort of hate myself.