Home » LORDS HILL A Place Only God Could Save Me From by Maggie Miller
LORDS HILL A Place Only God Could Save Me From Maggie Miller

LORDS HILL A Place Only God Could Save Me From

Maggie Miller

Published September 29th 2014
ISBN : 9781490852805
Paperback
108 pages
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 About the Book 

IntroductionFor many years I’ve had this volcanic rumbling deep in my soul that would not be silenced. I knew some way- somehow I needed to tell my story about the good, the bad, and the ugly that can come with living in a small New England town. IMoreIntroductionFor many years I’ve had this volcanic rumbling deep in my soul that would not be silenced. I knew some way- somehow I needed to tell my story about the good, the bad, and the ugly that can come with living in a small New England town. I know that New England does not have a corner on the market when it comes to dysfunction. The multigenerational fallout that grows from child abuse, alcoholism, and adultery is universal and takes place the world over. It just so happens that my story took place in a little town called Lords Hill, located in the Lakes Region on the Maine and New Hampshire border. Our family settled in the area in the mid-1700s, long enough ago to just about get you under the wire to be considered a native. There is an old story that demonstrates a New Englander’s mindset about being a native.There once was a man by the name of Old Fred who used to sit in a rocking chair on the front porch of the general store. A man named Dave, who had lived in town for about fifty years, approached Old Fred one day and asked, “I know I’m not a native, but all my children were born here. Doesn’t that make them natives?” Old Fred paused a moment, pulled out the pipe wedged between his teeth, and said, “Well, let me tell ya, son. Just because your cat has kittens in the oven, it doesn’t make ’em biscuits!”Another not-so-popular reality in Lords Hill was, as my grandmother used to say, “You wouldn’t want to kick the paper boy in the seat of the pants—you might be kicking your own son!”Sadly, over the past thirty years, Lords Hill has regressed- just about all that was once there is now gone. The big tannery that employed most of the village and folks from surrounding towns has been demolished. The only gas station is gone, and the lunch counter where breakfast, lunch, and ice cream were served went out a long time ago. All the community organizations are gone. Remaining buildings are in disrepair, broken window panes the evidence of a dilapidated society with nothing to offer its stagnant youth.Growing up there, I learned a lot and lost a lot. Lords Hill was a little four-block town where speculation and talk were plentiful. My home life, more often than not, was like living in a house of unpredictable horrors, but it was also where I learned the value of a strong work ethic and how to be a good cook. It was where Ms. Polly taught me about Jesus during Sunday school and Vacation Bible School- as she rocked me in her lap through my disruptive crying jags as a child.The past twenty-two years of my life have been dedicated to healing from the traumas and addictions of my past, and writing my life story has been a dream of mine for more years than I can remember. There’s something powerful about knowing your life mattered and you have a voice worth being heard. After I stopped wrestling with God over my deep-rooted codependency issues and let my guard down enough to let Him show me that both He and I could be trusted, I was finally able to feel real forgiveness and empathy toward those who had destroyed my childhood. Then the God I was so sure had deserted me then was able to fill the mother- and father-shaped holes in my heart completely with Himself.I’ve tried to tell my story with as much balanced truth as possible. As someone who was very close to me was so fond of saying, “A guilty conscience needs no accuser.” I am not here to accuse or judge any one. This is my perspective on my own journey. My truth, like everyone’s, is as individual as every snowflake is in winter. I felt that the responsible thing to do was to change the names of my family members and the townspeople or omit them entirely. There with the grace of God I have gone and still continue to go. It is my prayer that in completing this book, I have honored the God of Heaven, Who has so many times saved my life from the snares of self-destruction.Comments on Ms. Miller’s BookBy Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D.Dr. Aphrodite Matsakis has authored over twelve books on an array of psychological topics. Including post-traumatic stress, depression, and women’s issues, grieving, survivors of sexual and physical assault, suicide, family violence, vehicular accidents, combat trauma and natural disasters.FORWARDFor centuries child abuse and other forms of family violence were shrouded in denial. Even in our own country, laws against animal cruelty existed before laws against child abuse. In the 1960’s the silence began to be broken and today the problem of child abuse is widely recognized. However, to date, the emphasis has been primarily on child sexual abuse and, after that, on physical abuse. Yet the effects of other forms of abuse, such as emotional abuse and neglect, which are just as devastating to the human psyche, are often minimized, if not overlooked.Hence the importance of this book, written by a woman who experienced almost every form of child abuse, from abandonment and physical abuse, to extreme forms of emotional abuse. Indeed, the verbal degradation she endured assumed almost gigantic proportions because it occurred in the context of a multigenerational chain of family violence and addiction, as well as in the context of a small town. Hence her family’s problems became the object of vicious gossip and Ms. Miller was subject to ridicule and bullying, not only at home, but at school, the village store and almost everywhere she went in her community.In this compelling account, Ms. Miller describes how she, a motherless child abandoned by her father, subsequently became subject to multiple forms of mistreatment, not only from her primary caretaker, but other relatives, some of whom were also abused as children or who suffered from an addiction or mental illness. She touches on areas of child abuse, such as emotional manipulation and exposure to adult sexuality and sexual depravity, which need to be recognized.Ms. Miller does not spare the reader some of the heartbreaking details of her experiences, yet there is not a shred of self-pity in her book. Instead she describes her abusers in their full human complexity, their good sides as well as their bad sides, often showing compassion and understanding as to why these people, like her unforgettable Nana and adulterous Aunt Charlotte, sought to cope with life by taking advantage of and disregarding the basic needs of an innocent child.Yet, despite Ms. Miller’s insights into the origins of her perpetrators’ abusiveness and self-destructiveness, she is more than honest about how these individual’s damaged almost every aspect of her being, thus propelling her into years of addiction and other self-destructive behavior.This book is humbly and clearly written. There are no long psychological complicated explanations, just the facts as she remembers them and her reflections as an adult on a childhood that can only be described as pure torment.It’s amazing that she survived her past, not only in the sense that she didn’t die physically, but in the sense that she overcame her addiction and the emotional blindness caused by years of trauma to the point where she could tell her story. Given the continuous nature of the traumas she endured and the fact she had to contend with not just one, but many, perpetrators, this is a monumental achievement. It’s also noteworthy that she’s grateful for what she did receive from some of her abusers, which has enabled her to survive.Although there are scores of adult survivors of child abuse, there are few first person accounts of child abuse like this unique book. Many survivors remain in denial, addiction or other forms of escape, and are hence incapable of remembering their past, much less putting their past on paper in a coherent manner that can serve to enlighten others. But Ms. Miller has done so and her book, the result of decades of hard work and therapy and her own ongoing self-scrutiny, is a gift to us all.*Some of Dr. Matsakis’ books include- “I Can’t Get Over It, Survivor Guilt, In Harm’s Way, Vietnam Wives, Trust After Trauma, Emotional Claustrophobia, Back from the Front and Rape Recovery Handbook. New Harbinger Publications, Inc. www.matsakis.comAFTERWORDIf my story is well received by my readers eventually I would like to talk at domestic violence programs, schools, prison and churches anywhere that I can bring hope and healing through God’s grace. It is by His grace we have all gone and will continue to go until the day we die.May God bless and keep you all the days of your life,Maggie Miller