Screams from Childhood - my anger is my lover

Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
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the car accident

eighteen and drugged, engaged, confused
I drove my car one day not far from my parents’ house
it was getting dark and I came down a hill in a curve
when I suddenly saw
a dark figure coming out from behind several parked cars
and walking straight into the street

he came out of a forest to cross the street
where an old pedestrian walkway was hardly visible anymore
I tried to avoid the man with the dark coat and the dark hat
I pulled the steering wheel to the left as I attempted
to drive around him
he never looked up—he never looked at me
but suddenly he started to run—and ran right into my car

I stamped on my brakes
brought the car to a stop in front of a tree, got out, turned around
and ran back to where the accident had happened
I did not see the man
for one moment I desperately believed—it did not happen
but then I turned around and discovered to my horror
the man lying next to my car

I ran into a house at the side of the street
I rang a doorbell—people opened the door
I screamed out what had happened—the people took me inside

then all I remember is my father coming
he hugs me and holds me in his arms
and I cry and cry and cry while I am writing this
a policeman approaches me to question me
my father says—you cannot question her now—she is in shock
clearly I remember all this
from the moment I returned home I have no more memories
except for the third day when my fiancé came to visit me
I still can feel him lying down next to me
holding me while he told me that the old man had died

in therapy the first powerful pain came up
when I felt how unbearably lonely I had been
alone in my room during the days after the car accident
no one came to be with me
lying there I felt like a disastrous failure
like a monster, a leper, an outcast
the showpiece had failed, was abandoned and cast out

some time later the walkway was painted clearly and visibly
a traffic light was erected at the scene of the accident
where pedestrians now push a button to cross the street

in court it was an important issue
where I had hit the man in relation to the pedestrian walkway
but I did not know—and no one else could find out
if it had happened on, or next to, the pedestrian walkway
I felt responsible for his death, no matter where it happened
the fine I had to pay did not ease
my sense of severe guilt and responsibility

my afflicted soul became convinced
that this was the final, devastating confirmation
that something was terribly wrong with me
that I was wrong and did everything wrong

I had my driver’s license for one month when it happened
I worried that the drugs and my inexperience caused the accident
I was burdened with even more excruciating guilt by a friend
who told me that it was all my fault
because I had had a little wine with her that afternoon

guilt became a flame of torturing pain inside


© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood

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