Hero Child

 
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Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
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Published by Barabara Press
   

 

competitive madness

in an atmosphere of fierce competition
we children had to work hard to be “the best”
to always attempt to be “better than the others”
like dogs fighting over a rare bone
it became a merciless struggle among us to get parental approval
to be allowed to spend a little time or to do something with them
to get them to praise us—to receive the glance of recognition

this mad fight was encouraged in cruel ways by parents
whose main concern was
what do other people think? what will the family say?
what makes a good impression? what increases our status?

parents who had gained power over dependent approval-seekers
despised and fought with contempt
their vulnerable children’s desperate need for approval
although all life and all relationships
any sense of value and worth
were based upon approval

with breathtaking indifference and cruelty
one child was set up against the other

the mother fiercely favored the child who told her
what she wanted to hear—who saw the world with her eyes
who obeyed unconditionally and was loyally on her side

to move outside of these parameters meant certain exile

just the mother’s words—you are not my little darling anymore
your sister is my favorite now
were enough to banish the left-out child into loneliness

so did the actions and attitude of a father who placed value
only on performing perfectly and winning
and who treated his sons like gods

abandoned, the girl watched powerlessly
as her mother
demonstrated triumphantly closeness with another child
who gladly replaced the now useless child
as her father walked to the tennis court
to show off the child he believed would help him win

her father focused on and spent time with whomever he favored
to help him gain glory in the world—above all his sons

the child stood outside—forced to watch with powerless rage
how others took what she believed to be her special place

the child—fallen out of favor and grace—was split in two

towards the outside world
the approval addict presented the desired appearance
while deep inside a giant of resentment began to grow
against this insane system of unjust, arbitrary favoritism

this furious giant could not wait to steer this life on a different path
it desired profoundly for herself—Barbara—to be recognized
for who she truly was

when this giant came out
it showed her a different perspective
of what her childhood truly had been like
of the lies she believed

then she could question with outrage and pain
the cruel games that her parents had played

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood