Hero Child

 
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Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
   

 

requiem for an unlived life

I was taught that blessed are those who carry suffering
because they shall be comforted
no, Barbara, you were not blessed and not comforted
no one cared to notice your injuries or your suffering
so you had to hide them—even from yourself

there was no guidance to help you find ways out
guilt and blame were the masters
and the only answers given to you

when you tried to come alive and be true to yourself
the hidden wound of your injured brain
broke open
caused unbearable anxiety in your body
and locked your mind into an endless dark spin

therapy was never considered—who wants a crazy child?
how does that make the family look?
appearances were all that mattered

if your leg had been broken, you would have gotten help
but no one cared to see the fractures of your brain
cared to witness your damaged psyche and know the reasons
your bad genes, your innate madness, your imagination
your over-sensitivity—they all were blamed for your suffering
but never what your parents did to you, or what they believed

you believed your father was a good man of integrity
incapable of making you suffer, of living a lie for years
such a man could never possibly be your father

your father stigmatized sex before marriage as a crime
you entered the ship full of love and joy of life
you left it devastated and broken—a mere shadow of yourself
you did not know anymore who you were

drowning in a whirlpool of panic
you believed you had lost all worth—what had become of you?
which kind of woman? who would ever marry you now?

your brain chose the only way out—to forget

no, blessed are not those who are traumatized and who suffer
they are not being heard or comforted
instead many are eager to diagnose and categorize them
from schizophrenia to paranoia—from neurosis to depression
it is nothing but an attempt to hide and silence the truth

if we cannot conceal our broken brains well enough
if we become overwhelmed by unbearable symptoms
we are declared crazy, defective creatures
should we remember and dare to talk about what was done to us
we are condemned as unforgiving
—and thus rendered guilty all over again

we may not scream out our outrage over atrocious crimes

no, Barbara, you could never use your mind like a healthy person
to get an education, build a profession
a loving marriage and family as you dreamed
your mind was too busy concealing the fracture of your brain
controlling the chaos that threatened to shut it down
avoiding crashes into the devouring abyss

you were robbed, in monstrous ways, of life’s treasures

even when a man truly loved and desired you
and you dared in your forties to open yourself towards love
your joy succumbed to anxiety and anguish
as falling in love turned into a courageous battle
to confront love betrayed
your parents silenced your voice, your thoughts and your truth
filled your soul with terror, extinguished your integrity and spirit
numbed your intellectual independence

I sing a requiem for you, Barbara
for a life that you could not make come true
for the families and relationships you lost
for the unbearable loneliness of your journey

I sing a requiem for the silences imposed upon you
for your hopeless isolation and loneliness, with no way out
I sing a requiem to express your grief and sorrow
which no one ever recognized and comforted

my requiem will become your song of liberation
for your departure into the truth
I take your hand, you sixteen-year-old, bright, talented teenager
so unfathomably betrayed
I take your hand
I scream out together with you your terribly justified pain
your most understandable outrage—so that they may finally live
I lend support to your hand so that it can express
through writing
your thoughts and feelings

I deliver you out of the abyss of silence, isolation and loneliness
in which you were abandoned and lost

I take your hand—and singing together we leave the darkness
we break the silence—we walk into life—we speak the truth

you are saved
your life begins—although too late for many things—yet in time
to cherish your unique mind and essence
to make your imprint on life

I am at your side
to help you make visible the unforgettable trace of your life

© Barbara Rogers

Screams from Childhood