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Published by Barabara Press
   

 

leaving Hotto

written in 2001

 

a stunning dream awakens me

 

in the dream I am with a child who looks just as I looked as a child
with the same dark hair and pageboy
she and I have been out on an adventure and have come home
before the child goes to bed
I have asked her to help me put something together for a project
I am waiting for her in a computer room
stairs lead into this unusual room at first onto a spacious platform
then a scary part drops down steeply
into a rectangular, breathtakingly deep holedown there
the parts of a computer have to be put into their right places

as I look down I realize
I cannot send the child into this frightful abyss
I myself have to go down there to put those parts in
as I stand on the upper platform and wait for the child
it eventually becomes obvious
that the door remains closedshe is not coming
so I open the door and leave the roomoutside I see Hotto
she tells me that the child cannot come to join me
because she has to go to bed and sleep
I respond that I had agreed with the child
that she would bring me those parts that we need
and help me before she sleeps

Hotto and I stand at the open door
we confront each other with our eyes and wills
what matters is not what the child does
but to whom she belongswho has power over her

it is the key moment of my dream

Hotto wants the child to sleepI want her to come alive
the child has obeyed Hotto and gone away
she is standing at the end of a long hallway, far away from me

I win the argument in the dream with my eyes
through the way I look at Hotto
I win with my words and the tone of my voice
I win through endurance and persistence
I claim the child from Hotto
she becomes my child and she comes to me
from now on, we work together

as I wake up I remember above all
how this child looks at me at the end of the dream
as she brings those parts to me
her unforgettable look saysam I finally your child?
are you now truly there for me? do I truly belong to you?
the expression on her face says she is ready to be with me
it speaks of serious, excited anticipation

this dream is followed by the most difficult months of therapy
at the mercy of overwhelming anxiety I hardly sleep
night after night I writeweek after week I work hard in therapy
I enter a long dark night of the soulclinically called a depression
as the child reveals how she was dangerously attacked
as a very small child by her own mother

for several days I fear that I am going crazy as the child reveals
how she was nearly killed as a small child by her own mother
I must experience her earliest, most devastating trauma
and its frightening consequences for my mind
to recognize and overcome them emotionally

my voice, my screams, were silenced with brutal force
as something was shoved deep down my throat
I was in mortal dangerpushed into deadly fear
my mother tries to kill me
how could the child ever come to terms with that reality?
there is a recurring feeling of a strong pain that I know all too well
it climbs several times up and down and up and down
from inside my chest all the way up to my throat
once in a while it returnsmy body remembers

my massage therapist's touch has calmed me for years
on her table I have shed tears and shared emotional wounds
on her table the child dares to communicate her greatest trauma

one day during the dark night of the soul panic overwhelms me
as her hands move along my body
and I am persecuted by the obsessive thought
I am in mortal dangershe is going to kill me
afraid to tell my massage therapist what races through my head
I remain silent, believing full of anxiety that she will say I am crazy
I stumble out of her officeand for the first time in years
I take a tranquilizer to calm my body trembling from fear

the following week I can share my experience with her
she responds—it happens often
even when I touch people for the first time
that traumatic childhood memories return
I ask her—what do people do if they are not in therapy?
they take drugs—is her answer
luckily I am in therapy and my adult mind
—with the help of my therapists and my closest friend—
helps the child survive the unimaginable, unendurable truth
my mother silenced me by attacking me
my mother almost killed me

during the following weeks I struggle and cough while I talk
as my suffocated voice returns

I have reached the terrified child
who was frozen in deadly fear for fifty years
because her life was threatened by her own mother

now I begin to speak with my own voiceI am reborn

 

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood

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