Hero Child

Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
Table of Contents
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against me

it is the day of my fortieth birthday—I have left my marriage
I travel by myself today from Florida to Chicago
but there is a snowstorm—the plane is diverted to Milwaukee
as we come to a stop I see from my window airplanes lined up
but no terminal in sight—we are stranded out in nowhere

my eyes stare at the door of the plane which does not open
I have never experienced claustrophobia—but in this moment
it seizes me with vehemence and a vengeance
I am overwhelmed by the anguish of—I want out
I must get out of here—a tremendous headache hits me
and I feel a horrible pressure torturing my neck

I get my pen and notebook and write
my overwhelming feelings unfold on the paper before me
and there is only one event in my life I can tie them to—
my own birth—I was the first child—my birth took very long
my mother could not help me get out
I realize what it felt like to be stuck in the birth channel for hours
as endless contractions press me painfully against her

my home for nine months has become a vise

when I clearly understand what the child suffered
my protest arises—against the inhumanity of being born
without my mother’s help—against doctors who abandon me
by rendering her incapable of pushing me out
against parents who let that happen
the baby is abandoned by a cold and cruel medical system
her mother’s body has become her enemy

the baby’s screams emerge—I must get out of here—get me out
I cannot bear being stuck in here with such unbearable pain
terrified, closed in, trapped

I write for two hours until the claustrophobia disappears
fear only returns when the pilot does not tell the truth
he announces that we will be at the gate in half an hour
but an hour later we are still out there, waiting
we are stuck for five hours in the plane, out in nowhere
I cannot even make a call to cancel my own birthday party

panicked the baby struggled to get out and survive
while her mother’s body and the medical system
against her
from this stressful life beginning stemmed
—imprinted deeply into her every cell—
the most difficult and terrifying feeling
you are against me—life is against me

what started out as a purely physical impression
as the body’s shocking first experience when I entered this world
was reinforced deeper and stronger
with every reprimand, every attack and every beating

this fear moved from the purely physical level
through physical, verbal, emotional and mental abuse
to an overpowering wall—my mother’s body—my mother’s being
they act in hostile, dangerous and cruel ways
against my body and life—against me

as my mind became clear and my eyes opened
my mind had to accept
what my body and emotions had known all along

my mother is against me
that was the inescapable reality and truth
of my relationship with my mother

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood