Hero Child

Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
Table of Contents
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approval addict

approval, withheld with systematic cruelty
became—like water in the desert—all
that the child desperately longed for and sought

the more approval was not granted, the more the child craved it
the more insatiable became the child’s thirst

obsessed with finding and gaining approval I formed myself
—as best as I could—so that I looked good in my parents’ eyes

once my mother told me—you have inherited
all the good qualities of your father and me
while your sister got all the bad ones
even as a teenager I knew clearly
no one is born that way, all good or all bad
this is one of the few definite thoughts of my own I do remember

incapacitated and handicapped
I was like an empty shell, filled with the expectations of others

lifeless, approval-seeking ghost
your only purpose in life was to please
to please those you were told to please
above all, those perceived as authorities—as more valuable
and more important in the hierarchy than the unimportant child

in a world where the incomprehensible reality was
contempt for children—to lecture, punish, humiliate them
to make them feel worthless and wrong
everyone’s obsession was—approval

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood