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Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
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confirmation

religion was of the greatest importance to my mother
as a small child I was indoctrinated with religious horrors
which claimed that God saw everything
children’s books with pictures of the devil were read to me
they made me believe that hell existed
and filled me with terror I would end up there if I made a mistake

at my confirmation at fourteen
I was told that I now was an adult member of the church
I regarded this as a new expectation and duty I had to fulfill
and took it seriously to please my mother

on the day of my confirmation
the girls wore black dresses and the boys black suits
we looked terribly serious, as if we were attending a funeral

in the afternoon, surrounded by family, festivities, precious gifts
I cried—no one knew what was wrong with me
neither did I

in therapy my confirmation came up as a painful memory
that revealed that I had to sacrifice my Self
to have a relationship with my mother

my mother was so deeply different from me
an unbridgeable abyss divided us
but I wanted to reach her—I longed to build bridges to her
so I felt obligated to enter her world—religion

to make her proud of me I identified with her religion

following my confirmation
I taught children in two different Sunday schools
and often attended the service for adults too

my soul cried that day—without my conscious awareness—
because my mother’s religion and her way of life
were not my home

her dark world where terror and fear reigned
meant death for the alive child within me
for my true Self

my father—his presence—his world—meant life to the child

I cried because I had to give up who I truly was
and what I really cared about
so that I could build a bridge to my mother

as the family showpiece
I became her very special, irreplaceable daughter
the chosen child

when this child began to recognize and speak her truth
the bridge of fear
the bridge that I had built through self-denial
collapsed
the abyss between us became visible
and could never be bridged again

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood