Hero Child

Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
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mask of discipline

the emotional and physical violence of my parents
was disguised as discipline
the child could not think of it as vengeance—passed on
from generation to generation
vindictiveness—silenced in childhood—that was finally allowed
to erupt toward a powerless target

the parent-child relationship is the only one
where inhuman behavior is allowed to continue
because we don’t label it correctly

endless is the arsenal of degrading, cruel punishments
children are beaten with torture instruments like
dress hangers, whips, belts, paddles
children are banned and isolated with barbaric inhumanity
in rooms, closets or basements
children can be humiliated, cast out, contemptuously derided

my hands were put in gloves—my arms in braces
so that I could not suck my thumbs
my mouth—washed with soap for lying
but never was there any attempt to try to understand
why I sucked my thumb—I needed hugs and comfort
why I lied—the truth was not welcome and could not be told

buried hatred, disguised as discipline, maybe passed on
but speaking up against it and labeling parents’ actions correctly
as hateful, dangerous, irresponsible and evil
is condemned as revengeful and unforgiving

the child’s tortured Via Dolorosa as a victim of her parents’ cruelty
is tolerated—even encouraged—by the world around
torture—inflicted in the name of “discipline” or “education”
nobody cared about a child’s feelings and needs—her screams
were extinguished with pedagogical and moral clichés

how despised it is to mention the ordeal of childhood
judged as victim mentality
the child’s suffering is forced deeper into silence

parental irresponsibility is not only excused
but even turned into the child’s responsibility to forgive and forget

it is this abused child
who finds herself hopelessly condemned and cornered
always at the losing end
while her parents’ cruelty is justified and excused

two standards create an insufferable, insane hypocrisy
where the weak are—even physically—tortured
for what is judged as their mistake and badness
while the strong and powerful are not held accountable

we need to listen and learn
we must change our view of the inhumanity and cruelty
masked for centuries as education and discipline

instead of extinguishing our children’s screams
we need to teach parents the discipline
of love and mercy
of listening to their children
with an open, compassionate mind
with a loving soul
with a caring, devoted heart
and of answering and guiding them
and honestly

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood