Hero Child

 
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Foreword: A Hero Child
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Published by Barabara Press
   

 

what I wish I had said
written in Mexico, 2004

no, father, no—don't touch me—don't try to seduce me
no, father, no—don't come near me—my first time
goes to a man I have chosen
I want to love with dignity and beauty
not with the stigma and terror of committing a crime

no father, no—leave me alone
I want to consent consciously—I want truthful passion
when another human being enters my body
how dare you take these rights away from me

no, father, no—I don't want to give my virginity to you
don't rob me of my sexual awakening
don't deprive me of sexual fulfillment for years to come

my body is a holy temple that you may not abuse and desecrate
my soul is the divine spark in me
that you may not toss into turmoil and fear
my mind is my most precious life commodity
that you may not throw into a dark night of confusion
my Self is life's precious gift
you may not destroy its power and confidence

no, father, no—I don't want to wake up
night after night, accusing myself
I don't want my brain to go round and round in circles
tormenting itself with hopeless explanations
wondering—what is wrong with me that this could happen?

no, father, no—I will do everything to prevent
you taking my sister on the same trip next year
away from home, alone with you, she is vulnerable too
no, father, no—I forbid you to commit the crime of incest
my life has been entrusted to you for protection and guidance
not for reckless exploitation and vile treachery

no, father, no—this is my body—not yours
this is my life—not yours—you don't own me
I have a life I want to live, a sexuality I want to unfold—not bury
I don't owe you my body, my virginity, my life
they are mine and it is up to me to decide what to do with them
I am not your possession but your responsibility
don't you dare use my love for you to blind me
don't you dare abuse the obedience programmed into me
don't you dare numb my defenses through seductive lies
don't you dare touch me in any inappropriate way
don't you dare cross a sacred boundary
firmly established as powerful law by society

no, father, no—I don't want my soul to drown in guilt and shame
I don't want to plunge into a nightmare of self-blame and fear
I don't want to do years of therapy
in order to be able to climb out of a morass of terrifying self-hate

the scales are falling from my eyes—I am shocked to see
what an irresponsible man and brute you are
fiercely will I guard my Self and my life against you
and not let you near or trust you ever again
I have to walk away from you—to be safe—to have a life
to grow and develop as a human being

it horrifies me to realize
that you are capable of pushing me into the abyss of betrayal
I fell and fell for years
until love enabled me to uncover your crime and your guilt
empowered me to liberate my Self from guilt and blame
and hand the responsibility back to you where it belongs
until I found the strength to look you in the eyes and finally say
no, father, no—don't touch me—don't come near me
go away—I am better off without you

 

© Barbara Rogers

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Screams from Childhood