Hero Child

Liberation from Guilt
My Therapeutic Journey
Trap of Forgiveness
Hero Child
Facing a Wall of Silence
Instructions for Dehumanization
Outrage over a Handcuffed Girl
The Futility of Punishment


getting to know my self-hatred – a moving inner conversation

by Barbara Rogers

I wrote this therapy when I struggled, for months, with a severe depression, marked by anxiety and sleeplessness. These well known symptoms had erupted for different reasons and were not silenced by drugs. I had invested my money into the stock market, which had begun to slide. That triggered terrible survival fears and a long, harsh struggle inside if and how I should get out of the market. I also had left, after only three months, a Dance Movement Therapy graduate program. I was shocked by the inhumanity of the judgmental view of the suffering client that was taught there.

Then I visited my children for five days in Germany, over Christmas. After 14 years of silence, without contact and without having seen each other, my mother and I had only recently exchanged some letters. So I asked her if she could come and see me during those days as she was visiting my sister who lived not far from where I was staying. My mother refused to come. After that trip, my symptoms grew worse and my work in therapy became very, very hard. During that time, I wrote the scream: the mountain. Today, I see this dramatic life crisis as my final breaking away from my mother as I had to realize that she did not love me, and never had.

Therapy Writing
At first, a voice inside, which I call a part, accuses and scolds me with unbearable vehemence. At the same time, I feel so wrong and worthless that I am also flooded and overwhelmed by feelings that I want to die, that make me feel it would be better if I was dead. Finally I talk directly with this “voice,” or part of me, that so hates me, and ask it: “Who are you?”

PART: I am your mother’s voice inside of you. I believe what she believes, and I think what she thinks. She hates and despises you. She thinks that you are a sick, disturbed, confused, crazy madwoman. So I have to make sure that you BECOME exactly this; that you get into this state. THEN SHE IS content. And then I feel good because I fulfill my task and my mission.

I, BARBARA: What is your task?

PART: To destroy you. To destroy your life. I do not want you to be happy and that your life goes well. I do not want that you are loved, that you are publicized, that you have a voice. I HATE you. I would be glad and delighted if you must enter an insane asylum, because that would make her happy. Then she would be proud of me. My task and work is to destroy you, to push you into abysses where you only accuse yourself and question yourself, your mind, and sanity.

I, BARBARA: Why did she give you this task?

PART: Because she hated you. She could not stand and envied who your were and how you were. She could NOT bear your charm, your sweetness, your joy, your aliveness, your clarity. She could not stand ANYTHING that is so wonderfully and full of joy of life radiating from you. She HATED you and wanted to destroy you. Wanted you dead. Break you. Everything she said to you was full of poison and evilness. Everything was malicious, calculating, and insidious. I HAVE to hate you, because that is what she wanted. She could not tolerate you. I live inside of you to help her, to carry out her instructions.

I, BARBARA: How did this happen? How did this come about? And who are you in reality?

PART: Oh, I have listened to her WELL. And I felt good when she judged and condemned you. I am your hatred of yourself, which was born and nourished by her and which grew bigger and bigger with every one of her malicious words. And now I am so huge and overpowering because I have such tremendous failures on your part as my food: You lost way too much money in the stock market; you left the training to become a Dance Movement therapist that you had started. Now I can FINALLY hit you and drive you mad, can torture you with self-doubt, self-accusations, self-hatred, and judgmental condemnations so terribly that you have no clue what to do anymore and go crazy. Maybe even kill yourself. Then she would have the final PROOF that SHE IS GOOD and that YOU ARE BAD and sick and crazy. That always something was wrong with you. That she is perfect and a good human being—and that you ALWAYS were ill and disturbed. That you are and always were really crazy and on the totally wrong way, with your idiotic therapy.
I must make sure that she is right—that you go down. The she could be triumphant. That her worst enemy would forever be banned from her life. Everyone would pity her because she had such a crazy, sick daughter who HAD to come to a terrible end. I am here to make sure that SHE WINS and NOT YOU! Under no circumstances does she want you free, healthy, alive, writing, living. I am her ally inside of you! I must and will make sure that she wins this fight.

I, BARBARA: Why is this so important to you? Why do you want her to win and triumph?

PART: Because I feel sorry for her. She is such an insecure, weak, and poor person. I have pity for her. I can see how strong and alive you are. She never could match you. I feel so sorry for her.

I, BARBARA: Are you the part inside of me who loves my mother?

PART: There was no love between your mother and you. Your mother cannot love. I am the part who wanted to have and keep an emotional connection with her. She WANTED your PITY: And out of the pity, I could feel her hatred for you and her wish to triumph over you, to destroy you. If she could not control you and your thoughts, feelings, and actions—then at least she wanted to destroy you.

I, BARBARA: I am sorry that you could only have an emotional connection with her in this way. I BELIEVE you and I KNOW that what you tell me IS TRUE. I have known this DEEP INSIDE, FOR A LONG TIME—actually, I knew it from the very beginning. Do you want to continue to live like that, or can you leave her task, her emotional energy and connection behind you, and come along with me?

PART: Yes, I would LOVE to do that because really, I LOVE you. I wanted so much and have tried everything to have an emotional connection with your mother. THIS was THE ONLY ONE possible, the only one that she allowed and granted me. I so much wanted to be loved by your mother and to love her. But she did not permit that, did not want that. It was impossible with her. The only connection I could have with her, which was possible, was THIS ONE. TO HATE YOU, TOGETHER WITH HER, OUT OF PITY for HER. So that she did not have to suffer from you.

I, BARBARA: How sad; what a pity that she experienced and saw you, and me, in this way. That she never could take joy in me. But I think to go crazy is no way out. Someone, God, has wanted my life and also I want MY LIFE. I don’t want to and will not sacrifice my life so that she will win and triumph. I am about to completely liberate myself from her. Will you come with me? Can you come with me?

PART: I don’t know that. Somehow I have the feeling that I don’t belong to you, am not right for you. Basically, I just want to leave, to be delivered and never, ever in my life have to do this and play this role again.
I LOVE YOU, BARBARA. I SO MUCH WISH FOR YOU THAT YOU CAN LIVE! That you grow more and more amazingly and wonderfully; that you change, blossom, develop, grow; that you find your voice and may have and express it; and raise it.
I LOVE YOU—out of this love for you, I wanted an emotional, loving connection with your mother. But this was the only one possible. She saw you as a competitor and as an enemy, whom she desired to destroy and triumph over.

THANK YOU for you honesty. Thank you for this truth. Thank you for your love. I am so glad about it. I am moved and it brings tears to my eyes—that deep down, you love me and want good things for me. How about if we go into the healing light and see what happens?

PART: I also want that your therapists Dick and Gina get to know me and understand me. I am an enormously big and important part of you, and it is mainly I who is responsible for the terrible state you have been in during the past weeks. She does NOT want your liberation, your freedom, that you open your mouth and speak up.
She gave you the silent treatment when you were in Germany for a good reason. She WANTED to SILENCE you. She DOES NOT WANT your voice to live. She wants to be victorious over you, to force you down, and silence you. She wants to be right and triumph over you.

I, BARBARA: I promise, I will take you to Dick and Gina. I will help you along more, together with them. So that you and I don’t have to suffer so terribly anymore. I love you and I thank you so much that you told me the truth. I always sensed the truth and somehow knew it, deep inside—but I fought and worked against it so desperately.

PART: She wanted that you would shine, that you performed the piano well. Although she showed up, when you performed—which your father did not—she came because she wanted to feel good and affirmed as your mother. But she envied you your talents deeply. She hated you for your talents. She never wanted you to shine and be beautiful, to be the center of attention, to have this strong connection with your father.
She hated all this and wanted to destroy it.
This is also one reason why you are so terrified of performing in concerts: Her commandment was—you may not shine, radiate your beauty and talent. She hated you, Barbara, for your talents, for your benign inner beauty that you radiate so strongly. She wanted to be like you—but she could not. And so she hated you.

I, BARBARA: Thank you for your HONESTY. THANK YOU for the Truth. THANK YOU that you talked so truthfully and clearly.


In the Healing Light
I see inside of me the black devil mask of Gina’s studio, which is being carried by a tall part that is hitting me with the big stick, also from Gina’s office. And also attacks, abuses, and tortures me verbally. The healing light burns and absorbs the big stick from the part’s hand so that the beatings stop. And it surrounds this part so tightly that it cannot beat me anymore. I look at her black devil’s face and tell her how sorry I am that she has to wear this mask: The mask of hatred—which I never wanted to give room inside of me.
I hug her and tell her: “Now I KNOW about YOU, your history, your journey. Never again do you have to live like tat, to act like that, or to harm me. You are delivered and free and can begin to live and to love.”
She takes off her mask and says: „I LOVE YOU, BARBARA. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP. THANK YOU FOR THIS LIBERATION FROM THE DARK, BLACK JAIL!! I AM A PART OF YOUR LOVE FOR YOURSELF, which was CAUGHT in this TRAP. I NEVER wanted and do not want to hurt you. I wanted to build, to create, a BRIDGE for you to your mother. This was the only bridge, which she allowed, which was possible.“
We hug and hold each other. We are together like two good, old FRIENDS, LOVERS, who fall into each other’s arms. (I cry DEEPLY, for the second time during this healing light.)
We go to the bench in Gina’s studio, where we sit down and, for a while, talk about her fate and my anguish. And one day—I can feel that and I know it—we will become one!! We will get together and be one!

After word
This is the only therapy, written at home, which I took into my session with both therapists during the six years I worked with them, where I read it for them, translating it from German into English.


© Barbara Rogers, May 2005

Screams from Childhood

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