Hero Child

Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
Table of Contents
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the special child

"again and again her parents' pride, Barbara makes it possible"
written in 1969 by my father in my wedding journal

I was named after my father's motherand my mother's mother
my name held great significance for my parents

as a teenager I could build bridges to my parents
when I fulfilled their need for companionship
my talents and gentle nature allowed me to be special to them

my father was a gifted violinist
his musical mother had accompanied him on the piano
his father manipulated him away from music into business
yet my father still loved music and desired a musical companion
I became his accompanist
the better I played the piano
the more my father played music, and spent time, with me
sometimes we would sight-read late into the night whatever
we could findMozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, Kreisler

the hours I spent as a teenager making music with my father
brought happiness and pride to my childhood
gave me a sense of competence, worth, importance
of being special to him
music replaced feelings and closenessbecame my life force
my strong musical bond with my father helped cover the incest
and foster a blind idealization of him

my mother's unhappiness was painful for me
I became my mother's companion during many evenings
filled with long conversations deep into the night

my mother read with dedicated interest
modern literature and liberal political magazines
my father had no interest in either

with my mother I learned to be an understanding listener
I became skilled at keeping conversations interesting and alive
as I shouldered a responsibility that was not mine
to reach my lonely motherto alleviate her suffering
we talked about religion, history, politics and books
but not ourselvesthe personal was excluded
unbeknownst to me I carried a burden
that could not be delivered but buried me deeper and deeper
in the addiction of trying to save others

I was proud to ease her loneliness and to nurture her
to provide a sense of acceptance and connection for her

those long talks made me feel important
even special and chosenbut the responsibility
to relieve my mother's misery weighed heavily
deep down I resented it stronglyand longed
for a content and self-confident mother

although I returned to visit my family for many years
I leftafter I married when I was barely nineteen years old
these conversations with my mother behind
together with all ties to organized religion

my unconscious knew about the unbridgeable abyss
between my mother and me
and guided me away from her more and more forcefully

but the young woman was unaware
she was proud to be the daughter her mother desired
it gave her life meaning and importance


© Barbara Rogers

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