she says—I mean well—and
her eyes speak a different language—of hate and bitterness
misery and pain—despair and revenge
the mother says—I mean well
but pain penetrates the body of the girl—then the soul
she cries out
I mean well—her mother repeats
the girl screams—then why are you hurting me?
I love you
you don't do what is my will—replies the mother
this is why I have to beat you
the girl cries—I cannot always do what is your will
sometimes I have to go my own way
I have a will, too
I have my own thoughts
the mother beats her daughter more forcefully, even harder
she screams—I cannot bear that you have your own thoughts
and you may not have a will of your own
you are a bad, evil, sinful girl if you have a will of your own
I will beat you until you admit that you are bad
until you admit that I am right
don't cry! don't scream! pull yourself together!
bear the pain! be quiet! once and for all!
you may only be the way I want you to be!
here—my word is the law!
here—my power and my will are the law!
did not do—what I want you to do
did not think—how I want you to think
were not the way—I want you to be
this is your punishment—you deserve it
if you scream I will beat you even more
even longer and harder
say that you are bad
say that you will never do this again
the girl is laying on the ground
she sobs quietly and says—please, mother, please, end it
I am bad
I will never do this again
I am bad
the mountain of hate from inside her mother
—the truth that the girl could read in her mother's eyes—
moves into the soul of the little girl
she has encountered the language of hatred
now she hates too—her mother
and she begins to hate—herself
© Barbara Rogers
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Screams from Childhood
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