Screams from Childhood - my anger is my lover

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


the manic-depressive see-saw

"as punishment we had to stand in corners,
even next to the garbage cans"
my sister

any true utterances and spontaneous actions
turned out to be such bad mistakes
with such horrendous consequences
that nothing was left of the child but a disfigured, hopeless corpse
crumpled next to the garbage can
the living corpse is tired of life
writhing with pain, she has sunk to the floor next to the garbage
she feels inadequate—so incapable of doing anything right
she feels like worthless garbage and asks herself
why was I ever born?

to counter devastating feelings—to avoid the fall into depression
she mounts a survival strategy, a façade, an outer shell
a beautiful Barbara—perfect in her parents' eyes
her parents' pride

she gives honor and glory to her parents and her family
she shines for them and lets herself be shown off
the more praise and attention she can gain
the more she finds herself in a bizarre state of exuberance
she feels high and manic in that admired state
where she feels special and believes that she matters

but this state is like skating on thin ice
falling through is only a matter of time
until her aliveness and her feelings and needs resurface

they threaten to cause the fall
back into anguish and despair
when she succeeds at getting attention and praise
when she feels successful and admired
she floats in her manic state
convinced she can do anything—she believes
to be a perfect child

when she falls, worthlessness devours her
and she feels wrong and useless
this emotional see-saw
—created by her parents' treatment—
becomes a curse which runs her life

the grownup woman is still ruled by it and does nothing else
but look for the expectations of others and try to figure out
how to live up to them, how to fulfill them

if she does not receive what she hopes for
she descends into hopeless self-accusations and self-blame

if she succeeds and shines
she gets high in the state of the over-achiever
forced to find this magic potion like a drug she needs to survive
she becomes an empty, glistening shell
behind which looms
the fall
into the darkness of depression



Screams from Childhood

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