Feathers Have a Strong Middle

The Replacement Child Forum is proud to share this message from Johanna Glaser, a replacement child from Germany. Writing one’s story can be such a relief and an experience of coming home to self.


I am pleased to share with the replacementchildforum.com the publication of my book, with the German title: Federn haben eine starke Mitte. Aus dem Leben eines Ersatzkindes. The book is published by marta press in Hamburg/Germany and may hopefully be available in an English edition in the near future. The title translates into English as: Feathers have a strong middle. From the life of a replacement child. Like a feather, that is how I always felt, easily blown away and fragile, and yet: there was something that held me, in the middle, a strength which centered me.


Buy the book here.

Also available on Amazon here.

I am Johanna Glaser, born in 1964, three years after my five-year-old brother Johann was killed in an accident. My mother said: “I had four children and I wanted four again.” And that is how I was conceived, how I, Johanna, became a replacement for my brother Johann – a replacement child, filling a gap in the family. 

In this autobiographical book, I show how burdensome that legacy can be, how often it is overlooked in therapy, and how I found my path to inner healing. Many people are affected by this condition and I hope that they may find resonance in the feelings and experiences I share. I would be really happy if my written words reach the hearts of the readers and others can draw insights for their life from it. I myself experienced the incredible relief  that my suffering had a name and could be understood when I meet my analyst Kristina Schellinski many years ago. With the help of her everlasting support I was finally able to start on the path to myself. 

And what can be more important and more beautiful in life than to find yourself?! In this sense, warm greetings to all replacement children and to those who are affected by the long-term effects of this condition, in their families or friendships or other circles, Johanna Glaser