I Am On My Way

(translated from German)

My name is Ines Kristina Maria Hinz. I would like to share some of my experiences with you at the replacementchildforum.com.

I grew up as an only child. Often, I spent my childhood days with my grandparents in a small village in pure nature. It was wonderful. My grandparents loved me unconditionally. Until my 13th birthday, my life was beautiful and my world was in order. I was really a happy child. Well, sometimes it felt a little bit lonely an I envied my classmates for their siblings. During this time, my greatest wish was a brother or a sister at my side. I often told my parents about my wish, again and again. It seemed as if I was annoying my parents with this wish. But no answer ever came.   

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In the evening of my 13th birthday, I got a terrible message. My girlfriends and I had a nice day and a lot of fun before. I don`t know what happened. In the evening the mood changed. Maybe I asked for siblings again. My mother told me that I’m not an only child. I’m the second born.   My two years older sister Heidrun had died after her birth.

All my happiness was over, on that evening and for a long time. I fell into great grief and cried the rest of the evening and the next days, too. The grief remained. I never saw my mother crying in my presence. My mother tried to talk objectively and kindly about the topic. She said she was happy about me. But she also said she didn’t want any more children. I couldn’t calm down. That evening I heard something about my sister for the first time and also for the last time. My sister was not mentioned again. Instead, my body showed me my grief painfully and my mind said again and again: ”You live only, because your sister died.“ It felt like I was deprived of my right to life. In the later period, I focused all my behavior on my mother. I tried to see and meet her needs. I took over their grief and at the same time I was her sunshine. If she had fear or negative thoughts, I showed myself strong. If she had a problem, I found a solution. I felt responsible for my mother and hoped to justify my existence. The feeling of being a replacement child was always in me. All my days were filled with doubts and bad thoughts. From then on, I was only the second in every aspect of my life. But I was a girl with a lot of talents. All knowledge in school flew easily to me. Everyone came to me when they needed advised or help. Everyone in school said ”Go to Ines, she can help.“ In everyone’s eyes, I was a strong person. I addition, I organized cultural events, I loved (and I love it again, now) poetry and comedy. I remember once a teacher asked me if I could do a program for a school class that was very noisy. He took me out of my class to save his lessons with my comedy. Well, it was successful. We sang and laughed and I gave a stand-up comedy. Everyone was happy and later the lessons continued normally.

No one asked for me, no one asked for my feelings. During that time I went from being a cheerful to being an anxious girl and I became a shy serious girl, who didn’t like herself. Outwardly, I was the same, but inside, I was full of doubts and fear of life. By the time of my high school graduation, I had become a completely different person. I mistrusted my partners and I couldn’t trust in relationships of any kind.

A last example for this: In the same summer after my 13th birthday in August, my mother cut off my braids. I loved my braids; everyone loved my hair. 25 years later when my mother was dying, I found my braids in my grandmother’s closet. I ran out crying and felt alone and betrayed again. Later my father tried to calm me down. He was always mindful of harmony. But that day, I could not visit my mother in the hospital. Weeks later, I held her hand at home and sang her favorite songs for her when she died. I didn`t want her to leave, but she was ready to leave. The night before, she stroked me and said: “Don´t cry my child.“ Then she shook my hand and said: “Tell me goodbye, my child.“

Today after many years and a variety of studies (including Psychology, Anthropology, Theology) as well as strong, painful personal experiences, I got an idea about my earlier behavior and my thoughts. I realized that I had suffered trauma. It takes a long time for a replacement child to finally get onto their own way.

Now, I am working with grieving people. I assist people of all ages to awaken their inner child and to find their own way.

In addition, I am in the further education program at the Swiss C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich-Küsnacht to become a psychoanalyst.

That gives me a lot for my way.

Warm greetings and all the best for you,  

Ines Kristina Maria Hinz