The definition of performance is: artistic action presented by an artist. Yes, by now I feel like an artist, an artist of life. Often I felt like a liar, not being real. Many things went wrong in my life because I did not know better, because I could not do better. But always I tried, always I tried to do better, always I questioned. When I discovered that I was a replacementchild, it was a great relief for me. A lot of things have gone better for me since then, not immediately and not linearly, but the deeply disturbing and humiliating feeling that I still owe to myself to live my own life, receded and also the feeling that I was solely responsible for missing out on my life. I am beginning to be more gracious with myself, more compassionate. Begin to appreciate my accomplishments. It’s not the big successes, it’s the everyday successes. The success of not letting my feelings of guilt roll over me anymore, of the fact I didn’t go crazy, I didn’t become a drug addict. All of that could have happened at this very difficult start in my life. “Death was in the air at the birth of a replacement child,” Murray Stein says to Kristina Schellinski in the conversation Spiritual Development In Adult Replacement Children. Those feelings of guilt belong somewhere else.
It is also a success that I no longer feel that something very terrible will happen if I didn’t act perfectly, as with my mother, who had allowed her son with confidence in him to walk home across the street alone with the request to stop at the road to watch for traffic. He stopped as the mother had told him, but he could not see the motorcycle, hidden by the truck that had passed and ran straight to his death in front of his mother’s eyes.
Gradually I can see that I make mistakes and am allowed to make them like any other human being.
And I have realized that there must be a strong Johanna, otherwise she would not have made it this far.
May be it is also the spirit of all family members, the living and the dead ones, who are looking for healing and redemption.