This Replacement Child Shares Her Poems

Which Are A Lifeline For Her Coming Home To Herself

Once in a blue moon…

Growing up I knew and often bragged about my special birth order.  I would tell it to anyone who would listen, “My mom had a baby girl she gave up for adoption before marrying my dad and then had a daughter who passed from leukemia at six. Then I came along.  Guess who was spoiled?”  I would quip with a huge smile on my face. Little did I know!  After several failed co-dependent relationships and in therapy at age 50 I found out that my replacement child psyche was running the show since I was conceived six weeks following my sister’s death. 

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Writing poetry has been a lifelong love of mine.  It has helped me to process difficult and disturbing emotions.  I am amazed reading my earlier poems how they echo themes of the replacement child condition which are so brilliantly explained in Kristina Schellinski’s Individuation for Adult Replacement Children – Ways of Coming into Being.  I’ve read it several times, each time gleaning a new insight into myself.  I still talk about my birth order to anyone who will listen in hope of raising awareness.  I’m happy, along this individuation journey of mine, to share a couple of my recent poems.  Dirty Girl No More illustrates my effort to overcome toxic relationship patterns, and Moon Rise Man which was written during the recent blue full moon, in August 2023, finally expresses the peace I have found accepting myself for who I am.   

Dirty Girl No More

Willing to love your demons
Until they became my own
I already battled
Binge bottle blues 
Down darkened corridors 
Let me be seen?
Don’t throw in my face
Healing you’ve not done
Driving down dead ends
Letting light conquer 
What we had we had
My broken borrowed
Hole tortured self 
Ultimate empathy gift
Mirroring pain my own
Tied together trauma
Bonded ugliness and
Demeaning me demons
Guarded by brick walls
And bullshit prison bars
Twisting inside out
Seething peeking out
The daylight cracks
Tearing down the walls 
Of anger unfelt
Owning you trapped 
From the love
Your soul cries to feel
Bring it to the light\
Let the toxic days die
Dirty girl no more

Moon Rise Man

Reminds me
What I don’t 
Bright dark
Always there
Trying to rise
The hole
Black image 
Reveals its light
And shines
Before me
My shadow
Soul eternal self
Moon rise man
Reminds me

Penny has a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from SUNY Buffalo

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