My parents divorced when I was 8. We went to see my dad every two weeks. As a ritual during the return we always sat together in the car in front of my mother's door, chatting, laughing and enjoying the weekend. It was always nice to be together like that for a couple of minutes. One of those days, the man walked out the door with a young boyfriend. My father saw that and asked, "Is he gay"? To which I replied, "No, he is a pedophile." I knew that.

Op dat moment barstte ik in tranen uit. Dat was het moment dat ik durfde te zeggen dat het misbruik moest stoppen. In eerste instantie voelde ik me opgelucht dat het afgelopen was, maar ik worstelde daarna ook met veel dilemma’s. Mijn eerste seksuele ervaringen waren bijvoorbeeld met een man. Dat maakt op zich niet uit, maar je ziet wel om je heen wat de norm is en je realiseert je dat dat voor jou anders is geweest. Ik heb mij ook vaak afgevraagd of het mijn eigen schuld was. Ik vond het namelijk ook lekker. Seks is lekker.
In the beginning I was ashamed of what had happened. While something just happened that I had no choice or control over at the time. I am a victim. It's not a role. Someone has crossed my limits.

It has shaped me very much into who I am today. It taught me a lot to forgive myself. That it is important to give yourself space. That if you make mistakes it's just okay.

You have the right to be here, to be able to express yourself, to run away from something and not to let yourself be walked over. You have that right as a person.

Until I was fifteen I kept it internally and never talked about it. Until one evening I was having a drink with two friends in the garden and we said to each other, "Shall we tell each other our greatest secret?" And everyone shared their own story. And so did I. And so it was that the three of us sat there weeping. And it was such a relief to let it go, to share it. Because sharing heals. For me, sharing is a way to gain insight. I started talking about it then and I have always done that ever since. It makes me feel very liberated. But by sharing your story you also throw a certain energy into space. And that is not always easy. So you learn to deal with that too. That there are good and bad moments for that

Ik denk dat het belangrijk is dat we er als mensen meer voor openstaan. Want het gebeurt gewoon veel te vaak dat mensen pijn hebben. Zaken die het daglicht niet verdragen, daar moet een licht op gaan schijnen.
I hope people can look at themselves in the mirror and say to themselves, "You can be there." That piece is the essence for me. That you are just really nice to yourself. That you allow yourself the space, also to be in pain. It's okay, it's part of it too. Open yourself up, because the world cannot see from the outside what is inside you. And then people don't see your good sides either. So, just shine

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