“Ik heb het heel lang geheim gehouden. Maar dat heeft alleen maar negatieve gevolgen. Want het verhaal moet eruit om verder te helen.”

I am very good at keeping secrets. Everyone can keep their secrets with me because I really keep it to myself. That's what that neighbor told me as well at the time. It was our secret, I couldn't talk to anyone about it. Children are always told not to go with a stranger. I tell my son that friends can do something too. Because in most cases these things are done by someone you know.

Only later did I realize that it was not right. Then I went completely off track. I then lived with my father, because my parents got divorced. Since he was always passed out on the couch, I thought I could do anything. So it was all fun and games for me. I was already using narcotics when I was 14. I find it incomprehensible that you miss that as a parent.

I did have more behavioral changes then. I was very rebellious and therefore came into contact with the law a lot. Then I had to go to trial again and I got community service. They saw me as a derailed problem child. But with today's knowledge you might be wondering what was wrong with me. Real contact, that someone had asked me how I was doing and why I acted like that, I missed that in the earlier years. I think that if there had been a little more attention to this, it could have been very different.

It didn't come out until much later. I first talked to someone about it when I was 20 and when I became a mother it came up again. I was overwhelmed with emotions and realized how vulnerable a child is. I wondered how and if I could offer my child a safe childhood

Laatst kwam het ook naar boven tijdens mijn opleiding tot sociaalpsychiatrisch verpleegkundige. Onderdeel daarvan zijn intervisie bijeenkomsten. Dan vertel je meer over je handelen en je gedrag. En vooral waar dat vandaan komt. In het begin verstijfde ik. We zaten allemaal in een kringetje en iedereen begon te vertellen over hun trauma’s en ik wilde dat totaal niet. Het liefst wilde ik vluchten. Maar de docent prikte daar iedere keer doorheen. Totdat ik het er op een dag uit gooide en vertelde wat ik allemaal heb meegemaakt.

Verder heb ik eigenlijk nooit therapie gehad. Ik ben wel een paar keer vastgelopen in leven. Dat ik er heel even uit was. Dan viel ik ook weer terug in oud gedrag. Ik ging weer drinken zodat ik niks hoefde te voelen. Ik ga nu op een gezondere manier met mezelf om. Ik sport en ik werk veel. Misschien heeft dat vele werken ook weer een functie. Dat ik dan minder tijd heb om na te denken. Ik heb af en toe dat ik me even wil afsluiten. Dat ik geen mensen om me heen wil en in mijn eigen bubbel wil zitten.

You don't have to use a lot of words to be there for me. You can also do that in silence. Sometimes it is nice to be held for a while.

I still find it difficult. I will not just bring it up on my own. I can even seem a bit distant because I have built a certain wall around me. It seems to be slowly crumbling because I tell more about who I am and what I have been through. Sometimes it also explains my behavior. For example, if I have a strong opinion about men. That you know where that comes from.

I have now learned that you do not have to stand alone and that you can also give it a voice. It also shaped me into who I am now, so the story can be there too.  

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