My self-harm, which was mostly a cry for help, which no one that could have done something for me picked up. I was fourteen and didn’t know how to ask for what I needed. Twelve years on, I’m in therapy and still fighting the urge to hurt myself – not daily, but more than I’d like.
Being in and stepping out of an emotionally, sexually and psychically - in that order - abusive relationship. I never found that strength in myself again, and will be forever grateful to the boy who triggered it in me back then.
Learning to drink coffee. It gives me calm and comfort on weekend mornings.
Going to journalism school, which I dreamed about all through my five years of university and way before that. It opened a whole new world to me: suddenly I needed to do things, see the world, write!, after five years of sitting in benches, listening and taking notes. It made my love for writing and reading even bigger, and was a dream I would have blamed myself forever for not pursuing it.
Music. Indulging me in it from the very beginning of my life is one of the few things I am my parents truely grateful for.
Being left by my best friend because he’d rather not be with me all than be with me his love unanswered.
Joining a youth movement, which taught me valuable things like engagement and teamwork, but which also confirmed yet again what I already knew by then: making friends is not my strong suit (to say the least).
The psychiatric problems in my close family, and mostly: that we never talked about it. I was thirteen, heard my sister crying all the time, saw the fear in my mother’s eyes, and had to make up my own story.
My most recent ex- and most serious boyfriend ever. He taught me things, he inspired me, he cared for me when I didn’t care for myself, he supported me, he gave me a home, he made me a better me.
PS Do you happen to know a good cure for chronic urticaria? I'd love to try it.
Lotte Van Doren