“I was not only grieving for my mother, but actually also for my father. In fact he was still there, but no longer as a father figure in my life. Suddenly you are on your own as children, without your parents. I entered a rule mode. That kind of distracted my mind somehow. I tried therapy, but it didn’t work for me. Then I said out loud to myself: “Sanneke, you have two options. Either you see yourself as a victim, or you take your mother’s positivity and go for it.” I really got my teeth into my studies and work, that was something to hold on to. Music was an outlet for me, I listened to a lot of music and also sang. I also wrote down my emotions in the form of poems, some were light and others very dark. My girlfriends were a huge support, I could always talk to them.
When my father was in prison, I kept in touch with him. I visited him a few times, but I found that too intense. After that, contact was via letters or telephone. That way I could still share important things in my life with him, I missed that. My father tried to explain his side of the story even further, but I refused. I didn’t believe his version and wanted to keep looking forward and not to the past. I was angry with him, but I quickly let that go. It simply didn’t help and cost a lot of energy. Somehow I also feel sorry that he created the situation for himself. For my father, my mother and the family were everything. When she wanted a divorce and that fell through, his light went out. He did not find happiness in himself and that is a great pity. He died of cardiac arrest in 2015.
I think about my parents every day, but it doesn’t dominate my life. I recognize things of myself in both. My mother also wrote poems and they both had a love for music. I’m still very much into confrontation and allowing my emotions. Sometimes I need to cry, so I do. I know exactly what music I need for that.’