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Afbeelding Humans of Amsterdam

Breaking through the patterns of passed down traumas

“He didn’t talk much about the war. Still, he regularly woke up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat because of a nightmare. Whenever his friends came over, they would talk about the past. I would listen very quietly to catch a few snippets of what my father had been through during the war. He had been part of the resistance of Staphorst, the village where I grew up. After a German officer got murdered in 1944, the Germans arrested twenty random men from our village. They were then taken to Germany and, from there, deported to a concentration camp. One of those men was his father, my grandfather. None of those other men survived. Although my father spoke little about it, he must have carried a lot of grief. I think that’s why he was very strict with me and didn’t show much affection. I was sixty years old when he kissed me for the first time. As a young adult, I had a hard time with that. I was very distant and found it challenging to connect with other students. However, I have always had a strong desire to build close and intimate relations with people. Eventually, I managed to break through that pattern. It started by oversharing a lot about myself and who I was. Later on, I learned to sense when and with who to do so. I’m still happy with that breakthrough. It’s the deep friendships and connections that make life so sweet.”

door Debra Barraud


Het huis van Amsterdam met dank aan: Gemeente Amsterdam West Soundtrackcity