Today is my birthday and a perfect day for starting looking back on my 27-year-old life. Birthdays have always been special for me, I treat myself really good without feeling bad about it. Right now I am sitting in Turkey, sipping a café latte in the shadows. It’s the last day on the beach, and I will use it to relax and think about where I am now. There has been bad times, very unlike how it’s now; An miracle of happiness that I take a sip of now and then. I feel fulfillment and pride about the wars I overcame, and self-assurance.
I was born in a very small town (3000 inhabitants) in Norway. My mother is from Germany, my father owned a farm together with my grandfather, who also lived there. I was the first child, and am now the eldest of 4 siblings, and two half-siblings. My father was adopted, and my mother just had two brothers in Germany, so I really didn’t have a big family like a lot of my friends. My grandparents from Germany have psychiatric diseases, my grandmother is manic-depressive and my grandfather schizophrenic. My mother had a tough childhood, but I did not know that when I grew up.
I don’t remember a lot from my childhood, but from video-tapes and stories I think I was rather happy as a little girl. I guess I was a bit sensitive, and noticed fast if anyone didn’t like me. I was very fond of everyone I knew, and I can remember my grandfather from Germany dancing with me (einmal hin, einmal her, drum herum das ist nicht schwer), and my Norwegian one reading stories while I sat at his lap. He took me to the fields where we had cows and told me things about them. My mother was more stressed and hectic, and when I look back, probably depressed. She tried her best though, and one of the things I remember is how she loved to take us kids shopping.
I started kindergarten at a normal time, and befriended a girl there. We played together all the time, and I also was a lot with my neighbors. I think I must have been a pretty annoying child, a bit controlling and dominant, always deciding which games to play and what to do. With my boy-neighbor I played video-games and played with robots, and with the other girl I did everything. I made up games also, like ‘school-game’, where somebody was a teachers who asked questions. If we could not answer we had to turn the other way. I also liked board-games, cartoons and drank a lot of juice. They always gave me that when I was thirsty, so that I developed a life-long aversion to it. I was a bit chubby back then, and when you just eat fries, soups from boxes and no vegetables or meat, it’s understandable.
School like coming from a cozy hut to a dirty hotel-room. I cannot say I hate it , since I thought it was okay some of the time, but it didn’t take to long before it felt like my shoes were just a little bit to small. I got two friends, and we always stayed together . The rest of my class, stayed clear of us most of the time. I was still quite dominating, no wonder people thought it was a bit uncomfortable to be with me. I did my best at school, and did it ok. My teacher said I was super-fast but sometimes sloppy, racer.
Not to many significant things happened at that time. I travelled to Germany some summers, which I liked, and tried to stay as active as I could in general. At the same time I was also lazy, still being a demanding chid not appreciating my luck. My sister, Eva, was completely different. Her bubbling laugh was like pearls. When she got a normal pencil at Christmas, her smile shone brighter than the sun. I felt envy because she got so much attention.
My brother was on the opposite end, he smoked, lied and misbehaved because he didn’t know better. The attention he got was negative, also from me. When he lied, I hated it and when he hurt my sister I defended her with a stern voice. Today I see he was trying to get love, like all of us, and Today I protect of him and his little family. Since then I’ve seen and learned so much, and feel so ashamed that I didn’t understand him Better.
I hope I wasnt so shallow and mean as I remember, usually its easy to be hard on oneself. My dad told me this summer, that he had a memory from Germany where he and my mother both said to me: Come here to me! He said I went to both, brought them together and said: I want both mum & dad. I can also remember hiding cigarettes Because I knew it was bad for my parents, and I worried about them. But I also can remember the feeling of being protected when my father carried my sleepy self to bed. There are glimmers of memories, but I find it hard to place them in time and space. I wish I could see it all again, from my child’s eyes but with more compassion and knowledge.
The picture underneath is from my hometown!