I was standing in front of the fireplace in the ambassador’s house. A woman who was also invited, seemed genuinely interested in my story. I told her I was writing a book about my life. “So young and already writing a book about your life?” she wondered. I said: “Yes, you now, after a month in Germany I got seriously ill. I ended in a hospital.” At that point the protective glass in front of the fireplace broke into a million of pieces. It was the kind of glass that cars have in front.
I was only shocked for a split of a second, right afterwards I felt relieved. The glass broke at precisely the right time. I would have gotten too personal, if it hadn’t broken. I felt safe. As if the universe was taking good care of me.
13 years ago I was about to spend a semester studying abroad. I chose Göttingen, Northern Germany. After a month I got a full blown psychotic episode with all kinds of delusions and I heard sounds that weren’t there. I ended in the locked ward of the psychiatric hospital. A week ago the German ambassador held a reception at his residence for the former students that have been granted various scholarships to study in Germany. I couldn’t have entered his house, if I hadn’t overcome the pain that such memories bring. Now I feel I have made the final reconciliation with my past in Göttingen.