Louise van der Laan [1955] NL

Biography

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I am born short of breath and a depressed child

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At age ten, I am being treated with tranquilizers

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At age twelve, my sister and me are using pot, mushrooms, and LSD

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At age sixteen, my sister and I start shooting heroin

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At age eighteen, I am psychotic for the first time

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At age nineteen, I marry a doctor and live as a middle-class housewife and a junkie

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At age nineteen, I am for the first time forced to submit to psychiatric treatment for psychosis, depressive disorder, addiction, and hysteria

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At age twenty-seven, my sister dies of a heroin overdose

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At age twenty-seven, I start drinking excessive amounts of alcohol

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At age twenty-eight, I adopt my sister’s heroin baby as my beloved child

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At age twenty-eight, I train as a educationalist, and work with children while on drugs

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At age twenty-nine, I am pregnant and stop using heroin

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At age twenty-nine, I am hospitalized for nine months, speechless and apathetic, and being treated for postnatal depression

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At age thirty-four, I use cocaine and wander on the streets, bored and anxious

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At age thirty-six, my husband dies

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At age forty, I am beaten up and raped by a junkie who tries to force me into prostitution

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At age forty-two, my boyfriend is for the first time found guilty of abusing me and detained

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At age forty-seven, I enjoy wandering on the streets and using drugs with my boyfriend

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At age fifty, my alcoholic father dies

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At age fifty, I am clean for the second time in my life, and tired of life

From a dialogue with the participant and with the aid of the matrix a biography of basic facts is developed, which portrays the person’s life as a sequence of events and decisions, of acts and reactions.

The texts of the biographies are spoken by the participants themselves, and recorded for the audio modules of the Baby Dolls and the project’s audio archive.