Alma Kahn [1983] A

Biography

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I am the daughter of a violent drinker and an anxious mother

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At age three I receive medical attention for the first time after my father’s violence, without my mother protecting me

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At age six I am raped by my father and placed in a children’s home for a year

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At age nine I am raped by my sixteen-year-old cousin and my mother brands me a liar and the traitor of the family

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At age eleven I learn to smoke hash and feel good in the company of outsiders

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At age eleven I am sent by my parents to a closed psychiatric unit, fight desperately against it and am given tranquilisers to keep me quiet

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At age thirteen I survive my first suicide attempt, am disowned by my father and flee from the city together with a friend

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At age thirteen the friend gives me my first shot of heroin and takes me with her to walk the streets

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At age thirteen I am a drug addict, move in with my pimp and live in shame

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At age fifteen I hope that my divorced mother will take me in and am rejected

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At age sixteen I marry my pimp

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At age seventeen I fall in love with a male drug addict, am happy, clean, and become a mother

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At age nineteen I go back to heroin and prostitution

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At age twenty-one I provide for my lover, who is in jail, and my son, by dealing

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At age twenty-one I break off contact with my father

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At age twenty-two I am diagnosed as having cirrhosis of the liver and I break off my first course of treatment

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At age twenty-three my boyfriend is released and we escape to Germany because of my court case

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At age twenty-three I am arrested, convicted, and given a long prison sentence

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At age twenty-three my boyfriend leaves me

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At age twenty-three I understand and forgive my mother’s betrayal

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At age twenty-four I am depressed, deliberately harm myself, and seek help

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.