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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

Interview with psychiatrist Dr Anna Yankova/Interviju sa psihijatrom Dr. Annom Yankovom

During a difficult period in my life, I was lucky enough to come across a person who wanted to help me and who also knew how to do that, Dr Anna Yankova. Anna worked as a psychiatrist in an institution where I was sent for a discussion. From Anna, I received professional help, but also a deep human understanding and support that helped me a lot to recover and also to stay well. Since then Anna retired from her position but we stayed in touch, and I consider Anna my friend for life. I asked Anna for this interview because I wanted my friends to get to know her.

1) Although Bulgarian by nationality, you worked as a psychiatrist in England. How did that happen? Why did you decide to go to England and how long did you spend here? Can you tell us briefly where you worked and studied before you came to England?

There are multiple factors involved in making this decision, to come to England in 2011. I will have to start a bit further back… I studied medicine in Bulgaria and I graduated in 2002. By that time I already had two children, two sons. As you know I am in a wheelchair, however at the time I finished university I was not yet in a wheelchair. I have a genetic disorder, called Progressive Muscular Dystrophy, and although I was not quite very well during my studies I was able to cope without a wheelchair, however, with a lot of help from my partner. Yet it took me 10 years, instead of 6, to complete medical university. So, when I finished, I just looked after my children as much as I could. I could not start specialisation as there were several years that no specialisation was possible in Bulgaria (don’t start me on that…). By 2006 I was sick of children and of staying home and I decided that I need to do something with the education I already had. If I was to start specialising I had to first get a wheelchair and then decide on what specialty I can actually do. I wanted to do Paediatrics but that was obviously impossible because of the restrictions due to my condition. By a stroke of luck I had a conversation with a friend, a doctor already, who suggested that I go for Psychiatry. I completely dismissed it as a ridiculous suggestion but after some time I started to consider it and bought a textbook. I started reading it and, believe it or not, I couldn’t understand anything, it was written in a different language (psychiatry is chock full of terminology from German, French and Russian). So I decided, ‘that’s my thing, I need to know what’s that about’. I love a challenge… I sat an exam, in Bulgaria to start specialising you have to pass a very big exam, and I passed it and was accepted to specialise Psychiatry in the Military Medical Academy, which was the only hospital accessible for wheelchairs. I then bought an electric wheelchair and I became the only person in Bulgaria in possession of one (that says it all…)

So, very proud of my achievement, I go one day with my husband to the hospital to present myself to the staff. Firstly, turns out that the chief of the ward is based on the second floor and there is no lift. So my husband carried me upstairs to speak with him. And I will never forget what he told me – “I cannot accept you to work here”, he said, “do you understand how dangerous this is with you in a wheelchair, I don’t think it will work”. I am a stubborn one though and I hate when someone tells me that I cannot do something… so I just told him that I have passed my exam and he simply doesn’t have any choice and we’ll meet on day one.

Two years of specialising went by on this ward and it came time for me to continue to another placement, at child and adolescent psychiatric ward. Imagine my surprise when it turned out that I can not get in that ward (because of my wheelchair).

So this is how I decided to come to England, this and the fact that the only language I know is English.

I landed in England on 13th February 2011 on a job as a junior Psychiatrist in Exeter, on a rehabilitation ward. On 4th August 2012 I started Psychiatry Training in Cambridge. I completed the Core training, rotating between all the wards in Cambridge – general adult wards, learning disability, early intervention in psychosis, old age wards and liaison psychiatry in Addenbrooke’s hospital. I then went to work as a Specialist Psychiatrist in the North Adult Locality Team in Cambridge where I spent six amazing years. Unfortunately my health deteriorated significantly and I had to retire from my post in the NHS. Nevertheless, I still see patients online as psychiatry is really who I am. I have remained in Cambridge ever since, this is my home. I often travel to visit my sons, one in Vienna and one in Nice. I have not lost connections with Bulgaria where I try to promote psychiatry as much as I can.

2) Your work includes treatment of people with mental problems. Is there a difference in the problems of people in Bulgaria and people in England? What are the most common universal mental illnesses of modern society that you have encountered?

This is a very interesting question. Mental illness is universally common but, yes, there are cultural differences between Eastern European countries and UK and they define the difference in the presentation and understanding of mental illnesses. For example, before I came to England I have never seen self harm and it took me some time to grasp the concept of this act. However, the world seems to be going in one direction, more and more towards America (USA), it is just that different countries are going at a different pace. This direction is one of external locus of control and not assuming any responsibility on a personal level because the ‘state’, having the control, hold the responsibility too. What I mean by this is that the western world is increasingly moving towards eliminating the concept of ‘common sense’, and it is slowly followed by the eastern world on this path. People, starting from early age, are shielded from pretty much everything, especially negative experiences, with the idea to protect them from potential harm. For example, from early years at school children get used to doing minimal work, which they call ‘stressful’, and receiving exclusively positive feedback. In addition the ‘social’ life is organised exclusively online again because of the potential thread of rejection or, god forbid, crime. All this, amongst other things of course, result in adolescents and adults that cannot tolerate disappointment, rejection or failure. Nobody ever looks for reasons within themselves, they blame the state for not protecting them from even minimal diversities.

I have gone off on a tangent a bit… My point is that all of the above leads to dramatic increase of disorders such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders. The WHO statistics for depression is that globally more than 280 million people of all ages suffer from depression. The average life time prevalence is 14.6% for high income countries and 11.1% for low and middle income countries. In the UK in relation to the pandemic 1 in 6 adults experienced some form of depression in the summer of 2021. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is estimated (by WHO) that by 2030 will be the leading cause of death.

3) What was the most beautiful part of your job, and what was the most difficult?

I am not sure that beautiful is the right word here…most of the time is ugly and dark. But, call me dark and twisted, I love my patients. Not everyone, of course, but especially the really ill ones. What is fascinating about psychiatry, aside from the obvious fascination about the unknown, is that every single person you meet is a separate universe in its own rights. Depression, or psychosis, does not define anyone. There is as many ‘depressions’ as there are people. So, when I ask someone ‘what’s the problem, how can I help’, the answer should never be ‘I am depressed’, the answer is ‘I am alone and my cat died and I feel lost and want to give up’. This is what I love about my job, it is very much like working in a bar – you talk to different people all the time, and sometimes there are fights too.

The most difficult… it is utmost difficult when you can’t help… I found the ward for people with dementia unbearably challenging. I cried during ward rounds (very unacceptable).

Then, of course, talking with people who have mental health problems takes its tall inadvertently and insidiously and one day you wake up and realise that you have become cynical and have a different threshold for suffering and everything, really.

Not to mention that medicine is just, simply draining, and well underpaid.

4) The English are culturally different from Croats, so I'm sure the same is true from Bulgarians. How did you deal with cultural differences at work in England? Did you try to follow the English way of working and behaviour or were you just being yourself? How were you received by your colleagues in England? How were you received by the patients, the English, and others?

Haha, love this question! To start with, in Bulgarian language there is a grammatical form to address courteously people you don’t know, second person plural, same is available in German and in French. Not in English though, there is just ‘you’, so doctors and patients are referred to as ‘you’ and by their first name. this is impossible in Bulgaria, even amongst colleagues. I, personally like the English way better so this is something I assimilated instantly.

I am quite loud, I am not shy to smile (laugh hysterically and very loudly) and I come across as direct with its more extreme form, rude. I am very open minded and I always speak out my mind without any reservations, very often before I even think. This is who I am and I have not changed one bit. Most of my colleagues are a bit frightened and taken aback at first but this does not last long. I have found amazing, amazing, people through my job and I am in contact with many of my colleagues, some of them are my friends for life.

With patients I have been slightly more well mannered in the beginning at least. But even with patients I have always told whatever I really think and I am never afraid to be direct. They do pick up on that but mostly they acknowledge it as helpful, however, definitely different from the style they are accustomed to. I must point out here that the wheelchair does not bother anyone apart from Bulgarians, nobody outside of Bulgaria has ever remarked anything about it. On the contrary, I am kind of perceived as fully abled, to such an extent that I had colleagues asking me where I will go skiing, or to make them coffee or bring them things. In Bulgaria it is the opposite, people kind of don’t see me, they see the wheelchair.

5) Getting to know you has brought me a lot of good. Your empathy, but most of all your understanding on a deep level helped me to come to grips with my demons. I wonder how you perceived me.

I will never forget the first time we met. There was something about you that I instantly liked (patient or no patient it is like any relationship, you can like or not like for no apparent reason). We went to the nearby café, we spent together about ½ hour in a normal conversation (nothing related to illness) and in this short space of time I learned so much about you. The burden you were carrying was overwhelming, almost palpable, you were trying to protect me from powerful forces invisible to me although you were seeing me for the first time in your life, I was nobody to you. Despite this and the incredible thread that you were perceiving you bought me lunch from the café and offered from your cigarettes. What I am trying to say is that even in a moment of great danger you were thinking not only about yourself, even at time of madness people cannot hide their true self and yours was one of a kind and caring person with open heart and mind.

6) You are the mother of two grown sons. What kind of mother would you say you are and what kind of relationship do you have with your sons?

Of course I am a great mother, the best – hahaha! My sons are amazing, and you know that I would rather say that they are complete idiots (which I often say), so I am not praising them. If you knew them you would say that I am a great mother, but if you have seen my ‘mothering’ you would have been horrified. We, my partner and I, are very allowing people but quite ambitious too. We have always left them to be very independent and to bear the responsibilities of their independence. I am not going to go into details about the horrifying experiences we exposed them during their childhood. I’ll give you just one example – when we came to England in 2011, it was my partner and I, we left the boys on their own in our apartment in Bulgaria, they were 10 and 13 years of age and we never even thought twice about it. I obviously cooked and froze plenty of food. Two years later they went camping and surfing on their own, we were kind enough to drop them at the camping site. And here they are today, 24 and 21 years of age, one lives in Vienna (he finished his bachelor degree), the other one lives in Nice (he is second year medical student).

I would say that the most important thing in parenting is to give your children as many experiences and options as you possibly can. This is the basis of intelligence, open mindedness and confidence. Apart from being quite academic my children have faced a lot of diversities and has had experiences in many different areas. There were periods where we didn’t have food on the table in order for them to be able to do things. Alex was an international diver from springboards and qualified to go to the world championship. He is also a DJ (that’s new…), he is a keen windsurfer and whatnot else. Kos was an avid rower and an amazing actor, still very much into drama.

I love them both and we speak pretty much every day.

7) You have an illness that has confined you to a wheelchair, but you never give the impression of a fragile person. Where do you draw strength and optimism from?

I have overdone myself on the previous questions so I’ll do my best to be concise here. I am just very very stubborn…and quite neurotic. Believe it or not I cannot ‘sit’ in one place for more than five minutes. This is a stupid example but I hate bathtubs because I just cannot imagine myself lying there motionless for more than three seconds. So, now that I am confined to sit all the time I just do all sorts of other things to compensate for my neuroticism. For example I started a MA in Creative Writing – 2 years course, and I absolutely love it. I do the things I love professionally (reading, writing and psychiatry), this is incredibly rare. And disability gives me an excuse to not do the things I don’t want to do.

I do not perceive myself as vulnerable and I guess because of this nobody I know treats me as vulnerable. In my dreams at night I am never in a wheelchair but interestingly there is some assumed, invisible disability - I often run in my dreams but yet I’m the last one to reach the end, if at all.

8) Who is your rock that you rely on when you face difficulties?

Of course, first in line is my partner, we’ve been together for 30 years. Then comes my best friend, I’ve known her long time. Then, of course, my children. All of these people can recognise even a miniscule change in my mood and are always ready and willing to make fun of me. If, however, they sense something serious, any of then can hop on the first plane and knock on my door, that is in case they have forgotten their keys – everyone has keys for my house. I am very privileged to have incredible people around me, they just don’t leave me alone…


Saturday, March 25th, 2023

Interviju sa psihijatrom Dr. Annom Yankovom

Tokom jednog teškog razdoblja u životu imala sam sreću da naiđem na osobu koja mi je mogla i znala pomoći Dr Annu Yankovu. Anna je radila kao psihijatar u jednoj ustanovi u koju sam bila poslana na razgovor. Od Anne sam dobila stručnu pomoć, ali i jedno duboko ljudsko razumijevanje i podršku koje mi je umnogome pomoglo da se oporavim, ali i da ostanem dobro. Anna se u međuvremenu umirovila iz engleskog zdrastvenog sustava NHS, ali ostale smo u kontaktu i Annu smatram svojom prijateljicom sa život. Zamolila sam Annu za ovaj interviju jer sam željela da ju i moji prijatelji upoznaju.

1) Iako Bugarka po nacionalnosti, radila si kao psihijatar u Engleskoj. Kako je do toga došlo? Zašto si se odlučila za Englesku i koliko si dugo provela u njoj? Možeš li nam ispričati ukratko gdje si radila i studirala prije nego si došla u Englesku?

Mnogo je čimbenika uključenih u donošenje ove odluke, da dođem u Englesku 2011. Morat ću krenuti malo dalje... Studirala sam medicinu u Bugarskoj i diplomirala sam 2002. Do tada sam već imala dvoje djece, dvojcu sinova. Ja sam u invalidskim kolicima, ali u vrijeme kada sam završila fakultet još nisam bila u invalidskim kolicima. Imam genetski poremećaj, koji se zove Progresivna mišićna distrofija, i iako nisam bila baš najbolje tijekom studija, uspjela sam se nositi bez invalidskih kolica, ali uz veliku pomoć mog partnera. Ipak, trebalo mi je 10 godina, umjesto 6, da završim medicinski fakultet. Dakle, kad sam završila, samo sam pazila na svoju djecu koliko sam mogla. Nisam mogla započeti specijalizaciju jer nekoliko godina specijalizacija nije bila moguća u Bugarskoj (nemojte da krenem s tim...). Do 2006. godine bilo mi je dosta djece i ostanka kod kuće i odlučila sam da moram nešto učiniti s obrazovanjem koje sam već stekla. Dda bih krenula na specijalizaciju, morala sam prvo nabaviti invalidska kolica, a zatim odlučiti koju specijalnost zapravo mogu raditi. Željela sam studirati pedijatriju, ali to je očito bilo nemoguće zbog ograničenja zbog mog zdravstvenog stanja. Igrom sreće razgovarala sam s prijateljem, već liječnikom, koji mi je predložio da odem na Psihijatriju. U potpunosti sam to odbacila kao smiješan prijedlog, ali nakon nekog vremena počela sam ga razmatrati i kupila sam udžbenik. Počela sam ga čitati i, vjerovali ili ne, ništa nisam mogla razumjeti, napisano je drugim jezikom (psihijatrija je prepuna terminologije s njemačkog, francuskog i ruskog). Tu sam odlučila 'to je moja stvar, moram znati o čemu se radi'. Volim izazov... U Bugarskoj, da bi krenula na specijalizaciju moraš položiti jako veliki ispit, a ja sam ga položila i primljena sam na specijalizaciju psihijatrije na Vojnoj Medicinskoj Akademiji, koja je bila jedina bolnica pristupačna za invalidska kolica. Tada sam kupila električna invalidska kolica i postala sam jedina osoba u Bugarskoj koja ih posjeduje (to sve govori...)

Stoga, vrlo ponosna na svoje postignuće, odlazim jednog dana sa svojim mužem u bolnicu da se predstavim osoblju. Prvo, ispada da je šef odjela smješten na drugom katu i da nema lifta. Pa me muž odnio gore da razgovaram s njim. I nikad neću zaboraviti što mi je rekao – “Ne mogu te prihvatiti da radiš ovdje”, rekao je, “shvaćaš li koliko je ovo opasno s tobom u invalidskim kolicima, mislim da to neće uspjeti”. Ja sam ipak tvrdoglava i mrzim kad mi netko kaže da nešto ne mogu... pa sam mu samo rekla da sam položila ispit i on jednostavno nema izbora i vidimo se prvi dan.

Prošle su dvije godine specijalizacije na prvom odjelu i došlo je vrijeme da nastavim na drugom, na Odjelu dječje i adolescentne psihijatrije. Zamislite moje iznenađenje kada se pokazalo da ne mogu ući na taj odjel (zbog svojih kolica).

Tako sam odlučila doći u Englesku, to i činjenica da je jedini jezik koji znam engleski. Sletiila sam u Englesku 13. veljače 2011. na posao mlađeg psihijatra u Exeteru, na rehabilitacijskom odjelu. Dana 4. kolovoza 2012. započeo sam obuku iz psihijatrije u Cambridgeu. Završila sam temeljnu obuku, rotirajući se između svih odjela u Cambridgeu – općih odjela za odrasle, odjela za poteškoće u učenju, rane intervencije kod psihoza, odjela za starije osobe i psihijatrije za vezu u bolnici Addenbrooke. Zatim sam otišla raditi kao specijalist psihijatar u North Adult Locality Team u Cambridgeu gdje sam provela šest nevjerojatnih godina. Nažalost, moje zdravlje se znatno pogoršalo i morala sam se povući sa svog položaja u NHS-u. Unatoč tome, još uvijek viđam pacijente na internetu jer sam ja zapravo psihijatrija. Od tada sam ostala u Cambridgeu, ovo je moj dom. Često putujem u posjet svojim sinovima, jednom u Beču i jednom u Nici. Nisam izgubila veze s Bugarskom gdje nastojim promovirati psihijatriju koliko mogu.

2) Tvoj posao uključuje liječenje i tretman ljudi sa psihičkim problemima. Ima li razlike u problemima ljudi u Bugarskoj i ljudi u Engleskoj? Koje su najčesce univerzalne psihičke bolesti modernog društva sa kojima si se susretala?

Ovo je vrlo zanimljivo pitanje. Mentalna bolest je univerzalno uobičajena, ali, da, postoje kulturološke razlike između istočnoeuropskih zemalja i Ujedinjenog Kraljevstva i one definiraju razliku u predstavljanju i razumijevanju mentalnih bolesti. Na primjer, prije nego što sam došla u Englesku nikada nisam vidila samoozljeđivanje i trebalo mi je neko vrijeme da shvatim koncept tog čina. No, čini se da svijet ide u jednom smjeru, sve više prema Americi (SAD), samo što različite zemlje idu različitim tempom. Ovaj smjer je jedan od vanjskih lokusa kontrole i ne preuzima nikakvu odgovornost na osobnoj razini jer 'država', koja ima kontrolu, nosi i odgovornost. Ono što želim reći je da se zapadni svijet sve više kreće prema eliminaciji koncepta 'zdravog razuma', a na tom putu polako ga slijedi i istočni svijet. Ljudi su, počevši od najranije dobi, zaštićeni od gotovo svega, a posebno negativnih iskustava, s ciljem da ih se zaštiti od potencijalne štete. Primjerice, od malih nogu u školi djeca se navikavaju raditi minimalan posao, koji nazivaju 'stresnim', i dobivati ​​isključivo pozitivne povratne informacije. Osim toga, ‘društveni’ život opet je organiziran isključivo online zbog potencijalne niti odbijanja ili, ne daj Bože, kriminala. Sve to, između ostalog naravno, rezultira adolescentima i odraslima koji ne mogu tolerirati razočaranje, odbacivanje ili neuspjeh. Nitko nikad ne traži razloge u sebi, krive državu što ih nije zaštitila ni od minimalnih različitosti.

Malo sam skrenula sa fokusa... Želim reći da sve gore navedeno dovodi do dramatičnog porasta poremećaja poput depresije, anksioznosti i poremećaja osobnosti. Statistika Svjetske Zdrastvene Organizacije (WHO) za depresiju kaže da globalno više od 280 milijuna ljudi svih dobi pati od depresije. Prosječna životna prevalencija je 14,6% za zemlje s visokim dohotkom i 11,1% za zemlje s niskim i srednjim dohotkom. U Ujedinjenom Kraljevstvu u vezi s pandemijom 1 od 6 odraslih osoba doživjelo je neki oblik depresije u ljeto 2021. Depresija je vodeći uzrok invaliditeta u cijelom svijetu i procjenjuje se (WHO) da će do 2030. biti vodeći uzrok smrti.

3) Što ti je bio najljepši dio tvog posla, a sto najteži?

Nisam sigurana da je lijepa prava riječ ovdje...većinu vremena je ružno i mračno. Ali, zovite me mračnom i uvrnutom, ja volim svoje pacijente. Ne sve, naravno, ali posebno one stvarno bolesne. Ono što je fascinantno kod psihijatrije, osim očite fascinacije nepoznatim, jest da je svaka osoba koju sretnete zaseban svemir sam po sebi. Depresija, odnosno psihoza, ne definira nikoga. "Depresija" ima onoliko koliko ima ljudi. Dakle, kada pitam nekoga 'u čemu je problem, kako mogu pomoći', odgovor nikada ne bi trebao biti 'Depresivan sam', odgovor je 'Sam sam i uginula mi je mačka i osjećam se izgubljeno i želim odustati'. To je ono što volim kod svog posla, vrlo je poput rada u baru – stalno razgovaraš s različitim ljudima, a ponekad dođe i do svađa.

Najteže… Najteže je kad ne možeš pomoći… Odjel za osobe s demencijom bio mi je nepodnošljiv izazov. Plakala sam tijekom obilaska odjela (vrlo neprihvatljivo).

Onda, naravno, razgovor s ljudima koji imaju mentalnih problema nenamjerno i podmuklo uzima svoje i jednog dana se probudite i shvatite da ste postali cinični i da imate drugačiji prag za patnju i sve, zapravo.

4) Englezi su kulturolšski drugačiji od Hrvata pa sigurna sam isto tako i od Bugara. Kako si se nosila sa kulturološkim razlikama na poslu u Engleskoj? Dali si pokušavala slijediti Engleski način rada I ponašanja ili si samo bila svoja? Kako su te prihvatili kolege u Engleskoj? Kako su te prihvaćali pacijenti, Englezi i ostali?

Haha, sviđa mi se ovo pitanje! Za početak, u bugarskom jeziku postoji gramatički oblik za učtivo obraćanje ljudima koje ne poznajete, drugo lice množine, isto je dostupno na njemačkom i francuskom. Ali ne na engleskom, postoji samo "ti", pa se liječnici i pacijenti nazivaju "ti" i njihovim imenom. To je nemoguće u Bugarskoj, čak ni među kolegama. Meni se osobno više sviđa engleski način tako da je ovo nešto što sam odmah usvojila.

Prilično sam glasna, ne sramim se nasmijati (histerično se smijem i vrlo glasno) i djelujem vrlo direktno s ekstremnijim oblikom, gotovo nepristojno. Vrlo sam otvorenog uma i uvijek iznesem svoje mišljenje bez ikakvih rezervi, vrlo često i prije nego što razmislim. Ovo sam ja i nisam se ni malo promijenila. Većina mojih kolega isprva je malo uplašena i zatečena, ali to ne traje dugo. Našla sam nevjerojatne, nevjerojatne ljude kroz svoj posao i u kontaktu sam s mnogim svojim kolegama, neki od njih su mi prijatelji za cijeli život.

S pacijentima sam barem u početku bila malo rezerviranija. Ali i pacijentima sam uvijek govorila sve što stvarno mislim i nikada se ne bojim biti direktna. Prihvaćaju to i uglavnom to priznaju kao korisno, međutim, definitivno drugačije od stila na koji su navikli. Ovdje moram istaknuti da invalidska kolica ne smetaju nikome osim Bugarima, nitko izvan Bugarske nikada nije ništa prigovorio na to. Naprotiv, nekako me doživljavaju kao potpuno sposobnog, do te mjere da sam imala kolege koji su me pitali gdje ću na skijanje, ili da im skuham kavu ili donesem stvari. U Bugarskoj je suprotno, ljudi nekako ne vide mene, vide invalidska kolica.

5) Poznanstvo sa tobom donijelo mi je puno dobrog. Tvoja empatija, ali ponajviše tvoje razumijevanje na jednoj dubokoj razini pomogli su mi da se uhvatim u koštac i izborim sa svojim demonima. Zanima me kako si me doživjela?

Nikada neću zaboraviti naš prvi susret. Bilo je nešto kod tebe što mi se odmah svidjelo (pacijent ili nepacijent, to je kao i svaki odnos, možeš ti se sviđati ili ne sviđati bez vidljivog razloga). Otišle smo u obližnji kafić, provele zajedno oko pola sata u normalnom razgovoru (ništa vezano uz bolest) i u ovom kratkom vremenu naučila sam toliko toga o tebi. Teret koji si nosila bio je ogroman, gotovo opipljiv, pokušavala si me zaštititi od meni nevidljivih moćnih sila iako si me prvi put u životu vidjela, za tebe sam bila nitko. Usprkos tome i nevjerojatnoj niti koju si opažaola, kupila si mi ručak u kafiću i ponudila me svojim cigaretama. Ono što pokušavam reći je da čak iu trenutku velike opasnosti nisi mislila samo na sebe. Čak i u vrijeme ludila ljudi ne mogu sakriti svoje pravo ja, a ti si se pokazala kao jedna od ljubaznih i brižnih osoba otvorenog srca i uma.

6) Majka si dvojce vec odraslih sinova. Što bi rekla kakva si majka i kakav odnos imaš sa sinovima?

Naravno da sam super mama, najbolja – hahaha! Moji sinovi su nevjerojatni, a znaš da bi prije rekao da su potpuni idioti (što često kažem) pa ih ne hvalim. Da ih poznajete, rekli biste da sam sjajna majka, ali da ste vidjeli moje 'majčinstvo', bili biste užasnuti. Mi, moj partner i ja, vrlo smo popustljivi prema ljudima, ali smo i prilično ambiciozni. Uvijek smo ih ostavljali da budu vrlo neovisni i da snose odgovornost svoje neovisnosti. Neću ulaziti u detalje o užasnim iskustvima koja smo im izložili u djetinjstvu. Dat ću vam samo jedan primjer – kad smo 2011. došli u Englesku, bili smo moj partner i ja, dečke smo ostavili same u našem stanu u Bugarskoj, imali su 10 i 13 godina i nismo ni pomislili dvaput o tome. Očito sam skuhala i zamrznula dosta hrane. Dvije godine kasnije otišli su sami kampirati i surfati, bili smo ljubazni ostaviti ih u kampu. I evo ih danas, 24 i 21 godina, jedan živi u Beču (završio diplomu), drugi živi u Nici (student je druge godine medicine).

Rekla bih da je najvažnije u roditeljstvu dati svojoj djeci što više iskustava i mogućnosti. Ovo je osnova inteligencije, otvorenog uma i samopouzdanja. Osim što su bila prilično akademska, moja su se djeca suočila s puno različitosti i imala su iskustva u mnogim različitim područjima. Bilo je razdoblja u kojima nismo imali hrane na stolu da bi oni mogli nešto raditi. Alex je bio međunarodni skakač s daske i kvalificirao se za odlazak na svjetsko prvenstvo. On je i DJ (to je novo…), strastveni je windsurfer i što sve ne. Kos je bio strastveni veslač i nevjerojatan glumac, još uvijek jako zaljubljen u dramu.

7) Boluješ od bolesti koja te prikovala za invalidska kolica, ali nikada ne odaješ dojam krhke osobe. Od kuda crpiš snagu i optimizam?

Pretjeraola sam s prethodnim pitanjima pa ću se ovdje potruditi biti sažeta. Ja sam samo vrlo vrlo tvrdoglava…i prilično neurotična. Vjerovali ili ne ne mogu 'sjediti' na jednom mjestu duže od pet minuta. Ovo je glup primjer, ali ja mrzim kade jer jednostavno ne mogu zamisliti sebe kako tamo nepomično ležim dulje od tri sekunde. Dakle, sada kada sam prisiljena sjediti cijelo vrijeme, radim razne druge stvari kako bih kompenzirala svoj neuroticizam. Na primjer, započela sam magistarski studij kreativnog pisanja – dvogodišnji tečaj, i apsolutno mi se sviđa. Profesionalno radim stvari koje volim (čitanje, pisanje i psihijatrija), to je nevjerojatno rijetko. A invaliditet mi daje izgovor da ne radim stvari koje ne želim.

Ne doživljavam sebe ranjivom i pretpostavljam da me zbog toga nitko koga poznajem ne tretira kao ranjivu. Noću u svojim snovima nikada nisam u invalidskim kolicima, ali zanimljivo je da postoji neki pretpostavljeni, nevidljivi invaliditet - često trčim u snovima, ali ipak sam zadnja koji je stigla do kraja, ako uopće.

8) Tko su stupovi na koje se oslanjaš kad se suočiš sa poteskoćama?

Naravno, prvi na redu je moj partner, zajedno smo 30 godina. Zatim dolazi moja najbolja prijateljica, poznajem je dugo. Zatim, naravno, moja djeca. Svi ti ljudi mogu prepoznati čak i najmanju promjenu u mom raspoloženju i uvijek su spremni ismijati me. Ako pak naslute nešto ozbiljno, svatko od njih može uskočiti u prvi avion i pokucati na moja vrata, odnosno u slučaju da je zaboravio ključeve – svi imaju ključeve od moje kuće. Vrlo sam privilegirana što imam nevjerojatne ljude oko sebe, jednostavno me ne puštaju na miru...


Subota, 25. ožujka 2023.

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1 Comment

ben woods
ben woods
Jun 30

This is an accurate interview of a great human, no Saint, and a wit as sharp as a drag queen in Soho. I miss her, sometimes;) "I will keel you " ben

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