My parents were emotionally abusive

Sybille Pieck on her mother"You has me never wanted "

When Sybille Pieck was born, her mother didn't really want the child. Although she takes care of her daughter, Sybille never gets real affection from her. She fights for her mother's love all her life - unsuccessfully. Sybille can only process the emotional trauma after her mother's death.

Note: This text is a record of the conversation and the basis for a radio report. It contains stresses and feelings that don't necessarily come across just reading the text. That is why it is worth listening to this text as audio.

We were in a big department store here in Bonn and my mother went with me to the till. She had already chosen a few things. I was three years old, was little. Then she says frantically: "I've forgotten something." Just stand here in line, I'll be right back. And she didn't come back. She came and came and didn't come back. For me as a little kid. I just remember, I see the knees of thousands of people and a lot of people around me.

The snake kept moving forward.

Of course she came back, but I don't remember. It's just this moment: You left me alone, she left me alone.

That is actually the most important point in this difficulty with my mother. She was there, she took care, but I was always alone.

"She took care, but I was always alone."
Sybille Pieck on her mother

My father died very early and my mother went back to work. And I actually sat at home all day after school and waited for my mother to come and see me. That she just takes a little time for me alone. It never happened. Just to cuddle, just to be hugged by my mother or to be allowed to hug her yourself.

The mother blames the daughter for her misfortune

Yeah, how did I find out? Let's start like this. As a grown woman, when my son was three or four years old, I had a huge argument with my mother. And in that context I told her that you never wanted me. And then, quite spontaneously, she said: Yes. And I'll have to live with that for the rest of my life now.

That really left me speechless.

Her dream was to emigrate to America and live the big life there. Stop what she imagined. All of that was gone. That I was a so-called accident and then she had to get married, in the 5th month and in black. In their eyes, I was the visible proof that this went wrong.

"I've always loved my mother and I really wanted to feel this love from her, to feel it physically."

My mother had a very bad, for her bad experience in her job. But by then I was already a young adult. And she cried bitterly. Then I wanted to hug her or I tried to hug her. So she pushed me away. She couldn't stand my presence. Still, I basically didn't give up until the end.

Get in touch with your mother

I kept trying to get into conversation with her. I basically spent most of my free time with her.

I even went so far that I took her with me to the birth of my son, whom I raised on my own. Because I thought that if she couldn't accept me as a daughter then at least as a mother, as a woman. And Manuel, my son, was just born, so she took him and said, let's see what he would say first: "Mom or Grandma?" I don't know if I can ever forget it as one insane blow.

She also ultimately adopted my son as her son. Even when I wasn't there, she went with him everywhere and said this was my son.

And yet I went there with my son over and over and over again. Still hoping and wishing that this door will open.

"What comes to my mind is this saying: The jug goes to the water until it breaks."

I then really found the love of my life as a man in 2005. I have been with my current partner since then. Then it started that my mother also basically started to take my husband from me.

I always see the same picture: She is standing in the kitchen and I come in and say "Hello" and I am air. And she goes up to my partner, takes him in her arms, she is much smaller, he is very tall, and kisses him from top to bottom, really in a form that makes me sick. I then went through that for many years.

That also increased more and more, as she turned on my significant other. She took everything, maybe because I took everything from her, for whatever reason.

And then at some point I said, it's over with fun, and then I wrote her a letter. That I no longer want to go along with it and can no longer go along with it. And that she has already tried to take my son away from me and now also my partner. And I can't take it anymore. And I would offer her that we try to really fundamentally put our relationship on a new level, to express ourselves. And if she's not ready, I didn't want to see her anymore.

Liberation from the mother

From that moment on I felt a huge release. I never once had the feeling that I had to call there, go there, anything. I didn't have a guilty conscience, I was free. The only thing really would have been if she got a call. That didn't come.

My mother had a heart condition for many years. And she had to take a lot of medication. Always in combination with alcohol abuse. The point was that the organs were actually all exhausted. That was why she was there in the hospital and then stayed and died.

I didn't see her again until she was dead.

It was this farewell in the hospital, it was good. It was an end, an end to an eternal cycle of self-destruction. And that just felt right.

The funeral

I thought about my mother's funeral for a long time. So, always said, when she dies, what do you want then and how do you want that to happen.

I wanted to have a memorial service for my mother, where no one said what a super great and loving and self-sacrificing mother she was. Because it wasn't necessarily that in that sense. But I didn't want to go and chalk her up or accuse her of all the things she didn't do. But I wanted it to be as honest as possible. Basically, the impetus for reconciliation came through this funeral service, through this dance.

"He danced my feelings, but I could see it from a distance."

The longing for tenderness

When I saw Mr. Gr├╝tzner dance for the first time, that was probably a year before. So I said: If your mother dies, that's what you want. I had known that for a long time. Ultimately, he is a ballet dancer who expresses something in his ballet dance that you feel, for which you may also have no words.

I could tell him exactly what I actually wanted, what was so important to me, what I ask him to express in this dance. So I told him, this longing for this tenderness. Because that was still what was open to me.

Yes, it was like that. He came from behind, of course, I sat in the front row, then just with my back. And he just came in from back to front and then danced again in front. But he just came in dancing. But it was always this swaying movement, this child cradle. I've always seen myself, hold in these arms of my mother.

He danced my feelings, but I could see it from a distance. He expressed that. And that was the very first time I was able to find a certain distance from my mother.

At the beginning there was a lot of anger at what I didn't get, what she withheld from me. And I couldn't get away from this anger.

"I've always seen myself, hold in these arms of my mother."

It is always said that if there is only a small plant in a huge concrete wall, it just has to be a tiny little crack, then it will open up.

And that was the dance.

There was a crack in this wall of anger.