Fleur van Groningen: “Take care of yourself is an act of responsibility”

Taking care of themselves: It took a long time for Fleur van Groningen to master this. Her childhood taught her not to faint, to persevere, and to hide her feelings. She sheds this train of thought in her books, as well as in recently published books Feeling of no filter. And with this she touches Flanders where she suffers: in her passions. “I consider my calling to be teaching people to deal with their feelings constructively.”

in Life without a filter Fleur van Groningen told from her own experience what high sensitivity is and how she learned to deal with it. A task that turned out to be particularly well known to many; The book has already sold more than 60 thousand times. recently appeared Feeling of no filter It continues with shock and emotion. She does it again based on her own story, which is often heartbreaking and shocking, but also inspiring and clearly detailed. “A book not just for those who are highly sensitive, but for anyone who wants to deal with his or her emotions more constructively,” she says. It is needed. Feeling of no filter Fly outside the shop as smoothly as the previous one. “Again I receive many letters and emails from readers, the topic is very interesting. I have also experienced this during my lectures for the past five years, which have often led to a very emotional response. Not least in West Flanders, by the way. Once upon a time it was I have a lover from the Flemish West and so I know the clichés: hardworking workers with a brick in the stomach, and they do not talk about emotions. But after a lecture there, people often hug me, they even cry with relief. There the taboo on feelings seemed to me greater than in places Others in Flanders.Whereas ‘allowing you to be sensitive’ should be perfectly normal. But many prefer to suppress their feelings, or even pretend they are not that sensitive at all. It sounds to me like you’re pretending you never go to the toilet.”

“I don’t like the victim role, I want to gain insight into my own actions and the actions of others”

But everything is going well with Fleur herself. She smiles, “I’ve never felt as happy as I do now.” “Being so deeply involved with the trauma, its origin and everything involved made me realize that from now on I want to focus completely on this topic. I myself have done a long search and have finally found peace and healing. Now is the time to help others who are still searching. I have been invited to give a lecture At a shock event in Amsterdam, along with many experts. I love it. But I also plan to lecture again myself.”

You write about trauma from your own experience, dissecting yourself to the bone. How do you look at what lies behind you today?

“There have certainly been beautiful moments in my life, but I have definitely had a difficult journey. A childhood full of misunderstandings, difficult relationships and abuse. I really didn’t find it easy to be like this. Slices, to the public, but now turns out to be meaningful. In fact, I’m writing books that I wish I’d read years ago, but that didn’t exist at the time.”

“But I don’t like the victim role, and I don’t like getting caught up in pain and difficulties. That’s why I’ve always continued to seek more insight into my own actions and the actions of others. Moving forward. This brings with it new challenges, but in the end it also heals. I now know thatfeel through From an emotion, its acceptance, leads to insight. I was also trying to deny or justify my feelings, but that doesn’t solve anything. On the contrary, they keep nibbling at the skin.”

Besides the fact that you have gained a lot of knowledge about traumatic experiences, you are now in your 40s. Does this contribute to peace of mind?

“I think so, yeah. It’s an age where you can put things into perspective and realize what’s really important. You also pay more attention to your environment. But basically therapy and self-examination, and working hard on myself, is what got me to where I am now. The search for answers was always inside of me, even when I was seriously contemplating suicide in my twenties, I continued to see it as a form of giving in to actually do it – but I needed help finding those answers.”

“Continuing to work hard, not getting enough sleep, feeling like I no longer had a life besides being a mother… I felt old and ugly, yeah. (Laugh) But now that that’s over, I kind of feel like The best of both worlds expertise. Not as new as twenty years ago, but still old and with the tools to handle life better.”

Is this healthy head in a healthy body?

“I’ve been insecure about what I look like for a long time, and still am. But I attach more importance to good physical health. I was never an athlete, but now I go swimming regularly. I don’t lose sleep due to external signs of aging. On the contrary, they say So much about someone: You can read someone’s character from older faces. And I find that interesting. Although at the same time I must admit that I don’t really like the first wrinkles around my eyes either. Fabulous You find.”

You have learned, among other things, to love yourself again: How does that manifest itself today?

“In taking care of myself, being considerate of myself. Because I experienced aggressive behavior in my youth, I didn’t learn where my limits were. It led to depression, unbalanced relationships, and an inability to talk about it. As a result, I’ve always believed that taking care of yourself is a form of staring.” In the navel. Just when I realized that I could no longer care for others, because I was not taking care of myself, came the turning point: taking care of yourself is just an act of responsibility, also towards those around you. I reinforced being a mother that: When I am happy, my son feels too Good Condition “.

“FinalSelf-care decision For me, I allow myself to have feelings and experience them, rather than judge them. Because it is precisely those feelings that indicate where my limits lie.”

(Laugh) “He also knows all my little sides, but he keeps them so cute. But Sippy and I have a very good relationship, yeah. We’ve been inseparable for eight years and we get to know a lot in each other, we can talk to each other very well. I searched for it for a long time, and it is definitely a factor that has helped me to disconnect from the past and feel better about myself now.”

Everything is emotion, you write. What moves you?

“Beauty in all its forms: in nature, animals, art, music…love too, my son, and people who let their hearts see. People move me especially these days. Psychoanalysis has also given me a better understanding of how to put others together. People are used to I intimidate me a lot, and now I have more empathy. I now understand that people who hurt themselves are often hurt. This does not mean that I am turned upside down, on the contrary, that I can be cruel. I have clearly set my limits, but always have respect for myself and others ” .

“Pretending you’re not sensitive is like pretending you never go to the toilet”

As the daughter of plastic artist Fleur Hermanns, you painted in your childhood. Did you re-record that a few years ago?

“Drawing and coloring were my passions and I was good at it. But things went wrong between me and my father because he wasn’t interested in who I was, and he didn’t want to know anything about what I was struggling with. I rebelled against him and the art world he lived in, and I stopped drawing for years. Only When the second exhaustion lurked around the corner, I started again. And it was the breath of fresh air. I thought I couldn’t help anyone else drawing. I could do it with articles, so I focused on it. Even too much, which made me work too much. “.

“Now I know that drawing is also a form of self-care. It makes me feel better and makes me a better person for others.”

Did he also restore the relationship with your father?

“Not until a few years after his death. I visited and looked after him during his last days. He stayed the same until the end. But I changed, and I thought I didn’t need anything from him anymore. I forgave him, he too carried a heavy backpack and grew up in a family of nowhere.” In it for emotions. But it remained difficult, a child always longed for a parent’s love. His death really shook me. As if I had lost someone I had never had. Anyway, now I paint with my father’s brushes on his easel. We made peace.”

Are you working on a book about your relationship with your father?

“Since his death, but it is far from finished. It has also been rewritten many times, because since then I have been still evolving as a human being. The first version I wrote in the pain of mourning, which no longer corresponds to what I feel now. And above all, I should not It becomes a novel of revenge, but rather a story of forgiveness.”

A year ago I also found out that you are talented.

“I don’t have a degree, I was called stupid in school. But I have other characteristics that made knowledgeable people advise me to take the test. Then it turns out that I combine high sensitivity with a rather high IQ. This is called talent, which is different from being very smart, just to be Obviously, it’s because you experience everything very intensely and look at it from three points of view: of yourself, of others, and of the same kind. helicopter show. And since you are constantly overseeing all eventualities, you set the standards at a very high level,

Which can be positive but can cause paralysis. It really is nothing more than a way of being, not something to brag about or anything else. And for me, it’s good to know. I used to always put myself down, now I know what I deserve, with my positive sides and my flaws.”

Who is Fleur van Groningen?

• Fleur van Groningen (40 years old) is a journalist in psychology cartoonistart sofa. Previously worked for, among others,talentAnd thethe morningAnd theNewspaperAnd theNRC Handelsblad And theGudule.

• In 2017, she published a bestsellerLife without a filterAbout her experience with high sensitivity. To follow in 2020My baby, my mirrorAbout trauma and motherhood.Feeling of no filterIt is her sixth book. I also wrote a novel in the meantime, swingers.

• Married to author and screenwriter Sippy van Groningen. Together they had a son, Rex. The family lives in Timsey.

• On Tuesday November 1, Fleur will be a guest at Boektopia, a book event that will take place from October 29 to November 6 at Xpo Kortrijk.


Tips from Flor

shock wisdom: “A very inspiring and accessible documentary about Hungarian American trauma specialist Dr. Gabor Matei. The film focuses on the origin of trauma and the lessons we can learn from it. Feeling our greatest pain turns out to be the gateway to recovery.” You can watch the film online at www.thewisdomoftrauma.com.

The fountain, find your place: “This vividly written book by Dutch coach and family translator Els van Steijn explains how the secrets and traumas of your ancestors still affect your life. But also how you can change this, so as not to pass this legacy on to future generations.”

come on come on: “Directed and written by Mike Mills and starring upscale Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, this moving film gives you a glimpse into the mind of a talented boy. It’s an intimate print, in elegant black and white photography, that gently seduces the viewer, ultimately blowing him with beauty and wisdom.”

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