‘Looking Too Closely is a reminder to me: I don’t want to hurt myself’

Why this particular number?

“I first heard the song at the end of a movie and it immediately touched me. It matched so beautifully with the period I was in then, and what is still going on today. You don’t want to hurt yourself Fink sings for example, which reminds me of the time when I struggled with self-mutilation.”

“But it’s not just the literal reading of the lyrics. The song also tells me, as the title suggests: don’t look too close to the details, but take some distance. By zooming in you see everything that is not even. It’s also good to take a step back.”

“This song is a reminder to myself: I don’t want to hurt myself. When I listen to it, I feel strength. I don’t have to punish myself, I don’t have to feel anything but the emotion that is there in that moment. In the time that it really wasn’t going well with me I took out a funeral insurance and added a list with which songs I want to play and at what time It’s a last greeting and it has to be perfect and I didn’t want my parents there too would still be there.”

And what does it say about your life?

“My childhood was not easy. I was bullied a lot at school and I never really belonged anywhere. That made me insecure. About what I looked like, and about what I could and could not do. I sought help for my depression, but the Dutch healthcare is not well organized. Waiting lists, having to tell the same story time and again to different practitioners. That does not help if you can no longer see a way out yourself.”

“One of the social workers who came on a home visit abused me and I filed a complaint against it. A terrible experience, which gave me PTSD. I am now in treatment for that. And yet I try to see the bright spots. Last year I graduated as a nurse and now I work in palliative care I held my grandmother in my arms when she died, we didn’t see that coming and I started to care from my intuition and because of that I know: I want this for other people too I really enjoy being there for someone who is in pain in the last phase of life.”

Where do you prefer to listen to music?

“I always have music on, no matter what I’m doing. Also outside. But I prefer to listen on the couch, with headphones on, so that it drums a little louder and I can really dive in. Songs that meaning to me is what I listen to the most. Whether it’s this week or this month, or something from the past. I really need to feel music.”

How many lists do you have on Spotify?

“A lot. I also gratefully use the existing lists, such as singalong in the car songsand from the daily mix that Spotify makes for me. And then I made about twenty more myself in genres to laugh and to cry.”

What is your guilty pleasure?

“Old rock. Queen and Guns ‘n Roses. Old-fashioned music for a woman in her mid-twenties, but I just enjoy it. Calm down, because I’m not much of a outgoing type that dances. Not even in the living room because I’m always afraid someone will see me. Even at We Will Rock You I can keep my hands still without any problem.”


What song should be played at your funeral? And what does that say about your life? If you want to participate in this section, email your story to hanneke.mijnster@rtl.nl

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