Bosniac from the northwest of Bosnia. Born in 1985 in Banja Luka, but grew up in Projedor (Čarakovo). Nowadays she lives in Lyon.
How did you feel in school?
In Albi we were first with my grandparents. I was in school in Germany but I don’t remember it well. I came back to school in France and there was a special class for the foreigners, mostly for the refugees from ex-Yugoslavia. I don’t remember if there were people from Ruanda … But we were all traumatized by certain events. We did not speak the same language but it was extraordinary. We discovered together French cuisine, smelly cheese. I quickly learned French and I directly went to the higher class. There it was very hard for me – I was rejected by other children. Kids are cruel. I did not have the same clothes as the other children, they did not want to play with me. When there were games involving holding each others’ hands, I was always out. I was really on the margin, completely alone. In the next class I worked hard. I really wanted to be the best in the class because I told myself that if I was the best, they would accept me. And at the end of the year I was really the top and I got accepted. I am still in touch with certain people from that class who apparently had good memories of me. In high school I did not know what to do. I liked literature and to read a lot. I was helpless in Maths, but this is a family thing I think. One professor encouraged me to take this literary module. I worked hard but it was a pleasure. I read everything, together with bibliography. I got back home, I ate and I started to read. And at some point I felt a bit more mature then the rest of my friends from school. I was not carefree – I knew that I had to help my mother. I felt responsible and knew that I could not go out each Saturday to the disco. I had one teacher in high school who really helped me a lot and we are still in touch. That was my Maths teacher. At the age of 16-17 I had depression. I had always been really joyful and smiling and at one point, I did not even notice when, I started to exclude the others and wanted to be alone. At school they noticed that and the teacher asked what was happening. I did not respond. And one day he took me aside and said: “Stop this, you have to tell us what is going on. You can’t be stronger than anyone else” And I just leaned against the wall and said that I did not know. I did not want to tell about this to my mom, because I did not want to worry her. I think it started after I came back to Bosnia. We transferred my dad to the proper cemetery and after that I had a lot of memories coming back. I was really ill – physically and psychologically. I was afraid of the Serbs. I spent 3 weeks being afraid. I went there with my brother and uncle. I was 16-17. So at school I went to see the nurse and she advised me to go children’s psychologist. I was really lucky because I met a great person. He knew how to approach me and that if he asked me a too direct a question, I would not respond. I had been seeing him regularly for 2 years. He was really attentive. And he taught me to accept the past, not to pretend that it does not exist, but to accept that it would always be there.