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The Unbearable Pain of Being

The Unbearable Pain of Being


Anli Schuin (20 February 1968 – 13 November 2003)

Published on 13th November 2018 to mark the 15th anniversary of the night Anli, our daughter, sister, mother, aunt and sister-in-law, ended her own life and changed all our lives for ever.

De Novo Boeke

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During the night of 13 November 2003 the pain of being became so unbearable for my daughter Anli, that she decided to end it all by swallowing a lethal overdose of anti-depressants.

During the last years of her life she wrote numerous poems, lyrics and verse expressing her deep psychological pain and the anger and resentment that she felt for a society who she believed rejected her for who she was and who wanted her to conform and be “normal” according to its standards, and this is reflected in many of the crass and rough language in her writing.

To commemorate the 15th year of her passing, we have decided to publish a selection of her poems. We hope that by publishing these poems, it may give readers an idea of the desperation, loneliness and pain that people suffering deep distress, with labels such as personality disorders and severe depression, experience and which eventually can lead to a tragic self-destructive act.

We furthermore believe that it turns the lens on each of us. Too often those who are ‘different’, because of how they look or act, their struggles, their poverty, their skin colour, their sexuality, etcetera, are thought of as ‘less than’, not ‘right’, not ‘good’, and therefore are rejected, marginalised or stigmatised. These poems powerfully remind us of the incredible pain caused by such messages that one does not belong.

Also, for those experiencing their own distress and who are feeling particularly vulnerable we want to highlight that reading these poems and verse might be triggering, so we encourage good self-care and that maybe the publication is read at a time you feel on a more stable footing. Please remember that there is always help available – do talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust or your GP if you find it hard to manage on your own.

Coenie Nolte

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