It didn’t go well at the BLO school either. And they didn’t know what to do with Annemiek there either. She ended up in a boarding school with the nuns of the Ursuline Order. “My parents actually wanted to have me at home, but they were so in awe of everything that had the slightest authority. The school, the monastery. So when everyone said ‘Annemiek can’t learn, Annemiek has to go to the sisters’, they said she: ‘Okay, let’s do that.’ So I went. And then it went wrong.”
Annemiek was given a lot of responsibility, too much if you ask her now, more than what a child of 10, 11, should wear. She helped with the housework, did the shopping, had to pick up medicines at the pharmacy – Annemiek could do that nicely, the sisters thought, because she can’t read anyway. No one’s privacy has been compromised. Now Annemiek laughs about it, ‘that also has something funny, isn’t it?’
Suddenly: a blow
When the group of children, accompanied by the nuns, was on holiday in Bergen aan Zee for three weeks, Annemiek had to ‘get something’ at the request of the Mother Superior at a holiday resort where they stayed. It stood on a hill, Annemiek ran upstairs, short legs, fast fast, collected the papers for Mother Superior, took her bicycle and rode down.
Maybe it was a branch. Maybe it was a pinecone. But: something came between her spokes.
The bike suddenly stopped.
She fell forward.
“Blood came out of my left ear, which indicated a tear in my meninges, and I passed out. A man had found me.” She was taken to the hospital by him, the sisters rushed there. Whether she was in a coma or unconscious for a long time: she can’t remember. “What I do remember is that they straightened my arm, which was broken. I remember because I screamed that whole tent together.”