Svetlana 1980

St. Petersburg
Kiosk Salesperson
Au Pair
Supply Teacher
Academic Assistant
Software Engineer
System Engineer
IT Project Manager

MAY 1988: I come home crying and tell Mum how the others at school have hurt me again. Mum gets angry and says: "They've moved here especially to be close to you so they can annoy you more. They've got us surrounded." I say nothing because I know that’s not true.

AUGUST 1989: My aunt phones during lunch, Mum cries and tells Dad he should take it, then she runs into the bedroom and Dad follows. My sister and I stay sitting at the table, unsure what to do. When Mum comes back we learn that our twenty-one year old uncle has just died in an accident.

JUNE 1993: We move from Baden to Wallis. For my parents it is a return home. They think that it is the same for us children.

DECEMBER 1995: On Christmas Eve Mum and Dad tell us arm in arm that they are going to get together again. I am shocked and can only think that it will all end in disaster.

OCTOBER 1997: My first boyfriend forces me to have sex for the first time. He will continue to do this for the duration of our relationship.

JANUARY 1998: I lose my best friend to my first boyfriend.

SEPTEMBER 1998: When I get up in the morning I see a bright star in the sky. It is Venus. I read the poem 'Advertisement' by Ingeborg Bachmann which is stuck to my wardrobe. After Dad brought me to Mum's I discover his letter saying goodbye on the used ribbon of the typewriter. As expected, he wants to kill himself. I phone his office to ask where he's gone. They tell me he is on holiday. I alert everyone.

JULY 2000: I make my first favourite man mine.

OCTOBER 2000: My maths course starts and with it a very exciting, very tough and to a certain extent also lonely time. What's more, my most important friendship develops with another student on the course.

AUGUST 2013: The number of my favourite men doubles from one to two.