The doctors have decided. In Belgium, two psychiatrists and a doctor approved request for euthanasia by Nathalie Huygens. Now 50, this mother of two was assaulted and raped in September 2016. Since then, she has never been able to recover from this event.
“The first days after the fact, I really thought that I was going to overcome this. I remember saying to the hospital that in a few days I could resume my work in the school where I was doing secretarial work. I am a go-getter. Fighting is what I’ve always done. And that’s also how I overcame a lot of hardships“, told Nathalie to the media 7 of 7. Before adding: “Before this rape, I was happy. With my husband and our two beautiful children, Tine (22) and Wout (25). Our family was like a puzzle whose four pieces fit together perfectly. By becoming a mother, my biggest dream had come true.
After a week of hospitalization, she returned home but felt “like an intruder, alone and lonely. […] A part of me seemed to be dead. I was no longer in this family”. Gradually, she moved away from her family and attempted suicide.
“It’s a lingering pain”
“During these more than six years, apart from sleeping, there is not half an hour when I do not think about what has happened to me. Already, I live continuously with physical sequelae. I can’t eat hard food anymore, my left eye hurts all the time. It’s a persistent pain, as if someone was pulling nails out of the inside of this eye”, lists the mother of the family. She also adds to suffer from psychic after-effects: “I have to be constantly busy during the day. Very structured: cleaning, cooking, eating, walking, taking care of the hamster and the guinea pigs. Because if I am silent, memories can settle. Or worse, relive them. So fear can overwhelm me, or panic. Or intense sadness. I then feel like I could collapse. […] Sometimes I wake up crying and think, ‘Do I have to go another day?’ I no longer know how to live, I no longer know what is really expected of me”.
So, two years ago, she submitted a request for euthanasia so that the suffering “stops, that it ends. Knowing now that I can die is somewhere reassuring”. Today, she wants to try to stay alive until the civil trial of her attacker.
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