Yolanda – mijn verhaal
I would be lying if I said that this wasn’t a tough book to get through. It’s not only that the theme is totally horrifying, dealing with child abuse and torture. There are graphic descriptions of incest and even murder of infants. That isn’t the worst part. The worst part is the Yolanda is a real person and that this is her story of what happened to her.
I’ve read my fair share of extreme stories in my time. Well, I’m sure there are others that have an even wider frame of reference when it comes to books dealing with these things. But I think it’s easy to compare what’s happening here with what might happen in a book by Marquis de Sade. If you have any experience of his stories, you’d know that the violence is on a completely another level than most other things written throughout history.
There are sexual deviations that are so sick and disgusting that they have no place on this earth. The difference here is that Yolanda tells a real story. This is what actually happened to her as she remembers it. This isn’t a story written to arouse as the case might be with Marquis de Sade. This is genuine and totally disgusting. I think that most of you will not even get through it. You will read a few pages before you realize that you cannot stand Yolanda’s story.
I read this book in two days and I read a Swedish translation. This happened in Holland so the original language is in Dutch. Not being an expert in Dutch but I believe that Mijn Verhaal something like ‘my story’. I cannot find a translation of the book into English though. I gather there ought to be one but I really don’t have a clue.
Yolanda’s story begins when she’s 8 I think. From then her life is a living hell. She’s forced to have violent sex with her parents and her brother. Later she becomes the family’s main income as her parent collect money from “client” that want to have sex with her. She gets pregnant time after time but either she’s beaten into miscarriages or the infants is killed at birth. Her sole purpose is to give pleasure to others. Most of them are really brutal sadists. She gets raped, electrocuted, beaten, tied down, raped again. Cigarettes and cigars are put out on her body and the brain behind it all is the biggest sadist of them all, her own mother.
The story is told in somewhat chronological order but not strictly all the time. We are told in the very beginning that the co-writer Bob Snoijink needed many many session with Yolanda to get the full story or the story that came into print at least. There’s more to it that we’re told. Other things have happened as well, Yolanda says so but she doesn’t tell us what it is. I would also think that some things are so horrifying that they have been suppressed. That’s what usually said about extreme traumas.
The most horrifying part of the book for me was at the very end. There are arguments that there are rings of sadist pedophiles that all protect each other. That there are very powerful people involved and that’s why they can keep on going and not getting caught. Part of me wouldn’t be surprised if this were true. Another part of me wants to believe in the good in people. There is also a few pages of analysis made by some psychiatrist that I’ve forgotten the name of. These are also very interesting pages analyzing why people pretend nothing is going on even if they hear the screams and see the marks.
If you think you can take it and are interested in reading about the darkest side of mankind I recommend this book. But be warned, there is no way to unread what you have read.