Josephine Nana Sommer 15.1.1952 – 9.9.2016.
Today my mum has passed away. After a 30 years history with schizophrenia and a ride between religious fundamentalism and superstition I think she is in a better place right now. We probably had the roughest mother son relationship ever. When I was just 6 years old she decided to join the Mormons. A Christian sect. Well known for their very strange customs and conservative agenda. I quit all religion by age 10 after being abused by a super violent mother for almost 6 years. I was tired of the use of force to make me believe into something which did not make sense to me at all. I did not want to convert my friends into a faith I was not interested in. In 1988 she was first diagnosed with Schizophrenia after assaulting a member of the Mormon church. From that moment on it was a journey in an out of the mental hospital. There were times when the medicine would calm her down. She would seemingly gain weight and become more relaxed. But then there was her drive towards the world of spirituality in which she would imagine herself as the Holy Ghost, where she would fight the devil. She just never realized she has become the devil to her own family. She would threaten to leave my father if he did not join the Mormon faith. She was beating me and my brother regularly for not following her. It went on to a stage where violence in our family became the norm. And once me and my brother were becoming stronger we also fought back in a way I’m not proud of. Every time she went to the mental ward we felt relief. Once she returned we always hoped it would become better this time. Just to get all hopes crushed months later once she went back to “Holy Ghost” mode.
As a young person she would have had the chance to live a great prosperous life. She spoke more than 7 languages fluently and she was highly educated. She just threw everything away by her stubbornness. Only her way was right and if something did not go according to the bible it was definitely wrong. She never accepted help from family members. She always claimed to be absolutely healthy. This drifted us further apart as a family, and since Jesus Christ was more important than her own Children we came to a point that we did not talk at all for half a decade.
In a way I was just a kid who wanted to have a mother. I went through a long period of hatred against her. It took me years until I finally made peace with her until my Aunty came from Paris to bring us back to the negotiating table. A peace agreement was settled and we both decided to accept each other’s lives. Something which remained unchanged until we met the last time in 2014. There was a time when I wished all this had never happened. But there was a key event in my life, when I realized, without making this experience at an early age I wouldn’t be the person that I am. I went through lots of hardship and it hurt that my mother abandoned me for a fictitious character in an ancient book. On the other hand I learned very early to deal with the tough realities in life and how to keep going once everything falls apart. I probably wouldn’t be an optimist like I am. So no matter what happened. Bad feelings aside. Without you I wouldn’t be the strong character I am now. I wouldn’t be here anyway. Life is the 6 billion $ lottery, which I won when I was born. There is no greater gift than that. Thank you and may you rest in peace.