Case Narrative

A Consenting Juveniles narrative is a first-hand account reporting the words of the research subject on his or her experience.

Translated from the original Dutch for SOL Research.

Hilde Dillen

Difficult situations that wore me to shreds

Source:   Ik rouw van jou: Jeugdschrijfster Hilde Dillen
(Dutch: I mourn for you: Youth writer Hilde Dillen)
Interviewed by Mark Sargeant
Zizo (Belgium), May 1997
Obtained from the Internationaal Homo/Lesbisch Informatiecentrum en Archief, Amsterdam

Belgian author Hilde Dillen’s debut novel, Koorddansen (Dutch: Walking a Tightrope), is about a 16-year-old boy who had a relationship with a male teacher. In an interview shortly after the book was published, she explained the connection of the story to her own life.

I had the idea of writing a story about the beautiful relationship I had as a 13 or 14-year-old child with a man who was 17 years older. Because of that relationship I’ve been through difficult situations that wore me to shreds, at school, in my direct environment.

I think it would be good for parents to realize that their twelve- or 13-year-olds – neither children, nor yet adults – can sometimes be preoccupied with the erotic.

It took me several years to get over it. It is hidden so deep within you and you can’t talk about it with somebody else. I believe I am much more tolerant now because of the suffering I had to go through back then. It was a life lesson I will always remember.

People aren’t tolerant enough. There is constant misunderstanding. Personally, I find that very difficult. You have to constantly put such a high priority on your privacy and independence. You make that choice and you want to be left alone. It occupies you day in and day out.

Limited excerpt reproduced under fair use doctrine for noncommercial, educational purpose.