How did Kevin Blaesing die badly

A severe blow of fate: This is how a young man found his way back to life

As of July 12, 2020 .: Lina Brunnée

Christoph Hesse never forgets October 5th, 2011 - when his father murdered his mother. A Bremen psychologist explains how people deal with such trauma.

Warning!

Among other things, this article reports on an act of violence and describes the effect it had. If you put too much stress on such texts, please consider whether you would like to read it.

If you have been a victim of violence yourself, there are various contact points in Bremen that you can turn to. One of them is the Weisse Ring, a non-profit association that helps people who are victims of crime. He can be reached in Bremen under the telephone number 0421/323211 or the e-mail address [email protected]

It's late, actually Christoph should have been in bed a long time. But he cannot fall asleep. Mama screams so loud in the living room. He quietly sneaks over from his room and peeks around the corner. Papa stands behind Mama - and hits her face with both hands. This is Christoph's first memory. He is six years old.

12 years later, Christoph's mom is dead. Christoph Hesse's father killed her - with a hammer. A femicide. In Christoph's old nursery.

By my standards, I was happy when I was a child. But in retrospect it was difficult.

Christoph Hesse

He was shaped by his father's violence and alcohol addiction - and money. The family never had enough of that. At first his mother worked as a tailor, but gave up her job. His father doesn't keep a job for more than a few months. Christoph, his sister six and a half years older and his parents live in Vienenburg, a district of Goslar. It is a socially weak region. Social welfare is barely enough - most of the money is spent on alcohol, the allotment gardens and the father's rabbit breeding. Only then does the family come. At the age of seven, Christoph learned to cook spaghetti and fry an egg. "Most of the time I drove over to my grandma's or my buddy Kevin when I had to eat," says the 28-year-old.

October 5th, 2011 changes everything for Christoph

His sister moves in with her boyfriend at the time - from then on Chris is the only one who hears when his father beats his mother. Bottles are thrown at him when he says something. And yet: Outwardly, his mother and he kept the beautiful appearance. Sometimes it works better and sometimes worse. Chris flies from many schools. Leaves after 8th grade. He doesn't have a school leaving certificate.

The Bundeswehr saves Chris from ending up like his old friends - two have since died of overdoses: His friend Kevin, whose mother always cooked for Chris, got stuck on crystal meth. Chris doesn't. When his draft notice comes, he can't escape fast enough. Until the violence catches up with him again. It's October 5th, 2011. He's in the barracks. His sister calls him - her voice breaks: "Mom is dead!"

Neighbor finds his mother in the garden

The police pick up Chris - a neighbor has claimed to have seen him at home with his father that night. He is said to have helped murder his mother. That can be clarified quickly. Chris didn't leave the barracks. He won't find out in detail what really happened that night until much later. The other neighbors tell him.

All evening they heard screams from the apartment - but they were used to that after all these years. At night a neighbor woke up and heard a strange knocking at regular intervals. Later it becomes clear: That was the head of Chris mother, which hit the stairs of the stairwell. His father dragged them out of the row house, wrapped them in foil, and laid them out in the garden. She was found there early in the morning - by her neighbor.

Years after the murder, Chris wakes up at night and imagines he hears a knock as well. Nevertheless, he is grateful to his neighbor that she had the strength to tell him that. It helps him realize the situation.

The armed forces and therapy provide support after a severe blow of fate

Christoph's father is arrested at noon, the police find him in his allotment garden. Chris only sees him again in court - there his father can't look him in the eye. He is convicted: for murder. Now, nine years later, he is out and visiting his wife's grave. He brings her flowers - a stressful situation for Christoph's sister and grandma, who both still live in Vienenburg. And although Christoph now lives 250 kilometers away in Cloppenburg, it makes him angry. Because the cemetery and his mother's grave are exactly opposite the house where his father committed the murder.

How is it possible to find your way back to life after such a stroke of fate? For Christoph it is clear: "This deed will forever be a part of me - but it certainly not about me." A big stop right after his mother was murdered: the Bundeswehr. He receives immediate psychological support, receives a checklist and can work through it, and he can call his superiors at night if necessary. In a day clinic he learns autogenic training techniques.

I still use that today when I have a 'typical Monday' when everything went wrong.

Christoph Hesse

Sport also helps to clear your mind. And talk. Talk to people he can trust. With whom he can cry, like his girlfriend Zoé. In addition to his job, which is a calling for him, it is his greatest asset.

What Chris describes can be confirmed by psychologists - like Katrin Rautenberg. She is a trauma psychologist and senior physician at the Ameos Clinic in Bremen.

Everyone reacts differently to trauma

It is certainly helpful to have many sources of strength to deal with trauma. These are good friends, hobbies, a meaningful activity, but also religion.

Katrin Rautenberg, trauma psychologist and senior physician at the Amoes Clinic in Bremen

How well someone can cope with a drastic experience also has to do with the trauma itself, explains Rautenberg. Repeated trauma is more difficult to cope with than a single trauma, says the psychologist. Accident-related trauma or natural disasters are easier to cope with than human-made trauma - and early trauma usually has more serious effects than trauma in mature personalities. "But of course there are always exceptions," says Rautenberg.

Everyone reacts differently to trauma - and how well they cope with it is also different. This depends on his or her resilience: "The entirety of the helpful experience, knowledge and skills to deal with a trauma is called resilience. Resilience is said to protect against the chronic after-effects of extreme stress," explains Rautenberg.

For many traumatized people, psychotherapy can be very helpful. "Especially when there are long-lasting sleep disorders, fears, nightmares and involuntary memories that interfere with everyday life," says Rautenberg.

As a relative, stay in touch and give comfort

After a person has experienced something traumatic, it is good as a relative or friend to be in contact and give comfort. You should be ready to talk, but not get too intrusive. Assignment of blame is also not helpful, because it offends people even more.

Katrin Rautenberg, trauma psychologist and senior physician at the Amoes Clinic in Bremen

Giving each other consolation, discussing things together and being there for each other: The relationship between Chris and Zoé is based on these things. This is how they want to shape their future together. Chris says he learns a lot from Zoé and her family. There are Christmas traditions like eating baked apples or throwing presents - there was nothing like that in his family. One trip this year is to go to the zoo. Chris has never been there either.

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This topic in the program: Bremen Eins, Der Tag, March 13, 2020, 11:30 p.m.