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Mother on the loss of her daughter in the attack on Utøya: "I was convinced that I was going crazy"


Lisbeth Røyneland lost her daughter Synne in the attack on Utøya. For years she hated the perpetrator. How is she dealing with the heavy loss today?

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Lisbeth Røyneland ten years after the murder of her daughter Synne: “I think it is necessary to remember who all the people who were killed were.

And what they stood for "

When I found out that my daughter did not survive the attack on July 22, 2011, it was like breaking a mirror inside of me.

As if I had to put the pieces back together.

I don't even remember some things from those days, others very clearly.

I tried to call Synne all afternoon and evening.

But she didn't answer.

At some point we drove to this hotel near Utøya, where all the relatives had gathered.

I thought I would just bring Synne home - until I saw the mess.

Some of the survivors screamed, others hugged.

Many had bloody socks on because they ran along the island without shoes.

On the wall was a list of the names of those who had survived.

We read the list up and down, in every direction.

But we didn't find Synne's name.

“We read the list up and down, in every direction.

But we didn't find Synne's name. "

I know my daughter.

She would have tried to reach me if she was alive.

And yet I hoped that she was hiding somewhere.

Five days after the attack, the police told us that Synne had been found dead - with three bullets in the head.

Even today I am angry when I see pictures of the police operation.

Synne was killed shortly after 6 p.m.

According to the investigation commission's report, she would have been rescued if the police had been there sooner.

But it doesn't bring that back to me either.

I can't get it back so I don't waste energy thinking about it.

It was really hard to keep the family together. I know that I wasn't the perfect mother for my older daughter Kristina at that time. My memories and thoughts kept revolving around themselves. I was convinced that I was going crazy. That I'm going out of my mind In September 2011 I joined a self-help group. When I talked to other parents about it, I realized: I don't go crazy. It's normal to feel this way.

I had so many bad pictures in my head, pictures of gunshot holes and corpses.

So I got psychological help.

I had to concentrate on everyday life.

After a half-year break, I went back to working part-time, after a year full-time.

The fact that I went back to work and was able to talk to colleagues calmed my mind.

I now lead the self-help group for relatives.

I think there is a need to remember who all the people who were killed were.

And what they stood for.

This is important to fight against terrorism and right-wing extremism.

Because that wasn't just a madman in a summer camp.

That was a right-wing extremist who shot our children one by one.

At the beginning I felt a deep hatred for Breivik. I really wanted to shoot him, I dreamed about it. During the trial, I only wanted to be in the courtroom when it came to Synne's case. In the end, I was there almost every day. In the meantime, I realized that this terrorist is a nobody. I don't care that he had a bad childhood. Many have a bad childhood, but they don't become terrorists. That is no reason.

At some point I thought to myself: if I carry this hatred around inside me, I will destroy myself and my family.

So I accepted that this bad thing happened to us.

I felt really deep grief for at least five years, after which it changed more to missing Synne.

For me there is a life before July 22nd, 2011 and one after.

I can handle it now.

I am happy to be a grandmother.

My older daughter Kristina became a mother in May.

It's nice to see life go on.

But I will not forget all of that.

It will stay a part of me.

This thing happened to me and I'll have to live with it forever.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-07-25

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