True ability
Content submitted by – Lili
Submited Date : 28/06/2018
Patrick and Carine Van Bogaert-Pijkels

We are Patrick and Carine Van Bogaert-Pijkels. We live in Sint-Niklaas, and this is our story…We met at Zigzag. And last year, we got married. We got married in May. Zigzag is a meeting place and a centre for mental health care. It is now located at the Knaptandstraat. But soon they will return to the Hazewindstraat. They will be just around the corner, so this will be easier for us. Zigzag is an organization for people who stayed in a psychiatric institution or are still in a psychiatric institution. Or people in need for mental health care. Or people who just visit a psychologist or psychiatrist on a regular basis. These people are all welcome at Zigzag. My centre for mental health care sent me to Zigzag. And there we got to know each other. We do volunteer work. At Zigzag we serve drinks and we write for the Zig en Zo-newspaper. I can be creative there. My main hobby is music. I’m the DJ of the house. We started going on holidays when we went to the Holiday Participation Forum. We went there to celebrate their 5th or 10th Anniversary? The 10th. Well, when we came to the Holiday Participation Forum to celebrate its 10th anniversary, we shared our story. We described our dream to go to Austria someday. We did not go on holidays immediately after our marriage. Eventually we went from the 25th of July until the 2nd of August, though we got married in May. We took our time to look for what we wanted to do and how much everything would cost. Since that time, we have been on holidays to the seaside six times. And this year we will return to the seaside. Our next holiday will be at the seaside, in Blankenberge, in the Holiday Centre Floreal. In the very beginning, we didn’t have a plan. We packed our stuff, we went for so many days, so we need some pair of socks, some of this, some of that and that’s it. But then we found out, also because of my autism, that you really need some things on holidays, that you can’t forget. Because of my hobby – crocheting – I can earn a little bit extra. And with everything I earn from crocheting I would like to go to Disneyland someday. Because I proposed to Patrick in Disneyland. And I would like to go back once. So, every time I sell a cuddly toy, I put a small amount in a jar to save for Disneyland. We haven’t set a date yet. It could be in two years, in three years. On the Molly Brown (attraction in Disneyland). That’s where I asked Patrick to marry me. We are very happy that we got to know the Holiday Participation Centre a few years ago. I understand that going on holidays has an impact on other parts of your life. You’re not just going on holidays, it’s something special. For example you ask someone to marry you. If you want your vacation to be achievable, you have to set your goals long in advance, I think. We set our goal. For example, we want to go to Rome. My niece went to Rome last year, and she can’t stop talking about it. But our goal is not next year going to Rome, because we know, we can’t make that. But we are saving our money to go to Rome. We set aside a small amount of money, that doesn’t have to be each month. For example when we receive a lot of bills. Or when something breaks, you never know. But we always try to keep a fixed amount of money aside each month. Because we know we can do something fun with it, we can go on holidays with that money. Going on holidays is important because I don’t want to give up on activities because of my autism. People with autism often avoid busy situations because they overwhelm them. But I don’t want to give up on that, I want to do all those activities. Even though I know I’ll have to lie down the next day, because it was too much. But we always try to plan for an empty day, the next day. A day out of the house, out of the daily routine, to get to know a nice area, to get a breath of fresh air by the sea for a few days, so that you can do some nice activities there. It’s a whole other atmosphere than when you’re stuck at home. When you’re on holidays, you notice that it’s a totally different feeling.