As for Houben:
Equal footing? I'd say he's selling himself short.
[He] said that at first he felt angry at his powerlessness, but eventually learned to live with it.
"Other people had an opinion of me," Mr Houben, now 46, told the BBC.
"I knew what I could do and what I was capable of but other people had a rather pathetic image of me. I had to learn to be patient and now finally we are on an equal footing."