Happy 3rd Anniversary seeking asylum

3 years I have been in Australia today…Happy anniversary to me.

Three years I have waited to be invited for an interview by the Department of Immigration in vain. I have dreamed about doing an interview, rethinking the claims I have lodged when applying for protection 3 years ago. I wonder if I remember every detail, I hope for it to be faster, easy and then in the end gives me what I have been praying for: A permanent residency, a hope to a new life, a dream to build a stable life in Australia. Many times I go through the same process and get heartbroken whenever I open my eyes to find that I am just lying in my bed and it was a dream.

At least I have a bed. I never got sick. My family is safe and still alive. I have a job. I have friends. I have a strong support system. I am surrounded by love and I am grateful for everything. How patient can I be though? How many more years can I go without hugging my family members? How long Am I able to keep up with this endless uncertainty; of not knowing if I will be allowed to stay or will be asked to leave this country? How much longer can the human brain live in illusion? Hoping for a response that doesn’t come? How damaging is this to me? I wonder…

3 years have passed. It is one of the weirdest anniversaries to celebrate. But that’s exactly what I did. A good dinner, a glass of wine, and I even received a card with beautiful words. A dear friend told me she had me in her prayers. And I thought there were so many things to celebrate in life. Except that it felt incomplete.

Dear Department of Immigration, could please take away this burden from me? I am emotionally tired. On this note, I want to bring in the mental health aspect. For the first time in my life, I have started to analyse my mental health. I get too emotionally involved with every touching story of people in distress or despair. I don’t know if I need to speak to someone occasionally but I am worried. Concerned that one day I could lose the use of my brain, sink in a deep dark hole of negative thoughts without being able to explain it, not remember who I am in a stranger country without my family to take care of me…It’s a constant worry.

I realised it was easy to have a mental breakdown if you are not careful. My work itself, the news from back home, violent movie scenes, everything frightens me and makes me sad/angry and in rage…Have I become too soft? I always want to see myself a strong woman, able to face challenges and get her shit together when needed. So whenever I start feeling like this, I go for a walk, remind myself how many others things are going so well for me. And then, I smile again and keep going. But for how long?

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