Refugee Week 2019: Tamana’s Story
During Refugee Week, batyr recognises the impact that the refugee experience can have on mental health.
Tamana went through our Being Herd workshop in early 2018 and is a first generation Australian whose parents migrated from Kabul in Afghanistan. This is her story:
“There are lot of ways I could describe to you who I am. I could give you a brief summary of what I have done and where I have been. But I do not let my experiences define me rather they have shaped the way I perceive the world today. As a third culture kid, I often wonder to myself how does it feel like to be in a place you can call home and explore a sense of belonging. For me I have always valued the idea of connecting to places hence I do love traveling. But let me tell you to know a bit about myself. I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in the early 90s and wanting a better life my parents wanted to migrate to Germany. However, before we could reach our destination we had spent 4 years in Moscow, Russia as our temporary settlement location. Once we made it to Germany life started to become harder and every day I could see my parents struggle. It was the uncertainty that has challenged them the most. What would happen next? My Parents struggle shifted on me and I slowly started to feel anxious. So this is where it began.
In 2007, I moved to Sydney with my family and now again I had to learn a new language, familiarise myself with the way of life in Australia and of course, make new friends. I hated it. I just wanted to be a place I could call home and for me, Germany was slowly starting to become my home. The moving of countries multiple times going through different resettlement stages had really affected my mental wellbeing. But I did not realize this till years later. I remember in year 9 I was so depressed and felt so anxious all the time I decided to seek support. On my first encounter with a therapist I actually felt so anxious I did not want to be there hence I had left abruptly. I did not feel understood. I did not feel heard. Most of all I did not feel in control.
For years I spent reflecting on why I had felt this way and how could I become better. But then one day I realized I have been feeling so anxious all my life because there are a lot of events that occurred that was beyond my control. Anxiety makes you think of countless scenarios ultimately preparing you for the worst. I thought maybe I wanted to be mentally prepared for the worst hence I had these thoughts constantly in my head. Later on, in my life, I decided to seek support again and this time I found it quite helpful as I felt connected to my therapist. I felt understood. I am actually glad I tried again as it provided me with more tools to reflect.
Today I am grateful for having a great sense of self-awareness and being able to reflect on my journey. My feelings. My mental health. In 2018, I participated with batyr’s Being Herd workshop and it was so happy to give a platform to frame my story in a way that I was more confident in sharing it with others today. batyr provided me with a safe space in which I had the opportunity to learn from others, connect and participate in a mentally friendly way. There are so many stories out there that need to heard. I will finish mine for today.” – Tamana
We’re so proud of the inspiring young people like Tamana we have sharing their stories as part of our herd.
If you’re interested in learning how to share your story, register your interest to attend a ‘Being Herd’ workshop.