Into the Darkness

I landed in Heathrow on a BA flight from Bologna on 31 March 2016, just a few months after my 51st birthday. My English was basic to say the least. I’d had a Skype interview a month before and had landed a new job and a new life after 3 years’ unemployment in Italy.  It’s ridiculous for a nurse to end up unemployed you would think, but in Italy that’s how it is; if you lose your job at 50, you can forget about it.

I lived in Sheffield alone for a year and a half. My family stayed in Italy, and every month I sent them the money they needed to live on. A year and a half of blood and tears, because it was horrible having to learn a new language after 50 years speaking only Italian, horrible not to be able to understand, horrible having to reply, horrible speaking on the phone to get the electricity contract set up and not to understand what the operator on the other end of the line was saying.  I remember perfectly how I spent the night of 23 June 2016, sitting with my laptop on my knees, watching as Great Britain was making the choice to go from being one of 28 states to the miserable state of being outside the EU.

Now I realise that I’ve thrown my family, who had in the meantime joined me in the UK, into Limbo for the nth time, into a situation of fearful suspension because we don’t know what will happen after 31st January.  We are literally overwhelmed by what we’re living through, a situation that the Brits really wanted and chose in 2016, carrying on until 2019 believing the lies the Tories were telling about Europe, amplified by fake news funded by Murdoch.

We have had our share of racism. Our 15 year old daughter was attacked and beaten up at school several times, I was mobbed in my workplace, and we were forced to leave Sheffield and move to a small town nearby.  When I chose to live in the UK I could have imagined anything, but never this.

Brexit is bringing our ghosts to life, we are becoming slaves of our fears.  We get up in the morning in the knowledge that the 31st is 10 days away, and we will be outside Europe, outside our home forever.

I’m a nurse and I write articles for a well-known professional journal online. They’ve asked me to write one about what our work will be like here after Brexit. I’m taking my time because sincerely I don’t know what to write that isn’t a lie or a fantasy fruit of my fears.

Yesterday my daughter said something important to me. She said that what with Brexit and the climate catastrophe, our generation has ruined her future, and I can’t say she’s wrong. Our worst fears after Brexit are economic disaster and as a result the lack of jobs.

I hope Guy Verhofstadt is right when he says that England will come back defeated to Europe.

In the meantime we have to keep fighting our ghosts and insecurities for who knows how long, in the hope that Nicola Sturgeon will hold a new referendum and we can hope to continue to be a European family.  ©

by Flavia Burroni  

First published 21st January 2020

Disclaimer:The views, feelings and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the original author of this blog article. These views do not necessarily represent those of the In Limbo Project, In Limbo admins & team and/or any/all contributors to this site. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional. The testimonies in our blog reflect the feelings of people without filters and without judging them. We document the thoughts, fears, hopes, worries, concerns, dreams and disappointments resulting from the changed status of Britain leaving the EU. Anyone is welcome to leave his or her voice.We think it’s important to document the human cost of Brexit and how people feel in order to raise awareness of what’s happening and keep fighting for our rights. These “voices” will also remain as historical documents to understand what happened with Brexit and what happens when you remove rights retrospectively. In Limbo does not provide any legal advice but we always direct people to Settled, INCA or other serious organisations to get the correct information/support if people have legal questions or we feel they are misinformed. Likewise, we direct people to organisations who give them proper psychological support if the impact of Brexit on their lives has left them too vulnerable.This is vital, as it is vital for people to find a safe place to tell us how they feel and open up. Our strength lays in empathy, in listening to the worries and being there, so that people will not feel unheard or alone. The emotional impact is there – that is a fact – and that is all the In Limbo Project keeps recording.

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