I arrived in Scotland from Belgium in September 2013 following my Scottish boyfriend -now husband- after finishing university with a Master in Applied Communications. After having struggled to find a job in my field, working in retailers and some internships during two years, I finally landed in a job in December 2015. I thought that my career was finally launching.
The Monday after the referendum I was called by my boss and my manager saying that they would have to let me go and they bigged up a story so they had an excuse for firing me. They added quickly that “It was not because of Brexit”. And that was just a month before my wedding.
Since then, I struggle to find a job in my field and I have to work in retail to be able to pay my bills. My self-esteem deteriorated and I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
I try to be pro-active in my community, on the political stage and I get my skills at the level of the communications and graphic design fields.
Even if Scotland is more tolerant than some places in England, I always have to face the questions of my customers of where I am from (I am from the town!) and if one day I will go back to my country (but my country is the UK!). That adds up with the stereotypes about retail workers and their intellects (no, we are not stupid).
When I apply for jobs, I barely receive answers when I put my real name. However if I tweak it slightly to look more British, I receive more answers (even negative ones). All my covering letters are crafted and proofread by professionals so it shouldn’t be a problem.
I am more than qualified, have plenty of experiences gathered as intern and volunteer and passion in my domain and helping people/communities.
With the Settled Status which put a mark on all the EU citizen, the extortion for getting the British Citizenship and the new shadow of an unfair point-based system that the government wants to impose, I feel less and less welcome and I feel looked upon like I was a parasite by some of the people here.
One day I might have to choose between feeling recognised for my worth or staying here with my husband.
Aude, 33, Belgian, in the UK since 2013
First published July 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.
PLEASE SHARE THIS TESTIMONY ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD: