I don’t feel foreign, and I don’t feel at home. I feel safe in the knowledge that I won’t be bombed here, and that is what matters the most to me.
I was diagnosed with PTSD when I came to Denmark. I suffer from anxiety, and I am constantly worried that I will do something wrong. My family often reminds me that we are safe here, and that I exaggerate my problems. But I feel this huge pressure on my shoulders, especially from the municipality and the language school. I become nervous when I am thrown into situations I am not prepared for. When I had attended language school for two months, they sent me on an internship in a nursery. I didn’t speak much Danish, and as I don’t speak English, communication was difficult to say the least. Especially with my colleagues. It was so much easier for me to speak with the kids, partly because they speak slower and use a much simpler language, and partly because they were more patient with me. It is not until now, 18 months later, that I can feel my hands again. For a long time I couldn’t even hold a pencil because my hands were numb. It is like they, like me, are slowly beginning to thaw. When it all gets a bit too much, I dance. I dance every day. It helps me relax and forget my problems for a while.
23 years / female / single / Brøndy Strand / attends language school / from Syria / Palestinian background / came to Denmark in 2016 / residence permit same year