Hey everyone, guess what? I finally resorted to using my real legal name for the final issue as well as probably my last time writing for SIN. It has been a fantastic four years of hard work and creativity. I’m eagerly waiting to receive my degree and close a beautiful chapter of my life.
I have recently evacuated my family from Ukraine and it has been such a heart-wrenching reunion.
Just as I am writing this more photos of the destruction the Russian army had caused my country and my people in the Kyiv region are emerging. The war is far from over and Ukrainians are still suffering. I still have family in Ukraine but now it’s beyond worry for my family. I feel rage, a rage I’ve never felt before in my entire life. I have forever lost my sleep. Every time I close my eyes I hear the cries of children and people who are terrified and running for their lives. I see the dead in my dreams; the horrific pictures of our dead and the state that they were buried in haunt me. I have never hated anything in my life but now I truly know what hate is. I am disgusted with certain European leaders, notably in Germany and a few others who I feel put money and profit above human life and peace.
Most of you can simply turn off your phone and hang out with your friends and family, and at least for a few moments forget about the war and live your lives the way you normally would. I don’t have that luxury. When I’m away from my phone I fear the news I’ll come back to. When I try to sleep I remember all the horrible things Russians have sent me or my friends and how they speak of my people in media and to their inner circles. I used to think that Putin was the problem, I no longer think that.
My family are settling well in Ireland, I am happy I can provide them with the safety they need. I have started working as an interpreter for the UNHCR Ireland and spend a lot of time with the Ukrainian refugees from all over Ukraine.
Has this taken a toll on my mental health? Yes, I now experience what I feel might be PTSD every time I hear an alarm, every time I hear the Russian language, and every time I hear my phone ring. I will never live my life as I did before. Every worry I had before February 24th now seems so meaningless to me. Believe it or not but I even had some people who actually thought it was appropriate to compare my reaction to the Will Smith situation to the way I react to the Russian invasion of my country. I’ve blocked and removed more people from my socials than I care to count. In this day and age, it surprises me that people still lack common sense and humanity.
I hate to make my last entry so heavy and negative but unfortunately, this has not been a good year so far, and I pray that it gets better and that someday we will all meet in Kyiv, which will be fully rebuilt and flourishing. I hope we will meet in the beautiful city of Mariupol, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, and of course our heroic Bucha.
Glory to Ukraine and its people and glory to all students of NUI Galway who have supported Ukraine and its people, who have donated to our army, who have shared information on their socials and helped Ukraine against Russia’s propaganda war. For those of you graduating, the very best of luck to you! To those who continue their studies, good luck in your upcoming exams and I wish you a flourishing student career filled with happiness and opportunity.