I ts Mother’s Dayagain. I am dreading to even think of the day. My mother is gone and I am living in the UK without my biological children. My life is one filled with grief and pain.
I left Zimbabwe in 2002. I left in fear for my life after being beaten and raped by a group of ZANU PF youths. My parents said its best that I go to the UK .Many of the people from the area I lived in Glen View Harare had left for the UK in search of safety and also economic betterment.
We agreed as a family that it was safer for me to leave the twins with my parents. They would look after them. We agreed that once I settled in the UK I would send for them.
When I arrived at Heathrow airport on that cold winter’s day I did not know what was ahead of me. I did not know that I should tell the immigration officer that I was seeking refuge. The family friend who was helping me told me to say that I was coming on holiday. I entered the UK with a passport stamp for 6 months. I thought I had entered the land of milk and honey.
The next few years were very difficult I worked as a carer and was paid less than the minimum wage. I sent most of my money to my parents and the children. I worked 6 nights a week at the care home and I also worked as a cleaner during the day. I worked and worked and worked. I did not manage to save a penny but just lived from hand to mouth.
In 2008 I was caught working illegally and sent to prison. It was whilst I was in prison that I tried to regularise my immigration status. I told the immigration about my experience in Zimbabwe and why I was afraid to return. They did not believe me. I had delayed in claiming asylum.
I became a failed asylum seeker but returning to Zimbabwe was not an option for me. My parents told me of the woes that were going on. The twins were in High School and I had to pay school fees for them. I felt that I had no choice but to work in people’s homes cleaning and ironing. I sent every penny that I made to my family.
In 2010 my mother died. I was unable to send all the money to her so that she could get the necessary medical treatment. I failed my mother. I failed her and she died because she could not get the help she needed.
Every Mother’s day I shed tears of grief, tears of pain, tears of regret, and tears of shame. No one sees me and none seems to care. I feel invisible. I feel as if I do not exist in this country where I live I don’t. I am illegal. I have no children, no home, nothing to show for all the years I have worked. I mourn for my lost life.
At MFS I have been able to just pour out my heart. There is someone who listens. Someone who can just be there.
This Mother’s Day do not be alone. TALK. TALK to someone. DO NOT BE ALONE.
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