Mimi’s story: “What if, what if, what if I never see them again?”
July 21, 2022
Mimi, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, shares her experience of family separation and reunion.
Being apart from my family was like living with an oxygen mask, I was suffocated, unable to live knowing that my family was left behind in an unknown circumstance. Not knowing if there will ever be a chance for me to be reunited.
The trauma never seems to seize, I will wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks reliving the past, in tears I prayed that I would get the chance to see them again.
For many years I lived under the shadow of myself unable to move on. My life was sour, having to flee my home, my country, my comfort in search of sanctuary.
Although I was at a better place, my mind was still at war, the unknown continued to battered head. I was terrified at the taught of what if! What if, what if, what if I never see them again?
A never-ending war of the mind, sleeping tablets became part of my daily meal. My life was torn apart the very day I fled my motherland, separated from my loved ones, my parents, sibling, children and husband.
I thought I escaped but it was only in the physical, emotionally I was locked up, imprisoned still under the authorities of the DRC.
Counselling was the only place I could express the roaring anguish and sorrow that I walked around with like my handbag. It was a constant battle an unending war. My life was on pause, when I see food set on the table, I will wonder whether it’s fair that I eat when I do not know whether my family have provision.
My journey of the unknown continued to take over my life, it was like having to wait for the bus during the strike.
This was the moment when I started relying on my faith, I was hoping and praying that one day, they will be light at the end of the tunnel. I told myself I will not give up and maybe I was the only source left to save my family.
When I found out the whereabouts of my family, it felt like I was given strength. This news was the light that I needed to relive; it was a second chance for me to rebuild my broken home. It was shift in my mind that my hope was never destroyed.
I remember the day I had to meet my family for the first time after 9 years of separation. I was excited but at the same time anxious that l lost 9 precious years that cannot be restored, I missed out on so many things in my children’s life, I was worried that I will be rejected, I was worried about everything.
But the moment I held them in my arms, the love that I felt changed everything about me. I felt complete and I knew that God has given us a second chance, it was like coming out of my coma and learning to love once again.
We have each other, this has made a big impact in my life and I am forever grateful.