LotusBlack Posted May 6, 2017 Share Posted May 6, 2017 Hi all, Please bear with me whilst I try to get a hold of my thoughts. And I really look forward to hearing some of your own. It's a long one, but I've tried to make it as intriguing a read as possible. I've had a lot come at me over the years, and, unfortunately, tend to be the unwitting recipient of many a series of wildly unfortunate events. Despite the relentless setbacks, I keep forging ahead, creating new opportunities for myself, and refusing to give up on the things I want in life. I'm 30 years old, and, since the age of 8, I've known what it is I want to do with my life. It has always been my goal to become and Egyptologist, specialising in Middle Kingdom language and magic as a professor for post graduate students. I sought out any and every book I could read, every teacher throughout my primary and high school careers, every documentary released, and, when the internet was introduced into private households - every website and journal article I could get my hands on. My passion and intent never wavered and has remained steadfast these past 22 years. When I was 17, however, my family fell apart and at the same time the doctors thought I had cancer. I'd had a very severe anxiety disorder since I was 8, and whilst I'd worked through it to a functional point for the most part, it resurfaced with a vengeance when I was 17. I went from a family of 8, to suddenly being completely alone, without warning. And with the added stress of potential breast cancer, and having to deal with it by myself, I suffered terrible panic attacks that would render me into a catatonic state. I was in year 11 and it became harder and harder for me to get through the day without shutting down. Finally, I couldn't even look out my window at home without panicking. My parents had always refused to allow me medication when I was a young child, so at 17, still being a minor, the doctor was unable to prescribe me anything despite my parents having gone off the radar during their divorce (they weren't even in the same state as me anymore). And, to be frank, I didn't even know there was such medication for anxiety. Unfortunately, it lead to me having to drop out of high school and I attempted to go back the following year but the anxiety just prevented that. I was stuck in a house for 3 years. It was the most horrible time in my life. Sometimes I'd wake up and forget for a second that the anxiety ruled my life. I would be excited for the day until I remembered that I had trapped myself inside this prison of fear. I can remember lying on my bed and thinking to myself, 'how can I ever unthink the thoughts I'm now aware I have?'. Most of my family had since come back and were all living under one toxic roof (for about 6 months). Unfortunately, I was the scape goat for their most harmful and destructive actions and thoughts. After 3 years though, I thought to myself, 'this can't go on. I have no friends, no family who are in an emotional place to offer support, no life that is worth living as it is at this moment. I have no medication to help me cope with this mental illness, no money, no prospects. I don't have a high school diploma, I've nothing.' My dad had since moved to China, and I decided that that was my way out of this mess. I realised that only 2 things could happen to me: 1) I move there and my anxiety crashes down on me so badly that I crumble to pieces, but then...literally, time keeps going, I'll have no choice but to continue moving forward with it. I'd be putting myself in a position where I physically had no other option but to confront life and myself every day, without exception, and there was no choice in the matter. I'd be exposing myself to hoards of people and a busy bustling environment I wouldn't be able to escape from. I'd be giving myself no outs. Or, 2) I could literally lay down where I stood and wait for time to take me because my body was too healthy to die any other way and I am not the kind to take my own life. That was never an option. And so, since choice number #2 was not realistically possible, there was only one thing I could do. And so I did. I moved to China. I gave myself no choice but to allow the panic attacks to happen and to deal with them (alone) when they did. And slowly, I got stronger. After being in China for half a year, I decided to push myself further. I decided to become an au pair in Denmark, and then the Netherlands. I made sure I kept myself outside of my comfort zones and forced myself to have responsibilities that required my attention, even if confronted by my phobia. I may sure I kept giving myself no other option but to deal with things head on and so I would be unable to fall back into the fears that held me down in the past. I never forgot my goals though. I returned to Australia and had planned to sit an examination for university entrance since I didn't have an enter score from high school. Then came the unexpected disease: Kienbock's. By the time the doctors figured it out, it was too late. I had to have surgery and I lost my wrist. That certainly put a damper of things. It took a year of rehabilitation to use my hand and arm again, so couldn't go to university had I applied. At the same time, my mother found out she was terminally ill in the same day she found out she even had cancer (8 years on though, she's still fighting despite the diagnosis). Once I'd healed enough, I moved to Japan and began au pairing for a year. It was fantastic and, though some remnants of my anxiety still lingered, I was able to combat most of it, as the years without medication and exposing myself to the potentiality of experiencing my phobia had taught me how to control my mind and body enough to neutralise most of my anxiety. It was in my last month in Japan that I was accepted to study a Bachelor of Archaeology, and I was stoked. I returned to Australia and began my university career at 24. I struggled a lot throughout my degree as a result of my mother being ill and residual effects of Kienbock's Disease, as well as my anxiety disorder. The subjects I needed to study weren't always available when I needed to study them, or professors suddenly went on sabbatical etc., which made things difficult at times. But I made it through and received my degree as an archaeologist. And then I applied to Cambridge to study the MPhil in Egyptology. I got in. I was beyond excited. I was getting closer! And then..it all fell apart. No bank in Australia would grant me a loan when I'd be leaving the country. AUD $54,000 for 1 year. I didn't have that. I wasn't eligible for any scholarships with my combination of qualifications and requirements. I was studying at Master level, as an Australian student, and in a non-mainstream field. I wasn't suitable for their grants, and unlike America and Canada, Britain doesn't have a loan agreement with Australia. So, it was with great pain that I gave up my place. I'd also gotten into many other top universities in Europe, but again, I couldn't fund my studies. And in Australia, Egyptology is not a widely offered discipline. I'd have to go outside of Australia to get the education I needed to have the career I wanted. So, I devised a plan. I wasn't going to give up on it. It would take years, but I was committed. I would move to Germany, wait it out 5 years to become permanent resident, then I'd be able to apply to universities throughout Europe as resident without the astronomical international tuition fees. Or become proficient enough in the German language so as to apply to tuition-free universities where the relevant programs were conducted in German, whichever one came first. But to do that, I'd need to have a qualification. So, I intended to study English language education and become a qualified teacher. This was the plan. It would take time to work and earn the money required to do the course and start up in Germany. So I worked hard. I had to travel an hour and a half to work and back every day, on top of 12 hour shifts. I practiced German those hours in transit. I saved every penny and informed myself of the visa legalities. I knew the requirements back to front, in and out by the time I was done. Then it came time for me to move. Over a year of planning had gone into all this. All for the sake of being able to study Egyptology at post grad level. I did my course in Prague, then moved to Germany. I had all my documentation, my budget, my business plan, my qualifications, my letters of recommendation, my potential freelance contract offers (as they are unable to offer offical contracts until the visa has been granted), etc. I knew what was required. Apparently the visa officer didn't. Unfortunately, this was at the same time that things in Syria deteriorated significantly and many refugees were seeking asylum in Germany. Where I was living was a very small countryside area, and the whole department had only 2 visa officers who were very green in their positions. They they'd suddenly had to employ many people without significant training in oder to cope with the quantity of applications. As a result of this, the visa officer in charge of my application made copious significant mistakes. He required me to fulfil criterion which were not part of the type of visa I was applying for. I kept showing him the legislation pertaining to me, but he refused to acknowledge it. I was well informed. I'd done my research for over a year. I knew what was required of me. In the end, he forced me into the position of putting all my funds into a blocked account, where I'd be granted access once I received my visa. He would not consider my application otherwise. I had no choice. It was either do it, or leave Germany. This was in complete violation of the visa requirements of the specific type of visa I was applying for. Even the bank who was in charge of creating the account had a lot of trouble doing so because the account was at odds with the type of visa. They had to create a whole new system just for me. They were not happy and also said this was in violation of the requirements. But, I went ahead with the assumption that the visa officer would do what he said he would, and allow me access to my funds once my visa was approved. So, he made several more significant mistakes, which caused the unduly delay of my visa process (and the subsequent loss of contracts I'd been offered), then decided to go on holiday for several weeks without forwarding my case to another officer, then finally, I received my visa. And he would not release my funds. I struggled and faced the brink of poverty in ways I'd never experienced before. I had all these thousands of dollars in my account and was, instead, left begging for crumbs. I contacted the Australian embassy and they confirmed that this was against the law but couldn't pursue this matter because it would compromise the Australian-German relationship. Instead, they encouraged me to speak to various other government bodies of Germany. I contacted several neighbouring foreigners' offices in near-by cities, who also confirmed this was against the law. I was advised to get an immigration lawyer, but without money, this was not possible. My only hope was to get enough contracts to be able to support myself financially from scratch (which is the whole purpose of having funds behind you in the first place). In the end, after 10 months of struggling, I couldn't do it anymore. I only held out so long because I didn't want to give up on my dreams and I'd worked way too hard. But I was getting sick and the stress of it was upsetting my mother, who was already struggling with her terminal illness. I decided to move to Prague and start again - it was still close enough that I wasn't drastically altering my plans, but far enough away that I was in a position to get a permanent full-time job on a different visa in a different country. But I would need access to my funds to qualify for the visa. I thought, 'no problem. I will have left Germany and relinquish my visa there.' Well, I was wrong. I went through the paperwork to de-register my residency in Germany, and my visa officer wouldn't allow me access to my funds. It wasn't good enough that I leave Germany before he'd give me my money back. No, I had to leave the entire Schengen Zone and prove it by way of a German embassy outside of Europe. Everything I'd worked hard for for decades, down the drain because one man made mistakes he was unwilling to take responsibility for. In the end, I was offered a full-time teaching position in Japan. I'd loved Japan the first time around, but it hadn't been my intention to move back here. But, I needed to recuperate the debts I'd rung up from borrowing money from family and friends to survive in Germany, so I took the job and moved. That was just over a year ago. I did a 1 year stint in a position and then was offered a position at a university as a lecturer, which started a month ago. I had to move and that cost thousands and I've received such racial discrimination from the system here that it was nearly enough for me to throw the towel in. Ive been working hard and saving money and should be able to put a deposit on a property on the Czech/German board in about 4 months, if things don't go belly-up as they've been inclined to do in the past. In terms of work, I'm lecturing at a university - so that is quite a bit closer to my end goal though the subject matter may be somewhat different...but I feel restless and trapped. I have been single for 4 years now and Japan, especially for foreign women (and being more rural where I am) isn't ideal for meeting people. I'm not interested in anything short-term as I am 30 and would like to have a family, but the probability of that isn't high, and I don't intend to settle in Japan. I am also working hard to save for a deposit and also put money aside of an education in Europe. But to do that, I must stay in Japan for at least another 11 months. I feel empty though. I know where I want to be and what I want to do, but I have no chance of that as it is. So, I am where I have to be to make what I want happen in the future. But I feel alone, and I feel tired. I have been trying so hard to not take the approach of 'waiting for my life to begin'. This is my life and it has begun, but it's so far from the life I've always strived for. I feel like every time I face an obstacle I find a way to overcome it, or I create a new opportunity. But then that fails too. I've thought about other career paths and I might be willing to settle for something that wasn't what I was truly passionate about, if I had other fulfilling things in my life, but I don't. I don't look to others to provide my happiness, but having children and a partner is something I would find would bring me happiness. And if I can't have that or the career I want, then I'd at least like to live in the country I want with the house I want, but that still seems so far away because something ALWAYS happens to undermine all the work I've done and money I've earned to bring about the things I want. There are 3 things I want in this life: A career as an Egyptologist, a family, and a house. I'd be happy if even only 1 of those things were possible. But I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle and none of those things seem even remotely to happen in the near future. I've got nothing to show for my life. I've done so much and achieved so little. How is that possible? Link to comment
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