Is it so surprising?
I study quite a lot from Mondays through to Wednesdays, perhaps on average 6-7h. Thursdays I work, and Friday I might study some more, and I try to get the week-end “off” (Saturday I have some private students and Sunday is split between choir and chores). Studying for a whole day is very exhausting, especially because a lot of my study involves reading lengthy texts, some of which are quite technical. Also because right now I am taking a unit on humanitarian resettlement and some of the stories I have read are emotionally challenging to come to terms with.
Today I read this report, published by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, about the conditions asylum seekers and refugees live in, in the detention centre on Nauru. This is of interest to me because the Australian government sends those asylum seekers there, because the Australian government does not want anyone (who doesn’t own identity documents as well as a visa) on the territory – so it sends the people away. As the report shows, the asylum seekers and refugees are treated in the most inhumane way possible – this treatment, added to the despair of waiting for a visa which will likely never come – causes many of them to become depressed and attempt suicide. In fact, two have lit themselves on fire and died. Australia cannot send these people back to their own country because that would be a breach of the Convention on he Status of Refugees, which Australia is a signatory of. However, that Australia keeps people in indefinite detention, and that these detention centres provides little mental and health care, is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I am disgusted and almost under shock. I have since signed the petition and am wondering what I can do, as a 22 year old Australian citizen, to make a change. I think I will spend the next few days coming up with some sort of action plan. Perhaps I can write a letter to my local representative. Luckily, my writing skills are reasonable and I can voice ideas quite strongly if I take enough care. Perhaps I can do a video to educate others …
By the way, in case you did not know, there IS a difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee. A refugee basically has the right to international protection under the UNHCR’s mandate – they have applied to be a refugee and the local authority has agreed that they meet the criteria to be a refugee under the Convention’s criteria. An asylum seeker is someone who has left their country of origin but is not yet recognised as a refugee. Think of it as everyone starts off as an asylum seeker and only after a process termed Refugee Status Determination, they can become a refugee (assuming they meet the criteria).
So anyway, I am reading a lot about this stuff at the moment, which is fascinating (I am highly interested by the refugee issue), but at the same time it is a little sobering.
To make matters worse, my younger sister has been feeling back and leg pains the past month and as they are not going away we’re starting to worry that her cancer is coming back. It doesn’t look very good at the moment … I had to take her to the hospital today for a doctor’s appointment. As x-rays showed nothing, the doctor has prescribed a bone scan, which should hopefully tell if anything is the matter. My sister has been cancer free for about 2 years I think. Yes, that is about right. I just hope it isn’t anything serious, but why would she get pain if there’s nothing to worry about? I’m a little scared. Especially because there might not be much the doctors will be able to do to save her if she has relapsed … I guess we will find out sort of soonish. “Hopefully”. I remember in 2013 she would complain about pains (also in her back) and they would be so painful that she would yell out in pain … it was actually a little annoying, and we would ask her to be quiet, because obviously we had no idea it was leukaemia … then one night she just couldn’t get to sleep and she was crying and yelling out so loud, keeping everyone awake, so we called one of these after-hours doctors that come to your home. The doctor had one look at her and said, “this is really serious, you need to get her to the hospital as soon as you can”. It was 11pm that night and my dad took her to the children’s hospital and she stayed there for a week straight, doing all sorts of tests and scans, until the final diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was confirmed … and the intensive chemo began …
So I am not exactly in the mood to accept the cancer a second time, let alone how we would cope as a family. Back in the day it wasn’t too difficult on me. My mum would be the primary caregiver of my sister, visiting her at the hospital most days and bringing her food to eat. However a lot has changed since. My mum is sick herself and unable to drive, especially not long distances and in heavy traffic. If anything was really the matter and my sister required to stay over night at the hospital, some type of solution would have to be agreed upon between my dad, my older sister and I … and I hope that won’t have too much impact on my current past-times, interests, workload etc.
But perhaps I am over thinking and nothing is wrong.
On Sunday I was in a really good mood, and XXX and I were going to Skype. However he went busking and then got caught up chatting to people on Venice Beach, so our call was cancelled. We talked yesterday though. In fact we had a few moments of awkward silence, I don’t know why … I was waiting for him to ask about me. But he just didn’t really. He was happy to talk about himself, and what he’d been up to in California. I guess with him being away it means he has priority to talk first? And talk about himself? I don’t know. It sort of made me sad that he didn’t ask about my life. And also I could hear that he was clicking on his laptop so he was obviously doing something else at the same time as talking to me, and that made me sad too. But also I was tired yesterday from not getting to sleep until half past midnight and waking up at 7am and studying all morning.
And then of course today he posted two videos on Facebook. One of him when he was busking on Venice Beach. Of course I watched it and like the first thing I noticed was that a girl had filmed him, because you could definitely hear her voice. I just got jealous, a little. And the other video is of him playing music with a girl. And I just got jealous again. It really annoys me that I do but I think I know why I do. Obviously it has to do with feeling insecure (am I ever good enough to love??? Are the other girls better than me????) … but also I think it has to do with the fact that I cannot personally be friends with a guy without falling in love with them!! And maybe I apply the same principle to XXX (ie. he will eventually fall in love with his lady friends), but I shouldn’t.
I remember when he first told me about him going to California, I got all sorts of weird worries. I’d ask myself what if he likes it so much he wants to move there in the future? Or what if he meets someone and decides to move there permanently to be with this person? Well he has said he likes the place and that he’d love to move there next year, so yay that’s obviously great, isn’t it. I guess I can’t be sure exactly if he meant it, or if he still feels that way. And as for the second worry … well, I don’t know either. You know, I don’t even know if he loves me. If only he TOLD me!!! And I remember on Sunday I was in such a good mood, I was ready to say “I love you” over Skype …. and came Monday, I had no more energy nor motivation to say it, I don’t know why. Anyway, XXX and I have never told each other the three-word sentence and I don’t know if we ever will. We keep saying we really like each other and that’s as far as we’ve gone.
Anyways, so I am not in the brightest of spirits at the moment. I am deep in my studies which are fascinating but confronting at times; I am trying not to get too worried about my sister’s health; I am not happy with myself for feeling jealous; I worry I am not good enough (this is especially hard because I am everything I want to be!!!! I do my best at being caring, thoughtful, good, kind, inspirational, respectful, gentle, trustworthy …); and I’m very tired physically as well.
Well hopefully the next post will bring good rather than bad news.