I crossed the glass doors of the Pearson International Airport in Toronto twenty years ago today, tugging along my two children, six suitcases and a load of hope. The stamp on my Landed Immigrant document marks the beginning of our new life, an ongoing migration journey for me.
Preparing for that trip took everything I had emotionally and physically. For year and a half we went through intense bureaucratic procedures and medical examinations. My baby was only seven months old, and I had just graduated from college. We had saved money, sold all our belongings, and translated our degrees. We also said good-bye to friends and relatives and to the most beautiful country in the world hoping to give our children a chance to walk on the streets free of fear.
Whatever I had repressed in my mind for 32 years until that moment bursted out in my first ten months in Canada. When it was time to relax and plan the next chapter, I had a breakdown.
The official diagnose was late onset Bipolar Disorder, but I don’t care about that label anymore. I know what afflicts me: Stress, toxicity, and painful memories. These two alone can lead my broken mind to wander aimlessly unable to stop the racing thoughts. Also obsessions, verborrhea, tactile hallucinations, self-harming, depression, and compulsive behavior are symptoms of my shattered mind.
I don’t submit to my condition because I am not disabled. I’m a migratory bird with a broken wing. I leave pieces of my heart in the places I stop to rest, but I continue my journey.