It has been three weeks since Russia attacked Ukraine. More than 100 children were killed, more than a million fled or were displaced, who knows how many millions of families were torn apart.
It has been three weeks since my life went in limbo. I feel like the world is moving around but I am on pause. Whenever I go outside of the house, which I have done a handful of times in these three weeks, and see happy carefree people doing their groceries and happy kids running around, my brain flashes the images of kids being killed in Ukraine. Most of the time, in the outside world, I am on the verge of breaking into tears but I manage to hide them last moment before they break through.
I was talking with my coach this week and she asked me how I feel. The closest thing I can come up with is numb. I feel numb – I don’t feel tiredness or exhaustion or any normal feeling you would usually feel. I don’t feel sleepless or hungry. I only feel immense grief and tears streaming down my face. I asked if it was normal. She said I am experiencing trauma – even though I am not physically there, my brain is living the trauma and my body is trying to match it. This is where the numbness comes from.
I find it hard to read anything but news. I find it even harder to squeeze any words out of myself. I like writing but I can’t do it now. I think my brain is in shock – it can’t create, it can’t produce, it can’t function above the survival level. I find it easiest to listen to Ukrainian music. I never thought the music could heal, but now I understand it can. Beautifully connected and intertwined words of a language you love is like a salve for my heart these days. I drive, listen to music and let these tears streaming down my face.
My parents are helping two refugee families in the Czech Republic right now. My mum helped them sign accommodation contracts, found jobs for two teachers who now have to work as cleaners, and managed to put their kids in school. I am proud of them, they are making a huge difference for these families. I called volunteer organizations in Montreal to see if they need help with refugees but no refugees have arrived yet. I am on the list. They will call me when they need help. I am waiting.
My grandma’s twin lives in a city that was just occupied by Russians. She, her kids and grandkids – we did not hear from them for days. Her daughter gave a sign of life today – she is alive, she managed to get out with her kid. The things that she told us these troops were doing there are not for this post. They are not for this world. They are not to exist in the 21st century. But here we are. My grandma’s twin is still not found. We don’t know what happened to her. We are waiting, still in limbo.
My heart burns.
If you want to help Ukraine, here are the ways you can do this: https://how-to-help-ukraine-now.super.site/