From Lyuda (day 321): Dear brothers and sisters,
The war is going on. Our enemy became very active in the east, they have grouped the troops and are trying to advance. It’s very hard situation. But our troops hold back their offensive at the cost of great efforts. It gives an opportunity for our troops in other parts to continue offensive. The husband of Nadya, one of our refugees is in the east, his name is Sasha and he is a combat paramedic. We pray for him.
Our counselors continue their work and we share stories with each other, encourage each other and give advice. Our meetings every week help us to be in contact with each other. I want to share with you some stories of Vika’s clients.
“Yesterday, I lost my cat at the Kyiv railway station. She ran away in fright because of my (and only my) mistake. My brother and I went to look for her, we found the prints of her paws in the snow. The search was unsuccessful. With every minute I believe less and less that she will be found. Especially now, when it’s frosty, windy and snowy outside. I can’t control my emotions. I also can’t sleep and eat… I took responsibility for her about a year ago (when the former owner wanted to throw her out of the apartment on the street due to moving to another country). I called her Fury because of her character. I didn’t even realize that I became so attached to her. I go to the railway station every day. Due to the fact that the snow is frozen, I can still see her footprints in the snow…”
“I am from Kherson, I lived there with my mother. One day my mother told we should leave. It was very unexpected for me, I could not decide what things to take with me. We travelled to Poland and my mother was very passive during our trip. I had to solve all problems and take care of us both. When we came to Krakov I was just standing on the railway station and didn’t know what to do. I felt very scared being in a foreign country. It was hard for us to find the place to live there because there were many and we stayed in the center for refugees. The volunteers advised us to go to Latvia and I went to buy the train tickets. I remember coming to the railway station where I felt so much fear and getting into that state again. I made myself going to the ticket office and buy tickets with shaking hands. We came to Riga, Latvia, where we are staying now. It’s very hard for me to live with my mother. She started to drink alcohol and when she is drunk, she tells me very painful things. I want to return to Ukraine, but my mother wants to stay in Riga. I can’t leave her here alone, she is so unadapted to the environment.”
“ I am in Germany now, I have everything I need I am attending language courses to learn the language, but I am not happy. My city is occupied by the enemy and I have the feeling that I’m frozen, I’m not living. I’m not sure that my home is still there, I’m afraid and there is no place for me to return to.“
Some stories seem to be not connected to the war, like the story with a cat, but actually this is also the trauma of war, which exacerbates all the problems that people have. And the stories of Ukrainians who are abroad now make us think of our refugee center which we plan to organize in Odessa and about the projects we can do there for people who will come back to Ukraine from other countries.