M.S.’s Story

M.S., Portugal

 

I arrived in UK in September 2011 with my ex husband and six kids. My dream was to have a better life for my children. My ex husband was always violent back home but he promised to change once we arrived in UK. But that didn’t happen and he was arrested two months later for domestic violence and threat to kill. I found myself alone with six kids but grateful because I was free from that horror.

At that time I was living in a friend’s house who threw me out with my children without notice and I found myself homeless. Social services found me a place but gave me two weeks to rent my own place, which was difficult because I didn’t have a job or money to do it. My kids were in school but we had no place to live. I was going to the job centre everyday to find a job but couldn’t find any. Just two days before the deadline I received my kids’ benefits and managed to rent a house, settle down and start looking for a job again. But then the judgment of my ex husband started and they made me talk about everything I had been through for fourteen years: I became really depressed, couldn’t eat or sleep anymore.

When my youngest son started nursery, I found a part-time job as the carer of an old lady. That made me feel so good finally to have a job. My kids were in school and I could see a smile on their faces. I met someone and we started dating. I wanted to rebuild my life and try again but a visit to the doctor with my daughter took all my hopes away: she had learning difficulties and she was also autistic. That same day I found out I was pregnant and the doctor signed me out of work because I was a high risk pregnancy.

My baby was born at 26 weeks, she had lung disease and fluid on her brain. I became the full time carer of two disabled kids and until now couldn’t go back to work because they need me, especially my youngest. She’s just a baby, turning 3 in a couple of days. I made my application for Permanent Residency but it was denied because I’m receiving housing benefit, child tax credit and carers allowance. This is so unfair as being a carer is more than a job: I work 24/7.

Now my life here is uncertain and scary. I have made this country my home and all I have is here, I don’t feel welcome or wanted in this country anymore. Every time I go out I hear all types of insults. The worst one was during a visit I made to my local council to try and find some courses for my oldest son: I was told to leave my baby girl here and go back home with the rest of my kids. The country I love doesn’t protect us anymore, it’s really sad but true.

 

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