Friday, July 01, 2005

Influenza and coping with a cloudy mind...!

I've been 'off air' for a bit due to a decent bout of flu, which I haven't had for a couple of years now! I noticed a couple of things while I languished in bed (mindlessly sifting through the day drinking lemon tea and eating toast...!) about how:
1. a cloudy mind can stifle creativity and awareness
2. mind and body are indeed intricately linked through memories
3. much benefit sleep offers when you give yourself (mind and body) over to the joys of sleep to speed up healing and recovery!
I did indeed feel removed from the world around me, or more that my world closed in on me to do some fixing! Cloudiness though is an odd experience, that is, to not be able to do and think and react in the ways you are used to! I mean cloudiness in the sense that things are foggy, muffled, almost surreal. And in thinking about this I wondered if the refugee experience was like a "cloudiness"? Surely there must be a sense of feeling not only depressed, anxious, frightened, but also to feel silence (silenced?), foggy about the future, about the process of applying for refugee status, and of dealing with systems of which you have no comprehension! These systems also include cultural systems, that you have never experienced yet are often left to deal with.

Deeq Yusuf's (2001) online article about the refuge experience and their coping strategies is brief, but interesting. This quote particularly caught my eye.
Refugees have experienced the most complete dislocation of their social world and are deprived of power as social actors both in the country of origin and the country of reception (Joly, 1996). They have often suffered a severe defeat.
Being dislocated, deprived, powerless, when everything about being human concerns location, privilege and provision, and power in its myriad forms!! But also, in being human (and in nature too), is the sense of the balance of things. Yusuf describes how refugees often manifest a range of coping strategies both individually and in groups and
are active agents who, despite unfavourable conditions, will try to utilize the options open to them like anyone else (Jackson, 1987). Given their limited resources and predicament, coping is the best alternative that the individual can achieve resulting in varying degrees of individual and social adaptation.
We are a resilient lot! But in 'fixing things' we need to be aware of clearing the fog in a way that enables refugee groups to rebuild based on their "knowing" - past experiences, connections, beliefs and cultural identity. Some last words from Yusuf on the matter:
[T]here is a serious need for a humanistic approach that holistically views the issue as social healing and reconstruction of valued ways of life and institutions cannot be managed by outsiders.
So what is the Howard government doing to ensure this is happening on Aussie soil? ...and what do others think is currently happening???

How can we ensure the safety and security of ALL people to foster wellbeing in individuals and as a community?

1 comment:

Son of immigrant said...

I think Deeq Yusuf's article on the refugees was superb and thought provoking. it holistically addresed the moot points of this particualr resourceful and creative group of our population. Unlike the economic migrants, these forced migrants have been equated with new born infants by developmental psychologist who have to cope with an imposed situation and circumstances beyond their control. it is amazing to see, how despite these unpleasant scenarios they are able to cope with it.
My question is : when will we recognise and address the plight of these people and treat them as equal human beings?
The race card is very irrelevent here, or should we as the aussie, who are themselves descendents of immigrants stop them in the middle of the ocean and punish them there inhumanely. remember, history is a noble judge and as the Buddha said, '' there is no permanent situation''.