Brexit has damaged my mental health
By Sam Haung.
I would like to tell a bit about myself at the time when we are in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, Ukraine-Russia conflict, post-pandemic, and the low-morale amongst humans across all age categories. My name is Sam. I was originally from Taiwan 45 years ago. I have lived in 4 different countries in my life time: Taiwan, US, UK and Denmark. The UK has particularly shaped me for who I am now. I came to the UK because I felt the education system was much better than in my own country.
My mother died some 31 years ago in Taiwan. It was not a good start to my teenage life.
I started my new life in the UK by attending a boarding school in Cambridge back in September 1995. It was not an easy start, as my spoken English contained a heavy North American accent. But, I really made many British friends at school in the first year. I had managed to get the “gist” of the various aspects of “Britishness”: Fish-and-Chips, Snooker, Football, Rugby, Tennis, TV programmes (They Think It Is All Over is one, Absolutely Fabulous etc.), the “posh” accents, jokes etc. I gradually acquired more British friends as the years went on.
After Cambridge, I went to three different British universities to study undergraduate and postgraduate degrees (Staffordshire, Bradford and Leeds). I had also been through a broken engagement, changing jobs, and the acceptance of this country for me being a new British citizen 15 years ago.
I must admit, I did not know very much about the European Union until after I used my UK passport travelling freely in the first 4-6 years. That was why I ended up living in Denmark for 11 months. I met my ex-wife back in 2012 and she was from Denmark. We met online first and then for real at Leeds Train Station. I miss 2012. That year, Britain was hosting the Olympics and Paralympics. Despite the state of the country’s politics was divisive back then (more divisive now!), Britain was still enjoying an important and a respectable status in European and global politics. We had two children together. However, the 2016 Referendum result had changed all that for the worst. On top of that, my two children were diagnosed with slow learning developments in Denmark. I got depressed. I thought I could have a family of my own on both sides of the North Sea. Now, I have to worry about everything. And, I have lost almost everything, including the future with my family, either here in the UK, or in Denmark, or both. I thought that Britain could provide me a stable life. I was wrong.
Now I have to worry about the future of Europe, as well as the tensions between Taiwan and China, as well as worrying about the future of my two children.
To sum up, due to the result of the 2016 EU referendum, Brexit has taken away the opportunity to establish a stable family in both the UK and Denmark as my freedom of movement is under threat and I find that I am a ‘Citizen of Nowhere’ to quote Theresa May.
All my hopes and dreams are gone now. We must rejoin our European neighbours.
Brexit has damaged my mental health. I am still suffering from it.