‘I live in a hostile environment’.
Over the last year, many EU citizens in the UK have said that. So many times.
Harassment? Bullying? Legal uncertainty? Lack of empathy?
Being made into the ‘other’, being publicly vilified, demonized? Encountering obstacle after obstacle, so that life becomes a misery?
Like many other EU citizens, I have encountered all these.
But until a few days ago I thought that maybe it was just a personal perception.
Maybe it’s just because I’m not strong enough. Maybe it’s it because I can’t cope? Do I see a conspiracy where there is only an accidental collision of events? Are the nasty people, the acts of discrimination just unfortunate side effects?
Or do I perceive this all as ‘catastrophic’ because of my history as the survivor of a very difficult childhood? I’ve worked all my life on getting rid of what therapists call my faulty perception, the perception that the world is a hostile environment, because my childhood world was.
So am I sliding back in my recovery, perhaps through the reawakened anxiety that comes from not knowing my fate and future? Can London, the place I loved and felt at home in, really have become a hostile environment for the likes of me?
But a few days ago I had a brutal eye opener.
I am shocked.
Because the answer, in short is yes. It’s not my individual perception.
The hostile environment is real.
It is no accident. It was deliberately created by the UK government. The evidence is there, out in the open. They are in fact quite proud of it.
The EU citizen experience after the Brexit referendum has been an eye opener. A whole series of eye openers, in fact. Eye openers like bottle openers, sharp and painful. Leaving ragged wounds. Injuries that won’t heal.
But a few days ago, following various frightening twitter threads, I stumbled upon an article that suddenly explained the source of a lot of our suffering, the hostile environment. Or, rather, the Hostile Environment — because that’s its official government name.
To be honest, this is more than an eye opener. It’s like eye surgery with a bread knife that pierces the nerve right into the brain. Making my vision sharper, but my heart very heavy.
Here it is, the knife sharp moment:
Moriarty, the ‘Napoleon of Crime’, is no longer satisfied with private enterprise. In the summer of 1915, he finds an opportunity to expand his business through a secret collaboration with ‘The Other Mr M’ by investing the profits of his criminal empire into financing the war. Both sides of the war. Together, Moriarty and the […] Continue reading
Excerpt: Merry Making “You better watch out, you better not cry,” sang the voice. We could hear it from far away, and, thankful as we were for the advance warning, hurriedly hiding our just-bitten-into sandwiches under a stack of project papers, we also could not help wincing. It was a learned response, triggered by frequent […] Continue reading
‘The Virgin Mary had more lines but I had the better costume.’ After the Christmas play was announced, I had been dreaming all autumn of the Virgin Mary and the essence of femininity that I knew the role possessed if I could only get it. No longer would I have to pull on pants, hide […] Continue reading
Published on 13 November 2016 by NoiseMedium. The Elephant’s Cousin Your elephant is waiting, your bride shivers in the tropical heat, but all you want to do is run away from your own wedding… Another elegant and deceptively simple story from Nyla Nox about the unfathomable depths of the human condition. Introducing the incredible Elephant’s […] Continue reading
Are we the living dead in the lost world of Little London? The hidden community of graphics workers in London’s investment banks faces an uncertain post-Brexit future Who were we, sitting in big iron chairs high over the city of London, working through the night to illustrate the bank’s vision while others slept? A hidden […] Continue reading
The light is fading fast, and I don’t know if there will be a morning for me. I only know that I was the one who chose this path. Every step I took through our illustrious city, I took for you, my Lady, from the first to the last. Although I may die as a […] Continue reading
Heart of the Desert by Nyla Nox Excerpt: This is your route to the castle of The Queen: You start on your path, any path, as long as it leads away from home, and you keep going, and then you come to the heart of the desert. It is easy to find. Ordinary routes don’t […] Continue reading
‘Sit up!’ Claire said. Her voice was not especially loud, at least not by Claire’s standards. But then her mouth was right next Vera’s ear. Vera already sat bolt straight. Any more, and she would have achieved vertical take-off. ‘Show me your project’, Claire continued. Vera was shaking as she tried to put the papers […] Continue reading
Excerpt from this very popular article: 11:15 PM I’m on the underground to central London. To others, it’s Friday night – time to roll out in limos and go to the best clubs. To me, it’s the start of another working day at the Big Bank. 11:30 PM I arrive at Leicester Square, and a […] Continue reading
The Green Shadow by Nyla Nox Excerpt: My mother said the green one was a shadow. And for my mother, perhaps, she was. My grandmother turned her head, just slightly, under the speckled vines. When I looked again I saw nothing. But how could she be just a shadow? I saw her in the water, […] Continue reading