Category: Direct Provision

Breaking the Silence: Shocking Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Ireland Demand Urgent Action from NGOs

Breaking the Silence: Shocking Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Ireland Demand Urgent Action from NGOs

Breaking the Silence: Shocking Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Ireland Demand Urgent Action from NGOs

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are often at the forefront of advocating for asylum seekers, refugees, and the Traveller community in Ireland. Most have made significant strides in raising awareness about the mistreatment and injustices that occur in different parts of Ireland. However, there is an issue that has been largely ignored by many asylum advocate NGOs in Ireland, and that is the issue of torture in Direct Provision. Torture is a heinous crime that violates human rights and has devastating consequences for victims.

United Nations Definition of Torture

The United Nations defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person”. Torture is a violation of human rights and a crime under international law. It is a cruel and inhumane practice that has no place in Ireland or any society.

NGOs Must Break Their Silence on the Torturous Practices Authority Officials are Using Against Asylum Seekers in Direct Provision

Despite the unequivocal condemnation of torture by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, authority figures in Ireland continue to use these practices to intimidate certain asylum seekers. Torture is being used by Irish officials to extract information, punish individuals for seeking asylum, and to intimidate populations. It is used as a tool of repression to silence dissent and maintain power.

Breaking the Silence: Shocking Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Ireland Demand Urgent Action from NGOs: Consequences of Torture

The consequences of torture are severe and long-lasting. Victims of torture often suffer from physical and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and serious ill-treatment. Many are left with permanent disabilities, and some even die as a result of their injuries.

NGOs Role in Ending Torture

NGOs in Ireland play a critical role in ending torture. For instance, NGOs have the expertise, resources, and networks to document cases of torture, provide legal assistance to victims, and advocate for changes in policy and practice. Further, NGOs can work with international bodies, such as the Committee Against Torture, to raise awareness about the use of torture and to pressure the Irish governments to take action to end this abhorrent practice.

NGOs Are Being Persuaded by Powerful Authority Figures Not to Act

Irish NGOs have been hesitant to break their silence on the torture that is occurring in Direct Provision because they are being persuaded by powerful authority figures not to act. Torture often occurs in secret, and sometimes, it is difficult to obtain evidence of its use. What is more, officials who are deploying torturous practices in Direct Provision are often repressive and unresponsive to criticism, making it difficult for asylum seekers to speak out and access their rights. Indeed, there is a history in Ireland of intimidating asylum seekers into silence over their poor treatment.

While NGOs may be concerned about the safety of their staff and the impact that speaking out against torture may have on their relationships with governments and other stakeholders in Ireland, one of the primary roles of NGOs is to foster a culture of accountability. In other words, NGOs in Ireland must hold government officials responsible for their actions.

Why Silence on Torture is Not an Option

NGOs must recognize that their silence on torture is not an option. NGOs have a moral obligation to speak out against all forms of human rights abuses, including torture. By remaining silent on torture in Ireland, NGOs are allowing this heinous practice to continue unchecked. Moreover, by failing to speak out against torture, NGOs are failing to fulfill their mandate to promote and protect human rights.

When NGOs speak out against torture, they expose torture and the International Community is more likely to take action to prevent future abuses. NGOs can demand Direct Provision centres follow international human rights standards, such as the Istanbul Protocol, which provides guidelines for the investigation and documentation of torture.

Direct Provision Manager Calls Gardai on Asylum Seeker After Served With Environmental Complaint

Direct Provision Manager Calls Gardai on Asylum Seeker After Served With Environmental Complaint

Direct Provision Manager Calls Gardai on Asylum Seeker After Served With Environmental Complaint.

Breda Keane Shortt, the manager at a Direct Provision centre in Cork, called the Gardai on an asylum seeker after they served her with a complaint for a violation of the Environmental Protection Act 1992, on 06 March 2023.

The Complaint alleges “Despite several attempts to resolve the dispute with Keane Shortt, she failed to take adequate measures to remedy the situation,” which has rendered their space at night “virtually uninhabitable.” When the Complainant made attempts to hand the Complaint to Keane Shortt, she refused. The Complainant then politely asked Keane Shortt’s son, who works at the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, if he would accept service for her on her behalf, and he refused. When this failed, the Complainant gently placed the Complaint on Keane Shortt’s car. Keane Shortt then demanded that security remove the Complaint. When the Complainant removed the Complaint from Keane Shortt’s car, she called the Gardai. She later retaliated against the Complainant—using her authoritative position with International Protection Accommodation Service—to issue them a disciplinary notice.

Direct Provision Manager Calls Gardai on Asylum Seeker After Served With Environmental Complaint. Asylum seekers are afraid of Breda Keane.
Courtesy of the Irish Examiner

Toxic Management at Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre

A group of asylum seekers further allege Keane Shortt’s management style is toxic. A few months ago, asylum seekers gathered together to complain about the lack of parking space at Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, and requested to have a meeting with Keane Shortt. Asylum seekers allege Keane Shortt intercepted the petition and refused to have discussion. Some of those whose names were on the petition were evicted from Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre under mysterious circumstances.

Direct Provision Manager Calls Gardai on Asylum Seeker After Served With Environmental Complaint. Other Asylum Seekers Are Afriad of Keane Shortt’s Toxic Leadership.

I interviewed a group of female asylum seekers who said, “We are afraid of her.” When asked to come forward, they said “We are afraid she will evict us. She has done it to our friends. We have children. We need to keep them safe.” Asylum seekers in the past have alleged that Keane Shortt opened private letters and shared their content with the International Protection Office.

Repatriation through coercive means is a breach of Art. 33 of the Refugee Convention. In MSS v. Belgium and Greece, the Belgian authorities engaged in coercive repatriation efforts to force the applicant back to Greece, where he lived in permanent fear of being attacked and robbed.  The ECtHR found State’s efforts amounted to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The District Court will hear the case on 24 March 2023.

How to Sleep Through Anything in Direct Provision

How to Sleep Through Anything in Direct Provision

Do you have a noisy neighbor? Is a new development being constructed near you? Is there a smoke detector that needs a new battery or, are you dealing with an overloaded circuit breaker? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will give you the secret on how to sleep through anything in direct provision!

Music May Help with PTSD Symptoms

While the circumstances above may prevent an individual for achieving much needed sleep, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related symptoms can prevent sleep as well. According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD “is characterized by three symptomatic clusters: (1) intrusive/re-experiencing symptoms, including flahbacks and nightmares, (2) avoidance symptoms (e.g., avoiding thinking about the event), and (3) hyperarousal symptoms, including insomnia symptoms and hyper-vigilance,” (Jespersen and Vuust, 2012). In the study Jespersen and Vuust (2012) conducted, between 50% and 73% of refugees had a lifetime prevalence of PTSD, compared to 1–2% in the general population. Indeed, Jespersen and Vuust (2012) found that many traumatized refugees experience symptoms consistent with a full PTSD diagnosis. They also discovered that relaxation music might help with PTSD symptoms.

How to Sleep Through Anything in Direct Provision

A few nights ago, I had difficulty falling asleep and nothing seemed to work. Listening to the humming sound of a fan was soothing and usually guided me to the REM phase. However, in my current environment, the fan was of little use and didn’t seem to help much. Then I remembered: music! How could I forget! In 12 Songs that Will Get You Through Anything in 2023, I attached a study from Donald Collins, who found that music could reduce cortisol levels. The study Collins pointed to further showed that adults who listened to both personal and neutral selections of music had significantly “reduced cortisol levels.” To be sure, in The Effect of Relaxation Music Listening on Sleep Quality in Traumatized Refugees: A Pilot Study, researchers found that listening to relaxation music at bedtime distracts the listener from stressful thoughts.

Moreover, Kate Robards found that slow, soothing music lowers the heart rate and relax the body. It also reduces anxiety, stress or, simply distract from stressful thoughts that prevent sleep.

One video that I would recommend to anyone who may be having a difficult time falling asleep is Ryan Crooper’s Sleep Talk Down, Guided Meditation Music – Sleep Faster. Crooper’s video will show you how to sleep through anything in direct provision!

Ireland's Activists Deportations Find Approval in Political Abuse Psychiatry

Ireland’s Activists Deportations Find Approval in Political Abuse Psychiatry

A years long investigation into the intimidation of particular asylum seekers in the direct provision system reveal Ireland’s Activists Deportations Find Approval in Political Abuse Psychiatry.

How We Investigated Ireland’s Activists Deportations Find Approval in Political Abuse Psychiatry

You feel like you’ve found your calling. Whether you received it in a dream; while gazing up at a billboard or, after consulting a high power in prayer—you have chosen this calling to give your life a deeper meaning. A sense of purpose. For many people across the world this calling is: activism. Activists often turn to ideological support—the good of grassroot movements—while standing their ground. Brow-beating, intimidation, profiling and arrests are the bad of activism when one speaks truth to power.  The question of security is undoubtedly the ugly and worrisome slice of politicking, especially when safety cannot be guaranteed. Indeed, the unsettling feeling of not being safe may compel one to flee their country. But will sanctuary find them in the country they land?

“Activism crept its way back up and now I am at it again,” says a confidential source residing in direct provision, who will be referred to as “John Doe.” “Even though I know who they are; I can point to the asylum seekers, no one will listen,” says Doe, who believes its his past social wrongs that have persuaded refugee advocate services and NGOs to ignore his plight. Doe claims authority have used asylum seekers to intimidate and to force him out of the international protection system. “I stand up for myself in protest and I am labelled chaotic. Called paranoid,” says Doe. If this sounds eerily familiar you’re not mistaken.

How Ireland’s Activists Deportations Find Approval in Political Abuse Psychiatry

The Irish Examiner published an article on an American asylum seeker named Thomas Stofiel, who mysteriously died in 2020. Imad, who the Irish Examiner interviewed, alleged that he had spoken to Stofiel. Imad also alleges Stofiel and another American asylum seeker had “the same problem, like mental.”

There is another source in Noel Barker’s article who reinforces the “mental” stereotype about American asylum seekers, “…if you are paranoid about the U.S., you are going to have real fear for your data being used by anyone, anywhere…” says the CEO of a refugee advocate service in Cork. There seems to be a trend, as the International Protection Tribunal archive reveals 2 other cases of American asylum seekers that were alleged to be overly suspicious of the government. Are their suspicions illegitimate or is it something else?

The Protest Psychosis
Courtesy of Journey to the Center

The CEO in the article gratuitously assesses the state of mind of American asylum seekers from afar, rather than exploring a third event that is defensibly the cause. In Torture and Psychiatric Abuse: Definition, Ethics, and Assessment, Ryan C.W. Hall and Richard C.W. Hall states psychiatric abuse may consist of an intentional misdiagnosis to discredit an individual, imprison them or, to cause their unemployment and loss of specific rights. An intentional misdiagnosis may also be to protect others (i.e., individuals in power). This quote appeared in Chapter 9 of Principles and Practice of Forensic Psychiatry (2017, p. 846).

As early as the 1920s, governments have pilloried activism and political demonstrations as—not a rights issue—but a mental health issue. To illustrate this point, one need only refer to Aurora D’Angelo, who participated in a rally in support of Sacco and Vanzetti, and was sent to a mental health facility for psychiatric evaluation.

Jonathan M. Metzl calls this psychiatry abuse “protest psychosis.” In The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease (2011), Metzl draws a connection between the discriminatory perceptions of schizophrenia as a disease prone to Black men and women, and the continued pathologisation of them within systems that relies on language that has been shown to oppress.

Read More: 9 Americans Granted Refugee Status

U.S. officials’ harassment of activists on account of their political views have been widely documented over the years. In the 1950s, declassified documents revealed the FBI diagnosed Malcolm X with “pre-psychotic paranoid schizophrenia,” and “membership of the Communist Party.” Metzl contends in the early 1960s, the same agency diagnosed Robert Williams, the head of the North Carolina NAACP as having two minds—“armed, and dangerous during his flight from trumped-up kidnapping charges.” Doe unequivocally believes psychiatry from afar is being deployed in direct provision by “those in power” to undermine the claims of individuals fleeing countries Ireland perceives as safe.

Abuse of Psychiatry
Courtesy of Journey to the Center

A question often raised among proponents and dissidents in international refugee law is: who can be considered a refugee? Refugees with a nationality are defined by the UNHCR as a “person who is outside the country because they have—or had—a well-founded fear of persecution by reason of her race, political opinion, nationality or religion.” The individual may also be unable to avail themselves of the protection of the government because of fear. From examining the UNHCR’s definition, it appears that any person, including someone from a democracy can become a refugee.

The Eradication of the Principle of Confidentiality

When countries acquire information on an applicant’s country of origin, they are bound by the principle of confidentiality. In other words, they cannot disclose information regarding the applicant to the actors of persecution or serious harm. Yet, Doe believes officials are using a combination of its diplomatic relations and the protest psychosis to undermine his asylum claim. “Look at what they did to Edward Snowden,” says Doe.

Snowden applied for political asylum in 21 countries and asserted the U.S. administration and President Joe Biden had pressured governments to refuse his asylum petitions. Biden had also telephoned President Rafael Correa days prior to Snowden’s remarks, asking the Ecuadorian leader not to grant him asylum. France, Poland, Brazil, Germany and India were countries that also rejected Snowden’s application outright. The influence countries like the U.S. wields in the international arena underpins the position that Ireland is likely allowing its diplomatic relations to influence how it decides cases from applicants who have fled western countries.

How the Protest Psychosis is Being Used in Ireland to Undermine Asylum Claims

Doe reaffirms the susceptible followers of this protest psychosis are “asylum seekers” and that each can “be identified.” Art Padilla, the author of Leadership: Leaders, Followers, and Environments (2012), echoes the sentiment that susceptible followers either acquiesce without resistance or align themselves with toxic leaders.

From reviewing Doe’s statements and observations, the protest psychosis is clearly a strategy to intimidate asylum seekers who have fled democracies into “abandoning our asylum claim and voluntarily returning home,” says Doe confidently. Asylum seekers who are poor, worried, and living in fear of deportation seem to be much easier for authority to control and manipulate into undertaking its political abuse of psychiatry. Indeed, the fear of deportation is a persuasive and logical reason, as it explains how asylum seekers help toxic leaders establish the protest psychosis of those applicants Ireland wishes to reject.

When Protest Psychosis Conformers Turn Into Colluders

Doe further asserts “refugee advocate services” conform to the protest psychosis by remaining non-active. If the refugee agency confronts the wrongs happening to asylum applicants, as in Doe’s case, the toxic leaders are likely to withhold funding from the NGO.

Impressionable conformers, as stated by Padilla, may become colluders when they internalize a toxic leader’s vision by committing to their destructive enterprise. This is accomplished when NGOs assist toxic leaders in violating international refugee law. Financial incentives are another reason why NGOs may collude with destructive leaders in violating its positive and negative obligations under international law.

It is believed the asylum seekers who were—and may still be—involved in the implementation of the protest-psychosis-like scheme allegedly contributed to Stofiel’s death by engaging in these exploitative relations. “No one without power can do what they have done. Their support and encouragement are to advance their personal agendas,” says Doe.

It cannot be denied that NGOs, solicitors, media organisations and asylum seekers have beliefs consistent with the idea that individuals from democratic regimes have no legitimate reason for claiming asylum. This leads one to believe these conformers are assisting toxic leaders in diagnosing particular asylum seekers without an official psychiatric evaluation. When asked, “Who did you tell about this?” Doe said, “Everyone. They just said I’m paranoid.”

The overly suspicious phenomenon raises a broader question as to whether the International Protection Office or a country’s diplomatic servants, are appointing psychiatrists to unethically diagnose particular asylum seekers in direct provision for their justified remonstrances.

Martha Beall Mitchell, the wife of U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, experienced the political abuse of psychiatry first hand. In the 1970s, a practitioner diagnosed Mitchell with a paranoid mental disorder after she claimed that the administration of President Richard M. Nixon was engaged in illegal activities. The “Martha Mitchell effect” was coined to describe mental health misdiagnoses when accurate claims are dismissed as delusional. Indeed, many of her claims were later proved correct.

Evidence further indicates an overemphasis of psychotic symptoms in marginalised groups, especially Black Americans, as compared with other racial or ethnic groups. This was revealed in a study that looked at 599 Blacks and 1,058 non-Latino whites. Clinicians failed to effectively weigh mood symptoms when diagnosing schizophrenia among Black Americans, suggesting that racial bias, whether conscious or subconscious, is one factor in the diagnosis of schizophrenia in this population. The study also supports extensive previous research done by Stephen Strakowski of Dell Medical School on how overemphasis of psychotic symptoms in Blacks can contribute to misdiagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, it is unethical to diagnose an individual from afar. The Goldwater Rule is a statement of ethics that enjoins psychiatrists from professionally diagnosing someone they have not personally evaluated. If the Goldwater Rule proscribes psychiatrists from diagnosing someone they have not personally evaluated, then it stands to reason that asylum seekers, who have no medical license, have no epistemic footing when it comes to psychiatric diagnoses.  Principle 3 of the Psychology Association of Ireland further states “psychologists are required to act in a trustworthy, reputable, and accountable manner towards clients and the community. They shall avoid doing harm to clients and research participants, and act to prevent harm caused by others. They shall ensure that those whom they supervise act ethically.”

A Freedom of Information request was emailed to the International Protection Office in September 2022. It gave no response. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland also issued no statement.

Comments regarding Ireland’s Activists Deportations Find Approval in Political Abuse Psychiatry should be addressed here.

The Ugly Truth Behind My Direct Provision Research Paper

The Ugly Truth Behind My Direct Provision Research Paper

Misogyny. Self-Preservation. A Whirlwind Romance. What Asylum Advocates Refuse to Accept

Look at what she did! She is a big problem! Are you seeing this! Get her out! If you took a glance at Dominant Woman: The Effects of Masculine Energy on Male Romantic Partners, you might utter these statements too. One can only imagine what the asylum seekers at Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, who appropriated this preliminary investigation from my computer, voiced to a legion of refugee advocate services and politicians in Ireland to fit their narrative. Most asylum advocates do not understand that there is an ugly truth behind my direct provision research paper. This paper tells you what. It also answers why.

Before I delve into the idea behind Dominant Woman, and how it led to Out of the Miqlaatun into the Fire: the Shariazation of Ireland’s Direct Provision Institution and its Impact on Transgender Asylum Seekers, I need to issue a disclaimer. I am not on the left, nor am I on the right. Further, this article is not intended to incite violence against immigrant men, nor is this a call-to-action to anti-immigrant groups to mete out hate against any immigrant men in direct provision, as I explicitly condemn the use of hate and violence to remedy any issue.

Next, it is expected that my opponents will, either now, or sometime in the future, circulate images of my having a conversation with pro-Irish advocates a few weeks ago. They may even spin that conversation into a macabre encounter. However, much respect is given to the pro-Irish men who challenged me on my worldview, articulated their perspective, and did not make outlandish assumptions about who I really am (at least, not to my face), and vice versa.

Why Dominant Woman Happened – The Ugly Truth Behind My Direct Provision Research Paper

Dominant woman happened because there was abusive behaviour against women and LGBT asylum seekers when I arrived at the Balseskin Reception Centre (“BRC”). BRC, in the earlier stages, was like being inside the Big Brother house. It was coed and communal living, which is quite different from residing in a shelter or an apartment. Indeed, if one wink twice, direct provision could have been mistaken for a college dormitory. I had never lived on one. Thus, my intention was to remove the gravity and distress out of the experience by treating it as a dormitory. But this would change after I found myself constantly being mistreated for being too altruistic. Indeed, I was pathologically altruistic. This is not an indication that I am infallible, or that I have never made mistakes. Indeed, I uploaded a list of foolish things I have done in my life. Nonetheless, this is a true reflection of what I observed happening while living in that particular centre.

As I discuss in my research paper, asylum seekers in Direct Provision are thought to share a common immigrational and parallel experience. From this detail, it could be said that members of the LGBT community enter Direct Provision under the blind assumption that it is an environment where one can create an empirical bond with the community. Even more so for persecuted members of the community. It first appeared as if one could create an empirical bond there. For instance, male asylum seekers would approach me and asked me to teach them English. But I soon learned this was a code name for sex. It cannot be denied that the need for closeness and sexual intimacy is a naturalistic need of human existence. However, when men in direct provision feign to befriend you, feign to accept you, and feign to love women and LGBT persons in order to extort money, obtain a Refugee Declaration (which often happens), and gain absolute power, this undoubtedly led to the ugly truth behind my direct provision research paper.

My opponents will argue that I have a checkered past, never been honest about who ‘they believe I really am’, and that I have taken shortcuts in my personal life that go beyond what is unethical and immoral. Indeed, the same argument can be shifted back to them:

1. Many men in direct provision do not tell women or LGBT individuals they are married. While infidelity happens all the time (not pot calling the kettle black here), men cannot hide this vital detail and cry foul when others do the same.

2. Many men in direct provision use the LGBT ground to gain asylum when they are not LGBT, and

3. Some, not all, cannot be identified because some come from third-world countries that do not have comprehensive database.

On reflection, it seems more accurate to say that no one in direct provision should point the finger at someone for unethical or immoral behaviour. The truth of the matter is that I tried to enter direct provision with an open mind and to see the good in everyone. However, it was clear most male asylum seekers did not. In reality, many still do not. For instance, those that I protect in my research were often called a Bit**! Slu*! Wh***!” I speak from first-hand knowledge. It happened to a Canadian female asylum seeker who had to post a sign on her door that instructed, “No S**! No Marriage!” The mistreatment became so uncomfortable that I donned a hijab just to gain some respect. A Palestinian woman, “Siba”, who tried to free herself from the hijab at Balseskin was coerced back into it after being called a b*t!h. Moreover, my Pakistani comrade, “Mithra,” also put their gender expression back on the top shelf out of the fear of being policed on moral grounds. What also brought me to the ground is when I watched, with my own eyes, my Nigerian friend, “Memory”, fall into a s** scam. Watched her fragment into pieces. An email is welcomed from any NGO, organisation or politician who thinks any of the victims mentioned here are a figment of the imagination. A discussion with all the victims at the table is also welcomed. I was too protective of Siba, Mithra, and Memory.

The most interesting thing about Out of the Miqlaatun into the Fire is not one person asked me why? They had every opportunity. For example, I posted a debate on the community board at Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre welcoming any asylum seeker to a respectful debate of their choosing. No one accepted the offer. Not once. Refugee advocate services and other organisations had space to ask why, but declined to, as they had already made up their mind. Look at what she did! She is a big problem! Are you seeing this! Get her out!

Not once did any of these organisations, including organisations of my own ethnicity ask the question: why? What is the reason behind your behaviour? The asylum seekers who stole the paper had a template in front of them. A critical view of the template clearly showed it was incomplete. So why didn’t anyone ask: why? Maybe these organisations felt they would have gotten a dishonest answer in return. Or, they didn’t want to hear the truth—what so many people have been saying for years. Hearing it come from me, someone who has been branded with the Scarlett letter sounded unbelievable. Or, it sounded too believable and was too real to consider. The answer to why is: a role of dominance had been thrusted upon us for so long by men in direct provision. The why was to feel safe again. The why, initially of course, was to wear the skin of men. The why was so that dominance would feel familiar to men. That is why. Bit*h, wh*re, sl*t was born out of submissiveness. Submission in direct provision could break you. It definitely broke me. To be sure, in 2019, The Journal published a story about Aisha, a woman living in direct provision, who was repeatedly harassed and propositioned by other asylum-seekers. So, why didn’t men in direct provision have to carry this baby to term? At least, for once?

Instead of asking why, authority figures condoned a community placing me on an island. It also condoned the taking of my personal property, the ostracism, the harassment, the uploading my personal information to the internet, the making me feel like the devil, the fake friendships, and the disingenuous relationships that would go to undermine my full potential. It was all condoned. I cannot help but wonder if it was being done to protect a Middle Eastern man at BRC, who seemed to gain nearly 1,000 protectors in the flesh. As he told me once before, most people will believe him over me because he comes from a war-torn country. Today, his words remain true.

The Middle Eastern man would eventually ask me for my number. My initial response was “no.” But I knew what my friends would say, “live a little! Don’t be too up tight! Have fun! You only live once!” You have one life. Just one life. So, I gave the Middle Eastern man my number. He was reserved and knew very little English. Our mode of communication was via Google translate. After he discovered MASI was donating computers to asylum seekers, I wrote a letter on his behalf so that he could communicate with his family.

During one of our conversations, he disclosed to me that he cheated on previous partners. Although he was inconsistent at times, enjoyed being first—always—played cat-and-mouse games, played hard-to-get, was non-committal, and had a superficial view towards women, I had a lot of respect for him. It was after he disclosed that he cheated on women to me. He showed me a glimpse of the truth through the sliver of his conceitedness. Most men wouldn’t have admitted to being a cheater. Here was some truth. It meant something to me, even if it meant little to anyone else. Over the weeks the Middle Eastern man created an environment of uncertainty. So, in return, I created an environment of uncertainty too. I had this grand idea of unfairly accusing him of having sexual intercourse, whether I had the evidence or not. Indeed, several of the men in direct provision, including him, had unfairly accused women of being who*es and sl*ts based on what they wore, whether they had the evidence or not. In hindsight, such an accusation would have given him an ego boost. It was a grant of power. So, I gave him power in the submissive phase. When he pulled back, I pulled back. I ignored him when I saw him in the courtyard on the withdrawal phase. Whether anyone wants to believe it or not, this is the ugly truth behind my direct provision research paper. This prompted a text with an apology, “and remember that you are the first friend.” He was negotiating his way around my firewalls. He was decoding me. He had torn down the barriers I had tried to build through the Dominant Woman. The fact that he saw me as a friend struck a chord. It was at this very moment I made the decision to disclose Dominant Woman to him. Then, I disclosed it to the others.

The Middle Eastern man and I would eventually transfer to different accommodation centres, which left me heartbroken. I did my best to avoid him on the day of transfer, so as to keep from crying. It was happening again, another separation. However, what the asylum seekers at Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, and their powerful contacts continue to conceal is: I truly loved the Middle Eastern man. I had loved others before him. I even had love for a security guard, ‘Maurice O’Sullivan,’ at the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre who I had little in common with but mindfulness. This wasn’t romantic love. It was based on friendship and mutual interest. Nonetheless, I needed to remember to “Love yourself.” In order to end the pain, I must “love myself.” Indeed, a wise asylum seeker instructed me to “put all your love in yourself.” That was the most profound advice anyone has ever given me in my life. It cannot be denied that I lived a pretty questionable life. But when I love someone, I love them. Now, I had to love myself.

Referring back to the Middle Eastern man: I got a call in 2021. The Middle Eastern man said that he really missed me. He asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend and, if I wanted to move in with him. I didn’t hesitate. It was like a marriage proposal. “Yes!” I told him. In the background, logical people cautioned, “you’re moving too fast!” They also said, “shouldn’t you know more about him before you move in with him?” But, you only live once! I had always wanted to live a domesticated life and the Middle Eastern man was giving me that opportunity. Carpe diem!

The Middle Eastern man had attempted to move on his own to Dublin, but the International Protection Accommodation Service (“IPAS”) declined his transfer. He then asked if I could get us moved. He knew I had a bit of experience in technical writing, as it was my technical writing that resulted in his laptop. So, I corresponded with IPAS, on several occasions, until they relocated us. IPAS eventually moved us together.

After 30 days, we both petitioned IPAS to move to different centres due to serious irreconcilable differences in the home, what everyone knew would happen. The Middle Eastern man and I included. Maybe it was all part of their plan. At any rate, he and I both made some dumb mistakes. However, I am the only one with 1,000+ people planning my demise and seeing to it that I fail. We cannot deny that a why could have been the key that answered so many questions. However, I do not believe my actions warranted placing me on an island, gaslighting me, stealing my USB, stealing my personal post, engaging in continued harassment, the uploading my personal information to the internet, the making me feel like the devil, the fake friendships and relationships that evaporated in a sky of disingenuity, or the treating me like a non-human being by organisations that could not muster the word why. That’s the ugly truth behind my direct provision research paper.

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