Honestly I thought I’m not going to write anything more on this blog after my sort-of-final post just before my departure from Bologna. But now I feel that I really need to communicate something connected to the EVS experience and this is the right place to do so.
So, I have already mentioned that no one can prepare you for your EVS. Everywhere it’s different and you’ll get a different experience depending on the country you go to, the culture, the people you’ll work and go out with. This is obvious. Every EVS volunteer will tell you that and you’ll find this observation on their blogs. But what no one says out loud is that what you REALLY don’t expect is the PTSD (or should I rather say TSD, since the trauma is happening now and not before) you’ll get after coming back from an EVS.
Now, I don’t want to speak generally, because everyone is different and we all came from various backgrounds, had various reasons for doing the EVS, so I’ll just tell you how I feel now, after being back since already a month. It’s awful and terrifying, that’s how it is for me now. I feel terribly confused and lost, I have no idea what to do with myself. Like a fish out of water I have been deprived of an environment and life I need, of a place where I felt happy and fulfilled. Now I just simply don’t know how to go on. I don’t know how to find myself in the new-old reality which is my hometown, where I no longer belong.
I have moments in which I truly HATE relating to my countrymen and speaking in my mothertongue. And then I hate myself for this.
These are all things you will never be prepared for. This feeling of being empty inside, cause all your “contents” have been left somewhere else. This consciousness that you’re no longer a citizen of just one country.
The EVS has been such a great experience for me and Bologna has become my city just as much as the one I have been raised up in. Some of my fellow volunteers have found (or are still trying to find) a way to stay in Italy after their projects. I now deeply regret I haven’t tried harder to do the same.
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*You have been warned.