This has forced me to become extremely sensitive to any form of discrimination a fact that has taught me to keep hiding for the sake of protecting both myself and my family. Our likes are always the target and speaking up openly can easily earn you a jail sentence.
I have always tried to develop new mechanisms to survive in these conditions. As it is from my introduction, I try to understand myself deeply, seek advice from my clinical supervisor to fetch facts that would help define me in this situation. My personal defense mechanism was to stay passive in the whole, which on the other hand was more emotionally overwhelming. I was greatly affected by the unfairness of the situation and perpetually assumed that it could not happen with American students. Even though I trust my clinical supervisor, I could not have enough courage to open up to him despite the fact that I felt it was the most professional thing to do. I think this is partly due to the accumulated fear from my past memories as speaking freely of the injustices of the system was also a crime. Growing up in a discriminated minority group, I had convinced myself that it is quite unwise to challenge persons with more power than I have.
To overcome this I have to consistently do things that are right, but I have to struggle as they still seem odd to my conscience. It is also my duty to protect both my family and my community and had learned that speaking openly could risk their lives and I have thereby tried to avoid it.
This discriminatory experience has influenced a broader part of my life. For instance, it has influenced me both as a therapist and a clinical supervisor. As a mental health professional, I am most inclined to avoid speaking with my clients on religious topics just in case they held different beliefs from mine. I may be forced to shift some of what would have been rightfully my responsibility to the religious authorities.