"Until March 5, I went to work every day.

The son was at home with his husband at that time.

On March 4, a powerful explosion occurred near our house - a rocket fell in the neighboring yard.

And on the same day, our hospital announced the evacuation of women and children to Lviv.

We consulted with my husband and decided that, first of all, we need to think about the safety of our son.

He told me: "I will not forgive myself if I do not save you here."

The husband has sick elderly parents who could not be taken out, so he stayed to take care of them in Kyiv." 

From Lviv, Tetyana and Artem went to Lublin, where they stayed with friends for two weeks, and then left for Italy.

"I saw that the situation in Kyiv was getting worse then, and I didn't understand how much longer it would last.

I only felt that I needed to move to a place where there would be job prospects.

Italy was attracted by the fact that this country then invited medical personnel to the positions that we held in Ukraine.

The only condition is knowledge of the language at level B, i.e. intermediate," says Tetyana. 

In the end, the Ukrainian family ended up in a small town near Turin.

They were welcomed very hospitably and provided with everything they needed.

And already in a week they gave a separate comfortable social apartment. 

Learning at language courses.

Photo from Tatyana's family archive

"They bought us all the things we needed," Tatyana recalls.

- The social service placed the child in school.

Artem also attended language courses, the school itself paid for the translator.

I was immediately offered intensive Italian courses for two and a half months, a clinic was found, which was later ready to hire me in my specialty." 

Tatyana went to courses, and Artem made a lot of friends and adapted well - he even participated in athletics competitions.

At first glance, life in a foreign country turned out quite well. 

"Migrants from Ukraine, in comparison with others, are characterized by very high adaptability," says Vitaly Shmorgun, professor of the Department of Psychology of the Ukrainian National University of Science and Technology.

- They integrate into society faster, find work, communicate well with local residents.

Ukrainians who found themselves abroad are distinguished by a high level of intelligence, awareness and understanding, many of them have higher education." 

However, Tatiana felt out of place in Italy, because her emigration was not a dream choice, but a compulsion. 

"Despite the excellent living conditions, nice people around, beautiful nature, I could not stay there.

There were good reasons for this: husband and work.

We have a friendly family, and such a long separation from my husband was unbearable for both me and my son.

I thought all the time how lonely and scary the man was.

I was constantly following events on social networks and even called him to inform him of the air alert, can you imagine?

And he laughed at me: "Of course, in Italy they know better when we are bombed!"

- recalls Tatiana.

Tatyana realized that her safety and peace is not the absence of air worries and good living conditions, but being close to her beloved husband in her native Kyiv.

The woman realized that she could not feel the desired closeness at a distance. 

"Today there are two categories of families that are separated.

The first - in which men fight.

Here the situation is more transparent, since many soldiers approve of the family staying abroad.

This gives them a sense of confidence in the safety of their relatives and helps them concentrate on military tasks.

Another situation is when a man is not a military man.

In such families, a long separation can lead to a break: communication is lost, social ties are broken, and attachment decreases," Vitaly explains. 

"If you put family and work on one side of the scales, and moving to Italy and starting over on the other, there can't even be any questions here.

Family always comes first.

Work is also important to me.

I have worked for many years, I have my authority, my achievements.

Yes, in Italy I could go to work in my specialty after finishing the courses.

But all the same, I would have to start from scratch," says Tatyana. 

A few months after the start of the war, Ukrainians seeking safety abroad began to realize that when they fled, they were making a choice between life and death.

But later, when the feeling of security gradually returned, we began to notice what we had lost - friends and relatives, the usual rhythm of life, social status. 

"The need for self-expression is not going anywhere.

Even in extreme conditions, a person wants to be heard and realized.

This is not always possible: the lack of knowledge of the language and established social ties affect the style, strategy and features of life of our people abroad.

In addition, not everyone is able to start with a clean slate: there are certain age and individual factors that cannot be ignored," Vitaliy assures. 

In the meantime, the situation in Kyiv became more or less stable: the enemies were driven away from the capital, and the number of shellings significantly decreased.

"Just five days before the end of the Italian courses, I received a call from my clinic in Kyiv and warned that all employees who decided to stay abroad will be fired, because the clinic must work at full capacity.

It was the last straw in making a long overdue decision - I want to return home.

Thank God that we had a place to return to!

Our house was not damaged," Tatyana recalls how she made her choice. 

"According to the data of various social surveys, the number of our displaced people in the world is from 10 to 14 million people.

A certain category of them are those who lost their homes.

Another category is people who had a traumatic experience during the war: lost loved ones, witnessed terrible scenes.

Many people lost their jobs, and emigration became the only possibility for them to ensure their basic standard of living.

The probability of the return of such families depends on the peculiarities of adaptation in another country and socialization," Vitaly sums up. 

Many Ukrainians, such as Tetyana's family, have already returned home.

The choice between "survive and die" has been replaced by the choice of "where am I actually better off."

In a certain way, we got used to life in war conditions.

However, massive rocket attacks, blackouts, anxiety about the cold winter for many again exacerbated the sense of danger. 

"Until October 10, that is, before the massive rocket attacks, we had a fairly settled life.

Artem went to school on mixed education, my husband and I worked.

Now it became scary.

Let's say, on New Year's, Iranian drones were shot down right under our windows.

We are worried about ourselves and our son, but still there are no thoughts about moving.

It would be a serious shock for both me and the child.

Despite all the threats, we made a clear decision: to stay at home and stay together as a family in the conditions that exist," Tetyana chooses. 

So how to make a choice, if there is such uncertainty around?

And is it possible to stabilize your life when there is a war in the country? 

"The situation of stressful waiting in which Ukrainians found themselves both abroad and in the Motherland is very painful.

It can only be endured.

Do not dream, do not philosophize, but learn to achieve the nearest goal.

You should not plan for six months or a year - plan for a day.

Plan one or two things.

But try to bring them to the end - this is important, because each completed task gives us energy, and each unfinished one takes it away.

Be sure to choose a form of rest to restore your body and mind.

For some, activity is suitable - sports, walks, and for others - sleep.

Parents benefit from activities with their children, for example, learning lessons: when you see a concrete result, you feel that the process is under control," Vitaly advises. 

If you look back 11 months, you can see what a long and difficult path each of us has already overcome.

And how many choices we have already made to continue living. 

"In February, we were all in shock," Tatyana recalls.

- Then there was chaos, it was cold in the shelter, we did not know what to do and where to run.

Now we have heating, a children's room, and everything necessary in the shelter.

And we are not scared anymore.

We are used to it.

We know what to do.

The children have grown up a lot this year - by five years.

And now they are not so afraid of these explosions, they know how to act: they took their backpacks and went to the bomb shelter in an organized manner.

And although the external circumstances have not changed - there is a war, flying, explosions are heard - we ourselves have changed." 

"People began to acutely feel their own identity.

New concepts, ideals, and knowledge are formed.

Many people have realized that they are Ukrainians, and moral principles come first, - psychologist Vitaly Shmorgun shares his observations.

- In anticipation of the Victory, we really need faith and optimism.

You can stabilize your internal state by filling the time space with the necessary things as much as possible so that there is no time for destructive thoughts.

Then our internal resources will not be depleted, but will help us to live on," Vitaly assures.