Lisa Harnum felt like she hadn't accomplished much in her life.
But the 30-year-old Canadian held on to her life-long dream of becoming an Australian permanent resident.
Only days before she was allegedly thrown off the 15th-floor balcony of a Sydney apartment by her fiance Simon Gittany, she had told her counsellor Michelle Richmond how she desperately wanted to stay in Australia.
But Gittany, who is on trial for her murder, would tell her he would have her deported each time she tried to leave.
Ms Richmond told the NSW Supreme Court trial Ms Harnum was blackmailed, controlled and under heavy surveillance in the relationship.
Ms Richmond said Gittany had one of his friends handle her immigration papers and when she tried to leave him, he told her he could get her deported immediately.
"He told her that she would leave with nothing, not even her underwear," Ms Richmond said.
Ms Richmond said the former ballerina suffered from bulimia, was too afraid to tell her fiance about it and would pretend she had food intolerances when the couple dined out together.
"She felt like she was the shell of her previous self," she said.
"She said the bulimia gave her some sense of self and some sense of feeling.
"She said that Simon said that she would be nothing without him."
Ms Harnum didn't know what her fiance did for a living or where he went when he went out, the court heard.
When Gittany found out Ms Richmond was helping her to leave the relationship two days before her death, he called her up and delivered a "monologue of abuse", threatened to harm her and told her to stay away from Ms Harnum.
Gittany is accused to throwing Ms Harnum off the 15th-floor balcony of The Hyde apartment block on Liverpool Street in central Sydney.
He has denied the murder, saying she climbed onto the balcony railing and he was unable to save her.
Psychologist Helen Sharwood saw Ms Harnum six months before her death.
Ms Sharwood said the former hairdresser was not suicidal but "felt like she was losing herself" after Gittany discouraged her from working, wouldn't let her wear heels to the shops and told her what to wear.
Ms Sharwood said after the tearful session, she offered to see Ms Harnum for free if she couldn't afford the fee.
But she never saw her again.
Gittany, who is on bail, has been supported through the judge-alone trial by his new girlfriend, his parents and siblings.The trial continues on Thursday.