I feel Trapped

Old Apr 2nd 2009, 7:40 am
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Default I feel Trapped

Hi I haven't posted before but have read many posts on this forum and you have helped me cope with the homesickness. I have been in melbourne for 18 months now and have felt unsettled for most of the time. It is the usual story my husband loves it and my 3 children are too young to really have an opnion on matters. He initially agreed to go back to the UK if I could not settle, but has now told me there is no way he is going back to live and thinks we would be making a huge mistake. I am now stuck with no money and don't really want to have to take the children home without their dad. I did have a job but gave it up because I could not juggle children and work with no childcare or support due to a growing population in the area we live in and not enough affordable childcare places. My husband is away from 6 in the morning to 7 at night and we never see him he is having a great time while i continue with the mundane day to day and childrens after school sports etc.. sorry this all sounds muddled but I feel that I have thought about so much and I feel so lonley as all my other english friends all "love" it out here and don't understand why I can't settle.
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Old Apr 2nd 2009, 8:23 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

{{{hugs}}} It's a bugger isnt it?

Your Dh sounds like many we have met on here - chances are he wouldnt let you go back anyway because once the kids are in Aus he can just say that he doesnt want them to go and you are definitely stuck here until they are old enough to make up their own minds.

Unfortunately the only solution is to get out of the house and do stuff and mix with other people in the community. Could you get any sort of commitment for him to be home early on one evening at least so you could do a course perhaps or maybe an evening job like stacking shelves for pocket money (ah, freedom and independence!!!)? Are there any playgroups in your area where you could at least get to meet other mums or if your kids are school age, have you tried volunteering at school? Maybe you could check out a course at the TAFE because they often have childcare for students. If you can get yourself free for an hour or two there are loads of opportunities for volunteering eg SES, Lifeline, St Vinnies etc

Alternatively you could call his bluff, rope in all the resources of your family and friends and tell him you are going (see proviso above about him letting his family go) and see if he follows.

If you do decide you have to stay and live with it, then you could visit your doctor and check to see whether you may be clinically depressed - even if you are borderline, they may be able to allocate you some sessions with a CBT psych who might be able to give you the tips and strategies for making your life liveable because it is possible to live your life in a place you loathe if the people you love are in it. I can also recommend a book called The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris if you want a bit of self help with the issue.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 2nd 2009, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

How sad. It must be hard when a partner doesn't want the same thing that you do. I know what it's like being on your own all the time. I'm in the same situation. My children are at school but my husband now has to go away for 3 to 4 days at time with his job. It wasn't supposed to be this way but because his company don't have any new work coming in he is being sent all over the place to work. I haven't seen him since Sunday. Should be back tomorrow night. I am left to do everything for the kids and then when they are in bed I'm on my own. It is very lonely. I am returning to the UK with the boys in May and he is following in a few months.

It's a tricky situation as I suppose you thought you could all go back together as a family if it didn't work out. But now he is settled he has changed his mind. I think this is a bit unfair. He should be considering your feelings.

Being at home with kids is the hardest job of all. It can be very isolating. Although my boys are at school I haven't been able to get a job and haven't got any friends, I also feel very lonely.

Should you return, do you have anywhere to stay? Would he agree to you going back for a few months to see how you feel? Maybe discuss this idea and see how it goes.

Good luck.

Nikki
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Old Apr 2nd 2009, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
{{{hugs}}} ..............you could call his bluff, rope in all the resources of your family and friends and tell him you are going (see proviso above about him letting his family go) and see if he follows................ Good luck!
This is the strategy I'd go with - making it sure that I mean business. After all, he had previously promised!

If the strategy fails, there's still the alternative of 'making the best of things'.

What a sad story.................... but all too common...
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Old Apr 3rd 2009, 12:21 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

Hugs. I hope you figure a way so he can really understand how you are feeling.
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Old Apr 3rd 2009, 1:42 am
  #6  
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
{{{hugs}}} It's a bugger isnt it?

Your Dh sounds like many we have met on here - chances are he wouldnt let you go back anyway because once the kids are in Aus he can just say that he doesnt want them to go and you are definitely stuck here until they are old enough to make up their own minds.

Unfortunately the only solution is to get out of the house and do stuff and mix with other people in the community. Could you get any sort of commitment for him to be home early on one evening at least so you could do a course perhaps or maybe an evening job like stacking shelves for pocket money (ah, freedom and independence!!!)? Are there any playgroups in your area where you could at least get to meet other mums or if your kids are school age, have you tried volunteering at school? Maybe you could check out a course at the TAFE because they often have childcare for students. If you can get yourself free for an hour or two there are loads of opportunities for volunteering eg SES, Lifeline, St Vinnies etc

Alternatively you could call his bluff, rope in all the resources of your family and friends and tell him you are going (see proviso above about him letting his family go) and see if he follows.

If you do decide you have to stay and live with it, then you could visit your doctor and check to see whether you may be clinically depressed - even if you are borderline, they may be able to allocate you some sessions with a CBT psych who might be able to give you the tips and strategies for making your life liveable because it is possible to live your life in a place you loathe if the people you love are in it. I can also recommend a book called The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris if you want a bit of self help with the issue.

Good luck!
Sorry i dont really feel equiped to answer the OP on this one as we are happily settled in Perth but i did just want to say what a superb response from Quoll, excellent advice. Well done you, possibly one of the most constructive responses ive seen on here

Nev

ps good luck to meg & mog with whatever choices you make.
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Old Apr 6th 2009, 12:06 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

I am in the same boat as you - OH doesn't want to go back although I am trying to persuade him everyday! I have 3 children, 6, 2 and 3 and a half months. My Mum just came out to visit, I hadn't seen her for nearly 3 years and she was trying to get us to come back to England desperately. It is so hard.
I do really love the area I live in, it is beautiful and peaceful and laid back, but I just have a horrid pit in my stomach when I think of home and imagine that I will be stuck here for the rest of my life and missing all the good times I could be having with my lovely sisters and family.
I do the playgroups and soccer season is starting again now for Jude (my son). I have a few friends here but I still feel a bit of an outsider. We're not the best at socialising.
Maybe you should give it another year - say to your husband, you will try it for that much longer and if you are still feeling the same, then you want to go back. It is not just down to him to decide - like my OH, he has his work mates, he lives a different life to being a stay-at-home mum. It is hard and isolating and I don't think they really understand.

Good luck with it all.
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Old Apr 6th 2009, 7:55 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

Thankyou for your replies, I have tried hard to settle and have lots of friends both ex pats and aussies. I take the kids to dancing,swimming,soccer and to and fro between school and kinder. I was also working 2 nights as a midwife prior to giving up. I just miss my family and am not living the life here I envisaged. I find there are not the same opportunities for working mums and I feel I built my career in the UK and now cannot take it any further for another 2 years until my youngest goes to school. I feel like I have stepped back 20 years and it's not all good. To go back to blighty warts and all would be great. Emigration is a can of worms no one tells you about.:
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Old Apr 6th 2009, 9:19 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

You are right M & M, life definitely isnt the same in Aus - boring and bland and I dread the thought of having to end my days there but that's the way it is. It sounds as if you have done all the right things to get yourself as settled as you possibly can. No shame in saying that this isnt the place for you!

You have the potential for a great career - I am sure you would walk into a job in UK with your skills.

Will he let you go? Can you call his bluff?
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Old Apr 6th 2009, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

I feel for you too. Although there are winners and losers in these situations, when one is happy and the other is not. Someone has to give. I personally believe for me I would stay where my husband wanted to, why because he has/had the best earning power and therefore it was better for my family.

The problem too is that if you return and oh hates it and family does not like it then you have the same situation although you are ok.

I think people need to really consider that emigration is for them and I do not believe people who are very close to their family and friends will fine it easy to survive it as they are continually pulled and feeling guilty as parents age.

We lived all over the place so I grew up in four different countries so its easy for me and I have lifelong friends who are like family to me. However it was never easy for my Mum and she did return to UK to live for a couple of years and then came back. Dad would never go it was non negotiable.

If we knew the answer it would be wonderful but there is no answer when loyalties are divided.
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Old Apr 7th 2009, 6:39 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

You sound like you have lots going on and a good social life; perhaps you just need more time to settle in. 18 months isn't very long really - lots of people say they were so homesick for the first 2 years and then it gets so much easier after that. (Apart from me but I am not quite a bad as I was, I go through stages of loving it and hating it).
Two years will fly too with regards to the work issue. Then you can have years to build back your career?
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Old Apr 8th 2009, 10:50 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

Originally Posted by carojey View Post
You sound like you have lots going on and a good social life; perhaps you just need more time to settle in. 18 months isn't very long really - lots of people say they were so homesick for the first 2 years and then it gets so much easier after that. (Apart from me but I am not quite a bad as I was, I go through stages of loving it and hating it).
Two years will fly too with regards to the work issue. Then you can have years to build back your career?
It's happened in reverse for me too. I actually quite liked it here for a few years but then the gloss wore off - not so much homesickness as notbelongingsickness. I think if you dont like it for the first 18 months then you probably arent going to change your mind down the track.

M&M I do hope you can find a solution to your rock/hardplace decision!
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Old Apr 9th 2009, 2:56 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

Originally Posted by Meg and Mog View Post
Hi I haven't posted before but have read many posts on this forum and you have helped me cope with the homesickness. I have been in melbourne for 18 months now and have felt unsettled for most of the time. It is the usual story my husband loves it and my 3 children are too young to really have an opnion on matters. He initially agreed to go back to the UK if I could not settle, but has now told me there is no way he is going back to live and thinks we would be making a huge mistake. I am now stuck with no money and don't really want to have to take the children home without their dad. I did have a job but gave it up because I could not juggle children and work with no childcare or support due to a growing population in the area we live in and not enough affordable childcare places. My husband is away from 6 in the morning to 7 at night and we never see him he is having a great time while i continue with the mundane day to day and childrens after school sports etc.. sorry this all sounds muddled but I feel that I have thought about so much and I feel so lonley as all my other english friends all "love" it out here and don't understand why I can't settle.
Hi...I beleive Quoll has hit the nail on the head with this one...for me/us (my OH) we have never disliked Aus...for the first few years we travelled around Aus...really did the "Aussie" things we read and heard about...and even though we did enjoy ourselves we felt like we were visitors....it was not until our first trip back "home" after 7 years here in Aus that we realised what it was we could not put our finger on (which can be worse as you don't really know why you feel like you do)and that is that Aus will just not be home to us no matter how hard we have tried....we have met lots of ex pats in our time here...some hated it at first then either like or love it now...some came and went within months....or others are "stuck" here for whatever reasons..oh and some have loved it from the word go!!!! you have to look really though at your own situation though..that much I have learnt.....maybe a "trip" home for a few weeks might help you...a lot can change in 18 months....I know some people have done that and it has helped them make a decision....

good luck and take care
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Old Apr 9th 2009, 5:52 am
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

Have you told your husband that you have actually thought of leaving him because you are so unhappy? Perhaps he hasnt realised how serious your feelings are? Men are often totally clueless to how you feel and are so wrapped up in their own lives that they dont always notice what is going on around them. Talk to him about and perhaps go back for a holiday - if your kids are young you could go for a month or two. This would give you both some perspective, you could see if you actually want to move back and he could see what he would be missing without you!
It is tricky when it seems like one has to make such a sacrifice for the other to be happy. Are there things that you want to do so that your relationship feels more balanced? You should never feel like you have given up everything for someone elses happiness!
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Old Apr 9th 2009, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: I feel Trapped

Originally Posted by Daydreamer123 View Post
Have you told your husband that you have actually thought of leaving him because you are so unhappy? Perhaps he hasnt realised how serious your feelings are? Men are often totally clueless to how you feel and are so wrapped up in their own lives that they dont always notice what is going on around them. Talk to him about and perhaps go back for a holiday - if your kids are young you could go for a month or two. This would give you both some perspective, you could see if you actually want to move back and he could see what he would be missing without you!
It is tricky when it seems like one has to make such a sacrifice for the other to be happy. Are there things that you want to do so that your relationship feels more balanced? You should never feel like you have given up everything for someone elses happiness!
Me and my husband went through a similar thing, when we had been out here for 6 months, I hadn't been able to find a job and my daughter hated her new school. My life revolved around chores and school runs and I hated it. My husband though loved his job and living in CA, also as his company paid for our relocation, we had a contract that stated he had to work for the company for 1 year or we had to repay all our costs.

It got to the point where we were arguing constantly, and eventually I said me and my daughter were going back to England, he said 'fine'. The week after I got offered a job and said I would stay until we had been here a year.

Its now been 16 months and although I am not settled here, I'm not unhappy, we have no immediate plans to return but I know we will go back at some point.

However, my point to all this is. A couple of weeks ago my husband told me that when I desperately wanted to go home, so did he. He said he knew if he had admitted it at the time, I would have had us packed up and in the UK within a week, and he wanted to give it a go and a chance to improve. He also said there would have been no way he would have stayed in the US after his year with us back in the UK. Maybe your husband is doing a similar thing?

You have some hard decisions to make, I really hope you can work things out. Take care.
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