Are We Being Punished ?

Old Nov 3rd 2011, 2:21 pm
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Default Are We Being Punished ?

So,

I moved here in June.

I had a good job in the UK, nice house, safe easy life.

I felt that it was too safe didn't want to live the rest of my life the same way (I'm 41yrs). Didn't want my kids going to mediocre local schools or mixing with local tatooed Stella drinking youths. Didn't want to live my whole life in one town. Wanted to broaden the minds of myself and my kids as well as further my career.

Simply put...I felt I had one life....and I wanted to get the most out of it.

So I took a job in the US (NY/NJ).

What's happened ?

1) I had to live in a hotel for 11 weeks till we found a house
2) Our stuff got picked on by customs with a four week delay and $4500 in fees
3) Customs caused $15,000 of damage to our possessions during the search
4) The house we are buying is a short sell and is taking forever to close
5) We are living in the house on a rental basis till we close and we have discovered numerous issues including high levels of Radon in the water, leaking roof etc. so much that we don't even particularly like the house anymore.
6) We have experienced a heatwave, a hurricane and a blizzard
7) The storm at the weekend destroyed all the lovely trees in our front garden.
8) My mum told me this morning that she has been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. That's a very aggressive cancer

On top of all this is the usual adjustment stuff like schools, jobs, people, driving license as well as pretty crap food & clothes.

I truly wish I could press the rewind button.

The question is;

Do I stick it out and wait for my reward or give up, go home and help look after my mum ?

If we give up...we would lose tens of thousands of pounds etc and move back to a situation not as comfortable as the one we left. We could also get sued by the seller of the house, although I'm not sure that matters once we are in the UK...I would also be without a job.

Would welcome your opinions...

Le10
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

You are living the American Dream.

Check out "dream" in the dictionary ;-)
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

He's not being arrogant, just honest. Think of it this way, at least you have somewhere else to go. I have a Master's degree and 10 years of work experience and haven't had a full-time job in 3 years (health problems basically forced me to leave a job I loved, state economy is one of the 4 worst in the US). I work for $7.80 per hour and count myself lucky if I get 20 hours of work per week. My husband made a very good living in the UK, but here he doesn't even make 1/4 of what he used to make (and that's before taxes) but he can afford health insurance through the job and I just had another surgery in September. If it wasn't for my parents being quite generous with us (my dad's 71 and he's scared to retire because 2 of his adult children are in financial jeopardy-- not because of debt, just not being able to get ahead in life) we would literally be in a homeless shelter. This is the reality of America for lots of people. That's why many people who move here are in for a rude awakening, their countries have more safety nets than this one.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

I'm not looking for a safety net.

My job here pays higher than back in the UK and it was highly paid in the UK anyway.

I intended my post to provoke responses along the lines of

a) you should go back home or
b) you should stay here

and those opinions be based upon some similar personal experiences where one has similar personal conflicts.

His response, was indeed smug, short and pointless.

But thank you for yours.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

Originally Posted by le10 View Post
I'm not looking for a safety net.

My job here pays higher than back in the UK and it was highly paid in the UK anyway.

I intended my post to provoke responses along the lines of

a) you should go back home or
b) you should stay here

and those opinions be based upon some similar personal experiences where one has similar personal conflicts.

His response, was indeed smug, short and pointless.

But thank you for yours.
Your list is very similar to mine! I'm still here as the experience I'm getting at work will be very benficial to me when I go back to the UK - perhaps that's the difference = I'm definitely going back, the US is just not for me the long run.

What I have found is that it takes about a year for things to become familiar (where to get decent bread and clothes for example - which sounds stupid but it's usually the little things that make the difference) and therefore the stress etc reduces and you can get on with your life. I would stick with it for atleast another 6 mths but perhaps not buy the house and rent somewhere.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

Originally Posted by le10 View Post
I'm not looking for a safety net.

My job here pays higher than back in the UK and it was highly paid in the UK anyway.

I intended my post to provoke responses along the lines of

a) you should go back home or
b) you should stay here

and those opinions be based upon some similar personal experiences where one has similar personal conflicts.

His response, was indeed smug, short and pointless.

But thank you for yours.
Can you pull out of the short sale, and do you still have a home in the UK?
If the answers to those are yes then I think if it was me I would go home seeing how ill your mum is.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

Originally Posted by le10 View Post
I felt that it was too safe didn't want to live the rest of my life the same way
Sounds like you got your wish.


Originally Posted by le10 View Post
You pathetic piece of sh*t

You think your smugness and arrogance is an admirable trait ?

Think again.
Originally Posted by le10 View Post
I'm not looking for a safety net.

My job here pays higher than back in the UK and it was highly paid in the UK anyway.

I intended my post to provoke responses along the lines of

a) you should go back home or
b) you should stay here
and those opinions be based upon some similar personal experiences where one has similar personal conflicts.

His response, was indeed smug, short and pointless.

But thank you for yours.


After your response to valis, I'm sure quite a few people will gladly tell you where to go.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

You should go and look after your mom, you won't regret that you will be spending time with her at the end of her life, (people before things), staying and struggling though and turning up for a funeral, may well leave you with regrets.
Life in the US isn't all it's cracked up to be, in fact it's a lot worse for many many people.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

I am sorry to hear of your situation. If I were you, I would probably prioritze issues around the following plan:

Family first. Support your mother at this difficult time.

Second, extract yourself from the house sale if possible. Given the broader issues you cite, it may be prudent for you to have the additional optionality from a rental rather than a purchase. Consult a good attorney in this regard; take a risk-adjusted view of walking away from the deal.

Third, seek redress for damage caused by customs (insurance, complaints procedure etc.). If you get no joy after 6 months; write it off and move on.

Fourth, it sounds as if you have quite a few sunk costs in the US and so immediate repatriation might be difficult. Moreover, you refer to waiting for your "reward". Not sure whether this is monetary or personal in nature.

Finally, perhaps try and disentangle events outside of your control from those that you can positively affect and resolve.

All the best.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

Very sorry to hear about your mother, that is very worrying. I suppose your decision there would include factors such as; does your mother have a good family support network in your absence (husband, other children etc.)? How often can you fly home (shouldn't be too difficult from NY/NJ..)

As for your US issues, you can assess them one at a time. Money lost in the shipping process; will insurance cover any of it? Or just let it go. The house; presumably the roof can be fixed without a full scale reroofing job. Water is worrying. Is that a well? What do others in the neighborhood do about it?

Extreme weather crises; unfortunately, par for the course for the US northeast. It is unfortunate to lose trees, but take the long view; they will grow back or be replaced!

Quality of life: crap food, poor quality clothes in the stores etc. Put in perspective, if you decide to stay and make the best of it, you'll find places to buy good food, you'll start cooking your own (for instance, you can buy excellent flour and yeast in any supermarket, never mind wholefood stores.)
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

Originally Posted by le10 View Post
Would welcome your opinions...
No immigration issues yet? You've had it easy! Stop your moaning and get on with it.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

I look at it this way its only been since June and I know you are thinking if that much can happen in such a short space of time then what else!!

So you made a few pointers 8 I believe!

1) I had to live in a hotel for 11 weeks till we found a house
That's a issue that you might of been able to sort out before you got here it's probably not anythig to do with the US or is it!!
2) Our stuff got picked on by customs with a four week delay and $4500 in fees This could of happened anywhere in the world (would insurance not cover tis blunder!!)
3) Customs caused $15,000 of damage to our possessions during the search
Again it does not help the heartbreak of losing your personal possesions but "Insurance"
4) The house we are buying is a short sell and is taking forever to close
Short sales can take months even a year or more in the US!!
5) We are living in the house on a rental basis till we close and we have discovered numerous issues including high levels of Radon in the water, leaking roof etc. so much that we don't even particularly like the house anymore.Report this to the landlord and get it fixed it has to be done he has no option
6) We have experienced a heatwave, a hurricane and a blizzard
Welcome to the US
7) The storm at the weekend destroyed all the lovely trees in our front garden....This could happen anywhere in the world, heck I come from Norfolk it would happen every so many years its not the US to blame!!
8) My mum told me this morning that she has been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. That's a very aggressive cancer This is terribly sad especially when you are so far from home I know I have been down that road, but again it's not the fault of the US just a very sad happening!!

On top of all this is the usual adjustment stuff like schools, jobs, people, driving license as well as pretty crap food & clothes.

Food is really not crap you can still make most if not all the same dishes you did back in the UK and there is more variety here, all the others you mention are just tasks that have to be sorted as they would be in any country

I think you are very down and depressed and it looks like you are blaming the US for everything, some folk do not adjust but in time they grow to love it here, if not there is always a plane leaving with a seat for you
Once you move into the new home and get settled everything might start to fall into place I hope it does for you and I wish you luck and happiness, and hope your mother stays strong and pulls through this hard time
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

I think this is the kind of thing that sorts the men from the boys, or indeed the winners from the losers.

Moving to a new country is hardly ever smooth. The winners get on with the situation and toil until they turn it into a success.

The thing about the UK is it's the kind of place that you can look back on with rose-tinted spectacles. We all know that in reality there are many aspects of life in the UK that are sub-par, and you'll likely notice those the most when you move back. That has happened to me in the past.

Onwards and upwards! Don't look back!

Last edited by caleyjag; Nov 3rd 2011 at 4:04 pm.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

What does your partner want?

What do your children want, and how old are they?

What does your mother want?

How do these things mesh with your own feelings?

June to November is still WELL within the culture shock period. Some of what you describe could fall under that category. Some of it, unfortunately, falls under the category of poor planning, such as living in a hotel for 11 weeks (why not set up a month to month apartment lease prior to arrival?) or not liking the weather in the northeast, which is well known for turbulent weather.

I hope you are working with a realtor on the house purchase. Talk with him or her frankly about your concerns regarding the short sale. A good realtor will want you to be happy - after all, their professional reputation is on the line if you're not.
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Old Nov 3rd 2011, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Are We Being Punished ?

Originally Posted by Poppy girl View Post
I think you are very down and depressed and it looks like you are blaming the US for everything, some folk do not adjust but in time they grow to love it here, if not there is always a plane leaving with a seat for you
Once you move into the new home and get settled everything might start to fall into place I hope it does for you and I wish you luck and happiness, and hope your mother stays strong and pulls through this hard time
I think Poppy has hit the nail here. Have you considered therapy? Moving to another country is a huge change and a lot of us felt overwhelmed with everything that it entailed. Sometimes it feels like a huge mountain of problems with more problems just over the horizon lying in wait. A good therapist can just sit there and talk you through some of the issues, break them down for you into small manageable chunks.
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