Guilt Trip

Old Sep 28th 2011, 10:35 am
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Default Guilt Trip

Just wanted to ask peoples experiences when they told their families/friends they were leaving.
Everybody has been extremely supportive of us however my mum has been very upset and has cried every day for a month since OH got his job offer in NZ. I'm finding it increasingly difficult as I know it is the right decision for us and our 2 children but the awful guilt I feel causing her grief she has said I have broken her heart and she feels I am selfish as she brought me up and now I am abandoning her. (My dad, sister and 3 nephews are with her so shes not alone)
Thanks xx
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Old Sep 28th 2011, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Just try putting yourself in her shoes...then surely it becomes clear that what she feels is not unreasonable.
Assuming you have always enjoyed a good loving relationship (I sometimes think those who 'voluntarily emigrate' maybe have not and it is a fresh start/escape from the past) then she is merely showing how much she loves you by being so emotionally distraught. For every loving parent who on the outside puts on a brave face and is supportive, I would guess that they are more often than not internally 'in tears'.

You are convinced it means a better life for your nuclear family...she is not....unless you are unemployed in UK, she may be right...and you may spend months posting on the internet in the months and years to come trying to convince yourself you made the right decision...even though your bank balance and lonely Christmas Days maybe tell a different story.

Do go into this with your eyes open, there is no easy way round this, you are leaving those you have been closest to and (depending on your finances) you may not see them again for a very long time...I don't buy the Skype thing personally...and I would cut her some slack for giving a damn about me.

If you and your kids currently dip in and out of each other's lives regularly rather than just a couple of times a year then you will miss them..it is inevitable.
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Old Sep 28th 2011, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

But sometimes you do have to be 'selfish'. I will be leaving my daughter and grandson behind and I do get upset even thinking about it. However, we made the decision as a family, my daughter then got pregnant and could no longer go.
She is now studying for a place at Uni to become a teacher and her dream is to move to Oz.
So, yes, I could sit in Tonbridge and in years to come wonder 'what if?' I may even resent the fact that she stopped me from giving it go.
Or, we could all get wiped out by the next falling satellite!
I will also be leaving my Mum who is 73. The day after my Dad died 4 years ago, she told me that we were still to continue with our plans. She says that she has lived her life how she wanted to, she chose to bring me into the world and that I owe her nothing and to live my life how I want to. I am very grateful to my Mum for this and I know that she is probably in the minority out there!
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Old Sep 28th 2011, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Oh dear. So hard when someone is totally unable to put on the brave face thing. There again we all mourn in different ways and that is what she is doing. She is mourning.

However, you must live your own life & if you know that this move is what you and your family truly want at this time then you must try it , otherwise resentment could creep in.

She is expressing shock and loss. All you can do for her is comfort her and reassure her that she will see you again somehow.
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Old Sep 28th 2011, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

After six years here I still get the guilt trip from my parents.

It was a selfish decision for us to move here, partly because I have an older sister who's mentally handicapped and needs 24 hour care, and the expectation was always that I'd be around to help.

And now that we have a daughter it's worse still.

But we love it here and wouldn't change anything.
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 3:30 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Ah I can sympathise with you there. My mum did the same to me, had terrible times right up until leaving, Karma got me in the end cause one of my daughters who had come here to NZ to live decided after us being here 2 years that she wanted to go back!!! So now we have one daughter and family here, one in UK and a Son in USA so we are dotted around the globe. My mum who will be 93 next month came to terms with it eventually although she still misses me terribly and despite our differences I feel totally helpless when she is ill and my brother has to go in and see to her as my other sister lives about 300 miles away from her up north.

Having said that I went back to the UK to see her this year and had the guilt trip all over again, nasty comments etc. I know it is hard for them, but hey I said to my own daughter that she must follow her own heart and my job as a mother was done, she has to go make her own decisions now and I cannot influence them in any way. At the end of the day, as a parent, we just want our kids to be happy and have the confidence to take whatever the world throws at them. I did a good job in raising my kids as they all moved to different countries and gave it their best. I cut the apron strings and never for one moment has my intention been to have children to enable them to look after me!!!

I do skype with my daughter in the UK but my mum is too old to grasp all that so I have to make do with phone calls which is hard when she is so deaf!

Have the courage to follow your own dreams and tell your Mum she did a good job raising you or else you would not have had the courage to go out into the big wide world and see what is out there for you. Tell her that she helped you to grow into the person you have become and hopefully that will make her feel a little better. Good luck.
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

FAB POST SHIRL

I know exactly that 'guilt' feeling you describe

I had a chat about exactly this topic, with a colleague whose daughter has done the reverse and is now living in the UK.

She said to me ......... we bought our children into the world and gave them life and it is only right that we let them live it. It sounds bit corny/religious on reading it above I know but it isn't meant to be so.

I wish you all well -

Good luck
Lou x

PS ....

I haven't seen my mum since we left in January -
29 Days, 14 hours, 23 minutes and 13 seconds till she arrives to visit us in Auckland for the first time.
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 3:52 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Originally Posted by louloumama View Post
FAB POST SHIRL

I know exactly that 'guilt' feeling you describe

I had a chat about exactly this topic, with a colleague whose daughter has done the reverse and is now living in the UK.

She said to me ......... we bought our children into the world and gave them life and it is only right that we let them live it. It sounds bit corny/religious on reading it above I know but it isn't meant to be so.

I wish you all well -

Good luck
Lou x

PS ....

I haven't seen my mum since we left in January -
29 Days, 14 hours, 23 minutes and 13 seconds till she arrives to visit us in Auckland for the first time.
Thanks Lou

Have fun with your mum will she be here for Christmas as well?
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Originally Posted by HelsnLee View Post
Just wanted to ask peoples experiences when they told their families/friends they were leaving.
Everybody has been extremely supportive of us however my mum has been very upset and has cried every day for a month since OH got his job offer in NZ. I'm finding it increasingly difficult as I know it is the right decision for us and our 2 children but the awful guilt I feel causing her grief she has said I have broken her heart and she feels I am selfish as she brought me up and now I am abandoning her. (My dad, sister and 3 nephews are with her so shes not alone)
Thanks xx
To be blunt stuff her. It is your life, your choice..she needs to build a bridge and get over it (as they say here!). My mum did exactly the same thing which is rich really bearing in mind she has always had it in for me. I really hate this type of shite..it is so unfair. They will miss you of course but she should be grown up enough to wish you God's speed and all the best in your new life. This is not love IMO this is people being selfish, childish and up their own arses!!! You move to NZ and do not worry about your mum's crap attitude (easier said than done I know!!). Sorry if I have come on strong but it reminds me of the shite my mum dished out 7 years ago.

And I just love the 'selfish' bit. She is the selfish one..not you. And no I cannot put myself in her shoes as I would never ever do such a low bellied thing as get on to someone who I loved who wanted to move on and do stuff with their ONE and ONLY life. Kids move on..evidently this mother has not and has some kind of unwritten contract in her head that says my kids will always be on the same island as me..yeah right.

Last edited by Genesis; Sep 29th 2011 at 6:12 am.
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 6:35 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
To be blunt stuff her. It is your life, your choice..she needs to build a bridge and get over it (as they say here!). My mum did exactly the same thing which is rich really bearing in mind she has always had it in for me. I really hate this type of shite..it is so unfair. They will miss you of course but she should be grown up enough to wish you God's speed and all the best in your new life. This is not love IMO this is people being selfish, childish and up their own arses!!! You move to NZ and do not worry about your mum's crap attitude (easier said than done I know!!). Sorry if I have come on strong but it reminds me of the shite my mum dished out 7 years ago.

And I just love the 'selfish' bit. She is the selfish one..not you. And no I cannot put myself in her shoes as I would never ever do such a low bellied thing as get on to someone who I loved who wanted to move on and do stuff with their ONE and ONLY life. Kids move on..evidently this mother has not and has some kind of unwritten contract in her head that says my kids will always be on the same island as me..yeah right.
Great post. My MIL did something very similar when we came over - she upset the children, had my youngest in tears and fearful about the move and told him all his friends would forget him. She even had to spoil the day I said good bye to my best friend.

My mum and my grandparents who we're very close to, and will never make the trip for health reasons - told us to go for it and never look back.

Every phone call, email or letter from them is positive, they love to hear our news and at least once every 4 or 5 weeks one of them will tell us that bringing the children here was the best thing we could have done.

The inlaws have only ever phoned a couple of times and every phone call or communication is negative and even the kids struggle to speak to them. They didn't even send christmas presents for the children this year and I had to sneak money into cards on Christmas morning and lie for them. Oldest knew.

The one positive thing that came out of in-laws reaction is the way we've chosen to deal with our own kids. NZ was our dream not theirs, so we don't want them to ever limit their choices or ambition to suit what they think we want.

We've already talked to them about their future - and we've worked hard to try and give them the confidence and guts to at least have a go at what they want & oldest is a serious contender for a place at a good Oz uni.

I've given both children permission to push me off the top of the mount if I ever turn into one of those emotional blackmail relatives.
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 7:41 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

I really feel for you Helsnlee and my heartfelt best wishes go out to you and your family.

My mum was (and sadly nearly 12 months on) is still exactly the same! I had the 'you have abandoned me, selfish, thoughtless' comments which ended with a lovely 'nobody will like you, you will have no friends' just as I left along with a rather spiteful letter just in case I ever forgot how terrible I had been and need a written reminder!!!

Sadly my only sister and her family are also in agreement with my mum and now have cut myself and my family out of their lives completely!....I think their comment of 'we didn't expect to have to look after mum/dad now you've gone' was quite telling though!

However, what I have to remind myself is of the reasons we came, which was to give our children a wonderful opportunity to experience a different life and to try the 'what if's'' before they became a 'ahh well whatever'. We are so settled, the kids are blossoming as are we, we spend far more family time together and we have friends!!!!!!!

I can't promise that it gets any easier Helen and I hope it all works out well for you and that things are much better with time . Sadly, I do still feel guilty (not sure why, but....working on that one!) and the whole Skype thing/Phone call is stressful at times, but, we all love to see and speak to my dad (who's been great and sadly stuck in the middle! so the whole drama continues!!!

At least hubby's mum and dad are brilliant and coming out next January and all our other family and friends in the UK understand our choices even though they miss us and are so supportive.

I would concentrate on the positives and remember you are doing the best for your family, good luck to you all xxxxxx
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 8:22 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Originally Posted by chippy64 View Post
But sometimes you do have to be 'selfish'. I will be leaving my daughter and grandson behind and I do get upset even thinking about it. However, we made the decision as a family, my daughter then got pregnant and could no longer go.
She is now studying for a place at Uni to become a teacher and her dream is to move to Oz.
So, yes, I could sit in Tonbridge and in years to come wonder 'what if?' I may even resent the fact that she stopped me from giving it go.
Or, we could all get wiped out by the next falling satellite!
I will also be leaving my Mum who is 73. The day after my Dad died 4 years ago, she told me that we were still to continue with our plans. She says that she has lived her life how she wanted to, she chose to bring me into the world and that I owe her nothing and to live my life how I want to. I am very grateful to my Mum for this and I know that she is probably in the minority out there!
Oh my, I read this post and thought a few lines in .... Did I write this ? Then realised it wasn't me but wow it is so so similar to my story with my daughter ! She had a little one and is now back in the UK with our little grandaughter and studying for her place at uni' to become a teacher, and we are completing the first month of our new lives in NZ. Our rationale is the same as many others I have read here which is that we all have to live our own lives and follow our dreams before we miss the chance !
My mum (also 73) was so so supportive the whole way through our plans to leave but really struggled just a day or so before we left, I think she had held it all together for so long and just couldn't anymore. Given a short time to come to terms with the enormity of what we had done, things soon settled and we are now back to where we were before we left, talking frequently on skype and enjoying our chats as we have always done before.
I don't envy anyone who has this to come, but it does get easier.
I just tried to understand the feelings of those close to me and just appreciate their feelings of loss from their perspective and put my feelings aside to make things a little easier for them. Everyone finds their own way to deal with this challenge and always remember you are far from alone with this.
I do really love my new life but will always miss my mum, daughter and grandaughter terribly but look forward so much to my daughters visit to nz with the little one and my visit back to my mum
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 8:46 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Poor you Hels, you have enough to cope with at the moment I'm sure. There has been some very wise words already and I think as Shirl said, your Mum has done a great job bringing you up to be confident enough to make this move ~ acknowledge her fears, reassure her and move on. I know that my kids will one day fly the nest and I hope they have the confidence to follow their hearts and I am brave enough to stand back and wish them well. You, OH & your kids need to focus on yourselves and your future, it ain't easy
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 9:02 am
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Thank you all SO much for all your comments! It clearly is a big issue for so many. I haven't let it cause a wobble as my gut feeling is this is the right thing to do!
I wish she could be happy for us but I cant let it get me down
As a mum I can definately understand how heart wrenching it would be however you are right at some point your children have to be independant and cut those apron strings. I haven't had children to look after me in my old age and I would never expect anything from them.
My inlaws are sad however so happy for us and the children...my MIL has never flown but is currently having help to overcome her fear in her 50's I am so proud and they have vowed to visit once a year!

Thank you again I am reassured I am not this awful person and am looking forward to our Recce visit to NZ in November!
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Guilt Trip

Wow, well i can't believe some of the stuff written here. But, i am sorry for some of you that have had a hard time from rels. I am a mother who went through this in July, when my daughter and family moved to NZ. We supported and understood why they were going but, yes it broke my heart and miss them dreadfully. My son-in-laws family were opposite in the fact that they were horrible and gave no support at all. They have come round now and i suppose have had to accept the fact that it was going to happen and has happened. It is a very long way and we as parents wonder when we might see our children and grandchildren again, so perhaps we don't always get it right but, who of us are perfect? I would say perhaps cut them a bit of slack and hopefully some parents will come around and realise that what you are doing is not to spite them but to make a wonderful life for your children and a better quality of life. My daughter and family are really having a good time and enjoying all aspects of life in NZ. We talk on the phone everyday and skype and hope it wont be too long until we get together again. No, i really didn't want them to go but, all parents should want the best for their children and should live their own lives and not live life through their kids. We do not own our kids. I am just so proud of my daughter and that i hopefully gave her the strength to out in to the world and live her life!
Good luck all of you that are considering emigrating- go for it and do not look back. My son-in-law says it is better to regret the things you have done than the things you haven't- aint that the truth?
Best wishes to you all.
Pam.
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