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Feeling hopeless

Feeling hopeless

Old May 11th 2017, 1:32 pm
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Default Feeling hopeless

My Nain (Grandmother) recently passed away. I couldn’t afford to travel back to see her when she first went into hospital, but now that she has passed I am also going to miss the funeral. My family have been great about it and said that they completely understand why I can't get back (due to the high cost of flights and the commitments I have here).

I have been in the USA for four years now, but since this has happened it has really made me want to move back home to be close to family. I always thought that during these situations that I would do everything I could to get back and be with family, but it obviously turns out that life is not that simple and is not always affordable. I'm heartbroken that I missed my chance to see her one last time and that I can't be there to support my family. It just feels so wrong to be so far away during a time like this.

Over the last few months my Husband and I have been looking for a house and planning to start a family out here, but now I don't think I can see a future out here. I also don't want our children to have a distant relationship with family. However, my husband does not miss the UK at all – he has never been homesick. He has a great paying job that he loves and it's something he wouldn't be able to do in the UK. For me though, I have been looking for careers that offer me the option of going to the UK more often and I now feel that we want different things. I don't ever want to be apart from him, but I also know that I would be asking a lot for him to give up his job here. Just feeling really stuck and that I'm being pulled in two different directions.. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Or any advice?
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Old May 11th 2017, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

I didn't want to read and run but I haven't been here long enough to give much useful advice.

I'm so sorry you are feeling so low, but I can quite understand it. I wonder if your raw grief for your nan's passing, mixed with some feeling of guilt and sadness that you didn't see her, is complicating other feelings? I'm glad your family in UK are being understanding and supportive.

Thinking of you
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Old May 11th 2017, 1:59 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Thank you Chesten. It is very possible that it is confusing my other feelings. I always knew that this situation would come up one day, but going through it is so much harder than I thought it would be and I think it's just made me realise how important it is to be near family, and how difficult it is to get back during times like this. It would take a long time to convince my husband to go back though, not sure if I'm being selfish!
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Old May 11th 2017, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

I am so sorry for your loss. That's a hard one. When I lived in France, my mum took a turn for the worse and although I took the next possible flight, the flight was only 90 minutes, she died 20 minutes before I got there. My point is that sometimes shit happens and your nain could have died at any point, any of our family could and we could be living next door and not be there. Go easy on yourself on this one.

The other issues are a bit more serious. You say that your OH has a great paying job. Cool. Lucky him but this means bugger all if you don't get to go home when you need to. Time to start thinking about what you need and what you want in order to stay in the USA. I'm a list person - make a list of what you need in order to be happy in the USA. An emergency flights fund would be top of my list if I were you, annual flights back to the UK for yourself and for any kids you have, or paying for flights for your parents? Make the list and discuss it with your husband. If he truly cares for you and wants to make it all work in the USA for you then you will both work it out. You both might decide to move back to the UK. Whatever happens do not allow your needs/wants to be dismissed.

I would not, under any circumstances, start a family until your issues are resolved. You really will be trapped here if you have kids. I would not buy a house either yet.

You've had a crisis and it's made you realise your vulnerabilities, don't ignore them. Perhaps find a psychologist to help you through it all?
Big hugs
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Old May 11th 2017, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Sorry to hear about the death of your Nain and your overall feelings. You are suffering from the curse of the expat, which has ironically been made worse by the era of affordable jet travel, because a century or more ago emigration was more likely to be a one way journey.

It sounds like you need to work out whether you want your own independent existence with your husband, or return to the orbit of your extended family. Someone else here on BE faced a similar issue a couple of years ago (though he was single, so didn't have the complication of a relationship). After posting a similar question to yours above he sold up, packed up, and went home. However he very quickly realized that his family wasn't what he remembered, his cousins and nephews had all moved on and his fond memories of pints in pubs and soccer games were just that, memories. IIRC within six months he was back in the US, determined to settle down and really make a go of it.

I always remember what my mother said, long ago, a few years after a family move from Sheffield to Gloucester (she had earlier moved from Hull to Sheffield when she got married): "you can never go back", meaning that even if you return to where you lived previously, it won't be the same because things have changed and people have moved on with their lives.
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Old May 11th 2017, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
An emergency flights fund would be top of my list if I were you, annual flights back to the UK for yourself and for any kids you have, or paying for flights for your parents?
When my wife moved from the US to the UK her mother was not in the best of health. We saved our spare cash and put it into an account to only be used for emergency tickets back to the States. When the call came to say the MiL was very ill we never had to worry about the cost, only getting ourselves to Oregon.

When we got home we saved again and now we live in the States it is there if we have to rush back to the UK. Or more likely family in the UK need to come out for one of us. It is just one of those extra things that being an expat brings into your life.
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Old May 11th 2017, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Originally Posted by SAR2015 View Post
My Nain (Grandmother) recently passed away. I couldn’t afford to travel back to see her when she first went into hospital, but now that she has passed I am also going to miss the funeral. My family have been great about it and said that they completely understand why I can't get back (due to the high cost of flights and the commitments I have here).

I have been in the USA for four years now, but since this has happened it has really made me want to move back home to be close to family. I always thought that during these situations that I would do everything I could to get back and be with family, but it obviously turns out that life is not that simple and is not always affordable. I'm heartbroken that I missed my chance to see her one last time and that I can't be there to support my family. It just feels so wrong to be so far away during a time like this.

Over the last few months my Husband and I have been looking for a house and planning to start a family out here, but now I don't think I can see a future out here. I also don't want our children to have a distant relationship with family. However, my husband does not miss the UK at all – he has never been homesick. He has a great paying job that he loves and it's something he wouldn't be able to do in the UK. For me though, I have been looking for careers that offer me the option of going to the UK more often and I now feel that we want different things. I don't ever want to be apart from him, but I also know that I would be asking a lot for him to give up his job here. Just feeling really stuck and that I'm being pulled in two different directions.. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Or any advice?
In life most decisions we make have a price. Immigrating to a distant land also has a price, which is we sacrifice our relationship with out families and friends.
The question we have to answer is that is that price acceptable or not..

read the thread below because it encapsulate all that im trying to say.:
http://britishexpats.com/forum/maple...t-fade-896177/
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Old May 11th 2017, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

I feel for you. I have lived in the US for 31 years. I have wanted to go back on and off for the entire time. In 1997 I did go home, only to return. All my grand parents died while I was over here. I had a young family and could not afford the trip back for any of the funerals. On the good side, The US has offered me opportunities that realistically I would never had if I had stayed in the UK. I have a standard of living which I know I couldn't match in the UK. And most importantly, my American kids are here. I miss the people at home, not the place so much, the UK is not the same place I left in 1985 or 1997. If I had any advice it would be to make a decision and stick with it. Oh, and what petitefrancaise said...no kids, or a house until you know for sure where you want to be. I will add that the constant longing to go home has not allowed me to truly call the US my home, despite having lived here for longer than I lived in the UK. For now I have found a way to make it work. I fly home 3-4 times a year and spend as much time as I can with my mum.
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Old May 11th 2017, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I am so sorry for your loss. That's a hard one. When I lived in France, my mum took a turn for the worse and although I took the next possible flight, the flight was only 90 minutes, she died 20 minutes before I got there. My point is that sometimes shit happens and your nain could have died at any point, any of our family could and we could be living next door and not be there. Go easy on yourself on this one.

The other issues are a bit more serious. You say that your OH has a great paying job. Cool. Lucky him but this means bugger all if you don't get to go home when you need to. Time to start thinking about what you need and what you want in order to stay in the USA. I'm a list person - make a list of what you need in order to be happy in the USA. An emergency flights fund would be top of my list if I were you, annual flights back to the UK for yourself and for any kids you have, or paying for flights for your parents? Make the list and discuss it with your husband. If he truly cares for you and wants to make it all work in the USA for you then you will both work it out. You both might decide to move back to the UK. Whatever happens do not allow your needs/wants to be dismissed.

I would not, under any circumstances, start a family until your issues are resolved. You really will be trapped here if you have kids. I would not buy a house either yet.

You've had a crisis and it's made you realise your vulnerabilities, don't ignore them. Perhaps find a psychologist to help you through it all?
Big hugs
Sorry to hear about what you went through with your mum! To be honest, you have hit the nail on the head. After this situation I feel that family is more important to me than the life we can have out here. I will make a list, it will be good to see it on paper. We were in the process of saving for emergency flights, and we have already paid for my parents to come out here in August. Not sure it's enough though because like you said anything can happen at any time - whether you are prepared or not. I now feel that no matter how much we can prepare it will never make the distance any easier. Especially if we had a house/kids etc, don't think I would cope with being trapped out here.

I did speak to my husband about my worries yesterday and have said that I'm not willing to look at anymore houses or plan for children until we are on the same page with what we both want. I really would like to talk to a psychologist. Thank you for your comment, it was just what I needed to hear!
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Old May 11th 2017, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Sorry to hear about the death of your Nain and your overall feelings. You are suffering from the curse of the expat, which has ironically been made worse by the era of affordable jet travel, because a century or more ago emigration was more likely to be a one way journey.

It sounds like you need to work out whether you want your own independent existence with your husband, or return to the orbit of your extended family. Someone else here on BE faced a similar issue a couple of years ago (though he was single, so didn't have the complication of a relationship). After posting a similar question to yours above he sold up, packed up, and went home. However he very quickly realized that his family wasn't what he remembered, his cousins and nephews had all moved on and his fond memories of pints in pubs and soccer games were just that, memories. IIRC within six months he was back in the US, determined to settle down and really make a go of it.

I always remember what my mother said, long ago, a few years after a family move from Sheffield to Gloucester (she had earlier moved from Hull to Sheffield when she got married): "you can never go back", meaning that even if you return to where you lived previously, it won't be the same because things have changed and people have moved on with their lives.
You are right about it being the curse of the expat. If I'd have seen it as a one way journey, I doubt I would have left. I have always coped with living away from family whilst in the UK. However, when I left for the US it didn't cross my mind how much I would actually miss out on and how I would long to just hop on a train for a quick visit to see my parents.

I do have to remind myself that it would be different if we went back, but this is where my husband and I differ. He would like to stay out here to be able to provide a better life for us, whereas I would like to be close to family so that I could visit them every now then instead of just one or twice a year. Also since we have talked about starting a family it has made me realise how much I would want my own future children to have the opportunity to spend time with their family and to get to know them - that to me is more important than a fancy house etc. Thanks for your message!
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Old May 11th 2017, 9:01 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
When my wife moved from the US to the UK her mother was not in the best of health. We saved our spare cash and put it into an account to only be used for emergency tickets back to the States. When the call came to say the MiL was very ill we never had to worry about the cost, only getting ourselves to Oregon.

When we got home we saved again and now we live in the States it is there if we have to rush back to the UK. Or more likely family in the UK need to come out for one of us. It is just one of those extra things that being an expat brings into your life.
So true, just feel like maybe I'm not cut out for it. We had been trying to save, but the last year has been tough with visa issues which we had spent all of our excess cash on and then the flights were $2,500! Which we just could not afford as we have other expenses coming out. Such a shame that it all comes down to money, but thats life I suppose and it just makes me worry about the future because anything can happen, no matter how prepared we might be. I just feel like I don't want to risk being in this situation again, maybe it's a wake up call for me to get my priorities straight.
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Old May 11th 2017, 9:07 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Originally Posted by geoff52 View Post
In life most decisions we make have a price. Immigrating to a distant land also has a price, which is we sacrifice our relationship with out families and friends.
The question we have to answer is that is that price acceptable or not..

read the thread below because it encapsulate all that im trying to say.:
http://britishexpats.com/forum/maple...t-fade-896177/
Thank you, I will make sure I read that thread. At the moment sacrificing my relationship with my family is not worth the great lifestyle we can have out here. People have told me that family won't always be there, but I want to have the chance to spend as much time as possible with them now. The thing is that my husband doesn't really have much family in the UK, he has a sibling who also moved to the US, so he doesn't feel that pull like I do - just don't know what to do...
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Old May 11th 2017, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Originally Posted by DebzinUS View Post
I feel for you. I have lived in the US for 31 years. I have wanted to go back on and off for the entire time. In 1997 I did go home, only to return. All my grand parents died while I was over here. I had a young family and could not afford the trip back for any of the funerals. On the good side, The US has offered me opportunities that realistically I would never had if I had stayed in the UK. I have a standard of living which I know I couldn't match in the UK. And most importantly, my American kids are here. I miss the people at home, not the place so much, the UK is not the same place I left in 1985 or 1997. If I had any advice it would be to make a decision and stick with it. Oh, and what petitefrancaise said...no kids, or a house until you know for sure where you want to be. I will add that the constant longing to go home has not allowed me to truly call the US my home, despite having lived here for longer than I lived in the UK. For now I have found a way to make it work. I fly home 3-4 times a year and spend as much time as I can with my mum.
Thank you DebzinUS for your comment. To be honest, I have avoided getting so involved in life out here and I think that has been my way of not getting myself too settled here. Ever since we talked about having kids I have been thinking about how I would want my family around me so that they could get to know them. I am definitely putting kids and a house on hold. I'm just worried because this is a huge decision and if I move back to the UK then I will not have the lifestyle that I could have here, but after these last few weeks I feel like I am willing to give that up in order to have a closer family life. The thought of being trapped in the US now truly scares me in a way it never has before. I love the US, but I'm not sure I could ever call it home either. Just don't know how to convince my husband now, he loves it out here - even his parents have told him not to go back to the UK as it is a completely different lifestyle.
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Old May 11th 2017, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Originally Posted by SAR2015 View Post
Thank you, I will make sure I read that thread. At the moment sacrificing my relationship with my family is not worth the great lifestyle we can have out here. People have told me that family won't always be there, but I want to have the chance to spend as much time as possible with them now. The thing is that my husband doesn't really have much family in the UK, he has a sibling who also moved to the US, so he doesn't feel that pull like I do - just don't know what to do...
Further to petitefrancaise's suggestion, it sounds as if couples therapy is the way to go here, to really get both points of view out in the open and decide if you have a future together. Good luck.
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Old May 11th 2017, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: Feeling hopeless

Firstly sorry for your loss. There are some extremely good comments on here from seasoned expats. I'll only add that in my humble opinion the feeling of wanting to be home never really goes away. We find ways or periods of time to lessen or even shut it out in order to manage and live here but it is still there. I say that after 20 years. It is as someone else said a trade-off. Personally, I do not think its a better lifestyle here but a different one.

One simplistic approach I utilize and daydream about is where would I live if money were not the issue - your right for most of us it is. For me I would be on the next plane 'out of dodge' never to return. I look at the majority of UK celebs that end up back home, or because they can, live between several places and its a long list.

I wish you well in your decisions and it sound like you are moving forward. Investing time and energy in children and houses would only complicate things, its good you are having this conversation with yourself and others now.
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