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Decisions, decisions...

i think i have made a huge mistake: homesick and depressed

Have I made the right choice? Homesickness etc.

i think i have made a huge mistake: homesick and depressed

Postby BROUGHTON » Sat 23 Jan 2010 01:43 GMT

[Edited by Kay - as requested.]

Hello

Some of you may have read my panicky posts on the BC driving related issues. Well, it goes deeper than that I am afraid: I think I have made a terrible mistake with all this.

After 4 years of hell getting my PR visa, I am just so unhappy. I arrived on Nov 14th 09 with my PR Card and lots of hopes and dreams but I got really homesick after a couple of weeks, and now it is getting worse.

The homesickness has now developed into depression. I don't have a job yet and to be truthful I have not been fully committed to the job hunting because in the back of my mind I don't feel this is for me and I am so missing home and so I am not really committed to job hunting.

I don't like Vancouver either [I live in West VAN]. You might think I am crazy cos I am constantly being told what a wonderful area it is but I loved where I lived in the UK too.

You may be asking "well, why the hell move then?." Well I guess it was one of those "grass is always greener" situations but now I am here I can't stop thinking just how lucky I was and how much I had: a cottage by the sea in a lovely Kent villlage, lovely neighbours, a good stable virtually job unsackable job as a prison officer working with good nice other officers and nice holidays to Spain and Greece.

Now I feel I have just thown it all away into an uncertain void. It's a good job. I am single so I only have myself to look after but I still feel I will let a lot of people down if I chuck it in now: Mum and Dad in the UK who worry about my happiness , and also some lovely family out here [cousins] and a close friends who are so supportive and lovely people.

All of them are saying that I need to give it more time, 6-months to a year then I will feel different but is this really true?...or should I just bail out now and carry on where I left off and make the most of my life in the UK?

Am I just a quitter if I chuck it all in now? I know the decision lies with me. One thing I do know is that with each passing day I am missing my house more and more. I have simply not accepted in my mind that I came here to live permanently, it just feels like an extended holiday.

The thing is I did not sell my house in the UK , just left it empty and my job is still open for me [6 months unpaid leave] so it would be all to easy for me to carry on where I left off if I go back.

The thing is if I take well meaning advice and gut it out for a year or 10 months and still feel like I do now then maybe not so many people will feel badly of me cos I would have given it a good go but then I would have wasted more months being unhappy and also there will be no job for me when i get back [as my unpaid leave period would have expired.]

Every one keeps saying, " do whats right for you". if I only knew what that was. my cousins have been so supportive and understanding and say it takes a long time, even years to get over the homesickness and settle but I ask myself "why put yourself through so many years of pain in the hope that things may get better one day? is it really worth it if in say 5 years you might feel like you are settling in? That's five years lost.

I have an aunt out here in Canada who "longs to return to the UK and always has". She has been here 30 years. What a waste of a life. Basically I miss my Mum and sister loads who I know would love to have me back.

Can anyone offer me any help or ideas? , God knows how though, think I am beyond help. I am so unhappy and confused and unsettled and I am getting worse. It all seems like a nightmare . I can't believe I have done such a silly thing. I know i have only myself to blame but if I hear "do whats right for you " and "don't make any decisions in haste" one more time I think I will go mad.
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Postby Kay » Sat 23 Jan 2010 08:12 GMT

Sorry you're having such a tough time of it. But if you could just break your postings up into paragraphs and something more readable, it's more likely that people will be able to read it and provide the support you seek.

It's pretty hard to read stuff that's all in a big block like that. I did try, but it's really too difficult to follow the meaning when it's all stuck together like that. :)
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Postby Fleur » Sat 23 Jan 2010 09:08 GMT

I'm not sure if this will help, but my friend emigrated to Australia and hated it so much and was so homesick that she came back after 1 year. They had sold their house here and then did it all again in Australia to come back to the UK.

They were only back about 6 months (long enough to buy another house) and she decided she had made a huge mistake coming back. She remember all the reasons she left the UK for. Now they are stuck with a house they can't sell and can't get back to where they want to be.

What about sticking it out for just 3 months and then coming back here for a few weeks holiday. Maybe you will feel more settled there and coming back here may show you why you left in the first place.

You are very lucky you have the choice and you only have yourself to please.

I hope you make the best decision for you.

Take care
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Postby Kay » Sat 23 Jan 2010 11:04 GMT

Thanks, Fleur.

You raise a very good point there about people who ping-pong back and forth between two (or more) countries. They can never be entirely happy in either after that.

This is a bit personal, but I'll share it because it might help. When I first worked abroad everything was so alien to me that all I wanted was to go "home". I cried myself to sleep many times and just wished that I'd never gone in the first place.

However, my pride wouldn't let me just give up and go home. I promised myself that if I still really didn't like it after x months I'd say that I'd given it a fair enough try.

Several months later everything had changed. I had a lovely new group of friends and started to enjoy the whole experience of working abroad. (It also led to a divorce from my then husband whom I had left behind. He was a good guy and didn't deserve how I discarded him in favour of my new life.)

You just have to keep going and not fall at the first hurdle (wanting to go home).

:)
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Postby BROUGHTON » Sat 23 Jan 2010 20:16 GMT

Hi Kay, Fleur
You have given me some ideas to think about, i really need to pick myself up if I am going to make this work. It's a huge challenge this, but i don't want to quit as i may live to regret it later on when I am back in the UK. By the way Kay, sorry about lumping my post in one big stupid chunk...i tried to break it up but i can't now because prople have responded.
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Postby Kay » Sat 23 Jan 2010 20:27 GMT

No worries, I'll go and do it for you. 8)

Do pick yourself up. It ain't easy to move to a new country. Sometimes you just have to give it a bit of time. Good luck!
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Postby Buddyboy » Sun 24 Jan 2010 03:08 GMT

Broughton: Keep in mind that the first few months are absolutely the hardest, especially at this time of year, the depths of winter. Every person who has emigrated to a new country feels tremendous loss at the outset, me included. As time goes by you put down roots. The feeling of loss abates and you acquire more and more valued experiences and friends. What I am saying is if you are like most people, and I bet you are, in a years time you'll be telling people what a great country Canada is and that you love it here. Dwell on the positives, give a little thought to the negatives then move quickly back to the positives.

Emigration is tough at the start but the rewards are wondrous. Give it time. And good luck.
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Postby BROUGHTON » Mon 25 Jan 2010 00:22 GMT

Thanks Buddyboy, Kay
i know deep down you are right Buddyboy, you give real worthwhile insight and this site is just so helpful and supportive.

I know my family either side of the Atlantic will support me whatever i
choose because they just want to see me happy but i know they will be disappointed if i don't give it a good go. I know i need to give it time.

Stuff like failing my driving test twice did not help my confidence either, especially as I am feeling vulnerable. I just need to find the resolve to fight through these dark months and dig deep.

I also should stop feeling so pathetic and sorry for myself and start to enjoy BC and what it has to offer and remind myself how i fought long and hard to get my PR card and how lucky I am to have it...plently of people back in the UK would gladly swap with me. I am sure one day i will look back and see this as the best move i have ever made.

My close friend out here says its the best thing he has ever ever done. I owe it to myself to give it a dam good go. would love to hear from folk in similiar positions to me ..maybe we could help eachother through this. would also love to hear from more people who were like me at first but came good. That would really help.
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Postby carolinedraper » Wed 27 Jan 2010 18:31 GMT

We have been here for 4 years and even now and again you feel that pang of mmm UK. It is natural, its a place you have known since your birth. I recently had the same thought but got over that pretty quick.

You do need to focus on life goals - you spent 4 years planning on getting here and that was your focus, what you have now is a void and that is bing filled with homesickness. You need to set yourself another challenge - a big one that can occupy you like getting PR and all that paperwork did.

Are you going to see any of the Olympic events?

Take a trip to Fraser Valley and enjoy the hot springs.

Do you have enough funds to travel BC? If so go trekking and experience life and the area.

All i have for now. x
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Postby BROUGHTON » Thu 28 Jan 2010 23:28 GMT

thanks Caroline for your ideas, very thoughtful of you but I have decided to go back to the UK and rest a bit. What with all the stress of getting my PR Card, then coming here and having a poor start [failing my driving test 3 times-still have not passed yet], wallet stolen, some bozo smashing into my car] , i need to take some time out. I have reached a point where i ask myself , "Is it really worth it? Is it really meant to be? I am not sure i like the place enough to stay and jump through all the constant hoops that never seem to end. Life seemed so much easier in th UK.
I also do not find the Vancouver people quite rude and it seems the government want your money all the time, it's pay for this, pay for that, especially the ICBC who I don't think have any intention of passing me because they want to get as much money out of me as possibe and frankly I don't have any left to give them. I am going back to the UK on Sunday and don't think i will be coming back.
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Postby alexfiona » Thu 28 Jan 2010 23:29 GMT

Every day, without fail, I asked my husband when could we go home. I kept telling him I felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz: I wanted to go over the rainbow but when I did, I realised that there was no place like home. The university paid for our whole move, so if we moved back before the first two years then we'd have to pay everything back...Even then it didn't matter to me. I was painfully unhappy and decided that I was going to go home without my husband and he could wait out the two years.
Two things changed my outlook. Firstly, my mum's from Northern Ireland and moved to Scotland when she married my Dad. For over 40 years she's been saying that she wishes we were brought up there rather than Scotland. I resented my mum for hating the place of my birth and I realised that if I was going to stay in Canada I had to be "all there" or I'd end up being as unhappy and resentful as your aunt and my mum. Moving to Canada 30 years ago was really a big deal (like your aunt) and the options for moving back were just not as open as they are now- the world is a smaller place.
Secondly, I went home in the summer- just me, my pregnant belly and my 2 year old son. It was meant for a holiday, but deep down I thought I might stay. Then I realised that everyone had "moved on". In the few months that I'd moved and then put my life on hold, dreaming about the time I could move home and pick up from where I'd left off- everyone else had made small but significant changed in their lives. Nobody was waiting about for me!
I'm not sure this is much help.
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Postby BROUGHTON » Sat 30 Jan 2010 07:39 GMT

I am off back to the UK , can't wait. All the people want from you out here is your money. Vancouver is rubbish and depressing, and just a big dirty port city, always raining, very grim, like Liverpool. The government justs wants your money. The ICBC just want your money. I find the people uncultured, very rude, thick and will take the shirt of your back and will try and screw you for every last buck at every turn. Even my cousins out here agree including a cousin from Toronto. Everyone seems to want to be a Police officer and be working for the government for some reason, probably because they don't have the guts to get out there in the real world. What a sorry experience this has been and what a sorry backward pathetic country this is. Makes me realize how great England is. I will go back to the Uk and pretend this whole sorry episode did not happen. If this whole sorry episode has taught me one thing, it is that England, for all it's faults, is a great forward thinking country. Canada is not a patch on England, not a patch.
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Postby anon7656 » Sat 30 Jan 2010 10:08 GMT

Wow Chrisi, that is quite an attack....and some sweeping statements thrown in!

While I would agree that money wise they want you to pay a lot(experienced this myself and from a good friend who lives in Barrie) it is not unlike here in the UK.
I think because you have grown up in the UK its normal....as Canada is for people growing up their. I know that many Americans and Canadians think the UK is unbelievably expensive....and to be fair most reports back that up....not many say the same about Canada.
I think if you had stuck it out things would have bedded in and the differences would not have been so stark.

I know you are raw so the comments about the people and the country as a whole while strong and it not a little unfair are understandable.
Again if what you say is true about Vancouver and Canada as a whole not only are many reports wrong(I Know they can be spun, but so many over so many years?) but all the 1000s that have made a go are also lying, deluded or ...... you get my point.

Really this board and others would not exist if what you said was indicative of the country. I have spent lots of time(not yet living...next few months) but I found Canadians in general massively helpful, cultured and could not do enough for you(I met senior people about jobs from cold emails, they all made time for me without exception)
This was in Toronto and the surrounding areas but even day to day I never found them anything but rude or thick(although what country does not have its share of these type of people??)

I think once you get back here you will see the amount of rude & thick people we have....just go to your local shopping centre!
You are going through the nostalgia of thinking of home and forgetting about the huge financial problems, systematic breakdown in neighbours, drinking problems and general symbolic state of the country's infrastructure.

In reality it may do you good heading back and getting a whiff of the UK again....with the impending General Election and every party vying for more & more cuts it ain't going to be pretty(or affordable) come next year.

I do hope in a few months you look back maybe not at your experience but your last comments and maybe moderate them in the cold light of day.

Good luck whatever and wherever you end up though.
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Postby Graeme » Sat 30 Jan 2010 16:22 GMT

Well Chris, maybe it's for the best if you go back. Here in Canada we want people who are go-getters, who work hard play hard, who are winners not whiners, and who are team players. If you would open your eyes you would see that Canada has loads to offer, just to focus in on failing your ICBC test (which, by the way only tests to the minimally required standard) and then writing Canada off is fairly silly. The vast majority of Canadians are down to earth, friendly folk who'd help anyone out in a jam.
You'll have loads to complain about in the UK, as Rob says cuts and more cuts coming down the line, more people then ever all trying to access the same cut back services. Canada is a melting pot for all races colours and creeds, I guess you just don't melt. Good luck back in the UK.
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Postby BROUGHTON » Sat 30 Jan 2010 19:26 GMT

I appreciate that other people love Canada and have had good experiences and I totally except that, just the same as people can have good and bad experiences of the UK.

All I am saying that this is just MY experience of Canada and I also know it is wrong to generalize, an although I really have had some bad experiences since I landed I appreciate the same experiences could easily happen to anybody arriving in England, I know. But I do wonder "if it is meant to be".
I think it is best to just cut my losses.

I will stand by one thing though and it's this: I have just found the people so rude as soon as I landed, from staff at the airport , right the way through me leaving on Sunday, 3 months after I landed. I have found people working for government agencies [eg, SIN, MSP, ICBC] particularly unhelpful....one person even suggested I should just go back to the UK and stay there and not come back because she had lost my paperwork . From this point of view and due to the way I have been treated, I believe I have the absolute right to be scathing of the people here, an absolute right.
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