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We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

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We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby StellaMarklew » Sat 4 Apr 2015 11:07 GMT

There have been several times in my life when I have been an ex-pat, all at different stages of my life and in different countries. What has struck me most is that what I have enjoyed, wanted, needed or found difficult has been different with each era of my life rather than which country I was in. The one thing they all had in common, apart from having a great time, was that there were times of great isolation when I felt what I needed was support.

Services that we assume will be there, as they are at home, are either scarce or difficult to access due to language etc. We are used to having support systems for prevention, diagnosis, assistance, relationship issues and almost any guidance we can think of - we can feel very suddenly alone and vulnerable when something happens when we are living away from home.

That said, the excitement and enrichment that living somewhere else brings into our lives is hard to find in doing other things. The upside needn't be brought into a negative state because of the downsides, we had those at home too.
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby Kay » Sun 5 Apr 2015 09:11 GMT

Hi Stella, welcome to the forum.

Wow, that's a thoughtful first post. :D These days the Internet can provide lots of support in almost all areas of life, regardless of where you are in the world. To some extent, that's what this forum does. Feel free to join in, or just for a chat if you fancy one.
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby StellaMarklew » Sun 5 Apr 2015 12:33 GMT

Hello Kay,
many thanks for your welcome and comments.

Yes, I intended the post to be thoughtful. I used to write a psychologies blog but found it was a time pressure but from what I understood, from followers and readers, was that they found it useful. I felt writing posts in a forum from time to time might be less time consuming.

Should you feel that this isn't what your forum is all about then I completely understand.

With warm wishes,
Stella
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby Kay » Mon 6 Apr 2015 07:58 GMT

The more, the merrier! We like to talk about anything interesting. Also, if you like to write occasionally, we welcome guest posts for the BE main site: http://britishexpat.com

We cover almost every subject under the sun.

I know what you mean about blogging being time consuming. I'm afraid I have left a trail of neglected blogs in my wake. The only one I'm still putting any effort into is my food blog. But it's a constant battle to keep adding fresh content. I think it might be best to concentrate on creating evergreen content in the future. Blogs are easy to set up but tough to keep going.

Are you a psychology professional or is it just an interest for you?
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby StellaMarklew » Mon 6 Apr 2015 15:58 GMT

I would be very happy to write some articles for your site - I often write about the things we all think about but don't feel comfortable giving a voice to because who knows what we might hear as a reply!

I have been a practicing counsellor and therapist for over ten years working in private practice, adult mental health, business and charitable organisations. I like to write and work in a way that gives people the opportunity to come to understand how and why they feel the way they do - with no big mystical secrets hidden in terminology only therapists understand.

It is interesting the way many of us leave a trail of work behind us on the Internet - I wonder what will happen to it all and if sometime it will be gathered up to be made into something useful?
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby Kay » Tue 7 Apr 2015 06:56 GMT

That sounds terrific. Thanks, Stella.

One psychological issue which I find particularly interesting is the loss of identity often suffered by the trailing spouse. I've experienced it myself. I had a good career working overseas. Then I got married and, as his career was more secure (I had been working on short term contracts), we decided to put his career first and that I could pick up jobs as and when anything suitable cropped up. Thus, pretty much overnight, I ceased to be a career woman and became a "wife". My status and how I was valued (or not) by many in the community was determined entirely by my husband's "rank". I found this incredibly frustrating and upsetting. The situation was made worse because one of the senior staff was a small-minded bully who seemed to take pleasure in causing unhappiness wherever he had the power to do so. There were many others who also suffered at his hands.

Is this a problem you've encountered before? I suspect it's very common, especially with new spouses who don't fit into the traditional box for wives - coffee mornings and all that.
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby StellaMarklew » Tue 7 Apr 2015 10:00 GMT

Great! I will enjoy doing some writing again. I will give your thoughts around partner role in the ex-pat communities some headspace and post something soon - you raise a good point.
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby Kay » Tue 7 Apr 2015 10:21 GMT

Thanks, Stella. By the way, I'm sorry that you're having to go through the pesky pre-moderation process. Unfortunately, it's necessary to prevent spammers. Some of them can be quite "clever" with their tricks so we have this safeguard to prevent any "funny stuff" so our visitors don't have to see it, and so we don't have to clean it up. I think it's not too much of a hurdle for decent people to get through but it sure as heck keeps the spam down!

Another psychological issue which would interest me is how nomadic people can be and how much their upbringing can come into play. For example, some people would find it unthinkable to move away from where they'd been born and bred. Others, eg service families, take it for granted. Others might see it as an adventure or a way to escape. I wonder how much one's background has on one's choices and how that background underpins behaviour once you actually do set sail into the great unknown.

Of course, these days lots of emigrants do it because they see a better future for their families. People, and why they do things, are very interesting! :D
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby StellaMarklew » Wed 8 Apr 2015 20:44 GMT

You obviously do a lot of thinking,Kay! I enjoy thinking, there's something comforting and yet exciting about allowing thoughts to do,what they please.

I don't mind being moderated at all, it doesn't worry me. The only problem I am having is that I followed the link to the main site but couldn't find where to write the article. Apologies for not being more observant and techie minded.
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby Kay » Thu 9 Apr 2015 09:17 GMT

There's no direct way for people to post new articles on the main site, Stella. I mainly gave you the link earlier to show you what we have on offer. Some people seem to think that BE is only the forum, and they don't realise that the forum is only a part of a much larger site.

When new contributors start out, they usually just email their article(s) to me. Later, if they want to become regulars, we can set them up with a contributor's account where they can post their article in directly and leave it as "pending review" for me to come along and edit, if necessary, and publish. (My email is my name AT this domain.com - hope that makes sense.)

Yes, I do like to think about lots of issues, and try to understand why people do the things they do. This has all kinds of applications, for example, in business as well as for generally trying to make the most of life.
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Re: We Gain, We Lose - does it even out?

Postby Dave » Wed 29 Apr 2015 06:22 GMT

StellaMarklew wrote:the excitement and enrichment that living somewhere else brings into our lives is hard to find in doing other things. The upside needn't be brought into a negative state because of the downsides, we had those at home too.


Great post, Stella. :-)

I've spent most of my life moving from place to place (first within the UK, then more widely) and everywhere has had its upside and downside. And in the places where I've stayed longer, both downside and upside changed, or at least evolved, as time went on. No doubt I also changed or evolved in the process.

So yes, I'd agree that it does all even out. But it evens out more quickly for those who are able to adapt more quickly to their new surroundings, so the support's important too. Online support can be part of that process, as long as it's used to help you embrace your new life - the lifeline to "home" is helpful, especially at the beginning, but shouldn't become an apron string.
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