I'm tired, stressed out and sick of living abroad.

(13 Posts)
rapidlygoingnuts Tue 22-Nov-11 05:08:34

I think the title says it all. I've lived abroad, following my husband around, now for 15 years. We are now in our 5th year in our current posting. All my good friends have left, I hate where we live, I hate the weather and I hate paying over the odds for everything. I'm tired of being on my own all day and when my husband is away. My kids are OK, but I think they would be happy anywhere. I did find a job, but the government turned down my employment application. I'm bored!!!!

Anyway, rant over and I apologize for being one ungrateful biatch!

It looks like my husband finally has an avenue to move back home, but it is not going to be until the beginning of 2014. I am very excited but feel that it is too far ahead to make any plans and I am desperately trying NOT to think about it as it is driving me nuts. If it falls through, I know I'll be bitterly disappointed. I know that moving back the UK is going to have challenges of it's own, but I really want to go back and have my own house, garden and family around me.

Anyone else feel like a caged bird. I am so stressed out about living somewhere I HATE that it is making me ill. I am getting to the stage where I cannot be bothered to go out and would just rather stay at home.

How do you cope with the limbo of waiting to leave and how do you keep yourselves busy.

OP’s posts: |
allhailtheaubergine Tue 22-Nov-11 05:23:57

Don't pin everything on a move back in 2014. That way madness lies. If you have been an expat for 15 years then you know as well as any of us that you cannot believe in a single thing until the day is is actually happening.

First you need to decide if things are really bad or if you are going through a dip and you'll be feeling more positive in a couple of weeks. Be honest.

It does sound from your OP as though things are really getting you down. So, what can you do about that? Can you push for a posting back to UK sooner rather than later? Or do you need to get back into the swing of things where you are? I know it's a pita and I know you don't want to, but sometimes even one little thing can make things all more bearable.

I am struggling 9 months into our latest posting, and then yesterday I was invited to join a book club. Hallefreakinlujah! Somebody tossed me a bone and I could weep with gratitude!

Have you got it in you to roll up your sleeves, paint on your smile and join a club / take a course / pursue a new friend?

Or do you just need a break? A holiday to recharge?

Where are you by the way?

TubbyDuffs Tue 22-Nov-11 06:34:31

I've only been an expat for 4 years, so no where near your length of time, and I love where I live, so can't imagine being here and hating it.

I think you need to get out there and meet some people, as a distraction if nothing else!

My 3 kids are still quite small (one at home with me full time), so I am kept pretty busy with them, but I still get out to see friends, the odd night out, general housework type stuff, voluntary work.

Do you think you are going through a rough patch because your good friends have gone? Have you ever liked living there (where by the way)?

lifeisgoodwithsleep Tue 22-Nov-11 06:49:52

I think this feeling is quite common after you have been away for a good while doing back to back postings. I go through phases of hating where I am- I am ok being here until people I really like start to leave and you have start the process of making friends all over again. I get gilded cage syndrome quite a lot!

trafficwarden Tue 22-Nov-11 12:54:42

Me too! Been overseas for nearly 8 years now and while I don't regret any of it I am hankering to get back to reality. Feeling worse now as I've stopped working due to political/professional conflicts and despite my OH's promises to leave next summer, he has just been promoted which means it would be daft to move then. Sigh. It's the limbo aspect - not having all my "stuff" with me, no longer doing the job I love, weather inhospitable for 6 months of the year. I also know how ungrateful it sounds to others but I just want a real life again.
Not sure how easy it would be for you but my sanity plan involves doing some online studying, really looking after myself/getting fit again, taking tennis lessons because I've always fancied it but never had the time and am in the middle of a BBC language course which involves a lot of muttering under my breath with a very bad accent but is good fun!
If it's financially more sensible for you as a family to be where you are just now then keep reminding yourself of that and the old chestnut "This too shall pass". I do know how isolating it can be when everyone thinks you are leading the life of Reilly overseas.

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 22-Nov-11 14:22:02

Don't always think the grass is greener in England.

RapidlyGoingNuts Wed 23-Nov-11 00:11:14

I live in Singapore. I don't know if any of you here are familiar with the place but it is like marmite. You either love it or you hate it. I hate it!!! I do not think it is ignorance on my part as I have lived in 4 other countries and loved them, learn't languages and embraced all they had to offer. Singapore is an extremely superficial place, where money is king and people put themselves first. I am now really bored and want to get back to a REAL life. We have saved quite a bit of money so I think that going home and having a nice house and garden would make me happy rather than living in a rented shoe box where the landlord refuses to fix things for many weeks then ups the rent 20% when the contract finishes. We are now up to GBP4,000 rent a month for a tiny house way out in the burbs!!! I agree that I need to get out more, I need to get some hobbies etc. and I really do plan to in 2012. I am just waiting to hear about a course that I want to do next year that will take up most of the year and I plan to brush up on my languages before I return to Europe. I will also be back and forth to find schools and a house and generally plan for our return. I just want to get going!

TrafficWarden, you are right about other people assuming you are leading the life of Reilly. I can't talk to my relies as they make comments like "you don't know you are born" so feel even more isolated.

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trafficwarden Wed 23-Nov-11 15:22:36

You sound really down in the dumps. What does your DH say? I get all the "financial security" and "early retirement" and "great golf"hmm

I'm sure there are other like minded women around who feel the same, it's just finding them that's the problem and then losing them to their next posting!

You are not alone and are allowed a rant now and again!

RealLifeIsForWimps Thu 24-Nov-11 05:53:57

We are now up to GBP4,000 rent a month for a tiny house way out in the burbs!!!

Feel your pain, and raise you GBP5000 for a 2 bed apartment with plastic light fittings and door handles which fall off with alarming regularity (HK- gotta love it).

Most days I love it here, but I understand how annoying it is when good friends leave (especially "couple friends" ) and you feel you're starting over again even though you haven't gone anywhere. The upside is that there's usually a lot of fresh faces to pick from.

lifeisgoodwithsleep Thu 24-Nov-11 07:15:42

Agree with traffic warden ranting is good for the soul and I at least definitely need a sanity plan. Texted dh yesterday "Am packing my bags have had it with this f-ing country. Good luck xxx" Our internet connection had been cut off and as it is in his name they would not deal with me.....

frikonastick Thu 24-Nov-11 07:19:43

i felt like that on the posting before this one. its the frikken worst. good news is, it passed and i am really liking the current one.

having said that, given i was so miserable on the last one, DH and i have now made plans for being non expats and settling down and i now have a proper end in sight, so that has helped tremendously.

like you, mine is still a way off, but i actually find it fun and a distraction to go online and check out houses and plan my life even if it is mostly fantasy shopping!

good luck rapid, its tough going sometimes :-)

PeriPathetic Thu 24-Nov-11 07:21:58

Another trailer here. Only on my 2nd posting though, but am seeing glimpses of how you feel. Trapped!

If your DH wanted to leave, I'm damn sure he would do everything in his power to do so. Are you sure there's only a chance of a way out in 2014? I'd be having words with him if I were you.

I was at a 'do' yesterday full of women in our situation and all of them couldn't wait to put down roots somewhere. Therefore, I'd say it's a very normal feeling.

Good luck!

RapidlyGoingNuts Thu 24-Nov-11 07:49:25

Thanks you guys, you have all really cheered me up. I do think that yes we are going to leave in 2014. Although it's not set in stone yet, my husband is quite sure that the transfer is going to happen.

frikonastick, that is so funny. I spend a great deal of time looking at houses, how much we can afford, schools and winter clothes ;) Hilarious. I think the comments about putting down roots says it all. I feel like we need roots, we need depth and we need reality.

I have no delusions about moving back to the UK and the downsides. All my friends who have moved back willingly and unwillingly tell me that they love being home, love having their own place, family around and that whilst at times they miss the old, easy life, they wouldn't move abroad again. Funny hey!

Reallife - I lived in HK for a long time. I LOVED the place to bits too, but was also sometimes driven crazy by the noise etc. and the tiny apartments. I love walking from Central to the Footy Club down all the back streets in Wan Chai. We go there once a year. Totally love the place and it's madness. Singapore is the dull cousin of HK.

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