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MY 9 YEARS IN PERTH


LindyM
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Hi There

I thought I'd just give some insight as to why I left Perth after 5 years to go back to SA, then return again after a year. It was never about not loving or even liking Australia - I have always loved living here. After 5 years we "had it all" The house, the business and even the investment property. We had worked so hard to set ourselves up and worked even harder to settle our kids- especially the eldest who was 15 at the time of moving and not a happy camper at first.

When we first made the decision to move here it was made with our head - logic. Our heart and emotions were in a very "stable condion" - being around all the people we knew and loved. We knew it was best for the whole family to emigrate.

From reading letters on this forum its is made quite clear the first couple of years are the hardest so I'm not going to harp on about them, but just to say everything does settle down and you WILL feel quite at home in time. The most helpful comment I received was to make small goals and not to think too much in the future at first. And laugh - a lot!

Anyway, it was once I was settled that my dear "heart" started taking control of my head. I constantly felt bad about leaving my very close family behind, I felt guilty ( why I dont know other than prehaps i was made to feel that by them) and I had one foot in Australia and one foot in SA . I could not let go. I went back on holiday often- and loved it - but that is not reality. You get this wonderful injection of acceptance and love from everyone you have known all your life and then a huge let down when you return. I questioned why I had left that all behind. The war between my heart and head began and it took just one disaster to make my decision. For me, it was the death of my Mom.

I got that dreaded phone call at midnight . I have always said i was just a plane trip away but never before has that been the longest flight home. I made it in time to turn the machine off and organise a funeral. I knew that one day something like this would happen but nothing can prepare you for the emotional drain that occurs. You are caught in the middle- you are needed in SA as no one is coping but your family is also needing you back in Australia because your whole life is now there. That was when my heart took over and we made the move back. My husband was right behind me and made the final decision. In retrospect I should have never sold up everything and rather rented the house and business out for 6 months, gone back and checked it out first.

We did not fit back into the SA way of living. We had changed in 5 years and so had SA. My son did not fit into the school system there and my older girls - then 18 and 21 couldn't stand it. They returned to Perth after a few months. My husband - who had a job in CT, eventually found the stress of checking up on my safety too much even tho he had been so chuffed at first to be able to buy a house for cash ( for the first time ever!) and have money in the bank. We decided to go back to Perth asap so my son could settle in the environment he loved and knew. We started all over again - lost so much money and had to start a business all over again from scratch - i take my hat off to hubby cos thats not fun to do.

Finally our hearts and head are one again. It was our choice to go back-dont regret that at all if that was needed . My feet are firmly planted here and I have no intention of ever changing plugs again!!

I had not realised my children had become full Aussies so quickly and their home will always be here -the old folks must adapt! My immediate family has to come first and I've had to place my extended family second. It was a choice I made years ago to provide a life for my kids and boy do they have a wonderful life. It was the correct decion all along - even if I went the long route to confirm it.

Dont know if that helps anyone as we all have our own set of difficulties and reasons for doing things but it was an expensive move to make to find out what I already actully knew. Our lives here are wonderful, full of happiness and laughter - hope yours are too!

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Well done Lindy M

I couldn't agree more, for me it is " me and my own" meaning my hubby and two kids.

The rest of my family who I love and miss very much after 3 years have to come second to my nearest.

That is not to say that it is easy, my father-in-laws health is declining and I dread " the phone call", my hubby vows he will not go back, but I think his heart will dictate his actions.

I am going to see my parents in a few months time when they visit and hope that will carry me for the next few years and that the "loss" when they leave will not be too great.

I have to remind myself that they will be gone one day and I will have adult children and even grandchildren who need me here in Australia and if my children decide to go elsewhere in the world, I will have to hide my tears and support them as my parents did and their parents before them in the UK.

It isn't easy.

Thanks for your post, it shows true wisdom and sounds like you have a wonderfully supportive husband and loving family- all that is needed to be happy anywhere.

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Hi LindyM

Thank you so much for this post, I'm sure it will help a lot off us in future.

Linda

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Firstly, thanks so much for sharing a part of your story with us, so many of us can benefit by reading about other people's experiences - that's one of the great things about this forum, it really helps to read about how people have coped with different things and what life has taught them along the way.

I went back on holiday often- and loved it - but that is not reality. You get this wonderful injection of acceptance and love from everyone you have known all your life and then a huge let down when you return. I questioned why I had left that all behind. The war between my heart and head began and it took just one disaster to make my decision.

These lines really rang a bell with me - so many of my friends have left SA over the past 3 decades. Returning for holidays would lead to all kinds of self doubt - two families returned as a result of "missing out on all of you" - and I would try and explain how different things are when they weren't around. When visitors arrived we would set our own lives on hold, taking leave to travel with them, hosting large parties and socialising almost constantly, but that's not real life; I'm not kidding but some visitors just didn't "get it" and would tell us how much they missed all of that in their new lives!

Of the two families who came back, one from the US and the other from the UK, because they missed the extended family / friends network: one family is still in SA and struggling financially as well as emotionally. The other family lasted a year and have now moved back to the US. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I agree, when you're on holiday you would do well to remember that time spent on holiday is not real life.

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Hi Lindy

Thanx for a wonderful post. You have truely blessed me. You have put everything in perspective for me.

Enjoy your new old life! :rolleyes:

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Thank you for your post. It really helps me at this stage. I have a really close family member ill back in South Africa and everyone is asking "Who's going to take care of them" if we are not there. I cannot and will not uproot my family to go back 'there'.

What you wrote helps to put things into perspective.

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Thank you for sharing your story with us. As a newbie to Perth, I look forward to fallling love with my new home and your words have helped ease some of the heartache that there is. I am sorry to hear about your mom, it must have been a terrible time in your life.

I have left my mom in SA too and had all the questions about who will look after her when she is older etc etc. which, of course, is something that bothers me terribly. The good news is that she is already planning 2 trips to see us this year alone - we were only expecting to see her once a year but she is really taking strain and missing us all so much that she is planning 2 trips already. She knows that we will do whatever it takes if she decides she wants to move here too but for now, her decision is to stay in SA and to quote, 'your direct family' comes first and we know that this move is what is best for our own futures.

Thanks again for sharing, knowing you are not alone in your thoughts, doubts, worries ... it really helps to hear good stories like yours.

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I admire you for posting that. Some folk would rather not admit that moving back to SA was not the right thing to do. After 5 years there must have been significant changes in SA - We all feel this terrible yearning for our families.

Good on you for realising that your lives were meant to be down under and its always such a relief if the kids are happy.

All the best,

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Thanks for sharing

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Thank you Lindy, your post is so wonderful and honest, and a real help to lots of people asking those kind of questions.

I am curious though, do you think going back to visit often doesn't make it harder?

We too having 'aging' parents, I have told my Mom I'm buying her tickets to visit me as often as she wants, but I am not coming back to South Africa for a funeral. It sounds so harsh, and who knows when the time comes, but I'd rather remember the happy times and spend the money on flying her to me.

Just talking about it with my hubby this morning regarding his parents.

But yes, our children are the important ones we have to consider.....

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Thanks for your post.

The emotional roller coaster does not make the whole process any easier :lol: ..but sharing does :D

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HI Lindy,

Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us, we are all going to experience these emotions, for me being here 17 months has been a rollercoaster ride, I often think about moving back to SA, but I know in my heart it is not really what I want, I like my life here, things have changed for me, after owning my own business in SA and having all that stress, I now work a half day job, so have a bit of time to myself, my kids are 16 and 22, they are enjoying Australia, especially my son the 22 year old, my daughter I think responds to how we are feeling and what we are saying, so I try to keep my thought and emotional battles to myself.

I think honestly, if it came to the crunch and someone said to me okay, you can go back, now go, I don't think I would go. The life that I think about no longer exists, friends move on, things change, but in my mind, you think everything is the same and they are all waiting for you to come back so things can carry on, but that isn't the truth.

Sorry for the waffling, once again thanks for sharing, you have a fantastic supportive husband and family, all the best for you and your family.

bye for now Jill

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What a wonderful, heart-warming post! It really does give me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and helps me tremendously. Thank you!

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Lindy, thank you soooo much, it's a really encouraging post to read !

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Halo again!

I have to admit I was really nervous to go back and see the replies my post got! I was quaking a bit as I wrote it but I also know lots of folk who have felt the same and lots who feel even worse. Non of us are alone in this ride.

Eva, You asked if its better to go back often or not - In the begining I would advise not to go back till you have been here at least a year. Your emotions are all over the place, SA still feels more like home to you and your kids are going to be gutted to get back on that plane . After that I dont think it matters much. I do try and go back every year or 18 months . Just to keep that real contact going with family. If I didn't have family I certainly wouldn't go back.

If only the plane tickets weren't sooo expensive! Sometimes one just cant afford to hop on that plane...

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That's a great post Lindy - thanks!

Very inspirational for me, and I hope for some of those in Aus who may be feeling homesick for SA.

I'm so glad to hear things are finally settling into place for your family.

Leigh

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Lindy thanks for sharing your great post. My parents have both passed away but we are leaving my in laws here and my father in law is not well. When my mom died suddenly in 2000 i drove through the night from JHB to East London . If something should happen to my in laws we will be far away. The worst thing is that i think my mom in law will visit us but i doubt that my father in law will. So saying good bye to them is going to be hard as they are the only grandparents that my sons have ever known.

This is thing is so damn hard!

Thanks again,

Al

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Hi Lindy, thanks for the wonderful post. I am so happy you are back home where you belong!

When we said our final goodbyes to my in-laws a week before we hopped on the plane, the last thing my father-in-law said to my hubby was "please don't waste money on coming home for my funeral, rather use that money to bring your Mom over for a visit".

Sounds so harsh, but makes a lot of sense. We definitely won't be able to afford a family trip to SA for the first few years, and it's so sad to think that it may have been the last time we see Grandpa alive. And I doubt he'll pass the medicals for a visit.

But the most wonderful thing is that he is SO HAPPY for us and his grand children, and keeps telling us we did the right thing.

Now THAT's true love...

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HI Zorba,

Sounds like a fantastic strong man, your father in law, totally unselfish, must have been very hard for him.

Jill

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Hi Zorba & Alison

My heart bleeds for you both. I have to say the goodbyes at the airport and just in general before you leave is the hardest thing you will ever have to do. If there was an easier way we would certainly tell you. The memories of my last day in SA will stay with me for ever - so much so that I do not allow anyone to the aiport when I go back- too much trauma.. When you arrive it instantly does become easier and the stess will leave .

Take a deep breath, dont think too much about it either and know we are all thinking of you on the other side.

Our parent s are simply amazing- able to see immediately why we have to do this move and support us all the way. They need a medal.

Lindy

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Lindy,

Fantastic post! If we had a star rating, it would get 10 stars. By far the best post I have read in ages ....

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Thx Lindy,

I think this post highlights the fact that although we are all focused on moving over we are ill-prepared for the emotions and other influences especially over the longer term.

It would seem that settling in with the right attitude is the other half of the "battle" and even more important for continued happiness.

Thx for the attitude adjustment - it will help us to be more prepared.

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