Da da daaaaaaaaaa (suspenseful introduction)!
Today I would like to give some thought to one of the worst aspects of the immigration process; the guilt trip.
First of all, lets acknowledge the fact that everyone is different….and being different means that everyone who is looking to move away from home shores and onto foreign shores will experience different outcomes from telling loved ones about the move away.
Some people are so lucky that they will only experience good times during the immigration process – start to finish. They will get their skills assessed, start the expression of interest, submit their visas and then finally move with the loving tears and good wishes from friends and family. Others are not so lucky.
Recently on an Australian immigration forum, I was quite dismayed to find one entry in which the people who are looking to move to Australia are being given a seriously hard time from their own blood; their parents. They had not much in the way of contact with mum and dad since informing them of their plans to move to Australia until recently when the parents descended upon the hopeful happy family bringing everything they owned at their parent’s house. They were then informed that they were being ‘selfish’ by taking away their grandchildren to Australia where they would not be part of their lives….it never ceases to amaze me how hypocritical people can be at such times.
Normally people want to move away to places like Australia for a better lifestyle such as work-life balance, pay or a better future for their offspring. Now, distance does indeed become a major factor in the phenomena of guilt tripping because being on the other side of the world to some, might seem like the next galaxy!
Taking all sides into account,
Yes you do not wish to say a cheery bye to your loved ones and not being able to ‘see’ them for possibly years at a time. But neither should you make them feel bad for having a dream and wishing to better themselves.
Sometimes you might feel that you are being left out because of the time consuming planning your loved ones are going through and that might start issues with loneliness. But neither should you live IN your loved ones, you are a singular person as well.
You might feel that you will lose touch with your loved ones because they are starting a new life. But you should also embrace new technologies (if you haven’t already) such as Skype and Whatsapp and be prepared that you will most probably interact with your loved ones more that they are living on the other side of the world than when they were back home.
You should not dampen those wishing to move abroad by bringing them down. I had this ‘pleasure’ over Christmas and when the word ‘selfish’ makes an appearance, I think that making people bad for wanting to move away epitomises the word.
My own case is as follows:
I come from a small family. I have lived away from home and my home county since moving away to university over 18 years ago. My mother lives and cares for my grandfather who is in his early-ish 90s and suffering badly with heart attacks, 11 to be exact. My mother has her own issues to deal with like all of us and more than some.
Since our decision to move to Australia, my beautiful fiancée and I have battled with the way to inform our family and friends about our wishes to move away to Australia. During Christmas just gone, we sat with my mother in a tea room on the sea front with teas, and lovely looking cakes I could barely eat due to my stomach thinking of other things. I sat literally shaking as I started to tell my mother about our wishes to move. I blurted out that we were looking to move to Australia….she went very quiet….and then we told her about something also covered in our plans….we want her to come with us when the time was right.
Still relatively quiet she stated that she expected us to move away from the UK and that it was the right thing to do. During the week which followed this uncomfortable moment, she had suggested us moving to almost everywhere including Scotland but bar America!!! No disrespect to the Scottish what so ever, it’s just that one of the main reasons for us moving to Australia is so that Stefania can be WARM!!!!
Now fast forward to Christmas. I made a comment about moving away to Australia and it was as if we had sprung the news on her for the first time. The resulting next few moments were very heated with her trying to state how expensive it is in Australia and the like, and me shouting heatedly back asking why she was saying all these things. The argument ended with my mother just saying that she was being silly.
The decision to emigrate to the other side of the world is not one taken lightly, or it certainly shouldn’t be. You have so many hoops to jump through with the visa process, then you have the issues of packing up your life in your home country and starting from scratch in a country where you might not know anyone. But the most poignant to this post comes from the fact that you are leaving loved ones who will not want to see you go. All of these factors are taken into account.
So take heart in telling friends and family – if they are true friends, they will cry, get upset but not stop you and wish you all the best possible. If your family truly love you – they will cry, get upset but not stop you and want the best for you. So, to the guilt trippers out there….wind your necks in and realise that in this day of modern technology, the world (big as it is) isn’t so big anymore.