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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Feeling very trapped in life

Topic: Feeling very trapped in life

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Apfel
    Apfel avatar
    11 posts
    30 December 2019

    I moved to Australia four years and still haven't been able to find a friend. Most of the time I spent my time with my husband but the last couple years we have been arguing a lot. He has severe OCD and have been staying at home for the last few months without a job. I feel we can't really understand each other anymore. I feel so much anger, disapointment and resentment inside of me to him.

    I feel so guilty everyday for being so far away from my parents and couldn't look after them when they are aging everyday. On the other hand, I also feel guilty if I leave my partner. I feel sorry for him but I just don't feel happy with him.

    I feel like a failure too because I couldn't find a good job. I have been working as a waitperson for the last few years and have troubles finding a different career... I recently got my license but because of our financial situation I haven't been able to save money to buy my own car, which also makes it harder to get a job. I feel so trapped everyday.

    I have tried making friends by volunteering but I just can't seem to fit in. I'm not comfortable speaking to people because 1. I'm afraid people not understand my English (my partner always says he can't understand me and I'm a bad communicator) 2. being an introvert it's hard for me to speak loud.. I've tried websites like MeetUp but have never had the courage to actually go to one meeting..

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    Croix avatar
    10547 posts
    31 December 2019 in reply to Apfel

    Dear Apfel~

    Welcome here to the Forum. As an introverted person for whom English is not your first language it would have been very hard to make that post, particularly as you talk of thngs you (mistakenly) think are your fault.

    So I'm very glad you are here and want to start by saying all the thngs you mention are beyond your control, and you have done an awful lot, showing strenght and determination in the face of great difficulties.

    Four years to get established in a foreign country? I think all thngs considered you have done very well indeed.

    You have found and stayed with employment, even though it is far from what you want, you have obtained your driving license -a very good stepping stone, and you have displayed tolerance to your husband, even though he has become increasingly difficult to deal with.

    It may be you can turn your language difficulties into an advantage, is there a local migrant resource center near you, or a similar group just for people from your original country? There you might find volunteering, perhaps even getting employment will be the place where others see you as skillful and knowledgeable. Some job agencies too need non-English speakers to assist.

    With your husband. If he has a mental health condition it needs to be treated, not just stay at home and let things get worse. You anger and frustration is only natural, and while I'm not saying things are his fault I am saying he needs to take charge of is illness and seek help - probably starting with a 'long consultation' with a GP. do you think you can persuade him to go?

    Your parents are adults, and can understand. They may or may not have expectations of help from you, however you have to be in the right circumstances first. If you are not then things have to wait until you are.

    I know they are far away but do you have any family -or your parents - you can talk to who will support you? Even the sound of their voice or video in Skype or similar may be a help. It is hard to be alone.

    You will always be welcome here


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
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    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    7 January 2020 in reply to Apfel

    Hi Apfel,

    I felt your loneliness, disappointment and sadness through your words. It must have been (and is) a huge challenge to adjust to life here, especially with minimal emotional support...

    Your husband isn’t emotionally present, as he is dealing with his own struggles, and friendships have been hard to come by. I really feel for you...I’m glad Croix has already replied to you with compassion and warmth :)

    As far as written communication goes, I think you’re doing a great job. I understand learning a new language is never easy, and especially as it sounds as though your husband has hurt your linguistic confidence.

    Most of my extended family don’t speak English as their first language. Most are either bilingual or trilingual.

    It was, and often still is, a huge challenge for many of them to try to build support networks in an unfamiliar language. Much of their language skills and confidence came with practice.

    As for me, it’s a little different. I was born in Australia, but as we didn’t speak English at home (at the time), I didn’t really learn English till I was in the education system.

    I have hazy memories of that period as I was very young, but I vaguely recall having to learn things that most of my peers already knew. That was because English was their first language, whereas it wasn’t mine.

    I know it’s not the same, but I’m trying to say that I get where you’re coming from. A little at least...

    In your case, I feel in order to grow more confident, and as difficult as it is, I think that it helps to put yourself “out there.” As in, to become more confident in any language, it comes with practising communication in that very language. That often isn’t easy and it can be very nerve racking, but it’s really the only way in my opinion.

    Maybe to build up your language confidence, so that you will eventually feel comfortable meeting those groups, you could consider practising small talk with local retail and hospitality staff e.g. cashier workers at supermarkets, baristas at cafes, etc. Small talk could include things like comments about the weather, asking people about their weekend, whether they have a long shift or not, do they like their job, has it been a busy day at work for them, etc.

    The idea is practice will improve your language skills, which will then hopefully give you the confidence to meet new people. So you can then build those friendships that you crave. Just a gentle idea...

    Kind and caring thoughts,


  4. Apfel
    Apfel avatar
    11 posts
    18 January 2020

    Thank you both for your kind reply. I got a new job in a different industry and hopefully I can be better at it. I’m trying very hard to fit in and get myself talk to other people at work. It doesn’t feel very comfortable and I still feel nervous and scared of people not understanding me or me not understanding others..

    As for my marriage, it just doesn’t seem to be getting better. My husband will not go get help because he doesn’t trust GP and the whole Medical record online thing.. we have arguments at lease once a week. He keeps saying that I don’t acknowledge what I have done to him and I always defend myself. He said I have no empathy to him and his issues. I guess he is right. I should and could have been more patient and more understanding.. when he gets upset, he would shout at me, scream at me, call me names, swear at me, point his finger at me and smash things. Recently he threw something at my direction looking at me and it scared me. He has never hurt me physically though and I don’t think he ever will. I’ve got some anger issues myself too. When he shouts at me I scream back and I throw things too. But I just feel really confused and so hurt. Small things like washing new clothes with old clothes would get him upset and paranoid and he calls me disrespectful names because of this mistake. If he found out I posted our problems here he would be so mad at me...

    Sometimes I feel sad and sorry for him too. The reason why he is angry is because he feels he doesn’t get the love, care and understanding from me. I think I must have hurt him too much and that’s why he’s like this to me. He’s not a bad person so I don’t know why it’s become like this.. I feel the way we think and how we react to things are very different, maybe because we were brought in two very different cultures.. I’m tired of crying all the time..

  5. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10547 posts
    19 January 2020 in reply to Apfel

    Dear Apfel~

    I'm glad you were able to find other job. Doing that is no easy thing and calls for a great deal of courage. Staying in an existing position, even with big problems, can seem safer than taking a risk and branching out.

    As for being understood. I'd sat two things, firstly your English in your posts is good, I've no trouble understanding you and if it was not for your having said you came from elsewhere (together with the German for apple) I'd not have realized English was not your language.

    The second is you have sensitivity and intelligence, and would realize if something you said was being misunderstood and then you could quickly rectify the problem.

    Your husband continues to be a problem, and you are having quite serious arguments. Surely he must recognize this is not the way to a happy and fulfilling marriage?

    Even if he feels it is not all his fault perhaps he might agree to couples counseling (Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277 is good for this). He may or may not be right about trusting record keeping, however he can opt out of the Australian government's medical record system here:

    I'm not in a position to comment if this is a good idea or not.

    It is not easy at all to be parent and understanding when another is screaming abuse and throwing thngs (throwing things back is not a good idea). Perhaps trying to set up boundaries as to what you will put up with and making that clear by walking away might help -not easy either I know.

    You do not have to justify or defend everything you do. As an adult you have perfectly good judgment of your own actions.

    Yes two cultures can be hard, I believe it makes counseling more necessary to translate the behavior of each into something both can accept.


    1 person found this helpful
  6. littleboots
    littleboots avatar
    31 posts
    24 January 2020 in reply to Apfel

    Hello Apfel,

    I wanted to say hello and also let you know that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that justifies your husband abusing you by throwing things at you.

    And also yeah as Croix said, don't throw stuff back either because I don't think that will calm things down much.

    I also think the idea of setting boundaries is a good thing to do. It's about you staying calm & deciding what you will do if certain things happen. Like walking away, not fighting, not arguing. Getting clear of anything dangerous while his temper settles down again.

    Your husband's mental health condition is not your fault. You do know that don't you?

    Keep looking for ways to start friendships. What are some of your hobbies or places to meet people?

    Could you do with some support through your Community Health centre? You may find some groups that will capture your interest's there.

    Well done for getting another job too. I hope you enjoy it.

    Take care,


    1 person found this helpful
  7. Kornblume
    Kornblume avatar
    9 posts
    12 October 2020 in reply to Apfel

    Hello Apfel,

    I know your post is already a few months old and I am wondering how you are doing these days.

    I think we might be having quite similar situations. I am in Australia for a bit longer but have hardly any friends here. I spend most time with my husband, who is an alcoholic.

    I was considering a few times leaving him but I am just so scared of being completely alone and isolated and when he is sober I really get along well.

    We both work in low income jobs and if we would separate, there would be a financial stress as well. I was considering going back to Switzerland but this would also mean I would have to start over at zero.

    Are you still with your husband and if yes, did your situation improve? What did you do to make it improve?

    How do you cope with Covid and not being able to travel home to your Family? We haven't been back for eight years and this year we planned to go to my mother's 80th Birthday.

    I hope to hear from you


  8. Emmen
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Emmen avatar
    388 posts
    14 October 2020 in reply to Kornblume

    Hello Kornblume,

    Welcome to the forums.

    I'm sorry to hear that your relationship with your husband is troubled. I understand you get along well when he is sober, but I wonder if you are generally happy with that. If you have considered leaving him, then it doesn't seem like you're not happy in your marriage at all. Is he willing to seek therapy for his alcoholism and change himself? Would it be possible to talk to him about this when he is sober?

    I understand the struggle of not being able to travel home and meet your family. It's particularly hard for you since you haven't visited in 8 years, and you were intending to attend a significant event. However, COVID is not within our control and personally, I've come to just accept that we have to it is what it is. I know this isn't particularly helpful, but if there's nothing we can do about the situation, then the best thing for our mental health is to accept that the events are beyond our control and not dwell too much on it. Perhaps you could do something special for your mother's birthday from Australia, like sending her a special gift or virtually attending her birthday party via Zoom or Skype. I'm sure she understands why you're unable to be there yourselves.

    Take care,

  9. Kornblume
    Kornblume avatar
    9 posts
    16 October 2020 in reply to Emmen

    Hello M

    Thank you for your reply.

    Me and my husband are very much aware of the problem. We talk about it a lot and we try to find strategies on how to cope.

    He has had times without alcohol, he has tried AA but not very successful. We are not that young anymore and have been together for a very long time.

    The though of having to live without him absolutely freaks me out. I struggle a lot making friends and don't feel comfortable in groups of people.

    Most of the time I don't have a great problem with his drinking, he only starts in the evening and has maybe 4,5...9 cans of beer, on the weekends a bit more. He used to drink whisky and wine which made him really drunk.

    We have a house, a mortgage, pets not a lot of super it all works if it is the two of us but individually we would both struggle a lot.

    So I just try to find the best way on how to cope with the situation I am in, it may lead to getting separated from my husband, but not necessarily. My emotions are quite often an absolute rollercoaster, when I did my first post in the middle of the night after my husband was terribly drunk for two nights in a row, I was ready to leave but now when I think the situation over I am not ready for this step.

    I am going through menopause and even if you say we should not focus on the whole Covid situation it still affects my mental state significant.

    Thanks for taking your time and listening 🤗

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