Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Multicultural experiences / Lack of a sense of belonging

Topic: Lack of a sense of belonging

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
    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.
    white knight avatar
    9754 posts
    27 February 2018

    A feeling of not belonging can effect everyone from any background. A person from Australian indigenous heritage raised in Redfern Sydney can feel this bewilderment when he/she feel detachment from their "mob" in outback Oz. A child from European migrants likely feel different than their parents about the home country. They are Italian but their lives have been Australian. They can feel "in betweens".

    Until recently my 61 years has been lacking depth of family information. My family came from Tasmania, a dairy farm and we were forced to move to the mainland for hospital care for my brother. I was a toddler then. On my mothers side the farming life, prior to that we knew that my grandfather started his working life with a bullock team. That's it!! At 15yo I questioned my pop about the family tree. He said "I don't want to talk about it". That caused speculation as to there being aboriginal blood in the family as them days it wasn't mentioned. My cousin did a family tree. It turned out there was likely zero aboriginal blood in the veins and one ancestor arrived in Tassy around 1832.

    On the other side of my family only 2 years ago we found out that the migrants arrived here in 1884 from Scotland. This delay was because there was a family rift in 1958 and only two years ago a cousin messaged me on Facebook, a lady I'd never met that happened to be a genealogist.

    My point being that there was a massive hole in knowledge of our families past. We felt nobodies. That gulf was not unlike my Italian, Greek school friends in the 1960's or that Redfern resident.

    I'd suggest that the mentally unwell is more sensitive to any part of their lives that is not normal, missing facts or lack of depth. For us to be well, well enough to survive ok, we need closure and to get that we need to fill in the voids of our lives and that includes - where we came from and who our ancestors are.

    If those voids are not filled then try various hereditary sites on the www. Such information might result in you feeling grand about yourself.

    An example. I didn't know that my father and six siblings were so poor they attended church in bare feet in 1930. Worshippers looked down on them in disgust. The children went home never to return to the church again and resulted in my fathers anger at churches for the rest of his life. It filled in a gap for me. Also my great granddad went to Tassy to stop growing. At 13yo he was 6'2". Them days cold weather meant you would stop growing. lol

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    1 March 2018 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony WK,

    What a fascinating personal history! I’m glad that looking back at your geneological tree has helped you get closure, acceptance and move forward feeling better about yourself. :)

    3 people found this helpful
  3. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    4 March 2018
    Many of us may be very well aquantainted with our family of origin and our ancestors family tree. This doesn’t minimize the sense of not belonging. In fact, it could be quiet the contrary. We may not belong or connect with our family, our ethnic or spiritual ancestry. Without trying to minimize the impact of displacement, migration, loss of identity, trauma etc, there are numerous deeper causes that can make one feel alienated from their group. People don’t need to be migrants or stolen generation aboriginals in order to feel detached and lost. People often are foreigners in their own country and alone in the midst of their church congregation. For example, sexual orientation can separate someone from their family and faith and community. There are myriads of other factors as many as the individuals that exist upon the earth.
    1 person found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up