Have you ever had the experience that you read a quote and suddenly you saw a situation in a new light? This happened to me a few weeks back when I read these lines:
SOMETIMES WE DON´T WANT TO HEAL
BECAUSE THE PAIN IS THE LAST LINK TO WHAT WE HAVE LOST.
- JM Storm -
Isn't that true for us expatriates who have to leave a place once we move back home or to a new location?
We talked about reveres culture shock before, how it can hit us moving back to a lifestyle that we thought we'd be familiar but suddenly seems more foreign than ever. And we don´t have the words for all the confusion because we are torn by the fact that coming home is not as easy and straightforward as we thought it would be.
We are in pain because we simply miss our old life. The place we used to call home for the last 3 years. The place that was once so foreign to us but slowly we adapted, adjusted, made friends and started to fall in love with a new culture. But this all is taken away from us once we go back home and this is painful. Brutally painful.
Most often we have nobody to share those feelings with because our old friends and family members are happy to have us back and they don't see that we just went through a heartbreak. We might be even in an identity crisis, no longer knowing who we are.
They say time heals everything and if you ask expatriates how long it took them to heal after repatriating the majority says it took them as long to feel back home again as long as they have been away.
Now this can be a scary or an optimistic outlook for you. You might have been away for longer than 5 years and you might think: Wow, 5 years is a long time to miss an old lifestyle. Or you might have been away for 2 years and this gives you the allowance to take the time, to re-adjust to your new old life back in your home country. One thing is for sure: Repatriation takes time and knowing that takes some of the pressure of to fit back in immediately.
But even if you do, there still might be a part in you that is in pain and that part is the link you have with your other home. A home abroad. And maybe this is normal.
Imagine someone had to go through the ultimate pain of loosing a loved one especially a young child. That parent would need time to heal and over the years things might get easier but they probably never ever are without pain when remembering their lost child. The pain is the connection to the person that is gone.
We all know it is not wholesome to dwell in our pain and to not move on and enjoy all the beautiful things in our current life. New places, new friends, new memories, but maybe once in a while it is okay to feel that pain and to know deep down you are still connected to a former place you called home.
COACHING because talking about our pain is essential to the healing process.