Bitched, bothered & bewildered

Sometimes the slightest thing can throw you off or sometimes nothing at all seems to be the culprit. I don’t know if it was the being struck down with the latest desert cold or whether it was something else, but I have definitely feeling detached of late. I am by no means unhappy, in fact I continue to be content with my sandpit life, but there was definitely something that had made me uneasy. Why does a small change in our mood or emotional state become such an issue when living abroad? 

I wasn’t necessarily low or emotional, I guess I just felt off balance, like walking around in a bit of a daze, not really feeling like yourself and more frustratingly I couldnt even identify or pin point the exact moment this mood over took me. At first, in my typical Virgo way I over anyalsed everything! Maybe I was feeling this way because I wasn’t happy anymore, or my desert time had come to an end? Nope that definitely wasn’t it, in fact the thought of leaving really isn’t in my mindset at the moment, I feel settled , hitting my stride reassuringly.

So why if everything was ok,  did I have this feeling of being disconnected?

The day continued and not well……Having exchanged a few messages with people back home, I got this fog of annoyance come over me. I was irritated. I was thinking about how their days would be going, all the daily routines they would be facing, reading their comments on Facebook and I just came over irritated. There was no other word for it. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason for this response, nothing these people had done or said had been directed at me, so why was my reaction to all this, one of frustration and annoyance!?

I found myself being on the outside of their lives and looking in and thinking why would anyone have judgement on my expat life, when the way they live is so far away from anything I would want right now. The craziness in all this was, that no one had actually placed this judgement on me during this morning of emotional irrationality,  but I was having some internal argument with them and myself. I tell you anyone that studies psychology is probably thinking I am a case for review, but I was in a bad mood, I was pissed off. So maybe at that moment, all those people that seemed to no longer give a shit, since I moved away, had come into my mind. Maybe I was processing some latent feelings, being sick of their judgement, the lack of them even trying, showing not even a remote interest in my life, had finally caught up with me.

The problem was whilst I was trying to work through all this, it was just making me more and more bewildered. I started to question everything (in my usual rational, non obsessive way of course) were these people right?

Should I be living the “normal” life of a house, 2.4 kids, school runs, PTA meetings and weekend trips to Waitrose?

The answer was NO, whilst there may have been a time I wanted all of that, I have learnt that that picture perfect conformity, is not the one route to happiness. My life maybe a million miles from all that and I’m sure (in fact I am 100% positive) there are people in my life that think my life is filled with trivial, frivolous routines and I contribute to nothing meaningful. The fact that in that moment, on that random morning, this seemed to dawn on me more prevalently and just made me mad.

I am not here to justify to anyone, my choices, just like I don’t question yours, what I don’t appreciate is that people seem to switch off to me, just because I don’t fit their image of “normal”. So what? I live abroad, I am still the same person you liked and had a friendship with. So what? I chose not to live a carbon copy of what you decided life should be. I am still me. Being an expat does not make me an ex friend.

Suddenly I felt even further away from home, far from maintaining connections with people and whilst there wasn’t a pang of guilt or a desire to pack up and go, it bothered me and yet it actually just made me committed to this life. The issue I then had, was that I felt disconnected from the past relationships, which had then unsettled me in my present. I started to think that even here, over the years, people had got under my skin, got me riled up over my choices, belittled my role in life, just because they see their move to Kuwait as a step down from their previous expat existence. My inability to meet you at the school gates, the fact that I have time to enjoy working out at the gym but you don’t, is not my problem.

That assumption, that even here, we should be living exact replica lives is total bull shit!

At this point I was glad to be distracted by the sinus infection! At least it meant I could hide away, be alone and not have to deal with the all these little things that gotten under my skin and which I had completely blown out of proportion. I just hate the fact that for those few days I was dragged into a space of uncertainty and felt like all my desicions were being undermined.

Maybe all these feelings have built up over my 7 years as an expat, maybe this was just a moment of epiphany and having to call people out on their crap, or maybe it was just a Wednesday, when germs had brought me down and I was a little delirious from too much Lemsip.

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15 thoughts on “Bitched, bothered & bewildered

  1. Oh I adore your honesty in this post! I’m too a Virgo and so I totally get you with all the over analysing some days and the whole feeling low when nothing should have made me feel low but can’t pinpoint it and can’t snap out of it! I think social media can have a negative impact on our mood some days. The wrong comment taken the wrong way or a group of people together and you’re not with them. Everything thrown in your face 24/7 when it’s hard to switch off when all we should really do is throw the phone down and go out for some fresh air and see the beauty of the world at a level that is so much more important! Hope you’re feeling heaps better xx

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    1. Haha honesty or losing the plot!? Us Virgos are special in that over analysing way. I think you’re absolutely right with the social media overload, sometimes it feels like the world is conspiring against you. I am much better now thank you, thinking this post was a therapeutic rant! X

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  2. And I thought this was a Leo problem LOL!

    I don’t know if it helps at all, but 2.4 kids and Waitrose isn’t that normal these days. For most people it’s more like two jobs, hoping ASDA delivers on time, trying to sort school uniform and choices and sending the kids to their Dads at the weekends. And that’s if you chose kids at all.
    I’m not sure how old you are but looking back from the heady heights of 50 (ugh!) I can say that in my experience as a non parent, there comes a point in your 20s/30s where some of your friends fall away while they have families. It’s not so much that they were judging me for not living the same lives, as that they were doing something really time-consuming and frankly scary, and they needed the friendship of other parents in the same way as any traveller to a “foreign”land looks for fellow expats, they found theirs at the school gate.
    I also experienced a period of wondering if my life of wandering was the wrong choice. I think any smart, self- analytical person, going against the generally accepted trend always will. It helped me realise that my choices were right for me and I found peace. Years later I own my own home in a foreign country and I am a full-time step parent to a teen born during that time period, life is fully of ironies!
    I’m glad you got through this and thank you for sharing it, it’s only by sharing our feelings with other people who aren’t “normal”, that we realise how normal we are 😉 Much love from a fellow traveller who loves hearing about your life x

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    1. Thank you so much, this is a great comment and insight into what others have felt in this situation. I guess I don’t know what’s around the corner, hey I never thought I’d be here even 3 years ago! Thank you for reading, taking the time to comment and sharing your experience
      , it makes me feel more “normal” already .

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  3. I think when we find ourselves doing something out with the ‘norm’, as you say, it’s easy to feel judged, question our decisions or over analyse what others are thinking and saying. I would think for the most part the only ones judging us are ourselves. I think it’s always easier to take the obvious path and conform to what society expects from us. I remember when we first met feeling a little envious of how comfortable and happy you seemed in your desert life so I am sure you will find that again soon!

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    1. I think you’re right, self judgement is most likely culprit. Awe that’s a good first impression, I’m glad I came across that way coz I do love my life here, just sometimes you question everything for absolutely no reason

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      1. Yes and to be honest I think we would question ourselves even if we were still living the 9-5 back in the UK it’s just when it’s in expat life we over think it because it’s a decision we have made. Hope you are feeling a bit more like yourself now xx

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  4. This couldn’t be more timely as I too have been feeling bothered. I’d say the worst of was 3 weeks ago.iv It took me a while to put into words and then be ready to post and share. That’s how bad it was. Thankfully I didn’t subject myself to consecutive duvet days (although thats what I wanted to do). Instead I carried on with life and spontaneously became teary or worse just plain cried. Although my little downhill spiral wasn’t due to the judgement as you describe, I think it was from my own judgement from myself. Sometimes I think as expats we judge ourselves too harshly because we need to make sure that decision we made to up and leave everything near and dear to us has to be paying out. Has to be worth it. And so perhaps that’s why we feel things more intensely than if we were in our every day lives. Other times I think its because there is so much instability to our so-called stable lives that one little wobble is enough to tip us over. I hope you are feeling better and more like yourself these days xx

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    1. Sorry to hear you are not in a great place at the moment, it’s rubbish when you can’t shake it off. I totally agree that self judgement is dangerous and we definitely pile the pressure on ourselves. We all have wobbles and hopefully they don’t last too long x

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  5. I really don’t understand why friends get like that!! My so called best friends of 25 years cut me out of their lives completely after I moved and it made me question how real their friendship actually was for all those years. It’s odd by I often get that angry, irritated feeling too and I have no idea why!!

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  6. I recognise those feelings exactly. I think it’s just a general feeling of disappointment in people that you had previously hoped would be more interested and would make more of an effort to keep in touch. I bet it feels as if you’re making so much effort in keeping relationships going and it’s always you that communicates. We feel the same with so many people from our old lives. They were all supportive and communicative immediately after we left but gradually most have dropped away until we’re down to the bare bones. Friends we thought were super close are not interested and family we assumed would stay connected just disappeared.
    It’s not you, it’s them. I don’t know why it happens but people just seem to lose interest after a while. The big question is whether you keep trying or just cut your loses and give up. We’re sort of going through those decisions at the moment.

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      1. We actually started our blog just for our family and close friends and sadly hardly any of them ever read it anymore. Difficult sometimes to understand if we’ve done something wrong but we try not to think about it too much.

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