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Difficult dilemma
Posted by nicknealuseche
14th Nov 2019

Hi, my name is Nick. I am new to the SANE blog. I just wanted to share with you all the dilemma that I have and how it has affected my mental health.

Twenty years ago I met Catalina from Colombia. We hit it off and then we decided to get married. We had two children and we built a life in and around Bath in the South West of England. I got a job in sustainable energy which was great and Catalina worked in architectural projects.

Every few years we would visit Colombia to see Catalinaís family. In 2004, my son Sami was diagnosed with being on the Autistic Spectrum which was a big shock to our system. We had brought a house but decided to sell it to pay for his educational needs before he went to school and got statemented (basically the process of getting the state to pay for his educational needs).

We accumulated a lot of debt during this time which we were paying off when the financial crisis happened and both Catalina and I lost our jobs in 2009. We managed to pick up work here and there. Then Cata went with the kids to Colombia for a few months. Because I missed them, I followed and then was offered a job. This was now April 2010. We had all lived in Colombia from then up to July this year when we came back to the UK for a holiday and I stayed to look for work. I have now been in the UK for more than three months on my own. I got a job working in a school as an innovation teacher (I had taught for three years in Colombia).

I now have a big dilemma about whether to go back to Colombia or to stay in the UK and bring my family over in 2020. I have been missing them a lot and have found getting used to the UK and to my new job very challenging and this has sent me into depression. I have tried to stay positive and in order to do this tried to do things that I like like exercising with the local athletics club and going into London. I have also started at times eating a lot of chocolate and drinking. I donít things the drinking and eating is at a bad level at this moment, but I know I am doing them to make me feel better, which seems to work in the short term but obviously not in the long term.

I am just not sure what to do. I really cannot contemplate living in Colombia because it does not offer me good career prospects. On the other hand my family is settled there are there are many things (e.g. climate, friends, support of my wifeís family) that make it a nice place to live. I do not want to uproot my family again as this was very disruptive, unless I am really sure it is a good idea. My job is okay, but it is a difficult school in a difficult area and I am not sure if in the long run it is what I want to do. I actually would like to go back and work in sustainability.

This week I have just been feeling that I have a lot of suppressed feelings. Another aspect to things is that both of my parents have passed. I have lots of brothers and sisters here, but my closest one died three years ago from cancer, and so I find myself in the UK feeling slightly lost at sea. Also we would initially be living in Hastings (where the school is), where I know practically nobody and so am not sure if this is a good move for my family.
This decision has been occupying my mind for a long time. Whether to come back to the UK or not, but there just seems to be no easy resolution. Either we come back and expect to have a few years of really hard adjustment or I keep on living in Colombia and feeling unfulfilled personally while my family, nonetheless thrives.

What should I do. I do not know? I need to make the decision now because I have a ticket back to Colombia for Christmas. I need to either throw myself into my current job and get my family over here as soon as possible or go back.

My wife by the way is very supportive and has been extremely patient with me. She thinks we should come over to the UK at least until the summer and if it hasn't worked out by then we can always go back to Colombia. I think however that if we are going to come over we will need a couple of years to see if things work out. My concern is actually more to do with my son who is now 17 and what this might do to him and how he might cope with his autism with such a change. Also my daughter is at a critical stage in her education equivalent to final years of GCSE (although she will not sit GCSEs in the Colombian system).

It all seems like a mess, and I could really do with some advice about what to do.

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