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  • Writer's picturefrederique STREF

Life style

Life style

How to get through this new ordeal in the life of expatriates?

Yesterday I was reading a recent 2019 essay written by a young woman, belonging to the Third Culture generation, a mention that is now found on the resumes of young people looking for their first or second job. This new denomination concerns a young person who has spent his or her life in one or more foreign countries, thus differing from the country of origin of both parents. During a program on the BBC, Third Culture Kids became Citizens of Everywhere and Nowhere. A subject that I will be pleased to elaborate in another article.

She asserts in her essay that thanks to globalisation, it has never been so easy to settle abroad, either out of curiosity, to seek better opportunities, Erasmus exchanges for students, for love, to follow a partner, to pursue a different way of life to that of one’s family or flourish far from one’s family.

The problems that expatriates may face when relocating were dealt, based on psychoanalytical theories of development. These fascinating topics usually come up already in “normal time” with a large spectrum of questions.

Today, what is the situation? We are caught in an extraordinary, unprecedented crisis, which imposes to remain in residence in certain countries and which, in order to adapt this article to our situation in New Zealand, imposes to stay in the country or to leave it definitively.

Expatriates or immigrants who do not have a Permanent Residence Visa cannot hope to return to resume the life they have established here if they decide to travel to their country of origin to support a family member who is ill or at the end of his or her life in extreme cases, or to be present at a wedding, baptism, an important birthday, graduation celebration or other important events in the life of a family.

How does this restriction translate in a practice?

The terms of oppression, deprivation of freedom, powerlessness, impossible and inevitable decision to question the initial choice of life, couple who no longer know how or where to put the priority because the consequences of the choice whatever it is will be very heavy, renouncing overnight to what we have invested here, renouncing this life that we like, suits us, we flourish daily because we have the right to leave the country but not to return. It is not even a question of accepting or not to be imprisoned in quarantine here, at an additional cost to the cost of the trip, it is just a question of giving up.

Today, the symptoms are an epidemic of extreme tiredness, a loss of enthusiasm, apathy, difficulties to appreciate this daily life in which we put a lot of energy and which can seem paradisiacal seen from elsewhere, because yes the summer is finally here, we are free of all movements within the country, the businesses have resumed, the stores have opened and we still do not talk too much about the economic damages of last year's confinements, on the other hand the psychological consequences are more and more palpable in the daily social interactions.

So, a daily life that could be light and a source of pleasure. That "could", yes, but who is no longer systematically so because this question affects more and more people, men and women alike, children also ask when they will return to Grandma and Grandpa's house to play with their cousins?

What is available to help and face this situation? This subject is more than enough to become an unbearable obsessional thought that comes with anxiety and insomnia to mention the common symptoms. Shall we talk about it?

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