14 Answers

Hi we moved to Western Australia from Europe 11 years ago when the kids were 6 and 10. It has been a struggle and very lonely with not having any family around us. We have thought about moving back a lot but we always¬†tried persevering hoping things would get better and easier but now I have lost my job which could result in us losing our home. We want to move back to Europe but my 17 year old (18 in January) won’t even entertain the idea. He suffers from OCD and depression so there is no¬†way I would leave him behind. He doesn’t really have any close friends as he has spent the last 2 years at home alone battling his illness so he drifted from his mates who graduated from high school this year. Has anyone been in a similar position? How did you tackle it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as we are just existing here, living in hope that things will get better but in reality it has been 11 miserable long years. Thanks.

Posted anonymously, 3rd December 2014

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  • It’s sad that you’ve had a bad time in Australia and I can understand you wanting to go back to your family overseas. It might be just the thing your son needs to re-set and get on his feet. I hope everything worked out for you all.

  • That is going to feel tough. It’s a huge adjustment to move suburbs, it’s even bigger to move countries. I hope you’re all successfully settled now

  • I hope things improved for this family.

  • How sad that you’ve had such a bad time in Australia. Your son will be feeling very Australian which is why he might be reluctant to return to your homeland

  • I see this is a question dating back from December 2014. I’m curious what you decided and how you and your family coped. My first thought reading your question was “is your 17 year old getting help by his condition ?” OCD and depression are not things you can battle on your own, certainly not as a 17 year old.
    We too came from Europe 8 years ago. We love it here, but I understand your feelings about missing family and loneliness. When I first moved from the Netherlands to Northern Ireland I felt lonely and isolated too. Looking back I nearly got depressed too. Our move to Australia improved that, but missing family will always be there.

  • I hope you have been able to find a solution. It appears you could all do with a change of scenery.

  • I hope you have found a solution. I don’t think you can really force a child of that age to move. This is his home, and if he is already struggling with some mental health issues than a huge upheaval may not be helpful.

  • I hope you found a way back home but really life here is less than a struggle than in europe atm, altho I understand about missing your family and people whom you love and feel close to. but as i”m sure your son sees this as his home also. will his depression clear moving to the other side of the world i wonder. let us all know how you got on and if you are all happier now.

  • I hope you’ve found a solution; I have no suggestions.

  • Also; individual support for your son.

  • I suggest family counselling as everyone will be able to discuss their situation with some support.

  • I can understand your situation. It seems you would be happier if you sell up and return to Europe, you will have family and friends (hopefully work) and your son will learn that for him all that is changing is his address. He has no friends here, he stays home and he can do that anywhere. You have to do what you need to do for everyone in the family. He is almost 18 and is dependent on you so he really has no other option than to go with you. I am also wondering what is being addressed about his illness. He does need to learn to live independently. Perhaps some family counseling would be helpful for assisting you in the decisions you need to make sooner rather than later. I wish you and your family all the best.

  • That’s a tough question. We left Europe in 1996, traveled around the world. We arrived in WA almost 3 years ago. My daughter is now 12. She didn’t have any special problem before, with the different moves. But now she’s older. Your kids are even older. That makes it so much more difficult. Does your son remember anything about Europe? Is it not that he’s simply a little bit scared of changes? They can be quite unsettling. To adults too. And maybe his illness makes everything more extreme and disorienting. Is there any chance to go to Europe for a short holiday before the final decision? Maybe being there, visiting different cities, family members and friends, he will feel more secure and less frightened. I understand that if you are not happy here, the best would be to go back. But of course you want to see your son happy too. Is your son followed by any psychologist that could help you arriving to the best decision for everybody?

  • I’m so sorry to hear you are having such a hard and unhappy time. I think you need to find out why your son wants to stay and then you can try to convince him of the positives of the move.

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