Multicultural experiences

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Chris_B Welcome to the Multicultural Experiences section
  • replies: 0

Hi everyone, Welcome to the Multicultural Experiences section, a sub-forum within the wider beyondblue forum community. beyondblue acknowledges and respects the diversity of communities across Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islande... View more

Hi everyone, Welcome to the Multicultural Experiences section, a sub-forum within the wider beyondblue forum community. beyondblue acknowledges and respects the diversity of communities across Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Australians. beyondblue also recognises the complexities of identity and that people may identify with more than one community. Depression, anxiety and suicide can affect any of us at any time – regardless of our culture or background. We also know that a range of factors can make it harder for people in some communities to seek and access support. This section is for members born overseas, are the children of parents born overseas, have a language other than English as your primary language, or come from a family with mixed cultural heritage. Please be aware that posts in this forum may contain discussions of suicide, self-harm and/or traumatic life events. As per our community rules, please be mindful when posting about the level of detail you share on these topics as it can be upsetting for other members. We look forward to hearing your stories. Become a Multicultural Correspondent Are you from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background? Are you interested in being a regular contributor to this section? We are seeking members who will actively participate in discussions and start up new threads on topics of interest to CALD communities (6-10 quality posts per week). Please get in touch with our team to discuss.

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darkenedsun Triggered by possibility of an arranged marriage
  • replies: 4

I am South Asian woman in my mid-twenties living in Australia and I recently completed my Bachelor and am doing all things visa and finding work and what not. You know about the invisible timeline set by society (from what I know and have seen in my ... View more

I am South Asian woman in my mid-twenties living in Australia and I recently completed my Bachelor and am doing all things visa and finding work and what not. You know about the invisible timeline set by society (from what I know and have seen in my South Asian culture, especially in my country), where you graduate high school, go to uni, get a degree, find a job and get married have kids.. that sort of timeline... Well, I told some news to my parents that is related to my career that makes me happy, it's sort of the culmination of the Bachelor that I studied. They congratulated me and started going on about the timeline I mentioned above, especially marriage. Now, marriage is a subject that I know triggers me cause I've seen and lived among some horrible marriages filled with abuse, violence, belittling, degrading, disrespectful and just absolutely horrible. I'm trying to work through some of the trauma and heal but I haven't been able to see my therapist because of money issues.. she's experienced in dealing with trauma and stuff and we had a good relationship going where I could actually be vulnerable to her about my trauma and we did some good work. Anyway, then my parents go on about finding me a husband and I'm like no no that's not necessary and just tried to gloss over it and change the subject which I did. Just minutes after, I am feeling absolutely horrible, I feel like I'm going to spiral out of control, shaking and scared out of my wits. I feel like puking.. I feel like this an unreasonable way to react and if I had been at home when this happened I would've lost it. I'm so scared.. I don't want to be abused and degraded and disrespected by someone I will have to consider a partner... I'm really confused and scared even though this hasn't even happened yet. When my dad puts his mind to something he does not give up, he will do anything to get his way, he will guilt trip me into doing things I don't want to do. Although I have been setting stronger boundaries and staying away from the people pleasing I feel like the work I've done would wash away and say yes to stuff I don't even want, because it's him asking me.. I am so scared.. Help? Am I thinking too much?

asianaussie Experienced a Casual Racist incident at my workplace.
  • replies: 17

Hi, so I currently work for a spa company as a Massage Therapist, for a few months now. I happen to be the only non-white staff in this workplace. The staff have been professional, but I don't feel they like me very much. Things had been going okay u... View more

Hi, so I currently work for a spa company as a Massage Therapist, for a few months now. I happen to be the only non-white staff in this workplace. The staff have been professional, but I don't feel they like me very much. Things had been going okay until a few weeks ago, when a customer used a toilet in a squatting position and broke the seat. Additionally, faeces and urine was also left on the floor. I was called up by my boss, for a 'disciplinary discussion'. Usually warm and friendly, she sternly informed that a staff member had reported to her about me. She mentioned that the staff said that 'I was a Chinese student' (I'm actually Australian born), and so I needed to know and respect 'Australian conducts and professional rules', going on to talk about 'proper toilet usage' and 'interacting with others'. I tried to clarify and stand to her that I was not responsible, even going as far as to give her my shoe size as proof. She didn't believe me, saying 'she wasn't sure if I was telling the truth', and as a result, ordered me to undergo 'additional training' and also be accompanied by one of the front house attendants during massages and assisting with customers. Eventually, she reviewed CCTV footage and realised that it really was someone else, she apologised and backtracked on her actions, although she said it laughing and cheerily. But the damage had already been done. The whole team knows this and don't trust me, even some ignoring or scolding me to 'watch the mess' and 'remember to do this do that'. Although I understand I have only worked a few months, there have been others who started work around the same time and don't get the wariness and suspicion as I do. I've dealt with racial bullying, harassment and discrimination in my life, but this incident has really soured my trust with the company. Especially that they said in their T&C's that discrimination against race would result in 'action' and 'suspension'. Each day that I go to work, I feel shame, humiliation and outcasted, and I struggle everyday to feel like I fit in and trust the team again. I dislike 'standing out' as an 'Asian' and having some people point that out. But I can't leave because I'm on a 1-year contract, and I need money anyway to pay for my needs.

blueskye Interracial Dating - How to overcome Walls
  • replies: 13

I'm Australian born and my ethnicity is Chinese. My partner is Western. Being in an interracial relationship comes with walls/issues that would not have been there if I dated someone else with the same ethnic background. Issues that I came across wit... View more

I'm Australian born and my ethnicity is Chinese. My partner is Western. Being in an interracial relationship comes with walls/issues that would not have been there if I dated someone else with the same ethnic background. Issues that I came across with my partner included - language barrier (he can't speak Chinese so he can't communicate with my Mum), not understanding traditions (e.g. no shoes inside the house), other people assume I'm a gold-digger (when I actually pay for everything), his family initially thought I was temporary (an international student or studying exchange from Asia, his family initially thought I didn't know English (his Mum spoke extra slow with me when we first had a chat, even though I can speak English just fine), etc. The list goes on. ** The question to those in interracial relationships - How do YOU deal with problems from your relationship? ** With me, I tried my best to educate my partner, his family and others. If his family said something I considered not funny because it was racist, I wouldn't laugh. Instead, I maintained a deadpan face. It seems to be working because there hasn't been any racist comment for ages. Apart from my deadpan face, I'm my fabulous self to his family. I show them then I love my partner and that our relationship is awesome. My partner has adapted to comply with my culture and is very stubborn about remaining in a relationship with me, which I love. At the end of the day, it's our relationship, not anyone else's. I think we look very cute together!

Sophia16 Ethnic dad with anger issues
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Hi guys, I'm just really annoyed at my dad. He doesn't respect my mother, who has given him everything. She is the only one that works in the household since my dad has a broken leg. She pays for everything, she cooks and she cleans. My dad doesn't a... View more

Hi guys, I'm just really annoyed at my dad. He doesn't respect my mother, who has given him everything. She is the only one that works in the household since my dad has a broken leg. She pays for everything, she cooks and she cleans. My dad doesn't appreciate anything she does. and to top it off, he treats her parents with no respect. He stresses my mum out. I asked my mum to divorce him but she said no because he has good qualities about him. He literally emotionally abuses me, my sister and my mum. I seriously don't know what to do. I am not allowed to move out until I'm married. Everything is just hard.

rinkoko Losing confidence in my second language journey
  • replies: 4

Hi! As the title suggests, I'm seeking some advice on keeping my head up while trying to learn a second language. I'm mixed, and grew up speaking mainly English at home. My lacking skills at my second language has been a big insecurity for me, but I'... View more

Hi! As the title suggests, I'm seeking some advice on keeping my head up while trying to learn a second language. I'm mixed, and grew up speaking mainly English at home. My lacking skills at my second language has been a big insecurity for me, but I've started working a job at a local business where I need to speak my second language basically all the time with the owners (natives). They know my situation, and difficulties, and they are super nice, but often when I'm speaking to them I make mistakes that I overthink for the next week or so. It's just so embarrassing, and stops me from initiating conversations or keeping them going. Today was one of those days - somehow I told the owners that my mother has 4 brothers.... she has two. My own brother has aged a few years according to my pronunciation. The other day I managed to say I haven't left the country in ten years, when it's only been half that? They think I travel to uni on a bike, when I really drive (TOO FAR!!), because I pronounced it improperly and didn't realise why they were surprised until MUCH later? I have no confidence to correct any of these small "lies" with my broken language, and no hope in forgetting them. These are just examples of one kind of mistake too - on the daily I am receiving confused faces, clarifications on two words I just said, and outright swaps to English from the people fed up with my attempts to explain something in the second language. Serving customers in English is like a break from destroying my confidence by going in the back. I don't see any one else's attempt to speak another language as embarrassing, and I've watched my immigrant mother do it for years, but I feel like crawling into a pit and never coming out every time I flub it up myself. All of my mixed friends are fully bilingual. I really need to hear from some mixed monolingual comrades. :((

Baljit International students - Integration Strategies
  • replies: 4

Hi All, Being a British born Sikh, who migrated from the UK to Australia with my family, I was reflecting how challenging the transition was especially when it came to leaving our family and friends back in the UK, and even now couple of years on we ... View more

Hi All, Being a British born Sikh, who migrated from the UK to Australia with my family, I was reflecting how challenging the transition was especially when it came to leaving our family and friends back in the UK, and even now couple of years on we all still experience a level of loneliness. This got me thinking regarding how international students, (whose second language is English), cope with the transition to a new country, especially if they travel on their own and do have not have any family or friends at their final destination. Therefore, it would be really useful to hear from individuals who have experienced this journey, in regards to: 1. What strategies did/or you implement when you are feeling lonely? 2. What support network, did/do you have available (ie Gurdwara, Temple, Mosque, Church, social networks etc?) 3. What was the most difficult part of your transition? I am hoping that by sharing this information, it will support others and start a group conversation Many thanks in advance…

KaiShirou A mental health student seeking multicultural answers
  • replies: 1

Hi all, I am an international student who is currently studying counselling and coaching, and it has been quite a ride while I have been here the last 2 years. Having come from a country where I did not feel like I belonged and having had sentiments ... View more

Hi all, I am an international student who is currently studying counselling and coaching, and it has been quite a ride while I have been here the last 2 years. Having come from a country where I did not feel like I belonged and having had sentiments flung at me in my youth where, "if you didn't like it here, then why not just leave?". This did not help with constant feelings of being ostracised even as I grew, gotten a diploma for creative arts and work. It doesn't help that I identified as LGBTQIA+ and lived in a country of conservatism and traditionalism. I had felt occasional empowerment through my own autonomy to initiate and do things like take on coaching training while working in an educational institute. However, even that was not enough when an incident happened that really shook me to the core and really touched on the old wounds of feeling ostracised. I felt enough was enough, and made plans to come here to Australia to study since I could not get creative jobs due to the lack of market and high competitivity in my country of origin. So over the past 2 years, I hadn't really experienced Australia enough, but initial experiences made me feel quite welcomed with open arms for a while. Then I guess the excitement of meeting new people wore off, and I was back to where I was. Reflecting on the past, I don't know if this is the result of some personality disorder or some other thing which I am not aware of. I can sufficiently present myself albeit with tentativeness since I do have performance anxiety, and I can empathise with others, yet feel insecure about putting myself into the conversation unless it has purpose to help the other. Sometimes I catch myself acting in response from a place of hurt, but it's hard to really know when I don't have someone who can understand and discuss this with me. I do live with my partner, but they don't have the same emotional depth and ability to empathise in this manner. Likewise with friends because I just drop whatever I was feeling to focus on them when they share about themselves. So here I am, feeling kind of worn out and still trying to make sense of my own intersectionality, living in this controversial world that is still rife with various forms of injustices. I'm trying to do my best, but it feels like a one sided effort. And caring is the only way I can really push myself to still keep going, but I don't know if this is a sustainable way to do it.

Yen2 Educating locals
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Hello, I’m an international student from south east Asia (Chinese) and want to open a discussion about the best way to educate Australian locals about cultural differences and why ethnicity and nationality matters in a foreign country. I have a frien... View more

Hello, I’m an international student from south east Asia (Chinese) and want to open a discussion about the best way to educate Australian locals about cultural differences and why ethnicity and nationality matters in a foreign country. I have a friend who is Australian and in every way not Asian. I realise that there are some differences in how we were raised in respect to physical intimacy, humour, temperament, etc. He’s a lovely friend don’t get me wrong. And he isn’t the only person that I wanted to educate. I wish to find gentle ways to educate locals on the reasons behind my actions (cultural). I have seen people brush past me, my friends (all Asian) and foreigners in general on situations such as racism, stereotyping and believing we have the same rights as citizens do. (Surprise, not really.) And our way of coping is “That’s how it is as a foreigner in Australia”.

randomperson Feeling guilt/shame in taking therapy when dad told me that I can rely on him instead
  • replies: 14

Hi, I’m an international student and I’m currently seeing a psychologist. My Taiwanese dad says that we shouldn’t rely on meds and psychologists, since it’s mostly placebo and we are the only ones who can solve the issues we have w/in ourselves (don’... View more

Hi, I’m an international student and I’m currently seeing a psychologist. My Taiwanese dad says that we shouldn’t rely on meds and psychologists, since it’s mostly placebo and we are the only ones who can solve the issues we have w/in ourselves (don’t need other ppl telling us what to do). He asked me to confide in him instead, and I do feel better after doing this. Please note that I don’t want to generalise the Taiwanese culture. The thing is, the psychologist has helped me in managing existential crisis and other things I don’t tell my parents about. Also, hw extension is useful, tho I feel like I’m taking advantage of it. I did tell him about my dad’s views, and he said that if I find it helpful, then I can continue (ergo, my choice). I do agree, yet I also feel a bit guilty. Maybe I don’t need to rely/burden ‘other’ people if I can just talk w/ my dad. Maybe I don’t need to uselessly spend money. Maybe things would be easier & resolved if I just become brave enough to tell my parents about my issues directly instead of confiding w/ the psychologist first. Maybe I don’t have to hide anything from my dad. I also kind of agree w/ my dad’s reasoning (for my situation). However, I don’t know how I can tell my parents about my existential crisis, etc. I’m scared of their reactions. I also think I’m quite selfish; most of the stress is from w/in e.g. procrastination, laziness, self-loathing. They might tell me to be ‘more open-minded’, not meanly, but I would feel very irritated. I’m sure I’m just overthinking tho. I sometimes think that maybe it’s all in my head. I’m not diagnosed w/ anything. Maybe I’m just an attention-seeker who wants help from ‘other’ people (e.g. lifeline, beyondblue, psychologist) even tho I can solve my problems on my own. A counsellor told me that the psychologist could help me find a better way to talk w/ my dad about my issues. I don’t think I’m ready, but I wonder if I should just get it over with. I’m feeling overwhelmed w/ uni rn and very unmotivated to the point where I don’t know what I’m doing with my life (uni -> job kind of mindset). And honestly, it’s not like I’m doing much about it. I still procrastinate, I don’t go thru modules in cci, etc. I don’t exactly know what I want to do w/ this, whether it’s just ranting or wanting advice on how to deal w/ the guilt from hiding this from my dad? It’s just something that I think about sometimes. Nonetheless, I would be thankful if someone could give me tips on this?

AJH Why do all white girls hate me?
  • replies: 10

I'm a 37 year old mixed race male where unfortunately my mothers Philippine genes left a stronger mark on my looks than my white Dads genes did. Theres a saying that 'we can't help what we are attracted to' and in my case that is white girls; those o... View more

I'm a 37 year old mixed race male where unfortunately my mothers Philippine genes left a stronger mark on my looks than my white Dads genes did. Theres a saying that 'we can't help what we are attracted to' and in my case that is white girls; those of English, Scottish and Irish descent. Blondes, redheads and blue eyes do it for me. My misfortune with women has plagued me my entire life. No girlfriends through high school. I couldn't even get any of my female peers to partner up with me to do the Deb in year 10 or the year 11 formal or year 12 valedictory. I had to miss out or just go alone. I did hear that they all rejected me because apparently I would have spoilt the photos of their special night...I tend to agree now. I'd turn myself down if I could too lol. After high school I did TAFE for 4 years and same thing again; no interest in my whatsoever despite my attempts and advances. I didn't kiss or hug my first girl until I was 33. We met at church. An unrewarding relationship stumbled along for 3 painful unrewarding years. We never had sex...I wanted to but she declined. Towards the end the kissing stopped as well because apparently I made her sick...glandular fever or something. So I'm still a virgin and a loser because of it. I've had no luck at singles events, speed dating, online dating which I've spent a small fortune on. No one is interested or replies unless they are a scammer. I've lost money to that as well...perhaps I care to much. I don't know what to do. It gets me down quite badly not being good enough for anyone. It gives me a headache every day of my life. My zest for life has dried up. The days where I don't have work it is a battle to even get out of bed. This isn't how I imagined my life would turn out. I'm not a bad person and I haven't done anyone any wrong. But the nightmare is real. I don't see a way forward apart from undergoing plastic surgery which will be very expensive. I've done the psychologists via the mental health care plan, antidepressant medication, hypnotism (didn't work but I went along with it because I felt bad for the practitioner), life coaching which was very expensive, love coaching in Melbourne, reading a lot of self help books and more. Does anyone suggest what I should do? Thanks.