Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Losing hope of being happy in Australia.

Community Member


I'm a 27 year old woman, born in Italy but of mixed race Dominican. I've lived my childhood and teen years between Italy and Dominican Republic and I'm very close to all my relatives and my family as is usual in my two cultures. Family is everything.

When I was 20, I met my now Fiancé online through MMORPG (we are both into gaming) and after a 6 year ordeal to get money and Visas, with me coming and going from AU multiple times, we've been finally living together for a year and a half in WA, in a small town near the beach.

It made sense that I'd be the one moving, since I know English and I've traveled all my life, while my SO never left his town. We get along well, and the relationship is rock solid.

Sadly, my problem has been the complete isolation I am in since I've moved. My SO has no family to speak of, dad was never in the picture and mother is an alcoholic and and an addict so I've never met her. Other than him, I have no friends, no connections, nothing. Although I partly blame this on Covid, our little town was not affected by any regulations, we never closed shops or had to wear masks, it was business as usual. I feel terrible all the time, I've always been on the shy side but in Italy I had a few solid friendships that kept me sane, and the boundless love of my family. Here I wake up in silence, spend my day in silence, and only find solace in my SO's company after work.

I suffer from depression and anxiety disorder, plus PTSD, which brings me to how I finally broke. I had found a job after my bridging visa was approved, and sadly I was repeatedly abused mentally for weeks, which constantly triggered my PTSD which is work related, as I've been abused in the past.. I thought moving countries across the world would have helped, and yet I've been hurt again, had to be hospitalized for a week. I'm being followed by a psychologist and a wonderful GP, but while I feel better after I talk to them, the feeling never lasts. The extreme hour difference between here and Italy makes it so I can never hang out with my friends online, and I find myself not contacting my family so I don't worry them.

I cannot relate to Australians here, they make fun of my accent, my food, my mannerisms. I go along, thinking jokes are the norm here, but no one has space for me in their world. I'm cute to have around so they can ask me random questions about Europe, but it never goes further than that.

I wonder if I'll ever be happy here.

18 Replies 18

Hello Artemisia,

Welcome to the forums. I understand your isolation after moving - I've been living here for about the same time as you and still haven't made any friends of my own. Where I live, COVID did affect our lives so that made it hard to meet anyone new. I'm shy around people as well.

As you've already found out, you're not alone in finding it hard to make friends. I'm really glad you found that Facebook group - I honestly do think that finding a community online is far easier than finding one in real life. Not being able to find a social group doesn't necessarily mean being unhappy though, so don't lose hope. I wonder if there are other things that make you happy, that you can pursue in place of trying to meet people. A hobby or an activity you love, perhaps? I'm not saying that you should give up on making friends, but rather, have something else as well so that your happiness is not solely dependent on your ability to make friends. That, I like to believe, will come with time as Summer Rose has pointed out.

I'm sorry about your work situation. Would you be able to find another job where you are not mentally abused?


thanks for replying TheBigBlue!

I understand what you mean, and I would have loved to be able to laugh it off and I am familiar with the "Australians love to joke like that with foreigners to make them feel included" thing, my fiancé explained it to me.

Sadly in this instance it was less than tasteful jokes, repeated through time. (at least at work, that is)

I'm glad to hear the missus thing is commonplace actually, I always thought it was the weirdest thing not to be acknowledged by name in a convo, but I guess it's just how it is!

I'm not a big social media person and I admit my mother has been dying to know more about my whereabouts, I've just been too depressed to talk to her and my relatives. I will make a bigger effort to include them in my life online, I miss them so very much.

I've been online all day yesterday joining all possible online groups from this town, reading all the conversations happening there. Nothing of notice yet, but trying is giving me some hope..

Thank you Rose.

Oh I would l o v e to be able to host a dinner party. Everytime I had the chance to, I've cooked and sent things on to people I barely knew just for a chance at a chat! But apart being told I am a good cook, nothing much happened.

We don't know anyone that well for us to invite to our home yet.

As for the job, it is the first time I actually stood up to the injustice and wrote a letter to the human resource officer. Which makes me proud and equally terrified. I do not yet know what my higher ups think, but depending on what is done to resolve this situation, I may consider staying or leaving this job. (which makes it sound like I have choices, but the reality is that leaving will put me in a very bad financial situation)

My past abuse and trauma has taught me that if the situation doesn't get better once I report the issue, it never will. And the only victim is going to be me. I do not want to damage my body and mind further just to survive..

I tried looking into this fair work/compensation thing, but I don't think I have been working there for enough time to be eligible, sadly. I have sent an email to APM though, in case I suddenly find myself jobless, maybe they can help me find a job that won't trigger my PTSD.

I will search and try that app, more help is always welcome, thank you for the suggestion!

Hey Emmen!

thanks for your words. Knowing there are other people like me, struggling with this issue makes me feel less alone. I hope you get to find your own meaningful connections too.

I do have hobbies! I love to paint, I play videogames, read books and do a little gardening. Literally the only things keeping me sane along with my partner.

I don't know about the job. If I get fired or I walk away, I'm back to 0, sending my CV to everyone for everything. I'm currently seeing if I am eligible for APM, their site seems promising. I am very scared of what my next job could mean for me, I don't know if I can take another hit.

Hello Artemisia,

I'm glad your hobbies keep you sane! We're very much alike in that - my hobbies and partner keep me sane too! Another thing I thought of - would there be any volunteering opportunities where you live? It may provide you with opportunities to meet people too. It may immediately sound like a way to make good friends, but you never know who you may meet.

As for the job, I get what you mean. Going back to 0 and the whole uncertainty is very exhausting and demoralizing. Do take your time to think about it. You'll never know how the next job will be until you try, but only do so when you feel you're ready to take that chance.


Community Member

Hello, Artemisia...

I wrote one response to your post and deleted it, because it was just too depressing and you don't need that! Let me try again. Due to a very violent ex husband and the Hague convention, I was never allowed to return home with my child, so had to make a life here, without any family or friends, so I've been a very reluctant resident. Australian culture can be difficult to navigate, especially around misogyny, homophobia and racism however, all is not lost! While it is incredibly alienating being alone in this country, there are people here who will welcome you with open arms and bring joy into your life. I live with a number of physical and psychological conditions now, as a direct result of domestic violence, including ptsd and anxiety disorder and when I'm having a bad hair day, (or week, or month), I pull up the drawbridge, fill the moat with pirahanas, heat the pitch and threaten to hurl my cats at anyone who dares attempt to break my self imposed isolation. I think some of the problem lies with the misconception that some Australians believe that the only reason people come out here is because their home country is shit and that immigrants who settle here should be grateful to be allowed to stay here. I, like you, gave up my dear family, long held friendships, and beautiful country, for love. It is such a shame that monsters only show their true identity when only their victim is around to witness their depravity, (going a bit dark...drag myself back to the sunlight). Having said all that, when I'm able to cope with social interactions, I really enjoy my craft group. They all know my foibles and thankfully, all of the members are incredibly patient with me. I'm not much of a people person, (totally misanthropic, tbh), so again, when my body lets me, I take myself off out and away into the bush for a nice walk and take my camera so I can shoot some content that I can produce my illustrations from. As for work, before I was made disabled, I had my own signwriting business, of which I was very proud. When the ability to work was stripped from me, I volunteered for a number of years at an RSPCA charity shop. It was great to be able to keep my hand in and I learned a whole heap about how others cope with their problems. Animals are never ending sources of love, have you considered volunteering a couple of hours at a shelter? If my health was better, it's what I'd be doing.

Community Member

I wish you all the best. I've got friends from different backgrounds. Even many Australians are originally from overseas. You will find that there are good and bad people in all countries. By the way, have you tried joining a Lion's Club or Rotary Club? These guys are helpful too.

Wish you all the best.

Community Member

Hi, I understand how you feel. It's hard being far from family and close friends. I think that sometimes people don't know what to talk with foreigners. It creates a sort of discomfort that results in asking always the same questions. In my perspective it is other people's insecurity but we perceive like something is not right with us. If you actively change by being the one a asking questions, it may changes the result. This is not to say that you're not making enough effort, but just that mindset is very important. Be confident, be proud of who you are.

It's easier to say... What if I don't like football? Should I fake interest just to make friends...? I do feel cultural differences in relationships if I compared to how friendship is addressed in other countries, especially latin county... Not saying, one is better than another one, they are just different