living In Oz and feelings of not fitting in
Hello and welcome to the forum. Also a warm welcome to Australia from a fellow Pommie. I have lived here for 48 years so have become used to the place. However I found it difficult to fit in at first though this may have been because we went straight to the country where my husband had a job. By the way, am I missing something? What does OH stand for? It's got me puzzled as I can usually work out what initials stand for.
I had to read up about body dysmorphia as I do not know much about it. It sounds quite unpleasant and I am sure it adds to your difficulty meeting people. Do your husband's family come from a different culture to you? I am surprised that an Aussie family would be so unwelcoming. My experience with Aussies in general is that they are friendly and open. Please believe I am in no way belittling you. I am very sad for you if this has been your experience of Aussies.
Knowing no one and having difficulty taking the first step to meet others is very hard. We went to live in Biloela when we arrived and our accommodation was quite sparse. No neighbours so I can understand how lonely you must feel. I'm not sure how I began to talk to people. I doubt it was my engaging personality as I was very shy and found it hard to have casual chats. I had also been told that Aussies were wary of Poms because we were seen as 'stuck up'. So I walked a fine line of being friendly but not pushy and it was difficult. Things got a little easier when my first baby was born and I met other moms at the baby clinic.
From my brief research on body dysmorphia I understand this condition is usually treated by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Do you see anyone? Actually I suppose I meant did you see anyone in the UK? It sounds as if it would be helpful to 'sign up' with a local GP and get to know him/her with a view to talking about your difficulties. What do you think? Australia has good doctors in general and they will be able to talk to you easily about anything.
You will need a Medicare card to be able to access the medical system. I expect your husband has a card but probably has not thought to tell you how to go about this. There should be a Medicare office where you live. Write down the details on your husband's card as it will help applying for your own. Talk about whether you will have a joint card or separate. Your daughter will also need to be registered, usually on mom's card.
Whoa, out of word allowance.
Thank you for clearing up my misunderstandings. It's always easier when we are both on the same page. I love the various English accents. It was interesting about my accent. I lived in Birmingham and never gave a thought to the way I speak. Somewhere between the UK and Oz I lost any accent I had. Most people picked me as a Pom but had no idea where I can from. Some accents are hard to understand. My son-in-law comes from Glasgow and for years my daughter had to 'translate' much of what he said. Now either he has largely lost his accent or I have become more skilled at understanding. Conversations could be very frustrating.
One of the ways I got to know others was by joining a group that met for a purpose. I went to a meditation group after I was invited. I go to church because that's who I am but the then current priest suggest I join the meditation group. I was invited from there to join a book club. Everyone was friendly and gave me a warm welcome. In the meditation group I made a comment at the end of the meditation and someone commented it was the first time I had joined in the conversation. I had been going there for 18 months.
How do you feel about doing these sorts of activities? Not those two specifically, just attending a group which meets for a specific purpose such as books, craft, exercise, the list could go on. Most of these types of groups have no cost and you can attend during the day while your daughter is at school. What are you interested in? I like being in my garden, writing on BB, embroidery, family history research all things I do at home. I need to get out so I go to church, do some volunteer pastoral care, go to meditation, and a number of other activities.
It has taken a while to settle down and I missed the UK for a long time. Caring for a young family kept me busy as you can imagine. This led to working in the school tuck shop once my children started primary school.
How do you see yourself with meeting other people this way. You do not have to speak or do anything with these groups except be there. Do you think you can make the effort to look around for activities of this nature? Try your local library as the staff get to know what's on in town.
Firstly, even though you may not have experienced this much yet, I wish to welcome you to Australia, you do matter to us, and we do care.
I can slightly feel what you are going through, I am 100% aussie, but I had much a sheltered life so the social side of life took me a while to learn myself. However, I did find ways to start to develop a social life and also a care for everyone, and that was through interests. I am sure you have already thought of that, but I just want to confirm that it does work.
Maybe I read your words wrong, but it seems you like cooking, maybe go out and try do some cooking classes to start off, find anything that you enjoy, and see if you can get into it via courses. Sport is another way, but then you already said the downside to that is you can just go, participate then leave, where as with courses, you do need to communicate, but you are doing so in a way which is focused on what you are doing, for example with the cooking, you may need to work with someone to make a recipe, so you and the person start working out how to do it, so what starts out as a common interest often leads to a friendship.
I maybe look back to how you and your friend met (the one in the UK), or how you met your OH, and see if you could adapt that style to the australian culture (of course not in a romantic/intimate sense as you would have with your OH)?
No matter what you may think, we are here to help, and be friends for you, even if only online, at least we might provide that small social outlet you need until you can develop something more local, and even when you do have something local, we are still here regardless.
I just hope this all helps you, and I really do hope you give us all a chance to know you and for you to know us, and regardless who you may meet Australia, you have people here who will always want to make you feel welcome, I would count myself as one of them if I could
You sound a little brighter than in your first post. I hope so and that it is a good sign you are enjoying talking to us. Terry's post is lovely and has expressed what I believe we all feel here on beyondblue.
May I ask how old your daughter is? Just wondering how much 'baby sitting' she needs. I realise you would not like to leave her alone. Has she made any friends at school? If they are old enough school friends will have sleepovers at each others home. Just a thought.
I found it good for me to have separate activities to my husband as it meant we had our own interests to talk about. I think it's good to have a some independence in this area. Does your netball team have practice times? My girls played netball and went to practice as well as playing the matches. You may get into conversations with the other players.
As I mentioned above, your local library usually has information about various organisations. May be worth a visit. Do you have any particular interests? Years ago I joined my local Toastmasters club. It was good for me but may be too 'public' for you. It certainly helped with my confidence and I met and made friends there. Yoga sounds good and a common interest with your OH even if you attend at different times. I have to say yoga has never interested me but I know many people who gain great benefit from this. Horses for courses I think.
Volunteering is another area where you can help others and gain some self confidence. Again talking to others and helping you feel less alienated from other people around you. I also did some study online. I went to uni as a mature age student (in my fifties) and attended part time. I had a ball when I got over my nervousness. It took me five years to complete my degree and when I graduated I really missed the rush to get to lectures, writing assignments and rushing to get them in one time. These days students either email them to their tutor or download them. Much easier.
I would love to continue chatting, especially if this is helpful for you.
Hi Mary, and please forgive me Pommie for making this response on your post,
I just wanted to say that I can clearly see why you have the title of community champion, you really are an inspiration to us all, so I just wanted to thank you for that, please keep up the great work