My mom is 'grieving' and I don't know what to do
Hello this is my first post here so I'm not sure if it's the right place to ask but i hope it is.
A little backstory: my mom married an Australian and we both moved to Australia late 2019, just before the pandemic starts and have been here since. My mom have other kids but they couldn't come with us as they're all over the age limit and i was underage (at that time).
We lived in Australia for almost three years now. At first, I thought my whole world was crumbling because i have to leave my old life and start a new one here. But with my mom's support and the encouragement from my teachers, i manage. I thought that was it. I have new friends and have the best moment of my life, and i thought that was the same case for my mom...
She cried to me last night. She said that she doesn't want to be here because she felt like she lost everything in her life and have to start all over again. She feels lonely, and the pandemic didn't help too because of the lockdown. She doesn't have any friends or family other than me. Her kids can't visit her because of visa problems and whatsoever. Her husband also didn't really help her, as he expects my mom to be just like how she was back in our old country, cheery and independent. She said she doesn't have any support system and she survives purely because she wants me to have a better future here.
I feel so guilty because i feel like I'm the reason why she's suffering. I told her we can go back anytime she wants because she is the most important person to me, but she doesn't want to because she wants me to have a better future here. The truth is, I wouldn't have a bright future back in my country if i go back because i dont have even a highschool certificate to help me get any jobs.
Part of me also blames her husband because he didn't help her at all in adjusting in this new place. She sacrificed her life just to be with him, and he can barely do the bare minimum to my mom. He doesn't comfort her when she's sad, he doesn't listen to her concerns at all, It's not fair to my mom. At all.
It's up to me now to cheer my mom up, the least i could do in exchange for her sacrifices for me. But i don't know what to do. I always look for my mom when I'm feeling down but when she's feeling down, i dont know what to do. Im confused and scared but i really want to do something for her.
Welcome to the forums, and thank you for sharing here. It sounds like your mom is having a really tough time, and you're also feeling as though there's a big weight on your shoulders to help her - and we hear the impact this is having on you at the same time...
Some of our lovely community members may be able to relate to some of what you (and your mom) are going through and be able to share some of the wisdoms that have helped them, however it can take a while for people to respond, so please hang in there while we wait our amazing community to come and support you.
It does sound, however, that you could really benefit from talking with someone - especially if you feel that you or your mom may be at risk at any time. If you want to talk through what's been going on, and how to address any safety concerns, please don't hestitate to contact our Beyond Blue Support Line (24/7) on 1300 22 4636, or maybe even Lifeline on 13 11 14, or kids helpline on 1800 55 1800 (they support young adults up to the ages of 25). We really encourage you to reach out.
Concern for your mom's safety is a big responsiblity, and you shouldn't have to feel like you need to face this alone.
Thanks again for sharing, it’s not always easy so we hope you can be proud of having taken this step.
Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you are feeling helpless and conflicted. I can hear how difficult it must be to deal with all of this.
You seem to really love and care for your mum. You have been so strong in dealing with all this. Have you spoken to your mums husband about this? Or had a conversation about how your mother feels?
Stay safe and i am always here to chat.
Thank you so much for posting on here and sharing your story. It's a truly amazing story. You're demonstrating incredible courage, and you should be very proud. When things pick up for your Mum and family, I'm sure they will also be incredibly proud. It's also fantastic you're reaching out for help. You're demonstrating awesome problem solving and leadership skills in actively looking for ways to help yourself and your family.
The first thing I want to say is that guilt is a very dangerous emotion. Obviously you have nothing to feel guilty about, but I understand this usually doesn't make feelings of guilt go away. I was also in a situation growing up where I felt responsible for my mother's unhappyness, and extremely guilty when she was suffering a lot. The things our family say around us can have a huge emotional effect. I just want to say again, you have nothing to feel guilty about. Quite the opposite. I think the most important thing you can do for your family at this stage in your life is focus on things like school, and the hobbies that make you happy. If feelings like guilt become recurrant and dominant, consider speaking to your GP about them. Your GP may be able to set you up with a psychologist, who can teach you about things like "cognitive behavioural therapy", which can help address intense and difficult thoughts and emotions like guilt.
As to the specific problems your Mum is facing, I can't really offer much as I was born here and have never faced the challenges of migration. I do know however that there are many social clubs around for people from different nations, and group activities often run out of the club buildings. These can be a great way to make friends, both from your home country and new country, and to meet travellers from the rest of the world (although maybe not so much now with COVID). In the past I've attended swing dancing classes at an Estonian club, and board game nights at a German club. I met people from all over the world at these clubs. When the group is based around an activity (like board games) it can make it easier to meet people, as there's less pressure/expectation to talk. Maybe there's a club for your home country near where you live? If not, there might be a group on websites like meetup.com.
Thanks again for posting on here and commendations again on your courage!
Hello Concerned_daughter, welcome to Australia.
When we are raised we don't necessarily agree with everything our parents tell us to do, so at times it's not easy to know what our parents would actually like us to do to try and cheer them up, because what we find amusing our parents might not agree, depending on how their day is going.
Getting a highschool certificate o/s may not be the same as getting one here, but to get a job you don't have to have a qualification and you can earn some good money.
To cheer your mum up, have a look at what magazines she is reading, there might be familiar articles she's reading, something she likes, then you know what she may want in life and then use this to cheer her up.
I have to say you and your mum have such a beautiful connection. You are so blessed to have each other. She obviously trusts you, to feel free to express her heartfelt emotions to you. Being a mum myself, this can be incredibly hard for a mother to do. There's that typical belief 'I have to be strong. I have to be strong for my child/children and not show my stress or upset'. Can recall my 19yo daughter on one occasion hugging me, encouraging me to vent, to let out how I feel. She even encouraged me to cry. Her words to me were along the lines of 'With all that you have given to me, for me to be able to give you this moment of love and support...let me give this to you, in return'. You gifted your mum something, the opportunity to express herself. You didn't reject her or tell her to 'Get over it'. You being there for her would have meant the world to her.
Putting it bluntly, her husband sounds emotionally useless. If your mum's wishing to express or vent her emotions, he doesn't sound like he'd be of any help. I'm wondering whether there is a community of people around your area who come from the same country as you and your mum. Perhaps there are some members of that community who'd be able to fully relate to the incredible challenges your mum faces, based on their own experiences. Such people may be a great support for her at this time. Such members might even be able to lead her to look forward to a plan that involves your siblings eventually coming to Australia. Perhaps they could offer ideas on how to connect with everyone back home.
It is one thing for a parent to simply speak of love, it is another thing entirely for a parent to perform acts of love. Her bringing you here is her love for you in action. To be loved by a parent this much offers you a perfect example of one of the greatest acts of love a mother can offer to her child. Please do not feel guilty because of her expression of love for you, her bringing you here. As a mother sacrifices, she also grows. Through this heartbreaking experience, I imagine her resilience has grown, her devotion to you has grown, her strength of character has grown, amongst so many other things. A mum can feel great pain at times through her challenges, through her growth.
Are you able to show her what she has gained? This could include expressions of your growing love for her and examples of what she's managed to achieve while being here over the past few years.
You are such a beautiful loving daughter