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SinCityDex

Mental/Career/Marriage Breakdown - Moving back to Cornwall.......I think?

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Hi guys,

Long story short. I moved to South Oz from Cornwall in 1992 at age 11 with my parents. My parents moved back in 2005 for work. I stayed - had a girlfriend (became my wife)/was @ uni, then I started a career......I had a very traumatic experience @ work in 2014 which destroyed my mental health, career and marriage, all no fault of my own; i've been heavily depressed and anxious for the better part of 2 years. I had a little boy with my wife (currently separated) who is 3. I have 1 Bachelor of Psychology degree, a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Marketing, so i've got a wide net for employment. Right now i'm self employed, making TV commercials, graphic design - all media stuff.

I live alone now and can't see myself ever being happy again, BUT, when I think about my family (mum/dad/brother/niece/cousins/friends etc etc) and Cornwall I get a strong sense of connection/hope and love; something i've been lacking for a few years now. My choice, which feels like Sophie's choice is this:

1. Stay in Oz for my son. I will have a relationship with my son but everything else will be pretty grim, especially when my wife moves onto the next guy, and i'm around to see my son living with him. 

2. Move back to Cornwall and have a big family again, start afresh etc. Try and find a way of keeping my son in my life - Skype, holidays etc. 

So the choice is either to remain in Oz completely unhappy with the exception of my son, or move home to Cornwall where I have a sense of identity, family, a sense of community and belonging - something Australia doesn't really have. 

I guess i'm putting this down on virtual paper because I want to see what other's think of this - all opinions are fine. Please don't kick me while i'm down. If you knew the traumatic event that started everything you'd understand. I'm not one of those dads who wants to leave his son. I don't at all, but I also don't want to die alone in a country that isn't 'home', and continue being miserable. I've been trying to get better for 2 years now but the only light I can ever see at the end of the tunnel is Cornwall. 

Anybody had a similar experience?

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I'm not an expert but.....

option 2. get mentally fit, you can get a great job with your qualifications, when you see your son you will be a happy dad rather than an empty shell.  Once you are set up the boy can come over for summer holidays and you can spend some time in Aus.  Think quality not quantity, the gaps can be filled with skype.  In the blink of an eye your son will be old enough to come visit or even settle in the UK.

Best of luck!

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It seems that you passed through a hard time and are in a very difficult situation,  and now torn apart in 2. That can be very frustrating for you, sad,  maybe anger and resentment and only God knows what other feelings...

I'm 100% sure that it is very difficult for you to choose. But one thing that I have learnt in my life is that things can change, other opportunities can come along and your life can take a turn to a positive side.

First of all, always try to follow your inner feelings. You have to also be open for other opportunities, like, for example, is there something you can do to get back with your wife and kid? Or if not really possible, what if you meet another girl there in OZ and you can still be near your kid but in a happy relationship?

We can always heal, yes slowly, but it's possible if we have the will and get the help from the right people. Don't give up! Always believe that things can change and that opportunities might come up. Try and be positive and speak to yourself about that you desire, things can happen in live even if we think it's not possible.

Good luck, I hope you will find your happiness, its never late.

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First thing I thought of doing after my marriage break up after 31 yrs was to head "home" I have 3 sons in the UK and 2 here but the two here know only Oz as they were rugrats when I brought them over. It took me nearly two years to realise that the yearning was not particularly for "home" as I have a good home here, (which I didn't realise, or chose to ignore at the time) but was simply a yearning to go back to "before the marriage" an attempt to "wipe it out" IYKWIM and to seek comfort from the surroundings and family that my ex had taken me away from (it was she who wanted to come to Oz). My head was all over the place, as yours must be.

As Simmo says, you need to get mentally well before making decisions whilst depressed and as B1K3R says, things can change...........you never know what's around the corner........... but you need to be well to turn that corner.

You seem to have career prospects here but will you have those same prospects returning to the UK? The move will put added strain on your mental health if you are likely to encounter difficulty.

Get yourself well, seek counselling, and when you feel well enough, go with your gut. One thing I will add is that seeing your son being fathered by another man will likely devastate you if you are not mentally well so it is imperative that you get well in order to be prepared for that

 

Good luck

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Hey mate,

Sorry to hear of your story.  Well done for reaching out for help.

I'm going to point to another forum which may be more suitable for your situation and I think you will get more qualified advice.

Have a look at mensline.org.au.  Call them if you want/need to speak to a qualified counsellor.  There is a forum on there with guys who have been through some of what you have been through, particularly in relation to your child.  They offer some really good advice.

The other thing i suggest you do is go to your GP, tell him/her what is going on and ask for a referral for mental health plan.  This will give you 6-10 sessions with a counsellor (funded by Medicare) to help you work on your mental health and plot a path of recovery.

You are probably not in the best place right now to make life changing decisions.  Get some help and give yourself time to recover.  I think you will find that you have more and better options than you have listed above.

 

On a side note - I did the skype thing with my child for a while - it helped but is not enough, He needs physical contact and time with you.  IMO - you need to get well to be there for your son, you are his Dad, he comes first

Edited by Collie
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Anyone had a similar experience ? Yes. A couple of years after moving to Aus my husband died, without going into details it was traumatic. I was left with no job and no family in Aus. Because of the circumstances I qualified for expert counselling from a clinical psychologist. One of the best pieces of advice I got was not to make any significant changes such as moving for at least a year. When people do that the surroundings change but the issues don't  so you still feel cr@p.

You sound like you are still dealing with the trauma as you can't see yourself being happy  again, this is not the self talk of  a mentally fit person. I am not sure moving back to the UK will fix the issues plus moving countries is hard and stressful in itself. Start with some counselling, beyondblue.org.au is also worth trying. Try and get yourself into a better place before  making a major move, Cornwall will still be there it's  not now or never.

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I'm with the "move on" brigade.  You say that you have been working on your mental health for a couple of years now to no avail.  I'm guessing you've probably already had the mental health intervention in that time as your background would lead you down those sorts of pathways.  The best way to good mental health is with a strong support network around you and it sounds like your best shot at support would be with the folks back in Cornwall.  To add to it, there can be an element of exogenous depression which is exacerbated when the going gets tough in all other regards and if you find yourself in the wrong place physically and, consequently, emotionally then the only solution is to change the place and moving to a place you feel you may belong better would be a bonus.  

It's the quality of your life with your son which is going to be important, and you can have a good relationship with frequent holidays together - any custody arrangements should write in what your access with your son will be in terms of the holidays he will have with you. A couple of fortnights a year together all the time will be worth it when supplemented with Skype calls.  

If what you are doing isn't working then stop banging your head against the brick wall in the hope that it will make the headache go away I reckon.

Good luck with your decision making and look after yourself

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I can't add to the excellent posts above, but in the short term what about going back to Cornwall and your folks for a holiday and enjoy what's left of summer?

As the others have said look after yourself.

 

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I think that before you make life changing decisions you should start to explore how to get your confidence back, easier said than done I hear you say, but as I'm sure you realise that may be a long term project, but counselling does help, it's a matter of finding someone you feel at ease with and who you can trust, you know something about the  field but it is crucial to choose an approach that suits your approach to life and how you want to explore the trauma you've suffered.

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Without a doubt the common trend amongst replies seems to be do everything you can to improve your mental health, until you have sorted that out nothing else will help. The fact that you are here and self aware suggests that you have the strength and ability to take action. Taking counselling is probably the best advice and whilst ultimately only you can make that decision to improve your mental health and move on, they can help you with techniques and expertise to achieve that. 
 I don't know how close and how much time you spend with your son, but from experience as someone who works away, it becomes harder and harder to leave your children behind and it undoubtably affects them when you aren't around. 
 If you want to go to the UK, I'd recommend seeing it as a temporary move initially (i.e. not going all in) and say spend 6 months there or a year to see how things go and you feel. By the end of that time you may have a better idea of whats more important for you. Also appreciate that work opportunities and salaries in Cornwall may not be the greatest depending on your occupation and you will need to be earning sufficient income to regularly travel back to Australia in addition to living expenses. 
 

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Have you considered starting again somewhere else within Australia, even just an hour or so away from your ex so that you aren't having to worry about seeing her move on with somebody new etc and you can still maintain a close relationship with your son?


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