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Feeling stuck in Israel - can anyone relate?
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 3:03 am
I'm hesitant to post this, because it seems that most mothers here are pro staying in Israel, just switching communities etc if they're not happy where they are. So I'm asking people to understand that it's not so pashut, we also have a kid with specific needs, and our backgrounds, past, and hashkafos may be different than yours.

Does anyone else feel like they planned to stay in Israel, they're here now with many kids for a decade +, but they still have this feeling that they're not 100% comfortable? Like you're here, you're doing well, your kids are doing well, your husband is doing well, your hebrew is good - but why can't you just be comfortable here, be yourself? You're feeling stuck?

Looking for someone who can relate...
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amother




DarkKhaki
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 3:19 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I'm hesitant to post this, because it seems that most mothers here are pro staying in Israel, just switching communities etc if they're not happy where they are. So I'm asking people to understand that it's not so pashut, we also have a kid with specific needs, and our backgrounds, past, and hashkafos may be different than yours.

Does anyone else feel like they planned to stay in Israel, they're here now with many kids for a decade +, but they still have this feeling that they're not 100% comfortable? Like you're here, you're doing well, your kids are doing well, your husband is doing well, your hebrew is good - but why can't you just be comfortable here, be yourself? You're feeling stuck?

Looking for someone who can relate...

My DH. He wants to move back. Here over a decade, all kids born here...same as you.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 3:21 am
Quote:
Like you're here, you're doing well, your kids are doing well, your husband is doing well, your hebrew is good - but why can't you just be comfortable here, be yourself? You're feeling stuck?


You say you are "doing well" -- what does that mean? You mean financially?

Can you put your finger on the problem? What do you miss about your home country that would make you feel more comfortable?

Did you make a large hashkafic shift when you made aliyah?
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 3:23 am
amother [ DarkKhaki ] wrote:
My DH. He wants to move back. Here over a decade, all kids born here...same as you.


How do you feel about it? Are you planning to move back?
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 3:28 am
DrMom wrote:
Quote:
Like you're here, you're doing well, your kids are doing well, your husband is doing well, your hebrew is good - but why can't you just be comfortable here, be yourself? You're feeling stuck?


You say you are "doing well" -- what does that mean? You mean financially?

Can you put your finger on the problem? What do you miss about your home country that would make you feel more comfortable?

Did you make a large hashkafic shift when you made aliyah?


Not financially. We both did not grow up frum, but we are totally integrated into our community in every way. We do not live in an american community, our kids are totally israeli and in the system, my husband is known in the area as a mentch and ben torah... The hashkafa matches ours, so it's not that. (Although one of our kids needs some extra help, and in our community, if you're not in the box, hard to get it..)

I don't know what my issue is. I mean, I can tell you a hundred reasons why I like America, most of it being gashmiyus. Although in some ways, if the basics of life are a bit easier, then it can make you a lot more calm, so I don't see all that gashmiyus as necessarily negative. But it's just this feeling that I can't ever be myself. I speak Hebrew fluently, but it's not my native language, so I can never just express myself completely freely. I don't like the mentality here, I get annoyed by the garbage on the ground, annoyed by the yelling and putting down from people I don't even know (think bus drivers, cashiers..). I know that moving would just trade one set of problems for another.

But besides the fact that I think maybe my son could actually get extra help for his issue in America, I also am just tired of trying to be something I not. I want to feel relaxed in my own comfortable environment and just be myself. Does that make any sense at all?

I feel ridiculous for this because I think Israel has some really good things too, the way the kids grow up here is so genuine and simple, which is why we never made the move. So why am I jeopardizing everything good because I want to be myself in America?
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amother




DarkKhaki
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 3:33 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
How do you feel about it? Are you planning to move back?

We always, for years talk about it, it is always on the table, but I don't want to. Very much don't want to. Some things happened recently to make it more of a question and we agreed to take the question to some Rabbis we trust and see what they think.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 3:38 am
amother [ DarkKhaki ] wrote:
We always, for years talk about it, it is always on the table, but I don't want to. Very much don't want to. Some things happened recently to make it more of a question and we agreed to take the question to some Rabbis we trust and see what they think.


Wow, that is so tough. I wish you hatzlacha and a lot of clarity, and confidence in that clarity too!
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amother




DarkOrange
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 4:31 am
Two things here.
First of all, could it be that you feel disconnected here because of the frum aspect? Did you live as a frum adult for many yrs in the US? Could it be that you miss aspects of your old secular life? Do you see yourself integrating into frum life in the US?

Second, are you sure you would be better off materially in the US? Sometimes people think they would, but when you crunch the numbers that's not so at all.

I am happy in Israel but totally understand those that feel disconnected. The thing is, you need to analyze if your feelings of disconnect are due to Israel or other issues.
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amother




Garnet
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 4:33 am
Hi OP, I relate to moving to another country (not Israel) from the US. I love this country and prefer here to the place I was raised, but I understand the not feeling 100% like you belong. You culturally were raised somewhere else.

Ironically, when I went home to visit, although I instantly felt a relief, like I was in my home country in a culture I understood, within a week I started missing my "home" where I live. Maybe we'll never fully feel like we belong anywhere.
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Success10




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 4:39 am
amother [ Garnet ] wrote:
Hi OP, I relate to moving to another country (not Israel) from the US. I love this country and prefer here to the place I was raised, but I understand the not feeling 100% like you belong. You culturally were raised somewhere else.

Ironically, when I went home to visit, although I instantly felt a relief, like I was in my home country in a culture I understood, within a week I started missing my "home" where I live. Maybe we'll never fully feel like we belong anywhere.


This, this, this. Some people have general issues of not feeling like they belong, and it's something to be worked through. It might describe you OP, or it might not, but try to do some soul searching and figure out if your location is really the issue here, or if you'd really be happier anywhere else.
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SafeAtLast




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 4:47 am
OP do you have any family in Israel at all?
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tree of life




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 5:00 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Not financially. We both did not grow up frum, but we are totally integrated into our community in every way. We do not live in an american community, our kids are totally israeli and in the system, my husband is known in the area as a mentch and ben torah... The hashkafa matches ours, so it's not that. (Although one of our kids needs some extra help, and in our community, if you're not in the box, hard to get it..)

I don't know what my issue is. I mean, I can tell you a hundred reasons why I like America, most of it being gashmiyus. Although in some ways, if the basics of life are a bit easier, then it can make you a lot more calm, so I don't see all that gashmiyus as necessarily negative. But it's just this feeling that I can't ever be myself. I speak Hebrew fluently, but it's not my native language, so I can never just express myself completely freely. I don't like the mentality here, I get annoyed by the garbage on the ground, annoyed by the yelling and putting down from people I don't even know (think bus drivers, cashiers..). I know that moving would just trade one set of problems for another.

But besides the fact that I think maybe my son could actually get extra help for his issue in America, I also am just tired of trying to be something I not. I want to feel relaxed in my own comfortable environment and just be myself. Does that make any sense at all?

I feel ridiculous for this because I think Israel has some really good things too, the way the kids grow up here is so genuine and simple, which is why we never made the move. So why am I jeopardizing everything good because I want to be myself in America?

First of all if your kids and husband are settled here they revaluate what you are missing you write things in a America like clothes Amazon to your door etc
Just to remind you that you might live it but the lifestyle in Israel for children is more low-key if you move your children will adapt very easy to that lifestyle would you be able to afford I suggest you get done luxury in Israel do a few things you love to do here and for your kid that need extra help go get what he needs ignore every one who says Yiu can't plus in America special ed is more expensive plus your child might end up in a non Jewish school
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amother




Springgreen
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 5:07 am
I kind of understand. Though I don't feel stuck in Israel, I very much want to be and stay here.
I made Aliyah from a European country. The few times we went back there to visit, I felt that interactions with people just flow on autopilot there. I could relate to people without having to think about how to react. Here in Israel, I still have to semi-consciously check everything I say and do to anyone to make sure it's socially appropriate. I'm always a bit guarded. Part of it is the frum lifestyle rather than anything specifically Israeli. I used to speak freely to men in the same way I speak to women. In frum society and even with secular Israelis, that doesn't fly. Another thing is that Israeli society is much more sorted into different boxes. Differences between groups are much more pronounced, along religious and political lines. Where I came from, the Jewish community was tiny, traditional rather than frum, and it was kind of everyone in it together, against the non-Jewish world outside. Doesn't mean there wasn't infighting, but it was personal rather than ideological.
Gashmiut - sometimes I miss the lower prices and greater choice of goods in the old country. Also, I think laws pertaining to food safety and chemicals in every day items were better there. Organic food was significantly cheaper and easier to obtain.

Switching to a different country and culture as an adult is always difficult, as any immigrant from anywhere to anywhere can tell you. I think it is completely normal to feel a bit at odds with everything.

But well, Israel is still Israel, irreplacable in the effect it has on one's emunah and connection to Hashem. It is good for the soul. And for raising Jewish kids. The Jewish future is here, not in Esav's glittery countries. Let them keep their organic fair trade tofu spread, their cold politeness and their antisemitism.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 5:14 am
Thanks to everyone for your comments. To the poster who said maybe we'll never fully belong, you're probably right.

It's not so much an issue of luxury - for sure convenience would be appreciated, but it's not only that. It's this feeling that I'm just not myself. I have to push so much to be something I'm not. I feel like I'm pretending all the time just so I can provide the ideal to my family, but what about me? I'm also a person and should be able to be comfortable where I am, but I'm not. But then I feel guilty, because how can I risk losing all the good things we have here just so I'm more content in my own environment.

For my kid with extra needs, he's currently in a framework that is amazing, but soon he will have to leave. I discussed with professionals and the only way to get him what he needs is to pay privately, but he will not be able to get that help within any school framework (not the type of chedarim we would send to, anyway). In the community in America we are looking at, this type of help is offered within the actual cheder.

To the poster who asked about my hashkafa, yes I was frum many years as an adult before I moved. That's not the issue here.

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to work through this with me in a non-judgmental way.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 5:24 am
SafeAtLast wrote:
OP do you have any family in Israel at all?


No, and I also don't want to be too close to my family in America Wink
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amother




DarkKhaki
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 5:25 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thanks to everyone for your comments. To the poster who said maybe we'll never fully belong, you're probably right.

It's not so much an issue of luxury - for sure convenience would be appreciated, but it's not only that. It's this feeling that I'm just not myself. I have to push so much to be something I'm not. I feel like I'm pretending all the time just so I can provide the ideal to my family, but what about me? I'm also a person and should be able to be comfortable where I am, but I'm not. But then I feel guilty, because how can I risk losing all the good things we have here just so I'm more content in my own environment.

For my kid with extra needs, he's currently in a framework that is amazing, but soon he will have to leave. I discussed with professionals and the only way to get him what he needs is to pay privately, but he will not be able to get that help within any school framework (not the type of chedarim we would send to, anyway). In the community in America we are looking at, this type of help is offered within the actual cheder.

To the poster who asked about my hashkafa, yes I was frum many years as an adult before I moved. That's not the issue here.

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to work through this with me in a non-judgmental way.

What your SN son needs is a valid reason to move. My biggest question is what happens with the other kids? How will they take it? Will they need extra help they don't need here? Is it to their benefit or detriment to move? You cannot sacrifice your other children for your SN child. Even if your SN child legitimately would be better off in the US.

Is the issue with being yourself just a language issue? If so would finding some more Anglo friends help? What are the other reasons you feel you can't be yourself? Are they on the ground or mostly in your head? Even if you can't speak the language fully, what is preventing you from being yourself? What is "being yourself" to you?

Also, very important, have you discussed this with your husband? How does he feel about it? What's his take on the issue?
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amother




DarkKhaki
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 5:27 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
No, and I also don't want to be too close to my family in America Wink

Noooo that is one of my biggest reasons for not wanting to move back.
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amother




NeonOrange
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 5:57 am
If you never speak English, then of course you don't feel like you fit in. Even when you are fluent in a second language, you don't communicate as openly as you do in your native tongue. I'd really look into finding a more Anglo neighborhood, or at least finding real life English speakers.

And then there's the expression - wherever you go, there you are. Some (self aware) types will never fit in where they live. And that's ok.
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amother




DarkOrange
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 6:43 am
Once you are a long term immigrant, you often feel fully at home neither here nor there.
You might find, if you move back, that you have changed too much to fit in fully in the US .
In any case, I agree that even if your SN son would be better off in the states, you need to assess whether the other kids would be too.

Are these services really not available in Israel, or are you limiting yourself to a certain type of school?

Do you have good friends here?
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amother




Pansy
 

Post Fri, Jul 23 2021, 8:36 am
I commend you Op on being so self aware and so expressive.
Get what you mean and posters have described well the "immigrant experience".
I would look for outlets in which I can be more myself whether online or other groups and friends who share a similar background, language, and the like.
Since you are online take advantage of the internet's ability to be used for good to reach out unrestricted by geography.
Bracha v'hatzlocha
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