Reading this article made me realise the value of the job I do here to support officers and their families as they move to and then settle in at post.
Even with the support of our office, spouses are “left to tackle the challenging dynamics of establishing a home and integrating alone; whilst the focus of the companies was on getting their spouses settled into their new workplace as quickly as possible.”
Sadly this is the time for the trailing spouse to be the buffer for the officer and the anchor for the family, as rough as it is.
Dealing with removalists, service providers, domestic staff and so on in an unfamiliar country and culture and most often grappling with a new language and suddenly no friends and family for support is tough but we all know that.. we do it and feel a sense of accomplishment and little by little our confidence grows.
We venture out a little more and meet new people who share their experiences and support us to try new things and introduce us to new people. Eventually you do have a friendship network and you do settle in and the bumps on the road become fewer and far between. We learn to be kind to others and a little easier on ourselves, and life in our adopted country becomes familiar and the culture a little more appealing and suddenly life is good again (mostly)..