We’re home from the US ten years but still don’t feel settled

All the Lonely People: It is difficult to explain the isolation we feel living in rural Ireland. Should we move back to the US?

‘We can’t go on like this. It is difficult to explain the isolation we feel.’  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien /The Irish Times

‘We can’t go on like this. It is difficult to explain the isolation we feel.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien /The Irish Times

 

All the lonely peopleI returned to Ireland from the US with my family ten years ago, but my husband and I have never settled. We had lived in New York for 12 years, and it was my decision to move back, to give our children a life that I was familiar with. We had saved a lot of money which we lived on for the first few years. My husband has always worked here but his wage has never covered all our expenses.

I returned to college four years ago and now have a degree and a master’s, but six months after graduating I am still out of work. It felt like our final shot at making a go of it in Ireland. We are always broke and live from week to week. In New York, I worked in banking and my husband in construction. We had a nice lifestyle.

Both of my parents passed away a long time ago, and I am not in touch with my siblings. My husband’s father is still alive but lives in another part of the country. We don’t have many friends.

Our children, who are aged between ten and 15, love it here though, and are doing well at school. Our house (I’m not sure if it’s a home) is in a fantastic location close to a beach in a rural area.

My husband and I are in our mid-40s. We have it in our minds to give it another three years here, when our eldest will be finished school. My husband would travel out a year before us to get set up.

We can’t go on like this. It is difficult to explain the isolation we feel. I am not blaming anyone or anything. It is what it is.

I am so torn as to what damage a return to America might do to our children. Would anyone have any advice or experience in this area?

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