What am I made of?

I’m trying to fall asleep. In vain.

I’m lying here in bed, trying to type away the nerves…my dog beside me (yes, in my bed). It’s our last night together and I am absolutely gutted. I’m trying to be excited about tomorrow, but right now I just don’t want the sun to come up. I want to stay here with my boy and forget about flying across the ocean tomorrow to a place I do not like and do not really want to be in. If it weren’t for that man there, I would never leave. I want to make myself believe it is enough but I do not know.

So I’m sitting here wondering what I am really made of. Will I be able to do this? I’m forcing myself through this part that hurts so much. Giving my dog to a lovely family who just lost their own dog this week. Saying goodbye for so many months. Dragging all my crap across the world (I think I’ll scale back the stuff in one bag cause I feel like my heart will be lighter if I pack lighter). But I want to RUN. I do not want to give my dog away; this is his home, here with me. I do not want to leave, I want to not care about proving anything.

So when that sun comes up, I suppose we’ll see what I am made of. Am I strong enough? I don’t know. I feel weak. Tortured. Confused. Unable to face my own truth. Why should I do this to myself? I just don’t. Want. To. Go. I hate it there. Hate it. It’s strange and upside down and backward and bizarre. It’s foreign and offensive and difficult and…

Not home.


  1. posted by elsja
    Tue, 04/14/2009 – 3:58pm
    Ok so I read this post after the one where you had already arrived. I’m so sorry for your struggle. It is hard! I know I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my boy. As beautiful and exciting as it is here, it still doesn’t totally feel like home. I’m sure one day it will for me, and hopefully for you as well.

  2. posted by V
    Tue, 04/14/2009 – 8:20pm
    Thanks Elsja! I’ve actually read many of your blog entries from when you first came over to kind of help me come to terms with the challenge of acclimmating here. We have very similar experiences…maybe one day we can meet and I’ll tell you in person. Thanks for sharing/baring your experiences adjusting…you’ve helped me feel totally NORMAL about my struggles. There are definitely common threads/gripes amongst American expats. But I do believe love conquers all… : – )…

  3. Leaving my cat has been tortuous, it really makes me feel like half a person. I think it’s almost worse than leaving my family and friends because at least I can skype and email them and they understand my decision to move. Lola, my cat, however had to endure being separated from her home and sister cat to live at a new house with two new cats and no mom. I feel a lot of guilt for leaving her, and my parents regularly send me pictures of her snuggled on their lap and I’m torn between happiness that she’s content and jealousy and pain that I’m not with her.

  4. Rachel~

    Thanks for your comment. It is so difficult to leave our pets behind, even when we’ve found them a great new home. It’s the part about them not understanding, not being able to Skype them that makes it so hard. All I can say that in time your heart will heal, and knowing Lola is well is a huge relief at the end of the day. I cried many times feeling like crap about myself for leaving giving my dog away, but his new home/owners are amazing and he’s living the life. So while I miss him still, I know that he is well-cared for and I did my best for him.

    Like you, I’m sure, when I got my dog, I had no way of knowing that four years down the line I’d move to Australia. It’s just what happened, so I made the best decision I could and made sure he’d be taken care of, and he is loved and spoiled maybe even more than I spoiled him! I know it’s no consolation for you now, but just don’t beat yourself up about it. You found her a good home, and trust me, she will adjust. We all want to believe our pets can’t live without us, but really, they can. If she’s being fed and loved and looked after, she’s happy there too.

    You’ll get through this, I promise. : – )

  5. Oh buddy, do I ever hear that. I had a little dog that I just loved. “Lucy” was a rescue dog – abandoned, just a few days old and looked like Santa’s Little Helper from The Simpsons. He was so small that I fed him puppy Emfalac with a tiny little eyedropper, then a bottle. I had to give him away as the dog needed a space larger than an apartment to be in and I had to work and be away from him for long periods.

    I totally can relate to this post right now… :/

    1. Awwwww. 🙁

      So not easy. My hubby left his dog back in Oz too, but at least he is with his family. Still, it’s really the dog that gets to him most days. Skype and Facetime help when you miss family and friends, but not being able to see your dog, or knowing it’s gone hurts. In time, the missing does fade. I’m lucky that my dog went to a home with no children and a full-time retiree at home to pal around with. I’m friends with the owner on Facebook, so seeing him happy (and beyond spoiled) in his new life has helped.

      As much as we want a dog now (and it would be a big comfort for the hubs), I know it’s not the right time. For the same reasons you had to give your baby away: at work and not able to give one the time and attention it deserves. You did the right thing, though. Take comfort in that. You put HIS needs before your own, even if it meant letting him go. That takes a special person.

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