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That forgotten feeling
« on: September 22, 2019, 12:29:27 PM »
Hiya! I’ve not been super active on here other than to ask the very sort of routine questions, but here I am about 10 months in and really struggling with that “forgotten” feeling. Wondered if any of the more seasoned veterans has any advice for this?

For context, my birthday was last week. I turned 35 and for many reasons this one hit me harder than any other. Never been all that into “milestone” birthdays, but this one felt like a big deal to me.

The day passed by with so many US-based close friends and family forgetting it. No texts, calls, cards, not even posts on social media (which I loathe, but would have taken!). I was genuinely gutted when I knew the east coast was waking up and I wasn’t hearing from people.

This came after two of my “best” friends (in a tight knit group of 17 years) took a pre-emptive “35th birthday trip” for themselves over my birthday, to Europe and not only didn’t invite me, but said they couldn’t fit in a stopover in London. The week followed with news of two other “best” friends making trips to Europe without so much as a mention. These are the same friends who “forgot”.

In no way would I ever expect people to always factor London into these plans, or include me, but these are people who know how hard the transition has been for me, have promised to come visit, and who very much made a song and dance when I left. I have not moaned excessively to them, but did open up to them once about my emotional struggle this year. Not to mention, I have made three expensive trips back to the US this year for their own weddings and events, or I facilitated side trips during those visits to ensure I saw them when I was over. I’ve also gone out of my way to remember birthdays, send cards and pick up little gifts, because I always remember how exciting getting international mail was. Maybe it’s also because I was more unemployed and bored and worried if I didn’t do all these things, I would be forgotten. I hate to seem as though I am keeping score.

I do have people here who care and who made my day really special, and who have overall made my adjustment easier. So I would be remiss not to acknowledge that, but my day was certainly peppered with sadness at the idea that people who proclaim to care just don’t. Out of sight, out of mind.

Here I am, 35 and feeling like an absolute child! But I feel if there is anyone who can relate, they are probably here.

Any words of wisdom on navigating this emotion? Keep calm and carry on?

« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 12:32:41 PM by ms1967 »
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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2019, 01:16:46 PM »
Big hugs!  It is VERY hard moving away and seeing everyone carry on without you.  I am so sorry that you have made such thoughtful (and costly) gestures to people who don’t appreciate it.

It doesn’t sit well with me that friends were in Europe and didn’t at least extend a token invite.

A friend once challenged me to not contact two friends of ours.  She felt I was ALWAYS the one extending the effort.  Well, 10 plus years on and I’m still waiting for both of them to reach out.

I’m a BIG fan of not cutting off old friends in favour of your new ones.  But sometimes the writing is on the wall.  I’d recommend turning some of that effort into new friendships here.  Your real friends in the USA will still stick around. 


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2019, 09:28:19 PM »
Much along the same lines... not meaning to be harsh, but if they are actually friends, they will make the effort to stay in touch. Maybe only a few times a year, but you'd hear from them.  It does sting when you realize people were not what you thought they were.

I've noticed a lot of people tend to call others that they socialize with "friends" when they are actually more of acquaintances. Perhaps acquaintances you've interacted with for years and years, but the true ties are just not there.  Serious hardship or situations such as being really ill or far from "home" (as you are now) tend to weed out those to whom you just don't matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.

I had a few people write to me after I moved over in response to my writing to them first, but only a couple actually have continued to do so. My daughter's "friends" (who she'd known since elementary school) gave her a heck of a great send-off party before we left, and of the half-dozen of them only one stays in touch.  Neither of us do social media, so it's more telling that the people who have stayed in contact actually made the effort to sit down and compose an email or picked up the phone to call. (Facebook is just such a destroyer of true interactions!)

I'm so glad you have people in your life here that are there for you. Hard as it is, you just have to let those who do not maintain the connection slip away. You cannot be the one who does all the work to stay in touch, without creating an illusion for yourself. That doesn't make it any easier to swallow, though. So sorry you have to go through it.  :(



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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2019, 08:26:42 AM »
I agree with you that if someone is a best friend and setting up a birthday trip to Europe, it seems that they might want to come to the UK.  And if they've already been here, or just have always not liked the British, at least offer to meet up for a weekend in Paris or something.

Once, my stepmother who lives in America set up a tourist trip to the UK after I had been living here a few years.  She had never visited before.  She told me she had 3 hours on a weekday afternoon when we could meet up, the rest of the time was going to be with her tour group.  Erm....okay.

In their defence, most Americans have zero skills or experience planning international travel and your friend probably just didn't think that her trip would be an opportunity for the two of you to meet up.  Maybe it just never occured to her.

Anyway, this actually does happen to all of us.  It's not personal.


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2019, 09:06:41 AM »
I've had friends go to Europe, but not extend an invite for me to come over. They're doing their thing.
 
In fact, I had a (pretty close) friend come to England last summer and not even invite me down (from Scotland) to see them. She was with her parents, brothers & wives, nieces/nephews too , so maybe she felt like it was all a bit much. Shrug? Dunno.  That was a  bit annoying, actually. 
 
I guess ,really, people get consumed in their own lives, that it's easy to forget about those not in the immediate periphery.  Friendship is such a hard thing to keep sometimes. 
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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2019, 12:55:04 PM »
Turning 35 felt like a pretty big deal to me too.  I'm the eldest out of my husband, his friends and their wives so it always takes a bit of time, 3 years later, before even my husband realises how I might have felt for milestones.

I don't think you're acting like a child.  An international move is a huge deal and having friends who treat out of sight as out of mind is annoying and frustrating.  I too like to think my friendships are built on much more than proximity.  In reality, for me, most appeared not to be.  The seemingly purposeful exclusion of not even letting you know when they were in Europe so you could potentially meet up is unkind of them.  When I moved I quit putting in the effort in friendships like that and those fell apart other than the occasional comments on each other's facebook posts.  To be honest, I'm happier for it, but it took me several years and lots of tears to get to that point.

If you can, see what happens if you stop being the first to initiate contact.  I think that'll tell you a lot.  In the meantime, we're a great and supportive group (as you well know!), and it sounds like the support group you're building here was there to make you feel special and loved!  It really does get better.


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2019, 10:46:19 PM »
@KFdancer @Nan D. @jimbocz @phatbeetle @Larissa

Thank you all for your your messages and sharing your experiences/insights with me. Both hard to hear (for good reasons!) and also comforting to know I’m not totally insane and alone.

I do think I’ll put some of these suggestions into practice, especially putting a bit more focus into life and relationships here. You’re right, the “old” ones that matter will remain.

Really grateful for this community.
Application Type: Settlement/Spouse
Priority/Non-Priority: Priority
Online Application Submitted: August 13, 2018
Biometrics Appointment: August 16, 2018
Documents Sent: August 16, 2018
Package Arrived in Sheffield: August 22, 2018
Email conf. from Sheffield: August 24, 2018
Decision Made Email: September 24, 2018 (21 BD)
Documents Returned: September 25, 2018
Arrived in UK: November 2018
APPROVED!


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2019, 04:37:02 AM »
So sorry that happened to you  :( but happy belated birthday  ;D

Yeah, it sucks when that happens but it happens to all of us.  Just embrace your new life and be open to making new best friends.....sometimes you can meet them in the most unexpected places. 


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2019, 01:39:08 PM »
This rings like it's straight from my mind. I turned 40 here last October and no one reached out. It's definitely been a struggle reconciling the past and the future. I even had a good friend say point blank when I told him I was moving here, "well, it was nice knowing you."

Thank you for sharing. It helps to feel like I'm not the only one who's felt this way.


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2019, 01:43:16 PM »
This rings like it's straight from my mind. I turned 40 here last October and no one reached out. It's definitely been a struggle reconciling the past and the future. I even had a good friend say point blank when I told him I was moving here, "well, it was nice knowing you."

Thank you for sharing. It helps to feel like I'm not the only one who's felt this way.

Welcome to the forum.  :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2019, 10:59:35 PM »
Welcome to the forum! I am so sorry to hear about your experience, but so glad that sharing these stories is a help!


This rings like it's straight from my mind. I turned 40 here last October and no one reached out. It's definitely been a struggle reconciling the past and the future. I even had a good friend say point blank when I told him I was moving here, "well, it was nice knowing you."

Thank you for sharing. It helps to feel like I'm not the only one who's felt this way.
Application Type: Settlement/Spouse
Priority/Non-Priority: Priority
Online Application Submitted: August 13, 2018
Biometrics Appointment: August 16, 2018
Documents Sent: August 16, 2018
Package Arrived in Sheffield: August 22, 2018
Email conf. from Sheffield: August 24, 2018
Decision Made Email: September 24, 2018 (21 BD)
Documents Returned: September 25, 2018
Arrived in UK: November 2018
APPROVED!


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2019, 08:00:19 AM »
I turned 40 here last October and no one reached out.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by 'reached out', but just wondering how long have you been here, and did any of your friends here even know it was your birthday?  I don't know what your expectation was, but if people didn't know it was your birthday, what could they have done?


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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2019, 08:49:01 AM »
I think I am getting more philosophical as I get older. I forget birthdays. Sometimes the days , and months, just run away from me. If someone forgets mine, then I don’t let it upset me and am just happy for those that remember. I don’t let myself get into the “I sent them one so they have to send me one” scenario. 

Years ago (many years ago) I posted all my Christmas cards all at the same time and in the same box. My eldest sister’s card never arrived. She would not believe me when I said I had posted it at the same time as her daughters. She has never sent me a card for anything since then. How sad.

It is hard to be way from people - but that is the way it is. People haven’t forgotten you, they remember you and smile but just don’t understand your situation and that you need some support.



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Re: That forgotten feeling
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2019, 08:54:00 AM »
As Albatross said - did anyone know it was your birthday?

If I want a response of any sort I now  make a song and dance about it.  I let people know, and how I am looking forward to it or what plans I have for it.  That includes them in my life, as well as highlighting the up and coming event.  Sometime people need. Bit of a poke if you are away.




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