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Death After Going Back Home

 
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Gringo Greg



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 264
Location: Everywhere and nowhere

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:19 pm    Post subject: Death After Going Back Home Reply with quote

Several days ago, I got news that someone I knew from my teaching days passed away.(I introduced him to his wife who is a childhood friend of mine) I don't remember his user name on the Job Discussion Forums, but over on the Korean Discussion Forums, he was the JacktheCat. Old timers will probably remember him.

He taught in Korea, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia from 2013 to 2018.

He was 43 and was suffering from severe depression after returning to the US in 2018 to try to integrate back into the US. It's real hard to integrate back into the US when you have been abroad for so long. It's sad that we don't have the support network going back to the US.

I don't think I can post links here so I won't be linking to Obituary. If I get an OK, I can put it in the comments.

i just really don't know what to say. Just hoping to spark a discussion about mental health and returning to the US.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11439
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about your friend.

The topics of repatriation and mental health tie into this discussion, Dealing with reverse culture shock.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11521
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so sorry. Warm thoughts to you, GG, and to his family. These things are awful.
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 490

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty sure posting links is fine, as long as it is not a job advert. Death is part of life, but he was only 43, pity that he died so young. I have been out of the US for 11 years, just turned 35, and see no place for me in the US. I have no central network of friends or family and job options are not very appealing. I could see how if I by chance found myself back there I would be very unhappy.
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voyagerksa



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ESL is no place for an escape from problems with employment in your own country. Believe me foreign countries will exploit you and then get rid of you at their own convenience. Americans in particular with great jobs overseas have to realize they are not paying into Social Security in addition to having substandard wages that might limit their savings. When the foreign country uses you and spits you out, what is left for you? If you teach a good thing to do is get licensed and teach at home, no matter how bad it might seem. There is no security overseas and no escape overseas. Nobody with a rubber stamp cares about you, and know student or school owner cares about you.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1629
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:15 pm    Post subject: re voagerska Reply with quote

Amen
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11439
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voyagerksa wrote:
ESL is no place for an escape from problems with employment in your own country. Believe me foreign countries will exploit you and then get rid of you at their own convenience. Americans in particular with great jobs overseas have to realize they are not paying into Social Security in addition to having substandard wages that might limit their savings.
....
There is no security overseas and no escape overseas. Nobody with a rubber stamp cares about you, and know student or school owner cares about you.

Apparently you're responding to the thread, If I had it to do over, I would not enter into ESL teaching, rather than the topic of repatriation and dealing with mental health back home.
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RedLightning



Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 131
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

voyagerksa wrote:
ESL is no place for an escape from problems with employment in your own country. Believe me foreign countries will exploit you and then get rid of you at their own convenience. Americans in particular with great jobs overseas have to realize they are not paying into Social Security in addition to having substandard wages that might limit their savings. When the foreign country uses you and spits you out, what is left for you? If you teach a good thing to do is get licensed and teach at home, no matter how bad it might seem. There is no security overseas and no escape overseas. Nobody with a rubber stamp cares about you, and know student or school owner cares about you.


I think Nomad is right in that you meant to post on the other thread, but...

-I disagree, working as a licensed teacher in the U.S. offers the same negatives you mention here, often with no more money than you'd make overseas(far less if compared to teaching at an international school abroad that requires western licensure), and absurdly high levels of stress from k-12.
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RedLightning



Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 131
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:40 am    Post subject: Re: Death After Going Back Home Reply with quote

Gringo Greg wrote:
Several days ago, I got news that someone I knew from my teaching days passed away.(I introduced him to his wife who is a childhood friend of mine) I don't remember his user name on the Job Discussion Forums, but over on the Korean Discussion Forums, he was the JacktheCat. Old timers will probably remember him.

He taught in Korea, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia from 2013 to 2018.

He was 43 and was suffering from severe depression after returning to the US in 2018 to try to integrate back into the US. It's real hard to integrate back into the US when you have been abroad for so long. It's sad that we don't have the support network going back to the US.

I don't think I can post links here so I won't be linking to Obituary. If I get an OK, I can put it in the comments.

i just really don't know what to say. Just hoping to spark a discussion about mental health and returning to the US.


Please do post the link to the obituary, as I have a suspicion I may have known him.
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psychedelicacy



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 180
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
He taught in Korea, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia from 2013 to 2018.


I met Jack The Cat in Seoul in 2005. I think he'd been in Korea for a few years. He was a moderator on the Korean Dave's. I only met him once and it's a very long time ago, but I remember the meeting quite well. He was very easygoing and gentlemanly. I'm very sorry to hear about this.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 53
Location: On the road

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure the gallery ought to be commenting on mental health advice unless the TEFl instructor in question has training as a clinical psychologist; let's leave it up to the professionals, eh?

Also, why specifically "returning to the US"? Does that country throw up particularly difficult barriers when returning?

My advice for people with or without mental health issues who are contemplating a return to their home country:

Don't just land and hope things will happen. In most cases, they won't. You're going to fly through your savings, if you have any, and most people won't want to hear about your O/S travels. You'll be asked "so, what are you going to do now?" and unless you can answer that, you might find depression coming on. In short, return with a concrete plan such as further study, re-training or a job to start.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11439
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unheard Utterance wrote:
I'm not sure the gallery ought to be commenting on mental health advice unless the TEFl instructor in question has training as a clinical psychologist; let's leave it up to the professionals, eh?

No one has offered any diagnosis or advice on mental health -- professional or otherwise. That's not the point of this thread. The OP is referring to the presumed lack of a support network for those repatriating to the US.
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Unheard Utterance



Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 53
Location: On the road

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Unheard Utterance wrote:
I'm not sure the gallery ought to be commenting on mental health advice unless the TEFl instructor in question has training as a clinical psychologist; let's leave it up to the professionals, eh?

No one has offered any diagnosis or advice on mental health -- professional or otherwise. That's not the point of this thread. The OP is referring to the presumed lack of a support network for those repatriating to the US.


"Just hoping to spark a discussion about mental health and returning to the US."

I didn't say anyone had offered mental advice, I said people should not/ ought not to do it. I thought that was obvious.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1218
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depression and anxiety are both killers. Discouraging people from talking about mental health issues is the single biggest problem with mental health issues. Any half-decent psychologist will actively encourage people to talk about it.

Moving house is a major stressor, moving countries is off the scale. There is a commonly promoted myth in ESL that the grass is always greener back home, wherever home may be. Sadly, that's often not the case, and it can be particularly distressing for returnees when they figure it out. Teachers are often warned to try to mentally prepare themselves for culture shock when they move to a new country, but many have never even heard of reverse culture shock, so it's a double-whammy to experience it.

There are many things people can do to help themselves prepare to return after an extended period away. One is to research their home country as they would a new country, be prepared for the change, or the lack of it. Another is to start working on closer ties with the people you still know back home. They may well be your initial support network, but it can take more work than people expect to get those relationships back on track. Don't expect it all to slip into place without effort.

If you know you struggle with your mental health, try to tell someone that you are worried about it before you go back. If you have absolutely no-one at home you can talk to about it, then familiarize yourself with professional support services in advance, and have a plan to start building a social support network as soon as you arrive. Isolating yourself is the worst thing you can do.

When we move overseas, the job often automatically brings social connections with it through other teachers. Also, at least some of those teachers will likely have a reasonable understanding of what it means to move countries, in a way that most people back home simply don't. It can be a lot harder to find your place in non-international jobs, when all the people you work with have been there forever and already have well-established social networks outside of work.

With that in mind, try to stay in touch with at least some of your friends overseas. No-one back home wants to hear about your adventures, and they definitely don't want to hear you negatively comparing their country with other places you've worked. Save those conversations for your friends overseas.

Finally, don't go back without a plan. Have a job, studies, voluntary work lined up. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but it's somewhere to start.

And wherever you are, if you are struggling, please tell someone. If you aren't ready to speak to a psychologist, tell a friend or a colleague, call a helpline, join an online support group, but find someone you can talk to.

And for the rest of us, we all have a role here. If you suspect a friend or colleague is having problems, make the effort to reach out to them. No-one expects you to start offering them counselling, just invite them for a coffee, so they know the door is open if they want to talk. Unless there's already been a catastrophic deterioration, it's rare for people to go straight to a professional, they usually look for informal advice first. And if someone does disclose to you that they are having mental health problems, reassure them that it's very common and encourage them to get professional help, but be a friend, not a therapist.
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Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
Mod Team


Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 6591
Location: Need to know basis only.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=116964

Future lengthy postings will be deleted.
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